About - The TI Life Story

In December 2008 TI Life received a new look. Ian Coristine generously donated over 70 header photographs

The regional overview (On and beside the River, above the River or under the River!) provides a  comprehensive resource for information about the St.  Lawrence River, from Cape Vincent and Kingston on Lake Ontario to  Brockville and Morristown, fifty miles down the river. The web site is  huge, providing information about twenty-two communities and other  subjects".

TI Life - 2006-2008 created by Paul Malo, Mike Franklin with many photographs by Ian Coristine

All authors and photographers provide content strictly as  volunteers.  All Photographs are copyrighted and the property of the  photographer.

History

A team of three created and managed TI Life from 2006-2008.  Paul Malo, emeritus professor architecture, Syracuse University; Mike Franklin,  property specialist with Sotheby's International Realty, (Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid, NY) and Ian Coristine, renown Thousand Islands photographer and writer.

In August 2008 when the community learned of the death of Paul Malo,  Ian Coristine made a request, “would someone like to help keep TI Life  alive?”  Susan Smith volunteered as editor and  Kim Lunman, now owner and publisher of the print magazine, “Island Life” volunteer her writing and photographic skills.   The rest they say, is history.

The Editor

Susan W. Smith, Sagastaweka Island, Admiralty Islands, Gananoque. [susansmith@thouandislandslife.com]

Susan Weston Smith (known as Susie) took over as the production edtior of Thousand Islands Life in December 2008. She is the author of The First Summer People, Thousand Islands 1650-1910,  Boston Mills Press (1993) and working in the volunteer world is her  passion. She currently on the board of the Thousand Islands History Museum in Gananoque.  In  addition she a member of the Zonta Club of Ottawa and an avid antique button collector! She is serving as the Chair of the National Button Society Publicity Committee.   In the past she has served on the Board of the Thousand Islands Land Trust and Save the River in Clayton, NY, as well as the Arthur Child Heritage Museum and the Thousand Islands Association both in Gananoque.

In 2021, Susan was honored to receive  the Friends of the River Award from Save The River Upper St. Lawrence RiverkeeperⓇ  and in 2010 she received the Keeper of the Islands Award by the Gananoque Chamber of Commerce. She is retired from her career as a professional fundraiser, having worked for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and at Queen's  School of Business, Queen’s University in Kingston, the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University and St. George's School of Montreal.

Click here to see all of Susan’s contributions to TI Life!


The "Real Editor"

Meet Elspeth Naismith

Sometimes a person calls offering to help and suddenly you find a good friend. Elspeth Naismith called to offer to help TI Life in the summer of 2020 and since that time, she has become our "go to for both grammar and copy editing" team member.  

Elspeth Naismith grew up in Gananoque, and despite years spent on both east and west coasts, neither one could compete with the siren call of The River. So after retiring from the Royal Canadian Navy (Reserve) in 2011, she left Ottawa and returned to “the scene of the crime”!

For 10 years, Elspeth worked as a Registered Nurse at the Vancouver General Hospital, first on an acute medical ward, then on the newly established Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, and eventually as a Critical Care Nurse, in the Cardiac Care Unit. In December 1987, she took a three year sabbatical from nursing, to work full time for the Canadian Forces, at National Defence HQ in Ottawa. The three years turned into 20+ years.

Elspeth’s career and postings in the military were quite varied; it included both full time and part time service and ranged from: Administrative officer and Training Officer at three Naval Reserve Divisions, part time; developing the policy and pushing through approval for Reserve health care and insurance benefits; getting approval for a pension plan for Reservists, the culmination of 25+ years of work by many people; being Officer In Charge of the Canadian Forces Military Museum system (about 45 museums at the time); heading up a team to bring thousands of tons of former Warsaw Pact military equipment back to Canada, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the imminent closure of the CF bases in Germany; a tour in Bosnia as Detachment Commander for the Canadian personnel based at the British camp of Banya Luka, Bosnia, for which she received a Brigade Commander’s citation; recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, both for her work to develop “total force” policies (to create personnel policies that applied to both Regular and Reserve Force members), and her role as Project Manager responsible for designing and overseeing implementation of the CF Self-Identification Census Project and establishing the long-term management of the data collected (this was a mandatory activity under the Employment Equity Act); she was also awarded the corporate award for Leadership in Human Resource Management in Employment Equity; to, on promotion to Commander, a two year posting as Chief of Staff to the Director General Military Personnel, a Division that was responsible for 80% of all CF personnel policies and two major Crown Projects, a position which she described as being akin to being the ringmaster of a five-ring circus! It was definitely not a boring career!!

Having been raised by an English teacher (and often having often graded her students’ papers), then spending 20 years as a policy analyst and writer in the military, offering to help with TI Life seemed like a no-brainer. It didn’t take long to shift from being a proofreader to being the copy editor. Once again, she is definitely not bored!!

