Downtown Brockville Blog
125 Years Young
The Brockville Rowing Club (BRC), established in 1894, is celebrating their 125th year anniversary this year and they have done so in style. This past August they hosted celebrations that have included a Reunion Gala of Alumni and it has continued through to this month as they accepted the President’s Award at the 60th anniversary of the Brockville and District Chamber’s Awards Gala. During a video acceptance of the award Chris Marshall, Head Coach of the club and High-Performance Manager for ROWONTARIO recognized that the BRC is the city’s oldest social and sporting organization.
The entire time, the club has been located at 1 Ferry ST here in Downtown Brockville for ease of access to the St Lawrence River and there have been two buildings during this time that have been home to many world class athletes, scholars and community champions; even veterans over the years. It is hard to say whether it is the club itself or the property that hosts the significant amount of history produced over the years, but one thing is clear the stories it could tell would be unbelievable.
The term “home” is used both figuratively and literally because although it didn’t house all these people within its walls, anyone associated with the life of a rower knows that it is a way of living and success comes from eating, sleeping and working hard at the sport. Rowing has a unique way of entrenching into your identity and sometimes forming roots in your DNA that withstand the test of time - this is evidenced through historical literature including the 100 Years of Rowing book, authored by Donald H Swayne and continuation of family names throughout the club’s history. Chances are good if you are a local, you know someone who is related to this sport even if you don’t know much about it yourself.
“The Brockville Rowing Club has been a cornerstone in our community” exclaimed Jason Baker, Mayor of the City of Brockville, during the opening ceremonies of their Reunion Gala on day 2 of the 125th Anniversary celebrations this past August, at the Brockville Country Club. This year’s celebration did an excellent job at showcasing the strength of the rowing community by focusing on the history while opening the lines to begin the next chapter, citing that many of their community members will no longer walk this earth for the 150th anniversary and the sport will change a lot from the one we knew.
During the Reunion Gala the BRC awarded their Award of Merit to two recipients who have been true community builders within the club, those awarded were Howard Hanna and Jim Baker. “All those who have been awarded, including 15 past recipients have worked hard throughout a lifelong pursuit to keep the club going and out of receivership. Ironically, only 4 of them ever rowed.” Commented Marshall.
We wondered about the future of the club during the Brockville and District Chamber 60th Anniversary Awards Gala after current President of the club, Katherine Rowan accepted the President’s Award on behalf of the club. While giving appreciations for the award she remarked “As the BRC celebrates 125 years, a milestone not often reached by many organizations…” and continued to acknowledge their successful history. Hearing this statement reminded us that the Brockville Rowing Club is a business and history has shown us its’ strong tendency to prevail and carry the day – most of which has happened behind the scenes.
A few examples of momentous historical victories that highlight these strong tendencies include:
- 1973 when women officially began to row for the club and gained enough traction to row in the first official Olympic Event in 1976.
- Operating without coaching staff for 39 odd years in the first 100 years of operation
- Several creative fundraising endeavors to keep the club alive
- Including When Will “Old Meg” Fall where community members would buy tickets and place a bet for when the clock would stop as the old car would fall through the ice on the St Lawrence River
Chris Marshall was kind enough to give us a sneak peak into the future of the Brockville Rowing Club and the sport itself; to our surprise a new history has already begun. At the beginning of the year the club made drastic changes to their coaching style to support different aspirations of the rowers who became involved with their club – options are now available because not everyone has the same goals. There are 3 different levels of competition to support this, levels range engage rowers in a range of 3- 14 practices a week (more depending on the season) to support different outcomes. A level 1 rower would not be subject to the full impact of the rowing life and coaching style unless they changed their aspirations, so this method best utilizes coaches training abilities.
The way training is delivered has changed tremendously due to risks and a decrease in quality water time that is experienced more now than in past years due to an increase in use of pleasure craft on the waterway and weather, “we got out maybe 3X in April this year…” exclaimed Marshall. These are not favourable conditions for a training club of world class rowers. In addition to location, the sport itself is changing and solutions may arise from embracing new methods such as Coastal Rowing.
