Downtown Brockville Blog

Shop Local Week: Why Choose A Service Downtown?

It's important to note when we say the word service for the sake of the below graphic, what we actually mean is there are 175 other businesses that aren't solely a retail store or restaurant/cafe. 

But you're still probably pretty shocked to find out that there are 175 other unique businesses downtown!

So here's a breakdown of what we've clustered under the term service for the sake of this blog:

 

Here's the top 5 reasons to choose a service downtown: 

1) There's Plenty of Selection

We're pretty lucky! Not only is there a service for all of your needs right downtown, but you'll have plenty of choices on where to go! For example there's 5 nail salons, 16 spas and salons and 27 financial institutions. You can go to the doctors, dentist, spa and bank all within the same 3 blocks!

 

2) The Know That Customer Service Matters

What's really nice is these services are all small businesses, which means they care about making your experience the most positive one possible whether you're getting a seaweed wrap or your back adjusted. And being in a tight-knit community, they know, first hand, most new business is generated by word of mouth!

 

3) They Genuinely Care About Your Well-being 

They still have that 'small town charm" where they care more about improving your life as a whole than becoming the next millionaire! I've actually had a small business owner admit to me that his goal is to make his clients no longer need his services!

 

4) They Also Genuinely Care About Our Community

They live, work and play here in Brockville too! The more the community thrives, the more well off their business is. Which means they take the time to give back through donations, volunteering and more.

 

5)  It's Outstanding Service

Being a small business doesn't mean they lack the skills or qualifications needed to get the job done! They've dotted the "i"s and crossed the "t"s on all their certifications so you're getting the best professional, accurate and safe care. From a financial plan that actually fits your needs to a mani and pedi that will last all holiday season, our businesses have top notch qualifications and take the time to make sure they're using top quality products with their customers. 

 

Next time you're going to get your hair cut, teeth cleaned, taxes done or beard groomed, go to someone you can trust!

 

Need help finding a service? Search our directory! Or send us a message via emailFacebookTwitter or Instagram and we can make some recommendations! 

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Shop Local Week: 7 Fun Things To Do Downtown

1) Aquatarium

The Aquatarium is constantly putting out new programs teaching locals and tourists about the majestic St. Lawrence River! Their newest program "Aquarist For A Day" is a half-day program that lets you experience what life is really like caring for the animals at the Aquatarium. The Otter experience takes you up close and personal with otters Oliver Ivy, Brock, Boldt, and Lawrence by feeding them, looking after their habitats and participating as a trainer in one of their presentations! Or get fishy with them and learn about aquatic animal diets, analyze water chemistry and complete a tour of their workspaces behind the scenes. You may even get to feed a fish or two! 

Pre-sales start now and if you're looking to get in over March break book now

 

2) Museum


Discover our incredible history in the home of Brockville's past: the Museum! Their permanent exhibits like "From Carriage to Car" or "Brockville's Rail Story" are so action-packed that there is always something new to discover! While they're rotating exhibits offer fun new history on Brockville from topics like the 1998 Ice Storm to their current temporary exhibit "Pieces of Brockville" that explore why some older buildings have disappeared from our streetscapes through the pieces that remain.

Fun fact did you know the museum also has a huge database of virtual exhibits online? Check it out here.


3) Dive Brockville Adventure Centre

You probably know this more commonly as the dive shop for good reasons! From beginners to the most advanced divers they organize trips and have the gear you need to make the most of your diving time in Brockville. But did you know they also do kayak, canoe, snorkeling and bike rentals? They'll give you ideas and maps on where to go as well so if you're biking around Brockville, or paddling out on the river, you'll be sure to see the best sites! They even arrange for Island picnics where a water taxi will take you to enjoy a delicious lunch on the islands!

 

4) Brockville Arts Centre

There is always an incredible show to see at the Brockville Arts Centre! Whether it's an outside organization, the operatic society or SLC performing, the shows are something you'd expect from a big city! Check out this month's shows like A Celtic Family Christmas or A Big Band Christmas here!

