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My Experience Working with the DBIA

Great Experience at DBIA Student Placement

I am currently enrolled in a two year Office Administration Program at St. Lawrence College. When I went for Orientation day in September, I filled out a ballot to win a $25.00 DBIA gift certificate. The next week I discovered that I was the winner! I went to the DBIA office to collect my win, and when I left the office I immediately thought that this would be a great place to do my placement. Shortly after, I emailed Hillary, the Executive Director, and asked if I could do my placement with her in March. She quickly responded to my email and agreed. She instantly made me feel welcome and correspondence with her was easy. I felt like I had an instant advantage in my program and I was relieved that I did not have to continue in a search.

When I began my placement, I was introduced to Haley, the Events and Communication Coordinator. She enlightened me on many new software programs that the office uses, including Canva, Mail Chimp and Salesforce. I got to see the hard work that she puts into social media daily to promote the Downtown area businesses.

I met many people that work in the Downtown Area, DBIA members, city workers, active community members and more. During my placement was the Spring Into Flavour event, and I took advantage of working at an office downtown by having a few lunches at local eateries, throughout my two week placement. It was very enjoyable.

One of the most interesting components of what I did was look through some old files that were being stored in the basement. Seeing all of the paperwork of previous years of dedication to the Downtown area, and how it all still relates to the Brockville that we have now. I grew up here, and now my daughter is also growing up here. It makes me very proud to know that the City’s downtown is in good hands, with many people trying to improve and keep it a vibrant part of this City.

I have personally seen a huge improvement in the downtown area, in the past 5 years. Downtown events have gone from about 3 events, now up to 8 that the DBIA is solely responsible for. I have followed their social media for a long time, and I have always found great family events that my mother, my daughter and I will attend. We always love the May sidewalk sale that has expanded into Street Eats; the Farmer’s Market is always fun to spend a Saturday morning at; we have also attended the Breakfast with Santa for the past couple of years, and last year we ventured out to the night time Santa Claus Parade.

Hearing about all the new suggestions that Hillary and the DBIA want to bring to the Downtown area is exciting, and I am confident that Brockville will only continue to grow and be a great place to visit.

Aimee Tatartchenko

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How To Survive: Tax Season

Among our 300 businesses, it’s fair to say there is a financial advisor or 2. To help you sort through them all, we’ve compiled a list of ones who can help you get through the toughest season of the year: tax season.

Free Services:

CSE Consulting: Host workshops from the Volunteer Bureau on income tax preparation services for low-income earners. You can also book an appointment if none of the workshops fit your schedule!

 

CARP: Is holding drop-in hours for low-income tax returns at the Chipman centre downtown. Check out their schedule to find a workshop that fits your schedule! 

 

Paid Services:

Brian Van Mierlo: Offers tax services for individuals and corporations. They prefer to take a proactive vs. reactive approach to tax services. They aim to minimize your current and future tax liabilities by staying up to date on new legislation. They also offer accounting and consulting services.

Durand and Associates: Offering both corporate and personal tax services. They provide financial advice to reduce liabilities and increase your savings. They don’t sell any products so they’re able to offer you a completely unbiased point of view. They also offer start-up advice for entrepreneurs!

 

It’s All About Numbers: Amy specializes in owner/operator financials because she is one! Through decades of experience, she can handle your personal taxes, prior years, sole proprietors, owner/operators, and final returns. She’ll help you save money to find the balance between success and enjoying your life.

 

Mazurek Tax & Business Services: Offering a free consult, the Mazurek's handles a comprehensive tax service that can deal with corporate tax, personal and business tax, rental property tax, amending returns, HST returns and audits. This is Stephen’s 4th year operating his tax prep and accounting services with over 33 years of experience as a small business owner.

 

MNP: Every transaction you make has an effect on your taxes and with regulations consistently changing it's hard to keep up. MNP's tax advisors are well-versed in the latest Canadian and international tax legislation to ensure you comply with tax laws while paying the least amount of tax possible.

