Travels with Elizabeth Simcoe: A Visual Journey Through Upper and Lower Canada - Page Banner

Kingston and the Thousand Islands


On June 8th, 1792 the Simcoes and their party set out by boat for Upper Canada along the St. Lawrence River.

Watercolour: A Bend in the St. Lawrence, [ca. 1792]


The picture to the right portrays a scene along the river and was painted on the day of their departure.

Click to see a larger version (151K)
A Bend in the St. Lawrence, [ca. 1792], (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Wash/paper
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-39
Archives of Ontario, I0006891

Watercolour: Near Quebec, 1792 (detail)
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Near Quebec, 1792, (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Watercolour/paper
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-42
Archives of Ontario, I0006894

Watercolour: Montreal, Quebec, [ca. 1792] (detail)
Click to see a larger version (148K)

Montreal, Quebec, [ca. 1792], (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Watercolour/paper
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-57
Archives of Ontario, I0006347

Watercolour: The Sault Rapids, July 28, [ca. 1796] (detail)
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The Sault Rapids, July 28, [ca. 1796] (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
wash/birch, grey
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-255
Archives of Ontario, I0007107

“...after passing Grenadier Island came to the Thousand Isles, the different sizes & shape of these innumerable Isles have a pretty appearance; some of them are many miles in extent, many of them only large enough to contain 4 or 5 trees...”

June 30th, 1792

Watercolour: Thousand Islands, July 26, [ca. 1796]
Click to see a larger version (116K)

Thousand Islands, July 26, [ca. 1796]
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Wash/paper, grey
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-247
Archives of Ontario, I0007099

The Simcoes finally arrived in Kingston on Sunday July 1st, 1792.

On June 8th, 1792 the Simcoes and their party set out by boat for Upper Canada along the St. Lawrence River.

The picture to the right portrays a scene along the river and was painted on the day of their departure.

Watercolour: Kingston, Ontario, 1796
Click to see a larger version (128K)

Kingston, Ontario, 1796
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Watercolour/paper
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-284
Archives of Ontario, I0006356

Watercolour: Tree [fragment]
Click to see a larger version (441K)

Tree [fragment]
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Wash/paper, brown, with varnish
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-370
Archives of Ontario, I0007222

Watercolour: Mill on the Gananocoui, [ca. 1792]

Upon arriving in Kingston, Simcoe began to make preparations to leave for Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake), which had been designated the provisional seat of the new colonial government.

Elizabeth spent much of her time sketching and exploring the area.

Click to see a larger version (204K)
Mill on the Gananocoui, [ca. 1792]
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Wash/paper, full
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-63
Archives of Ontario, I0006915

“I walked this evening in a wood lately set on fire by some unextinguished fires being left by some persons who had encamped there, which in dry weather often communicates to the trees. Perhaps you have no idea of the pleasure of walking in a burning wood, but I found it so great that I think I shall have some woods set on fire for my evening walks. The smoke arising from it keeps the mosquitoes at a distance, and when the fire has caught the hollow trunk of a lofty tree, the flame issuing from the top has a fine effect. In some trees where but a small flame appears it looks like stars as the evening grows dark, and the flare and smoke, interspread in different masses of dark woods, has a very picturesque appearance.”

Saturday July 7, 1792




Simcoe was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor at Kingston on July 8th, 1792 and two weeks later, in spite of the efforts of local residents to dissuade the Governor from going to Niagara, representing the want of provisions, houses, etc. at that place, as well as the "certainty of having the ague", the vice-regal party departed.