Chatham Gateway District

Lat: 37.0902400
Long: -95.7128910

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About Chatham Gateway District
Named after its sister in England, Ontario’s Thames River is not as famous, but it has a colorful history, carries a significant amount of recreational boat traffic and serves a number of ports—including the towns of Lighthouse Cove, Chatham and London.
The Thames flows for 169 miles through southern Ontario, meandering through farmland under bridges and past cities.  Along much of its length, it is flanked by rich Carolinean forest.  Wildlife and fish include many that are rarely found elsewhere in Canada, such as the eastern spiny softshell turtle, queen snake, southern flying squirrel and Virginia opossum.

The fertile Thames River valley has been home to people for over 11,000 years.  Wars have been fought here, and commercial farming in Canada had its roots here. Much of the Thames valley still appears as it did 200 years ago, and many early buildings are still standing.  From a recreational viewpoint, the Thames is a diverse watershed, with a multitude of tributaries and opportunities for exploration.   

The Thames is navigable from its mouth at Lake St. Clair through and past downtown Chatham (located about four hours upstream at no-wake speed).  Here, boaters can tie up along a seawall (where complete water and electric hook up is available), and discover all of the comforts and excitement of a bustling downtown right outside their vessel.  Admist a quaint turn of the century setting, Downtown Chatham welcomes visitors with a rich bounty of Victorian architecture, cultural treasures, delightful specialty shops and culinary delights. The restoration of many historic buildings has transformed the area into a picturesque and bustling streetscape decorated with stunning murals.  it’s a great way to spend a day or a weekend.

It’s part of the region known as Chatham-Kent, which features natural parklands, beaches, cultural experiences, family attractions and quaint towns. Chatham-Kent offers many unique experiences and is known as the Classic Car Capital and home to the RM Classic Car exhibit showing one of North America’s finest collections of classic and antique vehicles. 

Closer to the mouth of Lake St. Clair, visitors will find the charming and scenic lakeside community of Lighthouse Cove, home of the Cove Marina, one of the finest and best equipped seasonal and/or transient marinas on the lake.  The Cove Marina has its own restaurant, mini putt golf, heated pool, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, barbecues, paved trails, tiki huts and covered pavilions.

Another landmark sits proudly overlooking the Thames Rivermouth.  Lighthouse Inn in Lighthouse Cove features a Riverdeck,  dinner in the Inn, or a snack and a relaxing drink and some social fun in our Boathouse Pub.

The Thames River Chatham Gateway District is your gateway to fun and relaxation with great destinations hosted by the warm Canadian neighbors.

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