Currently the club’s primary focus is of a junior competitive rowing program that spans 12 – 20 years of age starting with learn to row day camps in the summertime and providing the opportunities to progress toward potential careers as international oarsmen. The potential of these careers is not a longshot as the club has a strong reputation for training those who want to excel to heights of success that can include the Olympics if you’re dedicated enough to put in the work.
This blog, entitled 125 Years Young highlights, that although the sport has existed for centuries and with our local club off to a good start toward this mark, the next chapter is seemingly filled with just as many new, yet exciting, challenges that the club will surely overcome with success as long as we continue to cherish this important pillar. For more information about Rowing programs or how you can become involved please see their website or contact the club directly at https://www.brockvillerowingclub.com/, email@example.com or (613) 342-4849.
Happy Small Business Week from Downtown Brockville!
Attendees had access to yummy appetizers and a cash bar hosted by Moose McGuire’s Brockville – in their Quarter Deck Lounge; we all know that a celebration isn’t a celebration without cake! The cake was purchased through our members Metro and cut after a short presentation of a year in review and followed by a highlight of our Associate Members, Merit Travel who well attended this event and sponsored a door prize that was won by Rob Thompson Hotel’s General Manager, Ursula Dowd (pictured below).
DowntownBrockville has been a busy month for festivals!
- The Brockville Rowing Club held their 125 Anniversary Celebrations over the Civic Holiday weekend; as a proud pillar in our community we look forward to telling you more about their celebration and plans for the future when we meet with Chris Marshall soon after the Rowing Season cools down
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Leeds and Grenville saw nearly all the weather systems through August 8th - 11th this year as they held their annual RibFest Fundraiser in support of their Not for Profit organization. They were very thankful for the attendance of those near and far as the money raised stays local to help over 1800 children and teens,
- We held our annual FunFest Sidewalk Sale & Street Festival on King Street, August 17th in support of our business members. Live Music, Buskers and activities lined the streets until the weather washed most of us away. Thankfully our buskers did an excellent job at keeping the remaining audience captivated and bringing the party back in the final moments.
There has been something for everyone throughout this month and we’re not done yet!
This weekend finalizes both the month AND festivals for the summer months as we gear up for our Red Hot & Blue Rockabilly Weekend starting Thursday, followed by, the last port of call of the TALLSHIPS Challenge® Great Lakes Tour 2019 from Friday to Sunday. Both festivals have joined forces to harmoniously offer you the opportunity to attend both venues!
Red Hot & Rockabilly is hosting their 13th annual festival and Brockville is celebrating the 4th anniversary of it being right here in Brockville. There will be a mixture of free and paid events throughout the weekend. Free events include live music at the Tunnel Plaza, Vintage Market & Antique Car Meet-Up during the day Friday, Saturday & Sunday (See Map for details). These events will entice you to keep the party going for their Friday and Saturday night Dance Parties, so you’ll want to grab tickets at Spitfire Cafe between 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Thursday – Saturday of the event days OR through Snap’d Tickets (https://1000islands.snapd.com/events/view/1265183) for their must attend events being hosted at the Brockville Legion from 8:00 PM - 2:00 AM: ROCK’N’ROLL DANCE PARTY on Friday and PROM NIGHT on Saturday!
TALLSHIPS 2019 begins Friday, August 30th, 2019 at 2:00 PM and is the 3rd time over 9 years that it has been hosted in Brockville. It has taken place every three years along the waterfronts of Centeen Park, Blockhouse Parkway and Hardy Park; this year it includes a mixture of paid and free activities. According to their website… “Tall ships, including the Bluenose II, and other watercraft line the waterfront and the harbour while entertainment and vendors will be set up on land. Admission to the grounds to see these majestic ships is available with a $5 wristband for all three days, while deck tours of the ships will be available by purchasing a Festival Passport for $15 which grants each passport holder access to each ship one time (deck tours are available on Saturday and Sunday only). The passport has details on each participating ship and will be stamped after each tour, making it a great take home souvenir from the event. NOTE: your Festival Passport also gives you admission onto the grounds – you do not need to purchase both a passport and a general admissions wristband.”