 

5) The Library


If you haven't discovered that the library is home to more than just books, you're missing out. Movies, TV shows,  Geocaching kits, fishing rods.. they have a lot more for rent than books! Drop in and discover their kids space, teen zone or virtual reality for hours of entertainment. Or check out their events calendar for great happenings like Pints & Page, Craft & Chat or ErlyON Play & Learn


6) Phoenix Bar


Or more commonly known as "The Bird". Enjoy a classic night of dancing and good company downtown. You can even stop by the morning after to try out their impressive Breakfast!

7) The Bar 


Celebrate 2019 at The Bar's New Years Eve bash! With a buffet starting a midnight, you'll ring in the new year with good company, live music, and full stomachs!

And of course, once the warm summer weather returns you can add these awesome activities to the list:

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Shop Local Week: Eating Local

It's day 4 of Shop Local Week and we're talking about eating local!

 

There are 38 places to eat (more if you count the snack corner
at Golden Age Comics & Collectibles). 

 

 

There's a pretty good variety too! Indian, Thai, Chinese,
Shawarma, English, American... we've got it all!

 

 

We also have your choice of coffee shops whose lates or
sweet treats will rival any big box store.

 

 

Don't let the term "cafe" fool you though. Our cafes are also home
to killer lunch options from classic soup & sandwiches to
chili burritos! 

 

 

You may think you have to dress up to eat local but 71% of
downtown restaurants offer takeout which means you can
enjoy outstanding local food in the comfort of your own home!

 

 

If you're looking to feed a family we've got that covered too!
With select restaurants offering frozen meals to go. Just pop it
in the oven or microwave and presto! A delicious home-cooked
meal your kids or guests will think you spent hours making. 

 

 

There's also the added benefit that local restaurants spend 3x
more money locally than chains. And like we've said, the more
money that is spent locally = more money that
stays local = a better economy.

 


But when it really comes down to it, why should you eat local? 
Because the food is
absolutely 
incredible.

Hungry yet? We are! Check out all the places to eat Downtown here on our directory. Or send us a message via emailFacebookTwitter or Instagram and we can make some recommendations! 

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The 101 On Shops In Downtown Brockville

 

Happy Shop Local Week Brockville!

In the first of four blogs this week we're taking a look at the incredible shops that are right in Downtown Brockville! Did you know there are over 60 stores downtown?

 

 

And it's not 60 cookie cutter stores either.

60 unique stores all carrying different, incredible products. 

 

 

Which means there's something for everyone...

  • Partner ✔️
  • The hard-to-please mother-in-law ✔️
  • Kids ✔️
  • Dog ✔️
  • The inevitable work Secret Santa exchange (and it won't be a lame gift that someone will eventually throw out either)✔️

 

 

But hold on...

we're even sweetening the deal by providing FREE gift wrapping when you buy from a downtown merchant! Just show us a receipt and leave it with us! 

 


We're so fortunate to have such a wide shopping selection right in town!  With so many stores though, you may not know where to start so here's our directory that divides the shops by category. Or feel free to send us a message via email, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and we can make some recommendations! 

 

Happy Shopping! 

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3 Date Night Ideas in Downtown

 

 

Looking for something classic?

Start the night off with dinner at the beautiful Buell Street Bistro. The welcoming atmosphere of the 1883 manor is perfect for a romantic evening for 2.  Take a seat by the fireplace and enjoy fabulous entrees like Ontario pork, Seafood Thermidor or New York Striploin Steak. Check out the full menu here

Whether you're looking for a live show or a movie, the Brockville Arts Centre has a full line-up year round.  Coming up, the featured film "Colette" starring Keira Knightley is based on a true story about ghost writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette who fights for creative ownership after her writing becomes a bestseller and cultural sensation in Paris, France.  

Or catch the live show "How Sweet It Is" celebrating the music of James Taylor, John Denver, and Jimmy Buffett. Hear favourites like "Sweet Baby James", "Fire and Rain", "Back Home Again" and many more!

 

Love living on the river?

