Downtown Brockville Blog
1) We Are 1 of 4 Business Areas That Are Certified Bike Friendly in Ontario
Meaning we meet Ontario by Bike's strict criteria all aimed at providing you with the most enjoyable ride possible. From ample bike parking to places to fix any repair, we've catered our downtown core to you and your bike!
2) We Have 9 Certified Bike-Friendly Businesses!
Cafes, restaurants, attractions, welcome centers and places to stay. All specifically trained and modified for you to bring your bike. Check out a more detailed description of all 9 here.
3) Whether You're Here For a Few Hours, Or a Few Days There is Plenty To Do
Spend a few hours at the designated bike-friendly museum. Get a deeper look into Brockville's past and check out some incredible exhibits on industry in the area, our growth with the development of the river and much more.
Canada's First Railway Tunnel
Stretch those legs and take a relaxing walk through Canada's first railway tunnel! Set to ambient music and lighting, get ready for a breathtaking experience!
Creating engaging and thought-provoking hands-on experiences for both children and those who are children at heart, the Aquatarium features interactive exhibits teaching visitors of all ages about the history, ecosystem, and geology of the St. Lawrence River.
Get On The River
Boat cruises to the 1000 Islands, kayak rentals, swimming and more, enjoy a day on (or in!) the water!
Test your teamwork and try to escape this abandon train caboose! A real-life gaming experience presents groups of 2-6 with puzzles, riddles, and clues that when put together, are your ticket to escape!
If you're looking to stay on the bike you're in luck! Go on a historic biking tour with the Thousand Island Bicycle Co! This relaxing 10km tour of downtown visits historic sites like Fulford Place and The Museum! Fun fact, you can also rent a bike from them for half a day up to a week!
4) You'll Travel Along Some Of The Most Scenic Bike Trails in Ontario
Whether you drop in for a snack or have an action-packed day of activities, enjoy the historic, waterfront lifestyle that is downtown Brockville!
Do you know that Downtown Brockville is a bike-friendly BIA? Meaning that we're fully equipped to make your ride a smooth one, downtown hosts 9 certified bike-friendly businesses. From an overnight stay to a quick snack, cyclists are always welcome!
1000 Islands B&B
Looking for a place to spend the night with your bike? Look no further. Co-owner Maciej is an ample cyclist himself so not only does he know the ins and outs of a bikers needs, but he is ready to deal with all emergencies. They want to make your ride as smooth as possible. They've even been known to do laundry for passing cyclists! Talk about service!
O'Mally Kourt Fudgery
If you're looking for a sweet treat, this is the place to go. Home to some of Brockville's best fuge, ice cream, and other sweet treats, you'll want to leave some room in your pack for take-aways. They're also one of three bike welcome stations!
Brockberry Cafe and Suites
The perfect place to stop in for lunch. They're a Brockville favourite and offer a respectable menu of their all-time favourites including the Ritz burger, Pad-Thai, and an incredible poppyseed salad. Enjoy the patio, or escape the sun and relax in their comfortable quiet dining room.
You can catch pics of this owner touring on her bike on their instagram. Selling homemade bike clothing in store, you'll find a cute new biking shirt to go along with your refreshing beverage and delicious sandwich. Stop in for lunch of breakfast and grab a sandwich, freshly baked pie or other in-house baked sweets!
Smoked meat, sandwiches, fresh baked goods and more, it's a classic quiet cafe. Home to delicious and fresh meals, stop in for a cup of joe and a healthy lunch before cycling on!
If you're looking to take a break from the bike, look no further than the Brockville Musuem. With a donation based admission, it suites all budgets. Dozens of exhibits on everything from carriages to hats allows for hours of fun-ducation!
Brockville & District Tourism Office
Looking for things to do in the area? Look no further than the helpful staff at the tourism office! Discover fun and adverntorous things to do, the best places to go on bike, or amazing ideas to take a break from the bike! They're also 1 of 3 bike welcome stations!
Cranks Bicycle Shop
If you're in a serious situation, or you're looking to make the rest of you ride a little more comfortable, Cranks is the place for you. An avid biker, he knows how to fix any bicycle dilemma whether it's a broken chain or a really uncomfortable seat. Of course, they're 1 of 3 bike welcome stations!
Buds on the Bay
Breakfast, lunch or dinner, Buds has the perfect meal for you. Enjoy the patio, or cool off inside and enjoy mouth watering burgers, steaks, salads, fajitas and more! If you're looking for an early morning breakfast, or a later Sunday brunch, eggs benedict, yogurt parfaits, pancakes, omelets and more await at Buds!
We've all seen them, the commercials that end in disaster after someone chooses not to use a realtor. And let's be honest, they're true! Much like you wouldn't DIY your will, why would you DIY a hundred thousand dollar investment? Even if Google says you can.