Check out their website and follow their event page for up to date details as the festival continues to stay up to date on all things parking, changes and general updates!
Be sure to catch the Parade of Sail on Friday, August 30th starting at approximately 4pm – this is a festival favourite and the best time to take pictures of the ships at sail along the waterfront.
If you didn’t know already, you’re not too late:
The Tall Ships festival also wraps up a 10-day celebration called Big River Festival – a celebration of life in the 1000 Islands on the mighty St Lawrence and all the attributes of living in a river city. The Big River Festival has included so many fun options that aren’t finished until the 1st of September:
The screening of various films, live shows and music venues, walking tours; some creative things too like a Snowball Throwing Competition on Sunday from 10 AM – 1 PM followed by a fundraiser hosted by EXIT Realty Eastern Ontario in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters Leeds and Grenville! See more here: http://www.tallshipsbrockville.com/big-river/
In the meantime, click the image below to check out some of our retailers
If you don't see the hours of your favourite retailer - please call them, chances are they were too busy to send hours before the weekend and we hope they are there for you!
Staycation 2019 – Things to Do in Brockville
stay·ca·tion also known as a “holistay” or “daycation” means to stay local and participate in activities that do not require an overnight stay. It is a concept used for over 50 years and added to Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary a decade ago!
We want you to know, there is no need to feel pressured to take extravagant summer vacations, sure, the hustle and bustle of a short summer is enough to put the run on anyone to capitalize on their time in the sun—especially after a long winter. As a born and raised Brockville local, who has a passion for travel, I can relate personally, to a deep drive to get out there and see things; yet I am equally as fascinated by all the local hidden gems we have available at the tips of our fingers.
I can do that anytime, so why STAYCATION?
Cost Effective: Don’t pay all the big city admission prices and travel costs to get there – many of our local events are held free, admit by donation or at a seriously discounted price. Check out our starter guide below or ask us how to maximize your local adventure!
Efficient: embracing your personal time economy can be especially productive and easy when you can get from one side of town to the other in less than 10 minutes by vehicle and a half-hour by foot. You can even cash in on productivity to feel accomplished by balancing home projects with a bit of rest!
Grounding: spending time to see your surroundings in a whole new perspective is a unique experience that can also be enlightening, fulfilling and help you establish a whole new set of connections in your city
Extra tips for those who feel leaving is their only way to escape to relaxation:
It is understandable that sometimes you cannot be at home for holiday time, or you end up doing just as much work (maybe more) than if you were working! Since we don’t want that, try the following tips below to moderate the experience:
- Pause your mail for a week and that includes an auto response on your email – don’t mind what the mail person may think
- Let those closest to you know about your idea to lessen the urge to distract you – better yet engage them too, “the more the merrier!”
- Test out a local house cleaning service if you enjoy the luxury of room service
- Try different travel methods that you wouldn’t normally use as you move between activities
- Plan activities if you normally do for travel, this may enhance your commitment and follow through with your Staycation!
Things You Can Do in Brockville for Your Staycation
...So if you really must get out of the house, don’t forget to check out our Stay Here options above to enjoy one of our treasured local accommodations!
You may have heard some event is happening downtown Brockville this weekend, but what is it?
As the official name "Street Eats" implies, it’s all about enjoying food and festivities on our beautiful main street in downtown Brockville!
We close down King Street from Perth to Bethune and feature food trucks and vendors alongside our 30+ restaurants. You really have your pick of the litter of things to eat and do in Brockville!
We can't decide what's better though... the food or the sidewalk sales! Known for having some of the best sales of the entire year, you'll find everything from shoes, dresses, hats, jewelry, household items, and more! I mean how can we not have everything when there are over 60 shops right downtown!