Are you the couple that spends most of the weekend outdoors? Start the afternoon off with a stroll around blockhouse island. Enjoy the beautiful view of the river and catch the last ship or two of the season! Next walk on over to the Aquatarium and learn all about the St. Lawrence River and the lock systems! See the newest addition to the otter family and some of the most famous ships from the St. Lawrence river! 

Once you're all ottered out, head on upstairs to the Tall Ships South Coast Grille. The nautically themed restaurant features all-stars like Braised beef ravioli, pecan-crusted halibut, and Canadian premier steaks. It also features an incredible view of the St. Lawrence. Check out their full menu here.

 

Love to learn?

If history is your cup of tea, the Brockville museum is the perfect stop. With rotating exhibits there is always something new to check out! Their current temporary exhibit is "Pieces of Brockville" which explores reasons why some old buildings disappear from our streetscapes. You can also experience their classic exhibits like "From Carriage to Car", "People of Brockville" and "Blockhouse Island and the Tunnel".

Afterwards, take a break from Brockville history and head on over to Island Delight for delicious Chinese and Thai cuisine. Featuring dishes everyone loves like chicken chow mein, Pad Thai and curry! Check out their full menu here

Looking for a different place to eat? Check out the complete list of restaurant downtown here. Check out our directory of all retaurants, attractions and stores here. 

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Embrace Fall With These October Activities

Get Into The Halloween Spirit
Do you like to be scared? The Tunnel is being transformed into a spooky haunted walk! With mad doctors, witches and creatures from the deep, your guides will escort you to make sure your passage is safe. Buy your tickets now online!

The Bar is celebrating Halloween all week long! From October 25 to October 31 participate in Scaraoke, pre-parties, dress up parties, kids parties and they're ultimate party Halloween night (yes they even provide the candy)! Check out their spooky decorations and show off your costume skills with the costume contest!

Get ready to Trick or Treat downtown! Starting at noon, select stores will be passing out candy and other goodies to downtown Trick or Treaters! Get your costume ready and enjoy going from store to store collecting candy!

 

Get Into The Fall Spirit
Celebrate the beauty of fall with fall-themed decor workshops. 
Decorate your dining room table with a beautiful pumpkin floral display. They're are only a few dates left for the month so don't miss out! Grab a few friends, have a drink and create a beautiful bouquet like the one pictured above! Check out the workshops hosted by Wild Little Roses, or ones hosted at The court House Lodge

 

Learn Something New
Have you ever wanted to learn about preserving for winter? Or what about war on the homefront? Head on over to the Museum! Their heritage skills workshop includes loads of fun topics like preserving for winter or corn husk art! The best part is a take-home item is included in the low price! Or perhaps you rather sit with a cup of tea and discuss war on the home front or Christmas downtown over the decades? For only $2 join their Talk and Teas each month and engage in discussion with fellow history lovers.

How about a friendly competition? Compete against your local librarian to see if you can outwit them! Show off your knowledge and win awesome prizes along the way! Teams can be as large as 10 people! Trivia, not your thing? Meet the incredible author of "Of Plagues and Vampires" Dr. Michael Hefferon! Admission is free and books will be available for purchase!


Spend time with the Kids
After school, weekends, PA days, there are a ton of events going on at the Aquatarium for kids of all ages! Join astronomy enthusiast, Paul Bullock as you adventure into the sky above on the 4th-floor planetarium. Head on over to their Species Spotlight After School Programs and learn about river animals that call the St. Lawrence their home! Or just enjoy PA day rate admission every PA day of the year!

Looking for other PA day activities? The First Presbyterian Churn is hosting a PA day camp Oct 26th! Enjoy music, crafts, playtime, Bible stories, movies and much more.


Go Out For Dinner and a Show
What beats the classic dinner and a show? There are over 7 shows and movies left to see this month at the Brockville Arts Centre! Catch Brett Kissel LIVE this Friday, Kiera Knightley in "Colette", or a live tribute to artists like James Taylor, John Denver, and Jimmy Buffet during "How Sweet It Is". While your there make sure to check out the art exhibit by Gordon Beck from From Here to Infinity Art Gallery

Or eat and catch a show in the very same place with live music being brought into places like at the Spitfire, The Georgian Dragon, The Keystorm, Richard's Coffeehouse, and more! Check your local restaurant's social media and website for their upcoming events!


