Southeastern Ontario is United Empire Loyalist country, colonised primarily by loyal British subjects fleeing the newly established United States of America at the end of the American Revolution (1776-1783). Because of the region's proximity to the US border (Morristown, New York, directly across the St. Lawrence River, is easily visible from Brockville's waterfront) this area was one of the front lines in the War of 1812. The town's name refers to General Isaac Brock, leader of British-Canadian soldiers in the Niagara region during that war.
Brockville is part of major transportation corridors between Toronto and Montréal, Canada's two largest cities. Transportation infrastructure includes the St. Lawrence Seaway, the CN Rail mainline (Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montréal VIA passenger services follow the same path east to Brockville, then diverge) and roads such as Ontario Highways 2 and 401. The scenic Thousand Islands Parkway ends just west of the city.
The closest major airport is Ottawa-Uplands (IATA: YOW), some 100 km distant. Montréal-Dorval (IATA: YUL), while more distant, may also be a viable option as it offers relatively easy air-to-rail connections.
There is no active international crossing within Brockville, despite its close proximity to Morristown NY. A ferry once joined the two towns, but was abandoned after an international bridge opened at Prescott-Ogdensburg (1960); there's another bridge upriver in the Thousand Islands (1938).
From Ottawa, access to the region is normally by Highway 416 to Prescott, the next major town downriver. Travel time from Bayshore (in Ottawa's west end) to Brockville is nominally an hour (100 km, 60 miles). From Smiths Falls, the Brockville Road (old Highway 29) is a half-hour of driving on two-lane road.
- Megabus. Toronto-Montréal service stops at the Food Basics parking lot (3049 Jefferson Dr, near KFC). There is no Brockville ticket agent; pay the driver directly.
- VIA Rail, 141 Perth St, Brockvegas K6V 5E4 (1km NW of downtown Brockville), ☎ +1 613-345-5337, toll-free: +1-888-842-7245. Service from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal. This station began charging for parking, effective Sept 2012.
There are three local taxi companies, Executive +1 613-342-2000, Yellow Cab +1 613-345-5911 and City Taxi +1 613-345-5888.
As Brockville is a small city, much (at least within the downtown) is within walking distance, including the rail station. In rural areas, however, a motorcar may well prove to be a necessity.
- Brockville Railway Tunnel (on waterfront, south of city hall). Canada's first railway tunnel. Located beneath the city of Brockville, Ontario and passes under the City Hall. The south end is open to the public.
- Brockville Museum, 5 Henry St, ☎ +1 613-342-4397. museum 10AM-5PM weekdays, farmers market 8AM-3PM Sat, museum open 1-5PM Sun in summer. Waterfront museum's exhibits and artefacts recall Brockville's Loyalist heritage. $4.50/person.
- Fulford Place, 287 King St. E, ☎ +1 613-498-3003, fax: +1 613-498-1050. Museum and tea room in 35-room 1901 senator's mansion with original furnishings of the Edwardian era, public tours. $5/person.
- Thousand Islands parkway. Scenic route with walking and cycling paths, begins west of the city leading through Mallorytown to Gananoque.
- 1000 Island Cruises, 30 Blockhouse Island Pkwy, ☎ +1 613 345-7333. Cruises available mid-May through mid-Oct, although not all cruises are available every day (particularly outside of June, July and August). Offers a variety of 1-3 hour cruises on the St. Lawrence River and 3-6 hour cruises on the Rideau Canal. 1000 Islands: $16-60 (adult), $8-43 (child); Rideau Canal: $35-75 (adult), $25-50 (child).
- Brockville Arts Centre, 235 King St. West, ☎ +1 613-342-7122. gallery 10AM-5PM weekdays, 10AM-3PM Sat. Live theatre and art gallery.
There are two principal commercial districts. The town's main street, King Street (old Ontario Highway 2) is one block from the waterfront and the home of most of the city's established independent merchants. There is also some newer commercial development along the freeway (Parkedale Avenue parallels Highway 401 between exits 696 and 698; the Stewart and Parkedale area includes grocers, big-box/department stores, fast food and chain hotels as well as the 1000 Islands Mall).
- Various national fast-food franchises (McDo, Harvey's, Burger King, KFC, Swiss Chalet) are located near Highway 401 exit 696 (Stewart and Parkedale). There is a food court in the 1000 Islands Mall.
- Buds on the Bay, 17 Broad St., ☎ +1 613-345-4341. Pub and dining room; steak and seafood on an outdoor riverside patio.
- Buell St. Bistro, 27 Buell St., ☎ +1 613-345-2623. 5-10PM daily, plus 11AM-4PM weekdays. Mediterranean. Live jazz on Saturday evenings. $12-20/person.
- Crow's Nest Riverside Bistro, 30 Block House Island Pkwy (downtown at municipal harbour), ☎ +1 613-345-7333, toll-free: +1-800-353-3157, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-11PM, Apr-Oct. Seafood and roadhouse fare, licensed, casual, overlooks the St. Lawrence River. $12-26.
- The Mill, 123 Water St. W, ☎ +1 613-345-7098, fax: +1 613-342-8374. A Taste of Italy main floor dining room and lower level Grindstone Tapas Lounge in former 1852 grist mill on Buell Creek.
- New York Restaurant, 19 King St. W, ☎ +1 613-345-0015. 11AM-9PM daily. Chinese takeout/restaurant in centre of downtown.
- White House Inn (Best Western), 1843 County Road 2, K6V 5T1 (Hwy 2, east of Brockville), ☎ +1 613-345-1622, fax: +1 613-345-4284. Wi-fi, outdoor pool, pet-friendly, continental breakfast, near St. Lawrence River.
- Royal Brock Hotel (Quality Inn), 100 Stewart Blvd (401 exit 696), ☎ +1 613-345-1400, toll-free: +1-800-267-4428, fax: +1 613-345-5402.
- A highway 401 rest area west of the city (ONroute Mallorytown, both directions) provides sixty minutes free wi-fi to travellers.
- Mallorytown and the Thousand Islands National Park
- Smiths Falls
- Gananoque and Alexandria Bay
|Routes through Brockville|
|Kingston ← Gananoque ←||W E||→ Cornwall → Montreal|
|Kingston ← Gananoque ←||W E||→ Smiths Falls → Ottawa|
|Kingston ← Mallorytown and Thousand Islands ←||W E||→ Prescott → Montreal|