Not convinced? Here are the top 6 reasons to use a real estate agent from Realtor.com
(Check out the full article here)
"1. They have loads of expertise
Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/D? Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon, and your Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently.
Plus, buying or selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.
2. They have turbocharged searching power
The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything—anything! And with online real estate listing sites such as yours truly, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? Realtors have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor can help you find those hidden gems.
Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it's just out of your price range? Your Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so she can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.
3. They have bullish negotiating chops
Any time you buy or sell a home, you're going to encounter negotiations—and as today's housing market heats up, those negotiations are more likely than ever to get a little heated.
You can expect lots of competition, cutthroat tactics, all-cash offers, and bidding wars. Don't you want a savvy and professional negotiator on your side to seal the best deal for you?
And it's not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A Realtor will help draw up a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that's crucial to your particular needs.
4. They're connected to everyone
Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they're all in your Realtor's network. Use them.
5. They adhere to a strict code of ethics
Not every real estate agent is a Realtor, who is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the largest trade group in the country.
What difference does it make? Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.
6. They're your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one
The thing about Realtors: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they're salespeople, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their commission. They're constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you're selling). They're researching comps to make sure you're getting the best deal."
And, of course, they're working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn't a responsibility Realtors take lightly."
With six real estate companies and two property management groups, you'll have your pick of the litter downtown. So don't worry, you'll find someone who cares just as much about your current or future home as you do! Whether you're looking to buy, sell, lease or just browse there's an agent for everyone.
Source: Stults, R. (2018). 6 Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell a Home Without an Agent. [online] Real Estate News and Advice | Realtor.com®. Available at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/why-you-should-use-realtor/ [Accessed 18 May 2018].
1) Because you like food...
2)...like a lot (who doesn't?!).
3) Almost more than food, you like saving money!
4) On everything from houseware to clothing. And we're talking about quality products.
5) Did someone say live music?
6) Because why not tucker out the kids so when they get home they go straight to sleep (you're welcome).
7) Let's be honest, we all have a big kid in us too.
8) Seriously there will be a ton of activities that day.
9) While you're having all this fun, you may even learn something about your community!
10) Or discover awesome things that are right downtown!
11) Did we mention the savings?
12) Oh ya, and the food?
Written by: Kendra Lorimer
In addition to supporting the DBIA’s downtown events, here at the City of Brockville’s Economic Development Department we do a number of things to help promote the economic viability of Brockville. You may already be aware that we contribute financial and logistical support for projects that enhance the City, and that we work to market our community assets to attract new investment. However, you may not be aware of all of the ways that our department works within the City to support our local business sector and help make Brockville a great place to visit, live, and work.
Some of the behind the scenes work that you may not realize we are doing include:
- Conducting one-on-one meetings to discuss the needs and concerns of our local business community
- Marketing available properties and land for sale or lease in the City and leading on the development of employment lands
- Promoting Brockville as a destination for new business and as a great place to live through marketing, attending events, and partnering with regional economic development organizations such as the St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission, Leeds Grenville Economic Development, and the Ontario East Economic Development Commission
- Assisting with a long term strategic action plan for tourism in Brockville
- Funding the installation of free, public Wi-Fi throughout the downtown area
- Working with the Employment and Education Centre and the Thousand Islands Workforce Development Board to find out what kinds of jobs need to be filled in the area and what skills are in demand
- Talking one-on-one with people interested in moving to the area and send out customized relocation packages
- Working on youth retention and new resident attraction strategies including working to acquire new designations for Brockville in order to position the city as a great place to live
- Working with the St. Lawrence-Rideau Immigration Partnership to find the best ways to position Brockville as a welcoming community for all
- Submitting projects for awards to raise the profile of the area generate positive news stories
- Providing support for entrepreneurs and connect them with resources in the community
- Working with businesses to navigate zoning and bylaws to help them find the perfect location for their business
- Providing a list of grants and subsidies that are available for businesses
- Working with local business people to help them grow and to find solutions to any problems they may be experiencing
- Showcasing local businesses and why they chose Brockville on their website and social media
We work regularly with a variety of partners to share resources, deliver services, and cross-promote efforts. We work closely with the DBIA and with the tourism office to ensure that marketing messages are in line and we are limiting duplication. Where there is a chance to partner or share costs to ensure that an opportunity is not missed, we are happy to hear about new ideas and create a plan of action. We are committed to working with as many partners as possible to get multiple viewpoints, streamline projects and ensure that everyone is working towards the same vision and goals.
We want to hear from you!
Do you have a great story on why you chose Brockville as the home for your business or your family? Want to be featured on our website, social media, and upcoming marketing campaigns? We are looking for quotes and testimonials to showcase the region to potential investors and residents and would love to hear from you. Click here to share your story
Looking for Business Support?
Rob Nolan, Director of Economic Development
City of Brockville
Kendra Lorimer, Economic Development Coordinator
City of Brockville
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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).
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!