Looking To Get Active? 
There's yoga galore downtown! From all-levels yoga at RD Athletics, Yoga by Donation at Studio 44 or back and core focused yoga in the lighthouse theatre of the Aquatarium!

Or enjoy the crisp fall air during our last clean-up of the year October 17 from 9am-10am! Get out and enjoy the outdoors while helping beautify the downtown! All supplies are provided.

Tons of other activities like Trivia Nights, Farmer's Markets, Paint Nights and more. Make sure to check out our events calendar for events happening Downtown!

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Where To Host Your Office Holiday Party


Photo taken at the nosh~er~y

Whether you're a staff of two like us, or a team of 200, there are plenty of places to host your office holiday party downtown!

 

Aquatarium

The Aquatarium features two private rooms depending on the size of your group! The boardroom features a spacious round table, beautiful views, a kitchenette and all the tech you need if you want to showcase funny memories, or stats on how well your team did this year! If you're looking for a little more space, you can rent out part of the Aquatarium itself! From formal dinners, to interactive exhibits, they can do it all. Find out more here.

 

Arts Centre

Did you know you can actually rent out the Arts Centre? From the Auditorium to the lobby or the boardroom, take advantage of this beautiful space! Bring in your favourite caterer and set-up some holiday decorations for a spectacular party! Find out more here.

 

Library

While the Brockville Library has plenty of smaller rooms, they also have the Buell Street Room which is spacious and filled with light! Fit with tables, chairs, kitchen, projector, Blu-ray/DVD player, laptop, speakers and microphone, there is everything you can need!

 

Museum

Whether it's the classroom, Carriage Hall, Annex, or the Beecher house, the Brockville museum has loads of options for your soiree. And with plenty of historical talking points, your guests will never be bored! Hire your favourite caterer and dine next to a buggy from the early 1900's!

 

Brockville Yacht and Brockville Rowing Club

If you're looking for something a little closer to the water, check out the Brockville Rowing club or the Brockville Yacht Club! With amenities to host meals, cocktails and more, get in touch with them to find out how they can accommodate your group!

 

Restaurants: Most downtown restaurants can accommodate large groups with enough notice! From pre-set menus to reserving particular sections of a restaurant, they love celebrating the holidays with you. If their space doesn't quite fit your needs though, ask them about catering! The following restaurants have specific private or semi-private rooms for your function. Check out a list of all Downtown Brockville restaurants here.

 

Buds on the Bay

A classic, Buds on the Bay has plenty of space for any function, and with a menu that ranges from blooming onions to escargot, there is something for everyone! They also open at 7:30am on a normal business day which makes it the perfect spot if you're looking to host a breakfast.

 

Tall Ships South Coast Grille

Tall Ships South Coast Grille has a number of rooms that can fit any party needs! With the beautiful decor seen in the South Coast Grille restaurant, the scenery won't disappoint! Plus enjoy a beautiful view of the river! Work alongside their staff to help plan and choose the best options for you. Find out more here: http://southcoastgrille.com/events/

 

The Brockberry

The Brockberry features private or semi-private rooms with a maximum of 40 people. Have your meal catered by the Brockberry and enjoy the old charm and warm wood from the 1800s that scheme these dining rooms. Plus with their new addition of an array of fresh artisan cheese, imported meats, and charcuterie, all of your guests will leave saying yum!

 

The Mill

Have you ever been upstairs at the Mill? This gorgeous and spacious room features decor like a stone wall, wooden beams and even has a small bar! Perfect for a breakfast buffet, formal dinner or cocktail party, The Mill can handcraft a menu that fits your group's individual needs.

 

Only 16 weeks left in 2018! Make sure to start planning your holiday party soon!