 

O’Farrell financial: Offering a comprehensive service that is custom tailored to each individual, they’ll answer the “what can I do with my money to reduce what I give away to the government?” questions and have you saving more than you thought possible this tax season. They also deal with other services like employee benefits and farm succession planning.

 

Turn of the Century: Providing superior and complete assistance in financial and estate planning consulting clients on all aspects of planning including tax implications. They also deal with marketing the chambers of commerce group insurance plan, personal investments and so much more.

 

There are plenty of options when it comes to financial advice downtown! No matter what your circumstance someone is always happy to help. For a complete list of all downtown services, click here.

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Introducing Our Newest Team Member

 

 

We're very excited to have a new downtown Brockville team member- Chris Hebert! Hired as our 2018 photographer, we wanted to learn a bit about who will be capturing us mid-bite or jumping on the bouncy castle during this year's festivals!   

 

 

 

While completing his Media Arts diploma in 2012, Chris found himself one credit short from graduating. With black and white photography the only class that fit his schedule, he was in for life altering events!

Taking colour out of photos means you have to shift focus to other points like texture or buildings.

Brockville, filled with textures and buildings, was the Holy Grail for Chris' final project!

One visit later Chris fell in love and was eager to learn more about our city. 

It turns out that he has strong roots within the Leeds and Grenville region. His loyalist ancestors settled in South Augusta in 1784. During the war of 1812, Sir Isaac Brock plus a group of soldiers even spent the night in his ancestors' basement!  His 5x great grandmother's cousin founded the village of Landsdowne and is the namesake of the Landon Bay Nature Park.

Currently, Chris is living in Quebec after completing a second diploma in professional photography from Concordia University.

Embracing the warm weather and festivals, you can catch him in Brockville majority of the weekends during the summer.

Check out some of his best shots in this year’s tourism guide or from past RHB festival albums! You can also check him out on Instagram for unique views of our downtown @dominionphoto182

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How well do you really know Downtown?

 

 
 

 

 
 
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Your Complete Guide to Valentine's Day

There are 7, yes SEVEN days left until Valentine’s Day and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t even thought about shopping yet. No worries, we’ve gone ahead and broken down the best places to go for every type of significant other!

Classic: Diamonds are girls, guys, and well pretty much everyone’s best friend. There are multiple shops downtown that offer both traditional and unique jewelry in all price ranges. If you think your better half wants something sparkly this Valentine’s Day, check out these shops!

1.    The Jewel Box

A go-to that has been around for over 50 years. From gorgeous pendant necklaces and bracelets to (take a deep breath) engagement rings, expect nothing but top quality and exquisite pieces that will make heads turn. They also feature Canadian diamonds, fine pearl jewelry, watches and have a Goldsmith on staff if you looking to have something custom made (or if you need help restoring something of your own).

2.    Penny’s Jewellery

An outstanding diamond collection is just the tip of the iceberg here! Birthstones, gemstones, chains, bangles, metal hoops and pendants and so much more await inside. No matter what they’re taste, Penny’s is bound to have something for even the pickiest critic! Penny herself is a graduate gemmogist so expect nothing but knowledge and the perfect fit when you walk in.

 

Active type: Does bling just get in the way on the field? This person makes being active a priority and you often see them in their workout gear even if they’re not off to the gym!

1.    Limestone & Ivy

Your downtown Brockville destination for trend-setting European-inspired styles, with a sophisticated team to your aid! Shop for every activity with everything from leggings to running shoes. Featuring top athletics brands like Under Armour and Columbia, you’ll walk out with a head to toe new outfit to surprise your better half.

2.    Overstock 

A family-owned business with 4 locations across the 1000 Islands, they bring their customers the best, most trusted brands in fashion, footwear and more! With an ever-changing inventory of unique items, you will always find what you need. Featuring loved brands like Asics, you’ll also fall in love with the prices. Check out their wide selection of active footwear and accessories.

 
Spa lover: Pamper you love with a hot stone massage, rejuvenating facial or even a fresh new do! There are over 18 Salons and Spas downtown! Insane right? Check out this blog post breaking down 4 of the spas downtown 

 

At Home Spa Lover: This is for the folks that love long soaks in a luxurious, bubbly bath, taking selfies while absorbing the effects of a nourishing face mask, and just feeling completely rejuvenated…but prefer to do it in their own bathroom. Grab your significant other and hop on in with the incredible products you’ll get from these fabulous stores.