Three central stages are joined with buskers spaced throughout the festival to make sure you've got entertainment anywhere you go! Check out the Battle of the Bands contest this year from 12:30-4:00!
Combined with loads of other family fun like bouncy castles, face paint, green space to play, hydroplanes, henna and so much more! Find out more details on the website and make sure you RSVP to the Facebook event so you get a notification when the festival map is released!
Enjoy Things to Do In Brockville By Enjoying 101 On Street Eats
See you there rain or shine!
5 Downtown Spas You Need To Visit
These Brockville spas can help you look and feel your best with the warm weather coming! Manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrow and eyelash tints/extensions, all of these spas got it! Every spa downtown provides a different feel and has its own specialties that make it hard to choose your favourite! Don't forget to check out the whole list here.
Aquala Day Spa, located inside the Wedgewood offers you that iconic spa experience. With a relaxing, clean and warm environment, you'll feel totally at peace waiting for your treatment with cucumber water in hand. They offer all your classic spa services plus a ton of others like hot stone massage, body treatments, and medical services. Whether it's an ingrown toe-nail or laser hair removal, they've got you covered!
This hip and trendy spa offers something a little extra both in their service and in their coffee (wink wink). The name explains their goal of helping you rejuvenate and positive your aura! Classic spa services are paired with advanced techniques like microbalding and facials.
Your go-to hair studio also features a line-up of spa services! Massages, manis, pedis, waxing, they got you covered from head to toe. What's really great is you can customize your mani/pedi! Whether you just need a quick polish change or you want the whole routine complete with scrubs and massages, it's up to you!
The name explains exactly how you'll feel when you walk-in. Using only organic based products, they offer all your traditional spa services plus specialty techniques like oxygen therapy, an RMT, body wraps and more. They also offer lash lifts with cruelty-free vegan products and even better results! While you're there make sure you check out their bath and body shop which of course, only contains organic products (only the best in heaven, right?).
If you're looking for more advanced skincare, this is the place to go. You'll truly feel rejuvenated. Using medically graded skin care products they offer services like advanced facials, body scrubs, glycolic peels, electrolysis as well as Botox and dermal fillers!
Things to Do in Brockville: The Brockville Museum
We're starting a new monthly feature where we highlight a downtown Brockville business that's been crushing the social media game! This month we're extremely excited to highlight The Brockville Museum!
You may be a little shocked. A place thats sole purpose is to promote an age before social media is "crushing the social media game"? Yes.
The museum, formally established in 1981, features 7 permanent exhibits, and 1 temporary exhibit room. Right now it displays "Pieces of Brockville", come May it'll change to "My Story, My Tattoo". Their team hosts a wealth of activities for all ages all year long: Museum at night (adults only), lecture series, workshops, curriculum-based school programs, birthday parties, and a lot more. Staff Natalie, Peggy, Ellen, and Viktor (part-time) along with seasonal staff and their hard-working volunteers, eat breath and sleep Brockville history.
Top 5 Reasons to follow them:
- Get a behind the scenes look at what people who work for a museum do because... does anyone really know? You'll get to see how artifacts are prepped for display and unique pieces of the collection that aren't accessible to the public.
- They have the best throwbacks. From old videos to never before seen photos, you won't be disappointed by their #ThrowBackThursday
- No matter your age there's always a ton of activities going on! Their social media is the go-to place for info on upcoming events. If you're not following them, you might miss out!
- You may not know that the Brockville Museum gets new exhibits pretty regularly. You may think that a building showcasing history is stagnant, but it's continuously being challenged to fit new exhibit needs and showcase their growing collection.
- Celebrate all the holidays by reminiscing on the good old days to the point where you'll feel like Clark Griswold during the attic scene In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (minus the unconventional outfit). Our favourite was #LoveYourPetDay where we got treated to a black and white video of all the doggos.
