A Dreamy Road Trip Is On The Horizon!
There’s a reason Brockville is so popular—it’s a fantastic place to visit! From taking in incredible views to exploring the aquatic life of the St Lawrence River, here are the 28 things that locals recommend checking out.
There’s the Brockville that visitors see, then there’s the Brockville locals love. Meet the locals at the end of the blog and follow us on Instagram at @southeast.ontario for their upcoming takeovers on our channel!
Get a glimpse into the social and industrial history of Ontario’s first incorporated town! The Brockville Museum has a variety of thematic and interpretive displays, sharing the stories of the people who have shaped this riverfront community for over 200 years. The museum is now open by appointment only, with limited services available.
Explore the wreck of an 1812-era gunboat, try on a costume and take part in military drill, witness a cannon firing, savour period treats cooked over an open fire, or play games from long ago! Fort Wellington in Prescott was first built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route from attack by the United States, also helping to thwart another American invasion during the 1837-38 Upper and Lower Canada rebellions. Ongoing construction work at the site means that some areas of the outside grounds are closed to the public at this time. In addition, the pandemic means that the visitor centre, washrooms, as well as buildings inside the historic fort, are closed.
“Take in Prescott’s amazing history and try firing a cannon or two!”Dana Valentyne, Tourism Champion
Food And Drink
The historic, open-air Brockville Farmers Market is now open! Stop by Market Street on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Downtown Brockville to discover the definition of homegrown goodness. The Brockville market has become one of the oldest continuous markets in Ontario, now operating for almost 180 years. Enjoy the friendly vendors and scenic location!
The Noshery is a locally owned, eclectic, and quality-first restaurant that is recognized by locals and visitors alike for its delicious food and warm, inviting atmosphere. The Noshery currently offers take out and patio dining – complete with grass umbrellas and special touches to make the space inviting. We hear the homemade sangria here is a favourite!
A mainstay in Brockville for almost half a century, 1000 Islands Restaurant & Pizzeria is known for making the best pizza in town. Committed to keep their homemade pizza authentic and top quality, the restaurant is also a comfortable place that also makes other Greek traditional foods as well as casual favourites. Currently, the restaurant is offering take-out and delivery options only.
“A local hangout and family owned for 50 years!” Deb Hamilton, Tourism Champion
Would you like a side of history with your meal? Heritage is served with every meal at The Mill. Think food with an Italian and Mediterranean flare, in one of the oldest areas in the city. In fact, the grist mill is the last building left in use that once used the waterpower of Buell’s Creek. The dining room is now open, but reservations are requested. Take out and delivery are still available, too.
Cowan’s Dairy in Brockville has fudge galore in all different delicious varieties. As well as more than 40 flavours of scooped ice cream! Ice cream cakes, convenience items, take and bake pizza and so much more. But seriously, the fudge! Think rocky road, cotton candy, cookies and cream, vanilla Skor…drool worthy!
Nestled in Brockville just off the St. Lawrence River, 1000 Islands Brewing has transformed a historic building into a brewery and pub, in addition to a retail beer store that sells TIB’s canned craft beer. Come by for a pint and meal on the patio or take advantage of free home beer delivery which was introduced this year, you know, to keep everyone hydrated!
Traditional Irish pub food for the perfect outing with your friends or family. WIth a large variety of beers on tap, you can munch down on a countless amount of appetizers including potato poppers, spinach dip, and Irish Nachos, and then follow up with traditional Irish stew or Irish Boxty.
The historic name of this classic pub welcomes you into its warm atmosphere where locals gather to enjoy the Prescott waterfront as well as the great menu of well-known pub style options as well as more eclectic options like the cajun catfish.
Katarinas Coffee Shop is open and ready to take your order Customers rave about their flaky croissants, smooth and flavourful ice cream and delicious coffee. This adorable spot is closed during the wintertime, so you will want to grab a table during the warmer months.
Good times are brewing at the Windmill Brewery! The windmill is committed to making its brews with the finest ingredients. The brewery offers its guests a rotation of eight different beers, with its flagship brew still being its 1838 Pilsner. To that end, it is also keen for you to enjoy them in the finest company. Throughout the summer, the brewery hosted outdoor and distance live music every Friday night.
Recommended By: Hillary Geneau, Tourism Champion
Enjoy a day of shopping, learning and eating when you spend an afternoon in Prescott. Find a special gift for your favourite pal at A Craft Boutique, and don’t forget to bring your special someone a beautifully designed bouquet at Cardinal Flowers and Gifts before you head home.
Lace-up and try the Heritage RiverWalk Park in Prescott. As a popular walking venue, the paved path runs on the shore of the River. Watch here for monarch butterflies. At the west end of the Heritage River Trail, there is even an arboretum showcasing native trees to the area.
Kelly’s Beach is a quaint spot on the waterfront that sits alongside the St. Lawrence River, with many amenities and attractions within walking distance. This beach does require that all guests please follow the advice of health experts within their respective communities, and in all cases, social distancing is required.
“Swim or wade in the cool waters of the St.Lawrence,”Sandra Lawn, Tourism Champion
If you decide to try out Kellys Beach, be sure to take a gander into Centennial Park, where you can plan a picnic, journey through the Waterfront Trail, and play a game of tennis on their local tennis courts.
Experience something incredible and new at Prescott’s Dive Park. Due to Brockville’s rich history of ships carrying resources in and out of the local ports, there are a number of wreckage sights to be explored. What is especially unique about this diving haven is that it has unusually warm waters and good visibility, allowing the experience to be more vivid and astonishing.
Regardless of whether you have a boat to dock, or you just want to enjoy a day of being beside the water, the Sandra S Lawn Harbour is a beautiful place to visit.