1.    Heavenly touch spa

Four words organic and cruelty-free! Bath bombs, soaps, cream, lotion, essential oil diffusers, everything you could possibly need to transport yourself to a warm tropical island can be found in their shop. Don’t feel overwhelmed though, no clue what to get? Walk in and a specialist will be happy to help even the most clueless individual

2.    The River Lily Boutique 

Two words: Beard oil. Yes in this beautiful boutique that is home to a fair bit more than spa products, you’ll find beard oil, lavishing in-house made soap and many other skin care products! Pick up some pampering plumping products and some nice warm reading socks to round off your perfect valentines day.

 

Fashionista: This person loves clothing. They’re always nicely dressed even though you’re in your sweatpants. Whether their style is classic, extravagant or vintage, there is a clothing shop for literally every type of person (seriously there’s almost 20). I highly recommend you check out the list if you’re not one to window shop. But for now here is just a sample.

1.    ISIS 

We’re going to go from one end of the spectrum to the other starting off formal. Isis, a proud retailer of Canadian designers offers the finest quality fabrics and hottest trends. Wanting to make sure you walk away with a product your special someone will truly love, they give honest opinions and feel it’s a privilege helping you find the perfect piece. This dedicated team of 3 offers a variety of fashions for all shapes and sizes!

2.    Revolution 

Skating all the way over to the other side of the spectrum, Revolution Skateboard Shop was born in downtown! Whether you consider yourself a pro, beginner or just wanting to live and look the skateboard dream, they’re the shop for you! Toques, hoodies, Tee’s and more, this shop will have you looking the part as you wait for the snow to melt so you can hop back on the board.

 

Foodie: I mean I think everyone is pretty much a foodie because I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like to eat. But if date night is usually centered on food, there are over 30 outstanding places downtown! For now here are just 2 sit-down style. Please call to RSVP.

1.    The noshery

They don’t call it “the place where people eat” for nothing. With a farm to table attitude, you won’t be disappointed with daily fresh creations. They’ve crafted a killer Valentine’s Day menu featuring staggeringly satisfying dishes like the seafood trio, ½ rack of lamb and colossal shrimp or go the classic chicken or striploin. Start and end the meal with appetizers and dessert to share capping off the perfect full-belly evening.

 

2.    The mill

A Brockville classic, settle in for mouth-watering Italian! Their Valentine’s Day menu features Italian classics like Bruschetta, veal chop, Chicken Saltimbocca and so much more, that you choosing an entrée will be the hardest part of the night. Pair it with the extensive wine list and cozy on up for a night of romance and delightfulness.

 

Artsy: Paintings, music, photography, they love it all and have some of the nicest pieces and phone backgrounds you’ve seen. Get them a piece that they’ll love almost as much as you at these shops!

1.    From Here to Infinity Art Gallery

If you like us on Facebook you have seen some of Gordon’s photos – they’re often some of our more popular posts! Visit him and his wife in store to pick up a print your lover can forever admire. They’re also home to some incredible handcrafted jewelry, china, glasswork and other artistic pieces. If your partner is a book lover too you’re in luck with a huge selection of rare and exclusive books in store.

 

2.    Andrew’s Vinyl Alternative

Andrew sells new and used vinyl records and stereo equipment. With an elaborate collection and reasonable prices, you’ll be sure to find some buried treasures within his store. Clueless in the vinyl world? No worries, Andrew is a passionate friendly expert that can help you find the perfect fit for your significant other!

 

With over 60 shops you’re guaranteed to find something your special someone will love! Make it an even more special day by wowing them with breakfast, lunch or dinner at the over 30 shops. Still have no idea what to get them? Our gift cards can be used at almost our 300+ businesses. Call or stop in to pick one up.


 

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25 King Street East Makeover

 

 

If you’ve been on King Street East in the past few months, you would have noticed an amazing transformation. Mark Mazurek and wife Claudine have been fixing up a formerly green building, and we have a quick sneak peek!