 

 

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6 Things To Do Before Summer Ends

As the kids start to get ready for back to school that can only mean one thing... summer is almost over. While very sad, there's still time to enjoy the sunny warm days! Here's 6 things to do to make sure you've really enjoyed the summer:

 

1) Go On A Boat Cruise

Check out the 1000 Islands and enjoy the river one last time! Learn about the historic Brockville waterfront, Millionaire's Row and the eastern group of the 1000 Islands. Relax with a beverage and snack from our licensed snack bar and get close to nature, as you glide through narrow, scenic channels not available to larger tour boats.

 

2) Have You Taken Advantage Of All The Summer Sales?

While the days that you can use summer gear are limited, take advantage of the crazy low prices for next year! 50% off shoes, 80% off dresses... need we say more?

 

3) Enjoyed A Patio

Whether it's a beautiful view of the water or a view of our historic downtown on one of the gorgeous patios! Dinner with a view is always preferred. Check out the list of patios here.

 

4) Go On A Walking Tour

The last walking tours of the season are this week! Hear all about Brockville's dark past during the Criminal Past Walking tour or go for something a little lighter and learn all about the historic waterfront and cap the night off with a gorgeous sunset during the Waterfront Sunset Walking Tour.

 

5) Visit The Brockville Farmers' Market

Enjoy fresh local produce while the season lasts! Every Thursday and Saturday for a limited time!

 

6) Lastly... Eat Some Ice Cream!

Sure you can still eat it in the winter, but not while watching the ships go by on the river! Grab a sundae from O'Mally Kourt Fudgery, or an old-fashioned cone from Tall Ships Cafe!

 

Check out all of the places to Eat, Shop and Play on our directory!

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If You Can Check 16/21 Things Off This List You're A Downtown Brockville Foodie

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The #1 Thing You're Forgetting To Do Before Back To School

Pens, paper, binders... the obvious things you need to be back to school ready this fall. But what about looking and feeling your best? 

 

Yes, we're talking about a trip to the dentist, and although sometimes dreaded there's no better way to start the school year than with new school supplies, a sharp haircut, and a fresh smile! Plus, with an ample selection of dentists downtown, you'll be able to find one that will make you smile! 

Dentists in Downtown Brockville:
Boardwalk Dental - Located at 9 Broad Street, Boardwalk Dental believes in ensuring every patient has the ability to make informed decisions by educating them regarding good oral health practices related to their unique smile.

Dr. Burke Dental - One thing that sets Dr. Burke Dental apart from the other dentists in Brockville is the dedication to being a partner in their patient's overall health plan. Oral health, after all, plays a significant role in a person's general health.

Dr. J. Bhatt - Tucked into a charming two-story brick building at 53 Pine Street, Dr. J. Bhatt provides caring dentistry in Downtown Brockville. The quiet area provides a homey feel, sure to help calm dental visit jitters.

Dr. John Arnott - The offices of Dr. John Arnott have a single goal, to have their patients see them less. Located at 6 Victoria Avenue, they provide outstanding dental services for the whole family with a focus on preventive treatments and patient education.

George Street Dental - At George Street Dental, their priority is ensuring the health and beauty of their patient's teeth. With services for the whole family, they provide gentle care in a calm and inviting environment.

Dr. Michael Ng - Easily accessible at 50 1/2 King St. East, Dr. Michael Ng provides general dental care for those in and around the Downtown Brockville area. Contact their office today for more information.

While having a fancy binder may be cool, you can't show it off in your school photo, unlike a pearly white smile! Make sure you're completely ready for back to school and check out the full list of dental services on the downtown directory here

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The 101 on FunFest

You may have heard the name but what does FunFest really entail?

Buskers

Trulee Odd has amused and amazed audiences around the world. His show is a unique blend of charm, zaniness and amazing feats. From the time he makes his entrance on a tiny motorcycle until his heart stopping finale, 15 feet in the air, juggling knives, blindfolded, on a unicycle, you won't want to miss a second.

Hoop You will WOW you with what they can do with a hula hoop! They’ll be hosting an interactive hula-hoop zone at FunFest! Show off your moves, or get some lessons from the pros and see if you can master their crazy acrobatics moves! They’ll even be giving away some hula hoops to outstanding volunteers!