Or better yet, stop in:
5 Henry Street
Open Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm (they will have extended summer hours).
Diving In Brockville - Tourist Tip #3
Brockville is known for its historic charm and having fun things to do, but do you know this history is continued down under the water?
Do you also know that Brockville is home to some of the world’s best freshwater diving? With no thermocline and astonishing water clarity, you can explore century-old shipwrecks and artifacts that are scattered along the river bottom. You can check out the list here. Shipwrecks vary in skill from novice to advance and from 20-150 feet. The oldest one dates back to 1812!
Another unique addition to Brockville's waterfront is the underwater sculpture park. In fact, Brockville is one of the first communities to host an underwater sculpture park! Established by S.O.S Thousand Islands chapter, the park is consistently being updated and new statues are added each year which means there's always something new to see! There are already over 25 sculptures to explore!
Luckily if you have minimal or zero experience, the Dive Brockville Adventure Centre offers classes of all levels or discover scuba for newbies. Discover Scuba is a 3-4 hour adventure that lets you experience the thrill of diving without the hours of training. Gear is available to rent for any diver which makes packing a breeze!
Fun fact: the Dive Brockville Adventure Centre also has kayak and canoe rentals, bike rentals, water taxis, island picnics and more!
This is post 3 of a 12-post series about things to do in Brockville:
Post 1: Things to Do In Brockville http://ow.ly/XQd930o7IzA
Post 2: Biking In Downtown Brockville http://ow.ly/QzC030o7It5
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org @ 09:35 am
Health and Wellness In Downtown Brockville
When you're walking down the street you may notice all the shops, restaurants and fun things to do in Brockville, but do you notice the health and wellness businesses? Sometimes a little more hidden or even on second floors, Downtown Brockville is home to 28 health and wellness businesses!
Whether you're looking for a chiropractor, RMT, dentist, pharmacy or any type of business to put your best foot forward, Downtown Brockville has it! Having everything in one location truly makes it easy to finally complete those healthy new years resolutions.
Check out a list of all our health-oriented businesses downtown here.
Looking for a specific service?
Check out Chiropractors here;
Check out Dentists here;
Check out gyms and other forms of physical fitness here;
Check out doctors, hearing aid clinics and other medical businesses here;
Check out our pharmacies here;
Check out physiotherapists here;
Check out retirement homes here.
Make your health and wellness a one-stop shop in Downtown Brockville!
The 101: Burger & Bevvy 2019
We're excited to launch a new event named Burger & Bevvy! Participating restaurants are featuring exclusive burgers and drinks all week long and we want to give you a sneak peak at what to expect (get ready for your mouth to water)! Eat at any of these locations March 16-24 and you can be entered to win the following prizes:
Prize 1: $50 Downtown Brockville Gift Certificate (collect 2 stamps to enter to win)
Prize 2: The Downtown Brockville Foodie Basket (collect 3 stamps to enter to win)
Prize 3: $500 in Downtown Brockville Gift Certificates (collect 4 stamps to enter to win)
Downtown gift certificates can be used at almost any business downtown! Find out more here.
The infamous (and delicious) Ritz burger is back for Burgers& Bevvy 2019 only!! A fresh 6oz patty topped with balsamic onion marmalade, tamari glazes mushrooms, maple candied bacon, truffle aioli, and brie!! Talk about a masterpiece
Please note that they are only open Thursday - Sunday. Make sure to schedule them in!
Your taste buds will rejoice with the Buell Street Bistro's Southwestern Crab Cake Burger! At lunch enjoy their Southwestern Crab Cake Burger on a crusty bun with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and aioli. Pair it with carrot slaw, their soup of the day or sweet potato fries! At dinner enjoy the platter featuring their delicious crab cakes served with both sweet potato fries and exotic slaw, garnished with avocado and aioli! It that wasn't good enough, they also are offering their famous Fresh Fruity Sangria! Get it while you can!