 

The newly renovated space will soon be ready, with a gorgeous apartment on the second floor, and a spacious office downstairs where Mark and his team will be providing financial services. The building was in the family of the original owner up until seven years ago. Since they sold it at the time, it has stood vacant, waiting for someone to work their magic

 

And it was meant to be, as anyone who knows the Mazureks will understand the awesome coincidence of there being two bread ovens uncovered in the building’s basement.

 

We cannot wait to see the finished product and announce the grand opening in the new year. Congratulations and thank you to Mark and Claudine for keeping Downtown alive and vibrant! 

 

 

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5 Great Things to do In Brockville This Winter

Just because the temperatures are dropping, doesn't mean you have to stay hunkered down at home. In fact, here at Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Area, we invite you to come and try some of the great things to do in Brockville this winter. 

  1. Treat Yourself to Something Sweet

With winter weather comes some of the most iconic seasonal treats here in Downtown Brockville. For example, O'Mally Kourt Fudgery rolls out their seasonal Belgian Waffles. Crisp on the outside, fluffy inside, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served up with scoops of creamy ice cream. You can't go wrong.

  1. Let Your Inner Child Free at the Aquatarium

The Aquatarium is a great place to bring the whole family. Not only is every floor filled with interactive, educational materials, but the Ropes Course is a great way to get active, learn something new, and stay out of the cold this winter while supporting your local community. The Ropes Course is perfect for adults and kids as young as 8!

  1. Knock out Your Holiday Shopping

Winter brings some of the best sales throughout Downtown Brockville. With so many amazing places to choose from, you're sure to find something perfect for every person on your holiday gift-giving list. From Here to Infinity Art Gallery, for example, maintains a unique archive of thousands of historical photographs, among other interesting items.

  1. Stop by the Brockville Museum

For great things to do in Brockville you can't beat the Brockville Museum. Not only do they offer a wonderful insight into the how Brockville has grown to the great city it is today, but they regularly host events throughout the year. For example, on November 29th, they are holding a Candy Making Heritage Skills Workshop just in time for the Holiday baking season.

  1. Get That Tattoo you’ve Been Dreaming About

While you're out and about shopping for your friends and family, why don't you swing on by Anarchy Empire's new location and treat yourself to a well-deserved tattoo? These talented artists are now located at 165 King St. West and are ready to provide you with that much-needed ink therapy. 

For more great ideas of things to do in Brockville and how you can invest in your community this winter, please contact the dedicated team at Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Area today!

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Invest in Your Community Holiday Shopping Events in Brockville this winter

November officially marks the start of the Holiday Shopping season, and the many wonderful businesses located in Downtown Brockville have you covered. Here at Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Area, we are pleased to say our community has worked hard to bring you some of the best sales events in Brockville this year, making it even easier to invest in your community!

 

 

The Benefits of Shopping Local

There are nearly 300 great reasons to shop in Downtown Brockville, all of which provide you with these benefits:

  • Support and grow the local economy. (For every dollar you spend at local small businesses, 46 cents stays in the area compared to only 18 cents when spent at big box stores).

  • Unique gifts and experiences you can't find elsewhere.

  • A more personal shopping experience.

  • A welcoming atmosphere.

  • Money saving sales.

There's Something for Everyone

As you explore everything Downtown Brockville has to offer, you'll quickly see that there is literally something for everyone. Our amazing, locally owned shops proudly sell a huge range of products from antiques to vinyl records, clothing to home decor, and so much more. Other places in the area offer memory-making experiences from art classes to scuba diving and beyond. Still not sure what to get everyone on your list? Downtown Gift Certificates that can be used at any of our nearly 300 businesses make the perfect gift!

Get Your Sale on During the Black Friday Sales Event!

Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events in Brockville, marking the peak of the shopping season. On November 24th, plan to get here early and spend the day with friends and family because we have major sales staggered throughout the day; including mouthwatering deals at our restaurants and cafés.

