Enjoy Your Own Private Island With Spactacular Views. No boat? No problem!
John Mackenzie - Owner
About John Mackenzie - Owner
Although the official name is O'Connor Island, it has long been known by the locals as Butternut Island, due to the presence of a grove of Butternut trees during the early part of the 20th century down near the cove. Until 1956 the only structure on the island was a "hunter's shack" with neither water nor electricity. It was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Harry F. Pennington of Meriden, CT that year. They converted the existing structure into what is now the two bedrooms and two bathrooms, enlarged the cottage to what is now the living room and kitchen, and built the decks and a boathouse. Plumbing was installed, and the hot water heater, refrigerator, and stove were fueled by propane. Electricity was supplied for lights and small appliances by a generator located in the pump house. The cottage was wired in such a way that, when a light switch was turned on, the generator would start. In 1967, Dr. Pennington passed away, but Mrs. Pennington spent every summer here for the next 25 years. She had telephone service installed after his death for extra security. By 1987, five of the islands (including Butternut) signed up for Hydro (electricity). The generator disappeared, and electric appliances replaced the propane. Two years later the now existing boathouse replaced a much smaller one. The island was passed along to her niece and nephew (that would be me). Their families spent every summer here as their children were growing up. As the children married and had their own families, the island was visited less frequently. In 2014 the decision was made to share this unbelievable destination with others. To that end, some furniture was replaced, and WiFi and satellite TV were installed. We sincerely hope that you, our guests, enjoy the island as much as we do when we are here.
Why John Mackenzie - Owner chose Lansdowne
This vacation destination offers something for everyone. For those seeking privacy and relaxation, the island is yours and yours alone. The only sound you will hear is the call of the loons in the morning, and the occasional flock of geese flying by. There is definitely no need to lock the doors at night! On the other hand, there is much to do a short boat ride back to your car. For those so inclined, there is a Casino just outside Gananoque. This town, just a few kilometers away on the 1000 Islands Parkway, calls itself the "Canadian Gateway to the 1000 Islands". Enjoy shopping on King Street. Spend some time by the river where the Gananoque Boat Line Tours come and go. There is an interesting Museum there, which is free but donations are accepted. Be sure to have an ice cream cone across the street, but only order one scoop - it is all you can handle! The Gananoque Boat Line offers a 1 hour tour, a 2 hour tour (which passes by O"Connor Island), and a 5 hour tour with an unlimited stopover at Boldt Castle. For those who like live theater. the 1000 Islands Playhouse offers performances daily except Mondays. The playhouse can be reached either by car or by boat. Back at the island, you can keep the children busy all day fishing off the dock. Be sure to use hooks without barbs for easy catch and release. The fish love bologna. When the Canada geese come by, give the kids some bread to feed them in the cove. Swimming in the cove is excellent because the water is shallow and protected from the wind. In the afternoon or evening you can toast marsh mellows in the grove. There is a fire pit for that purpose. Finally, there is always the Wi-Fi and DVDs to keep them entertained. Enjoy your stay!
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Your Own Island
We had a wonderful time on O'Connor Island. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect. We brought a canoe and there was one there, and four of us explored the area by paddling around.
One of the very best things was how dog friendly the island was. I was able to let Kaya roam around without worrying. And she totally enjoyed her freedom. I really appreciated that there was no additional charge for pets as there is at many places.
The cabin was comfortable, although maybe better for a family than two couples. In our 60's, the bunk beds weren't perfect.
The property manager was wonderful. He accommodated our party where two of us (and a dog) canoed over and he transported the other two by boat. When we discovered only one paddle in the canoe, he brought us an additional paddle.
The house is rustic, but comfortable. You do have to bring your own drinking water, and there weren't many staples, so it was a good thing we brought our own condiments.
There are beautiful decks all around, and we found ourselves sitting on the Adirondack chairs facing South East in the morning, and at the table on the North East side for dinner. Then we enjoyed the fire circle on the West side until the mosquitoes drove us inside.
Wifi is on and off, but on enough to accommodate our needs. And thank goodness the TV worked well, as Wimbledon was on and we watched the Quarter finals.
Little piece of heaven!