 

Creative Club

Two words: Giant LEGO. Well actually they’re called Everblocks but these large scale blocks snap together allowing your imagination to run wild! Build functional chairs, couches, castles and more! Inside an Everblock built clubhouse, let your creativity flow with loads of LEGO to build, play and design!

 

Crazy Sales:

Our 2 yearly sidewalk sales are known for having the best bargains of the season. Make sure to bring your wallet for can’t be beat pricing on everything from shoes to furniture! Replace your torn up old couch or get a brand new wardrobe for back to school and all while staying on budget!

 

Bouncy castles

The classic old fashioned fun that can’t be beat! Bouncy castles, wrecking balls, climbing walls… all sorts of inflatables are at FunFest this year!

 

EV ride

Have you ever driven an electric vehicle before? Now’s your chance! Go around the block and learn that going green doesn't necessarily mean you have to compromise!

 

Mini Skateboard Showcase

Plan on skating down to the festival? Show off your moves for a chance to win downtown gift cards and Revolution Skate shop swag! No sign-up necessary. Just drop by and skate throughout the day and if our judges like what they see, they’ll give you a prize!

 

Live music

Featuring local artists, grab a cold drink or lunch from one of the restaurants and relax while listening to live tunes. A mix of pop, country, oldies and more makes for an easy-listening afternoon. 

 

And loads more like:

  • Paintball shooting target from Stingers
  • Mini donuts and police cars from the Brockville Police
  • Green space to play
  • Fire trucks
  • Face painting
  • Photo booths from the Brockville Library
  • and more from local attractions like The Aquatarium, The Museum and more!

 

With so many great activities filling the streets from Perth to Bethune, make sure you wear your walking shoes. End off the summer with a day of fun and savings! Check out the website page here and for breaking news make sure to check out the Facebook event

Don’t forget transit is free that day so avoid the parking hassle and take the bus! Or use one of the many biking corrals and go green this FunFest

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7 Items To Check Off Your Summer Bucket List

Summer is in full swing and there is plenty to do downtown! Make the most out of your summer and check everything off our Summer Fun Bucket List!

1) Go for a dip in the river
With extreme heat warnings becoming more and more frequent, nothing beats the refreshing feeling of jumping in the river! Grab your sunscreen and beach towel and head on over to the waterfront!

2) Attend An Event
There are lots of events happening during the summer! Whether you're looking for music, food, shopping or something fun check out what's happening downtown here

3) Spend a rainy (or maybe extremely hot) day indoors
The Aquatarium, the new escape room, museum, and library all offer loads of fun for every age.

4) Enjoy a summer exclusive beverage from one of the cafes. 
Whether it's refreshing iced tea or a frozen lemonade, check out one of the cafes for a cooling beverage! See the list of cafes here.

5) Eat on a Patio
Dinner with a view! Waterfront sights, beautiful sunsets and historical architecture add to any dining experience downtown!

6) Go on a walking tour
Ghost Walks, Criminal Past Walking Tours, and Waterfront Sunset Walking Tours, all fill summer evenings with fun facts and stories you couldn't even imagine that happened right here in Brockville! 

7) Buy that perfect summer piece
 Sun hats, vans, maxi dresses, crop tops, no matter your style there's an abundance of choice in fashion downtown. See everywhere to shop here. (Insider tip: loads of stores are already making room for fall items by having sales on their current summer stock)

Cross any of these items off your bucket list? Let us know by using #DowntownBrockville, we may even share your photo on our page! 

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December 7, 2018
It's important to note when we say the word service for the sake of the below graphic, what we actually mean is there are 175 other businesses that aren't solely a retail store or
December 6, 2018
1) Aquatarium The Aquatarium is constantly putting out new programs teaching locals and tourists about the majestic St. Lawrence River! Their newest program "Aquarist For A Day" is a
December 5, 2018
It's day 4 of Shop Local Week and we're talking about eating local!   There are 38 places to eat (more if you count the snack corner at Golden Age Comics & Collectibles).