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Fall in Love with the International Flavours of the Many Restaurants in Brockville

Fall is a wonderful time to explore new flavours, and the many international restaurants in Brockville provide you ample opportunities to try new foods. Here at the Brockville Downtown Business Improvement Area, we are particularly fond of our global offerings.

Enjoy a Traditional English Tea at Cosies

When you think of an English Tea, you think delicate biscuits, crumbly scones, savoury sandwiches, and freshly brewed tea. At Cosies, you get that and more, with every tasty treat baked fresh daily.

Immerse Yourself in the Flavours of Chinese Cuisine

Downtown Brockville is home to many wonderful Chinese Restaurants, supplying the community with mouthwatering buffets and take-out. Among the many great options:

  • New York Restaurant - Do not let the name fool you, this is one of Brockville's oldest running restaurants that serves award-winning Chinese dishes.
  • Island Delight - A delightful mix of traditional Chinese and Thai dishes in a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Golden Gate Restaurant - One of the best Chinese Buffets in the area.

Experience the Aromatic Flavour of Lebanese Food

Shawarma Garden is the area's only Lebanese restaurant that specializes in shawarma, a Mediterranean delicacy of specially prepared and seasoned meats, which pairs well with their signature garlic potatoes.

Sample the Unique Tastes of Traditional Indian Food

The freshly made selections at Tandoori Mint provide much more than a flavourful meal, they provide a wholly unique experience. While they offer catering services and take out options, we highly recommended you spend an evening in their welcoming dining room and allow yourself to fully experience traditional Indian Food.

Add Some Spice to Your Meals at Nakhon Thai Restaurant

Thai food is known for its complex and spicy flavours that are often cooled down with fresh cucumber. However, not all Thai food is overly spicy. At Nakhon Thai, each dish is made from scratch using the freshest ingredients and traditional Thai recipes.

And Many More Great Restaurants in Brockville 

These are just a small selection of the many great restaurants that call Downtown Brockville home. Whatever type of food you are in the mood for, there is a great place for you: from exotic global flavours to traditional Canadian fare and everything in between. For more information on these great eateries or to learn about helping the Downtown area grow and thrive, please contact the Brockville Downtown Business Improvement Area today!

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8 Reasons to Consider the Office Space for Rent in Downtown Brockville

One of the things that make us here at the Brockville Downtown Business Improvement Area so proud of our community is how welcoming and accommodating the area is for businesses, both those that call Downtown home and those looking for office space for rent. Here are just eight reasons to choose Downtown Brockville for your next business meeting needs.
  1. Aquatarium
The Aquatarium offers a beautifully designed modern boardroom for rent, which features an octagonal table to allow for better face to face interactions of up to 24 people. 
  1. Brockville Arts Centre
Businesses can book the Brockville Arts Centre's magnificent boardroom, auditorium, or lobby throughout the year for anything from elegant fundraisers to intimate business meetings. 
  1. Brockville Museum
With two areas to choose from the Brockville Museum is a great place to bring out-of-town business associates to show off the history of Brockville in a professional and accommodating space.
  1. Brockville Public Library
Ample space awaits at the Brockville Public Library's large meeting room during standard library hours. This simple and modern space is perfect for both non-profit groups and corporate meetings.
  1. Easy Access
Downtown Brockville, located on the main corridor between Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, is easily reached off the 401 and makes a fantastic location for regional meetings, particularly if you have attendees from multiple areas.
  1. Close to Amenities
All of the prime office space for rent in Downtown Brockville is located close to all the amenities you could need. This includes:
  • Restaurants
  • Accommodations
  • Entertainment 
  • Shopping
  • Services
  • and more
  1. Ample Parking
Fears of inadequate parking often drive businesses away from downtown areas, however, we are pleased to say that Downtown Brockville has ample parking. Most streets have free 2-hour parking and for greater parking needs, guest passes are available for our municipal lots.
  1. The Beauty and Community
Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Downtown Brockville offers breathtaking views and rich historical culture. The community readily welcomes new and returning visitors. This truly is a great place for your next corporate event or business meeting.  Regardless of the size or type of meeting space you need, there is sure to be the perfect office space for rent that meets your requirements. For more information, please contact the professionals at the Brockville Downtown Business Improvement Area today!
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A Short Chat with Our Sister DBIA's in Cobourg and Kingston

Here at the Brockville Downtown Business Improvement Area, we are constantly on the lookout for things to do in Brockville to improve and empower our community. One way we do this is by looking to our Sister DBIA's for inspiration. We're pleased to have recently had the opportunity to speak with the Cobourg DBIA and Kingston DBIA.

