The next part of my “staycation – day trip” series I decided to pay a quick visit to Brockville.
Brockville is a day trip destination. It’s got small city charm, beautiful parks, historic landmarks a vibrant waterfront that plays host many cultural events. As well as many restaurants that make it a popular stop for those who want to visit the Thousand Islands.
Brockville truly is the “City of the 1000 Islands”; it’s considered the eastern gateway to this famous touristic region. I really enjoyed my visit, there is a lot to see within walking distance I liked the city very much and think it’s worth spending your day or two there.
TIP – there is complimentary visitor parking in all Municipal Parking Lots for the day. The visitor centre is located at 10 Market Street West. (The staff will require your license plate number and proof of out of town residence).
TIP – if you arrive on Saturday – you can use the complimentary shuttle, which runs a loop of the city every 40 minutes from May 7th till September 17th (Tall Ships Festival weekend) – a great and cheap way to discover the city.
You can download Brockville_Map.
WHAT TO SEE in Brockville?
The first thing I recommend you do is a walk to Blockhouse Island. It’s located at the eastern edge of the world-famous 1000 islands. Here you can get the best viewpoint in the 1000 Islands! See gigantic cruise and cargo ships cruising the waters of the International Seaway shipping channel. It’s here where cruises start.
Of course, no visit to Brockville would be complete without a Boat Cruise of the world famous 1000 Islands. In Brockville, there are plenty of boat cruises.
There’s also a special 2-castle cruise, which will take you to the famous Boldt Castle and Singer Castle. They are accessible only by water these two castles are open to the public in the summer months for tours. On select days you can take part in a full day 1000 islands cruise with two castle stopovers.
Note: Cruise stopping at the castles are located in the United States and do require border crossing identification.
Many of the cruise options will take you past the castles without stopping there, which is a great option if you don’t have your passport or you just want to see them from the boat.
Check their website for all the cruises – www.1000islandscruises.com
We decided on the 1,5 hour “Jewels of the St.Lawrence” cruise for our first ever visit which includes Millionaire’s Row and the Shortest International Bridge. I was able to book with a 40% discount. You can get yours here. Use this link to get extra 10$ off for first time user.
The tour was very interesting! We had a close-up view of the Islands some local’s also live in the area so don’t be shy to wave when you see someone sitting by the water.
More beautiful views from a boat you can see in Brockville Photogallery.
What else to visit in this small beautiful city?
The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing is more than just an aquarium. Here you can see shipwrecks, a dive tank, aquarium, and otter habitat. With 27,000 square feet, there are interactive exhibits for the whole family.
Brockville Museum. Home to exhibits and displays covering over 200 years of Brockville’s industrial and social past. This museum beautifully showcases a social and industrial history of Ontario’s first incorporated town.
Canada’s Oldest Railway Tunnel. Incorporated in 1832, Brockville is one of Canada’s oldest municipalities and one of its oldest railway centres. Find out about the Grand Trunk Railway, which connected Brockville and Montreal in 1855. Canada’s First Railway Tunnel, part of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway, was build between 1854 and 1860.
Fulford Place – This 35 room mansion is open for tours throughout the year. Discover the story of Senator George T. Fulford and how he made millions of dollars from “Pink Pills for Pale People” – a patent medicine he manufactured in Brockville and sold around the world.
This magnificent 20,000-square-foot mansion was built in 1899-1901 for self-made millionaire and Senator George Taylor Fulford I (1852-1905) and his family. The original grounds were designed by Frederick Olmsted of the Olmsted landscaping firm, which also designed Central Park in New York City.
It’s open in summer time (from Victoria Day to Labour Day) seven days a week, from 10AM till 5PM. Contact the museum for off-season hours. Admission fee – 6CAD for adults, children 6 and under – free.
For this summer (2016), Fulford Place Museum is launching a series of noontime concerts featuring local performers Wednesdays from 12noon-1pm, July 6-August 24. Bring your lunch and enjoy performances from six musical groups. More info here.
For some live entertainment, you can visit The Brockville Arts Centre. It’s one of the Canada’s finest medium sized heritage theaters in Canada. It presents a wide variety of live entertainment year around The 710 seat theater is located in the heart of the historic downtown.
Brockville Farmers’ Market is an essential part of the city’s downtown. It’s open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings. You can enjoy shopping fresh product from one of the many local sellers.
You can also hit The Brock Trail – it’s a paved walking and cycling path along Brockville’s waterfront, there are other walking trails like Jones Creek Trail, Landon’s Bay, Rock Dunder, Mac Johnson Wildlife area.
Brockville has beautiful, safe, sandy beaches like St.Lawrence Park Beach, Brown’s Bay Beach, Kendrick’s Park, Lower Beverly Lake Park.
Brockville also offers scuba diving. This unique diving experience offers exploration of old shipwrecks and artefacts.
And of course shopping! The best shopping in Brockville is 1000 Islands Mall with 50+ store, free parking, on-site dining.
By now I’m sure you are convinced that there are a lot to see in Brockville and 1 day is not enough. We will definitely be back for more!!
Another important thing to note when you visit any new city is to taste their food! We visited a few places and were surprised to see that many of them are closed on Sunday afternoons.
TIP: Go to Visitor Centre for a restaurant guide brochure and find out what’s open (it’s not a joke!)
Buds on the Bay – has a terrace with a waterfront view and good menu. It’s the city’s largest roof top patio.
Tall Ships Waterfront Grill – a very nice restaurant. Tasty food but its not cheap. If your just looking for snacks, Buds on Bay would be a better choice, also it has a nice waterfront terrace.
The Sleepless Monkey Cafe – a quaint cafe. The very friendly owner is from Toronto and the service is perfect. Perfect place for breakfast. Make a note.
Don’s Fish & Chips – take out only. If the weather is beautiful, you can have a nice picnic. It’s mentioned on Tripadvisor as one of the best places for fish and chips.
The Mill is an Italian restaurant, a very cozy place, and simple tasty menu.
For more information about Brockville and events visit their website http://brockvilletourism.com/
One of the most popular festivals: Brockville’s Tall Ships Festival, September 16-18, 2016 – tallshipsbrockville.com
More pictures of the city in Brockville Photogallery
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