A never before seen menu item, the Roll'n a Roll Burger! Their scrumptious sausage roll (in homemade bread of course) is paired with bacon, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, mayo, salad cream, and tomato sauce... yum!! Pair this alongside their unique Burgery & Bevvy only drink: Hot chocolate infused with tea! The best part, you get to pick the tea!
Manoll's has gone Greek offering a Greek Gyro burger! Fresh pita is layered with their homemade tzatziki, beef burger, caramelized onions, gyro, feta, lettuce, and tomato for a mouth-watering combo. Mamma Mia!
Take your Nona's homemade chicken parmesan and put it on a fresh toasted bun and you've got Richard's soul-satisfying chicken parm burger. Talk about serious comfort food!
So how do you win?
Step 1: Pick up a stamp card from participating locations or the DBIA office.
Step 2: Eat at participating locations
Step 3: Collect stamps for eating at participating locations
Step 4: Enter to win by dropping off stamp cards at participating locations or the DBIA office
Check out more info on the website here.
Keep up with the latest info on the Facebook event here.
PSA: If you collect 4 stamps you'll be entered to win all 3 prizes. Likewise, if you collect 3 stamps you'll be entered to win prize 1 and 2!
You also don't have to order the burger/bevvy to collect stamps!
3 Simple Steps To Be A #DowntownBrockville Ambassador
Even if you visit downtown every day that doesn't mean you'll have all the answers to tourists' questions! The most important thing is you know where to find the information. If you're ever stuck with a question, direct people to the tourism office (corner of Water St. and Market St. W). Even if you can answer their question, it's still a good spot to let them know about!
2) It all starts with you doing a good deed
Maybe you see someone who looks lost, overhear a conversation in a restaurant, or a tourist may even approach you! By positively engaging with tourists, it makes them feel more welcome and comfortable sharing our beautiful city! This encourages them to be repeat visitors.
3) Share your experiences!
Talk to neighbours, friends, out of town relatives and anyone who will listen about the positive experiences you've had at downtown businesses and why you love to visit the downtown as a whole.
Talk online as well! Reviewing businesses on their social media pages, or platforms like TripAdvisor, helps other potential customers decide if that's the right business for them! 90% of customers value online reviews as highly as personal recommendations.
You can also make your own post about downtown and downtown businesses on social media! The more you share the more people care! Make sure to use #DowntownBrockville if you're on Instagram or Twitter, we love seeing and sharing your posts!
Things to Do in Brockville: the nosh~er~y and the nosh~er~y market
We're starting a new monthly feature where we highlight a downtown Brockville business that's been crushing the social media game! This month we're extremely excited to highlight the nosh~er~y and the nosh~er~y market!!
The nosh~er~y opened in summer of 2017 and has been talk of the town since. They source local ingredients to present trendy and exciting new dishes designed to intrigue the mind and delight the palette! The nosh~er~y market (opened in 2018) is an extension of the restaurant's values bringing you a space where you can shop their delicious soups, spreads, dressings, bread and frozen meals to take home. They also feature locally made products and vendors! Owners Stef and Karen really are all about the #ShopLocal movement!
Top 5 Reasons you should like both the nosh~er~y and the nosh~er~y market page:
- You can count on them to brighten your day by posting their daily specials with a playful (sometimes sassy) one-liner
- They're always on top of posting info about the restaurant whether it's specialty menus, occupancy for busy nights or forewarning customers if they are going to be closed.
- You can also catch delicious photos of their food served in the restaurant or for purchase at the market! They also post updates of new products and mouth-watering baked goods that you can find in the market.
- They really engage with their customers by asking your opinion on new specials, suggestions for in-store vendors and more.
- You get to experience them actively engage with the community whether it's sourcing local food, participating in Dancing Stars of Leeds and Grenville, or supporting fellow local businesses.
Or better yet, stop in:
209 King St. W
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-9:00pm, Sunday 5:00pm-9:00pm
Please note the noshery market is closed until April.