Paige from Cobourg DBIA

We had the privilege to talk to Paige from the Cobourg DBIA, which represents more than 250 thriving cafes, restaurants, shops, and services. 

What is the best part of Downtown Cobourg? - "The best part about our Downtown is its mix of heritage and longevity, with new businesses joining regularly."

 

What is the biggest challenge you face as a DBIA? - "Since our downtown is diverse in its sectors and what it has to offer, it is ensuring that we have the best intentions for all business."

 

What is your next exciting development? - "We have been working closely with the Town and secured a spot near our Town Hall, which is a very central and well-known location. This will allow the DBIA to work closely with Tourism to promote our Downtown."

Michaela from Kingston DBIA

We are also grateful for the opportunity to speak with Michaela from the Kingston DBIA, which includes more than 700 businesses that come together to create the vibrant and thriving community.

What is the best part of Downtown Kingston? - "Year-round there are always so many people out on the streets, shopping in our eclectic mix of shops, enjoying our patios, taking in the outdoor spaces by the water, and participating in our various events."

 

What is the biggest challenge you face as a DBIA? - "Street cleanliness and garbage has always been a challenge. We meet with a group from the City of Kingston bi-weekly to discuss clean/safe issues."

What is your next exciting development? - "We are very excited about a development that has been proposed in downtown Kingston. The “Capitol” is an approximately 16 storey building that will bring hundreds of new residents into the neighbourhood..."

Brockville Downtown Business Improvement Area

We would like to thank both Paige and Michaela for taking time to speak with us. As sister DBIAs we share a lot of goals and obstacles, providing opportunities to learn and grow.

For more information on things to do in Brockville to help improve and empower, please contact the Brockville DBIA today!

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Reward Yourself with a Trip to a Spa in Brockville

Now that the calendar shows September, trees are starting to show their colour and kids are back in school, it is time to take in all the natural beauty Brockville, Ontario, has to offer.

After all the yard work prepping for the season, back to school shopping and activities your family went through over the course of the summer, you could probably use a bit of R & R. Thankfully, the spas in Brockville have you covered.

 Brockville Downtown Business Improvement Area’s Recommended Spas

Aquala Day Spa

Summer is coming to a close and fall is right around the corner. That means you can expect to see some exciting seasonal promotions out of Aquala Day Spa in the coming weeks, so make sure to stay tuned! You'll likely love what you see. 

Aura

Aura recently completed its renovations and now offers a brand new fresh look and a growing staff to better accommodate your individual needs. So, stop on by and check it out. You may just find special savings to help celebrate and kick off the brand new look!

Heavenly Touch

There's nothing like the perfect massage. It helps reset your mind and work out the stress of your daily life. At Heavenly Touch, you can experience exactly this. Of course, there is so much more than just massage services available. It is a completely organic spa, so all materials, oils and products used and offered are 100% organic.

Plus, you can relax with the oxygen bar. If you've never experienced an oxygen bar before, you owe it to yourself to try. With the clean oxygen, clear of toxins and other debris found in the air we normally breathe, you'll be amazed as to how your body feels after the service. Best of all, walk-ins are welcome!

Mint Wellness

Looking to soften up those knots and tone your body? Maybe you have a warm weather vacation planned and you want to look great for it. Whatever the occasion, Mint Wellness is now offering hot rock massages and additional fitness classes. 

The weather is starting to turn cool, which means it is time to break out the pumpkin lattes and a trip to your local spas in Brockville.

So whether you decide to schedule it while the kids are at school or fit it into a shopping trip to Downtown Brockville, there is a spa service with your name on it. Visit us if you´d like to relax or stay fit.

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