Getting outdoors is the name of the game right now. Be inspired by the natural surroundings which tell a story about the exceptional landscapes of the 1000 Islands at Mac Johnson Wildlife Area. With 11 km of trails which cross woodland, wetland and field, this is the perfect place to spend a day outdoors. Watch the visiting swans, enjoy a picnic lunch at the picnic shelter or even make use of the group fire pit. There is also a canoe access point here.
Grab your mountain bike and hit the Black and Decker Trails! The Black and Decker Mountain Bike Trail in Brockville is a 10.5 km moderate loop trail which allows riders to traverse the rugged Canadian Shield. Think rocks to climb, short uphills, technical downhills, drop areas, structures and more.
Revel in the mystery of sunken ships and see first-hand what lies beneath the surface of the St. Lawrence River! Fresh-water wreck diving provides an unforgettable underwater experience and the sculptures at Centeen Park in Brockville’s Underwater Sculpture Park silently wait to be discovered. Get a unique perspective of the St. Lawrence and connect with a local diving company to help discover the safest ways to interact with these unique pieces of 1000 Islands heritage. Shore diving has re-opened, however, the City of Brockville notes there are posted pandemic guidelines in place.
“Nothing beats the beauty of a sunrise on the St. Lawrence,” Jess Barabash, Tourism Champion
The Brock Trail is perfect for cycling and walking, biking, longboarding along the waterfront! This flat and multi-use 5 km trail threads its way across Brockville’s downtown and follows Buell’s Creek north from the waterfront. Beautiful scenery – natural and urban spaces meld effortlessly! Trails are open in Brockville, but the City is reminding users to be respectful of other users, distance, wash or sanitize hands frequently and wear masks where distancing is not attainable.
“The beautiful Brock trail that meanders along the waterfront and through the city is gorgeous. whether you cycle or walk, this is a wonderful asset.”Pat Markovich, Tourism Champion
With stunning views of the St. Lawrence River, Blockhouse Island is a beautiful park that juts out into the mighty river. Drive, walk, cycle or simply relax by the river and watch the ships sail by. Ice cream, a souvenir shop, playground and more is nearby, and don’t forget to take a photo on the big red chairs! Keep in mind the City of Brockville is requiring physical distancing of at least 2m at all playgrounds and play structures between members of different households. The City also recommends carrying hand sanitizer to use after leaving each structure, and washing hands as soon as able.
“Flying in water planes to catch aerial video/photos of the St Lawrence River is a bit different than using a drone!” Mitchell Beattie, Beattie Film
Sightseeing And Tours
When you imagine Shakespeare, you picture a large stage surrounded by patrons enjoying the show. When you enter Shakespeare Gardens, you get a similar experience. This stunning location is home to the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, and adorns a lovely array of seasonal flowers and plants, and also features its own amphitheatre, ice cream stop and waterfront.
Recommended By: Sandra Lawn, Tourism Champion
From live River Otters to beavers, fish and displays, tunnels and marine touch tanks, The Aquatariumis an interactive science and education museum in Brockvillefocusing on the unique history and ecology of the 1000 Islands. Currently, self-guided, general admission has been temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions. Visiting guests need to pre-book a guided tour before arrival. Look for tour info here.
“The Aquatarium is a fabulous attraction that my 2.5-year-old grandson ranks much higher than Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto! it has something for everyone, and definitely lots of great interactive activities for Children, and the young at heart!”Pat Markovich, Tourism Champion
Walkthrough history at the Brockville Railway Tunnel. Canada’s first railway tunnel is brought to life every day with an all-new colourful light and sound show for 2020. Stroll through this piece of history and be amazed at the remarkable example of Canada’s pre-Confederation industrial heritage dating back to 1860. Please note that the Brockville Railway Tunnel will be closing on October 2nd. Learn more here.
Unleash your inner gamer! Stingers Indoor Paintball in Brockville boasts one of Canada’s largest indoor laser tag fields at 17,000 square feet! The field is dressed strategically with bunkers, old cars and even two-storey buildings, perfect for elimination or objective-based games. Stingers also has squash courts and pickleball available, as well as airsoft – and even started a distanced drive-in theatre in the parking lot over the summer!
Sports, sports, and more sports. Need I say more? Mitchell Beattie, Beattie Film
The Brockville Arts Centre welcomes high-calibre entertainment throughout the year, as one of Canada’s finest historic theatres of its size, deeply rooted in Brockville’s history. The multi-faceted arts building hosts professional musical entertainment, community theatre, and even a variety of movies. It welcomes thousands of theatregoers to an intimate experience. The Brockville Arts Centre is closed for the 2020 season.
“Brockville has a renown Arts scene and a world-class performance centre at the Brockville Arts Centre. When things once again open up to concerts, this is definitely the venue you want to visit.”Pat Markovich, Tourism Champion
Meet The Locals
Jess Barabash, Tourism Champion
Jess was not only born and raised in the area, but her family owns a small business – Hang Ups Creative Picture Framing, in the heart of downtown. This brings on plenty of opportunities for her to live, work, and play in Brockville.
Upcoming Instagram Stories Takeover: Sunday September 20th
Join Jess as she shows you the hidden gems of Brockville. Her strong passion for her community will make you want to take a road trip right away.
Mitchell Beattie, Owner of Beattie Film
Mitchell Beattie has been fortunate to travel around the globe but this Videographer still thinks Brockville and the 1000 Islands is one of the nicest areas in the world!
Upcoming Instagram Stories Takeover: Saturday, September 26th – Sunday 27th
Get ready for an adventurous two days as you head out to Brockville and the 1000 Islands.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey and shared with us their local favourites!