We spent Canada Day weekend at O'Conor Island and it was fabulous! Great little cabin, comfortable beds, outfitted with everything we required for our stay. John was great at responding, provided recommendations for marina boat rentals (optional, I believe they offer you a ride over too). We met with Jeff, the property manager, he showed us around the cabin and was super friendly and helpful. The only downside was water levels were still high and washed out the beach area but that's through no fault of the owner. The rest of the island was fantastic, great views, plenty of seating areas and the two bathrooms was a bonus! We will be back!
I am so happy that you had an enjoyable stay. Hopefully next summer the river levels will be lower.
Flooding didn't stop the fun
We were on the island over the May long weekend in 2019. I'm guessing the flood waters were at least 1 foot higher than several things on the island were designed the handle (flooded docks, flooded boat house and large swaths of flooded lawn). But this didn't stop my husband and I and our dog from enjoying our time on the island. Great to let the dog run loose all day long. The fully stocked cottage with linens, supplies, satellite TV, wifi and kitchen with all the pots, pans, equipment, full oven/stove and fridge/freezer, meant we didn't want for anything. Though I wish we had brought binoculars and a bird watching book. The cottage was very clean with a few bugs for visitors (but it's a cottage). The mattresses were comfortable to sleep on. We loved the privacy and being able to just watch all the boats go by. I can imagine that a family with kids could just let them run wild and some epic tag or hide and seek games could happen here. Like another reviewer said, the outside of the building and deck could use a power wash and new paint -- but we were the first guests of the year, so maybe this will be done later. Nonetheless, we loved our time there and hope to go back. It's great to have your own island and leave all your cares on the mainland. Recommend!
Thank you for your review. We do plan to paint the decks this month. We are glad that you and your dog had a good time.
My self, my 4 years old and my brothers family that came over to visit, had probably one of the best mini vacation ever.
Location: its an island!!! Cant translate exact feeling to words, beautiful views from the island, very private, very exciting!!!
House: rustic and simple, everything that you need as far as kitchen, towels, bbq, table and chairs outside, just couldn't ask for more.
Place to swim: unbelievable clear water with rocks bottom with no weeds! Just amazing.
Owner/property manager: just good people. Easy going and accommodating. Cant say enough good things about the hospitality.
Overall: will match romantic vacation and family vacation aswell. Probably one of the most unique vacation places that you can treat your self. Highly recommended. CANT WAIT FOR NEXT TIME TO VISIT.
Your kind words are greatly appreciated. Hope to see you next year!
My wife and I with our 16 year-old son spend 5 days on O'Connor Island. The scenery is truly beautiful, and having an island to yourself is extremely cool. John, the owner, was prompt and responsive. The house interior was well furnished and the views out of the windows were great. It was nice to have internet access on the island, and there was TV access as well, but we never used it with so much to enjoy outside. The boat house is large and easily accommodated our 18 foot boat. Although most days were very windy, it was easy to find a calm area on the leeward side of the island. We all greatly enjoyed hanging out in the Adirondack chairs reading and watching the boats on the river.
There are several marinas in the area, and if you are travelling from the USA, I would recommend launching your boat from Wellesley Island State Park which is directly across from O'Connor island which has a nice boat ramp and moderately priced gas for a marina. Peck's marina on the Canadian side is nice, and helped me obtain a new propeller when I hit a rock, BTW if you are not very familiar with area be careful with the rocks and shoals, most are marked, but a few are not.
We ate twice at the Ivy Lea Resort on the Canadian side, and the Sunday brunch and dinner services are fantastic. Highly recommend. We boated over to Alexandria Bay for lunch on occasion and generally enjoyed exploring the waterways.
The interior of the house was clean and well equipped with linens and towels. The bed in the master bedroom was comfortable, and my son didn't complain about the bunk beds, so I presume they were adequate.
The exterior of the house as well as the decks and boathouse, could use a good pressure wash and a bit of paint, but this in my opinion was fairly minor, as the natural scenery is wonderful.
It was a pleasure to have you as a guest. I hope that you will come back next summer.
Great little cottage on a pefect 'thousand island'
Host and representative very helpful. A private and wonderful island.
Thank you for your kind words. I hope that you will return next year!