The Gananoque Inn occupies what was originally the Gananoque Carriage Works, a business founded in the 1870s by George and Charles Taylor. A child's cutter built on the premises is on display in the Inn lobby. In 1885, the company was purchased by George Burrows of the Standard Wagon Company of Cincinnati and by 1894, the operation had been moved to Brockville, Ontario.
The picturesque location of the former Gananoque Carriage Works, the substantial character of the building, and its prime location in the heart of the most charming part of the Thousand Islands were the perfect attributes of a summer hotel. The Gananoque Inn was opened in June of 1896 and remained under the ownership of the Brockville Carriage Company until March 1906 when Archibald Welsh of Montreal became the first private owner of the Inn.
On Friday, April 5, 1907 a disastrous fire left one third of the hotel in smoldering ruins. Within a few weeks however, debris had been cleared and the Inn was able to open for the summer season. The Welsh family continued to operate the hotel until September 1927, when the business was purchased by Ford McCarney. McCarney's son, Jack, returned from Cornell University and, at the age of 21, took over the management of the hotel. Jack McCarney's widow Dorothy took over the management of the Inn after his untimely death in 1933. The waterfront landmark was sold to Roy Hicks in 1960. Roy and Anna Hicks operated the hotel for 27 years, adding the front lawn motel units, the lower banquet/conference room, increasing the size of the ever-popular lounge and, most notably, constructing the Stone St. verandah and three-story tower.
Between 1987 and 1995, the inn changed hands twice, with few noticeable improvements. A new era in the history of Gananoque's only waterfront resort was ushered in when "The Grand Old Lady" was sold to John and Noni Keilty. For Mr. Keilty this was a return to the town where he had been born and raised. John Keilty remains committed to reestablishing the Gananoque Inn as a very special property and contributing to the revitalization of Gananoque's waterfront. The Dining Room has once again become a favoured place to dine in the Thousand Islands. Many of the rooms have undergone wonderful transformations and renovations continue each winter.
In summer, the grounds are resplendent with flowers, due to the addition of numerous gardens, flower boxes and hanging baskets. In fall and winter, the lobby fireplace glows invitingly. The Dining Room is once again the favoured place to dine in the Thousand Islands year round. Weddings and conferences at the Inn are given special care. Whatever the season, the Innkeepers and their enthusiastic staff pride themselves in making guests feel very special, providing the many luxuries and services that make a visit to the historic Gananoque Inn unique.