Elspeth now spends part of the year in Gananoque, and part of the year in the US, accompanied by her husband and (badly spoiled!) dog Charlie.


Social Media

Jennifer Caddick

We welcome Jennifer Caddick to the team. Jennifer first visit to the Thousand Islands was on a family vacation at the age of 10 and she was immediately smitten with the River. Her time on, in and beside the River led to a career in the environmental movement.

Jennifer Caddick joins TI Life to help post our social media. 

From 2006-2012, Jennifer served as Executive Director of Save The River and led the organization through a period of growth and expansion. Throughout her more than 20 years in the environmental movement, she's led numerous advocacy campaigns on issues impacting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, from stopping invasive carp to preventing plastic pollution and everything in between. She currently leads communications and marketing for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, a regional Great Lakes advocacy organization. She splits her time between her home in Clayton and her family's cottage on Linda Island on the US side of the River, enjoying the River in all of its amazing seasons.

The Over 20 Team…  

Tom King (Bio to come)

The following authors have written more than 20 articles for TI Life. Their time, energy and expertise is greatly appreciated.


Kim Lunman, photo by Joseph T. Melrose IV, Full Frame Photography, Sackets Harbour.

Kim Lunman

Kim Lunman is the founder, owner and publisher of Island Life Magazine  (www.islandlifemag.ca) based  in Brockville, Ontario. The 2017 edition of the glossy print magazine  will be distributed in May throughout the 1000 Islands in eastern  Ontario and northern New York. A photographer and award-winning writer,  Kim is an avid kayaker and boater who lives in her hometown of  Brockville, “The City of the 1000 Islands.” She was awarded The Keeper  of the Islands Award by the Gananoque 1000 Islands Chamber of Commerce  in 2013. The Canadian journalist is a former national correspondent for  the Globe and Mail's Victoria and Ottawa bureaus and staff reporter for  the Calgary Herald.  

Kim is also the recipient of a National Newspaper Award for feature writing and a National Newspaper Award nominee for enterprise reporting.  Kim was nominated for the Michener Award, the highest honour  in Canada for public service journalism. Her freelance writing has  appeared in Boat U.S. Magazine, Lakeland Boating, the  KingstonWhig-Standard, the National Post, and Reader's Digest.  

To see all of Kim Lunman’s TI Life articles, click here, and to read a more complete biography, see our About Page.


Lynn McElfresh, Grenell Island

Lynn McElfresh

Lynn McElfresh is a regular contributor to TI Life,  writing stories dealing with her favorite Grenell Island and island  life. We have learned a great deal over the past three years from Lynn  McElfresh’s musings, from moving pianos to island weddings or from  plumbing problems to meeting old friends, taking nature walks and the  importance of trees. Recently she presented several articles about  Grenell for its 100th Birthday. Lynn is the author of Can You Feel the  Thunder? published in 1999 in New York by Simon & Shuster Children's  Publishing Division. It is suggested for youth ages 10-14. She is also  the ghost writer for several other children’s books. Lynn’s is a regular contributor to TI Life.

Lynn McElfresh and her husband, Gary, spend  their summers in the Thousands Islands on Grenell Island and their  winters in Dunedin, Florida.

And good news:  Lynn has finished the first of several novels, the subject of which will take place in the Thousand Islands! More to come...

Click here  and here to see all of Lynn’s contributions!


Dan LeKander, Sudoku Master

"Everyone knows someone who is hooked on Sudoku puzzles.  For those who love them, Sudoku is quite meditative and just plain fun.  However, even the most devoted fans sometimes experience frustration when a puzzle is hard.  If the first puzzle you encounter is a tough one, it is easy to just give up and never try again."

This is the introduction to Jessy Kahn's book review and article about Dan LeKander and his book on Advanced Sudoku Techniques written in June 2015. after the article was written Dan offered to give TI Life readers a puzzle to solve each month!  And now in 2019 we are in the puzzle numbers in the 100s!

We thank you Dan for your time effort and expertise... and we also thank Peggy, your proofreader!  What a team!

Dan LeKander loves Sudoku, too, and he's figured out a technique that eliminates guessing and erasing.  His book explains, step by step, how to understand the principles behind Sudoku and how to solve the puzzles efficiently.  He takes you through a puzzle, explaining each step. Each step is accompanied by a diagram that shows what was done.


Michael Folsom

Michael Folsom

Michael Folsom was a regular contributor to TI Life.  His work has been featured in Thousand Islands Sun, Know Your Ships,  Boatnerd.com and more. He is also created his website Ship Watcher Blog – the most comprehensive seaway information site for the region. Michael was the creator and organizer of Sailing Seaway Clayton which was a weekend of waterfront activities . When  not on the River, Michael can be found in Syracuse, NY.

Click here to see all of Michael’s contributions!


Brian Johnson

Captain Brian Johnson, Wolfe Island

Brian Paul Johnson is one of five captains of the  Wolfe Island car ferry Wolfe Islander III. He has worked for the Ontario  Ministry of Transportation for more than 30 years, recently celebrating  20+ years as captain.  He recently retired as a   captain of the Canadian Empress.

Today, Brian combines his marine career  with writing. Fascinated by stories and legends of the 1000 Islands  area he has written for the Kingston Whig Standard, Telescope Magazine and the Great Lakes Boatnerd Website: Seaway News. Brian co-edited  Growing up on Wolfe Island, a compilation of interviews and stories with  Sarah Sorensen. He is also a past president of the Wolfe Island  Historical Society and former president of the Wolfe Island Scene of the  Crime mystery writer’s festival held on the island in August.

Click here to see all of Brian’s contributions!


The Design and Magic…

In December 2008 TI Life took on a new look. David O’Malley, principal designer at Areographics, in Ottawa ON. provided a unique style for TI Life's graphic look from 2008-2018, complete with a tag line: put a thousand islands in your life. His distinctive design provided an easily managed template.

Michael Cox, chief IT Magician

Michael Cox, Dunrobin, ON

Hailing from North Western Ontario, Mike Cox spent his time working  at his family tourist business in many different capacities. Having a  penchant for technology, he bought his first computer in 1995 and  started developing web sites for marina operators.

Mike learned that simply building web pages was not sustainable.  Businesses needed a way to manage their sites and to have their sites be more than HTML brochures. Mike specializes in offering web database  integration and created Content Management Solutions which enables his customers autonomy from their web masters at affordable prices.

Mike now resides in Rural Ottawa with his wife and two daughters and services a boutique clientele from his home. The original Content  Management System he developed has been replaced with a younger more  nimble offering that is supported by developers all around the world.  Mike is adamant that site maintenance does not need to be done by the tech savvy, and as a result, the TI Life Team has been given great tools to do the job. The newest version of TI Life, February 2019 is just one example.

He also is well known in the Ottawa region playing his Ukulele… and in December 2018, Mike did a humanitarian trek on a motorbike in Patagonia. See his website for the exciting journey.  

Mike Cox "I'm Riding to The End of The Earth...

The Original Team

Paul Malo, Photo by Ian Coristine www.1000islandsphotoart.com

The facts tell us that Paul Malo was an award winning historical  preservationist, architect, professor, author and passionate Thousand  Islander.

Paul created over 100 articles for TI Life magazine. He shared his  training, knowledge, research and photographs through the magazine, his  books and in person to foster a greater appreciation for and  preservation of important places like TI Park, Carleton Villa and Boldt  Castle amongst many others. Paul leaves behind many legacies, but  arguably one of the most important is ThousandIslandsLife.com. It exists  thanks to his dedication, leadership and inspiration.

See October 2008.  Paul Malo Remembered by Kim Lunman


Michael Franklin

Mike Franklin was a founder of Thousand Islands Life Magazine and a good friend of Paul Malo.

Mike is licensed Real Estate Broker and President of Franklin Ruttan a  real estate brokerage that specializes in marketing unique Upstate  properties to Down-state, Out-of-state and International buyers.   (Mostly waterfront and historical properties)

See http://www.FranklinRuttan.com

Mike previously worked as a historical property specialist with Sotheby’s International Realty.

Examples of his photography, that highlight important architectural  attributes, can be found in many of TI Life feature articles.


The late Ian Coristine

Ian Coristine, Raleigh Island

When Ian Coristine met Paul Malo he recognized a kindred spirit. Not  only was Paul fostering a greater appreciation for the Thousand Islands,  but he was also encouraging others in “raising the bar” to ensure that  all aspects of the region were promoted – from economic prosperity to  appreciating its beauty through photograph.

For more thatn two decade, Ian provided hundreds of photographs to TI Life as well as publishing a free Screensaver on the first day of each of the winter months beginning in November.  The notice for the Screensaver was sent to a notification list as is our Monthly TI Life. It was Ian's way of sharing his magnificent views with the community.

Perhaps one of the best ways to meet Ian is by watching - not reading.  

Ian Coristine's died in January 2020 after a valiant battle with cancer.  His photography lives on in Thousand Islands Life thanks to the generosity of his wife, Lyne Roberge. They were quite a team and thanks to Lyne his memory lives on.

A new TI Life Launched - 2019

In February, 2019, we launched a new version of TI Life - TI Life.2!  Using an interactive format readers can see the version on any screen with ease.  We encourage you to comment on what you like, and what you dislike! Also please send comments and new submission to info@thousandislandslife.com

Sincerely,

Susan W. Smith, Editor TI Life