For more about Brockville restaurants that feature gluten-free options, contact Downtown Brockville online or call us today at (613) 345-3269.
Summer is coming to an end and Autumn is around the corner, and that means your local Brockville small businesses have excellent deals on summer staples and new cozy apparel options rolling in every day! Read about six of our favourite places to go shopping in Brockville, Ontario!
This boutique carries stunning collections designed and made in Canada. We love that their clothing is bold, beautiful, and has shoppers leaving with confidence. With their size-inclusive array of pieces, it'll be a breeze to find that end-of-summer or back-to-school outfit. Bonita Bold is currently open for in-person shopping and welcomes you!
Another sweet boutique in downtown Brockville is none other than Ebb & Flo! They carry all sorts of products, including their own line of cosmetics. Ebb & Flo also sells safe, reusable masks that are as light as air - perfect for all weather. Open for in-person shopping, Ebb & Flo is eager to see some new faces walk in!
A gem in plain sight, Echo Clothing has a fantastic range of summer and fall clothing. From comfy sweatshirts for around the campfire to summer dresses, blouses, and skirts, you'll never leave empty-handed. Echo Clothing also carries a line of Corckcicle canteens which are perfect for staying hydrated. They're open for in-person shopping, so go check them out!
This charming store has both men's and women's fashion right here in Brockville. We adore their European-inspired styles and how high quality their products are. Their Birkenstocks are perfect for transitioning from summer to fall! Limestone and Ivy is open for in-person shopping, don't miss them!
Luv 21 Apparel
This beautiful shop downtown is best known for its comfortable leggings of all colours and patterns. Luv 21 has plenty to offer for a wardrobe refresh; they sell dresses, rompers, and shirts of all kinds. Check them out by visiting in-person or shopping on their website.
A new addition to Downtown Brockville, Overstocks carries all sorts of styles for different ages. With discounted prices, it's never been easier to get affordable high quality clothing in Downtown Brockville. In-person shopping is available to check out all their products. Visit Overstocks downtown anytime for all your shopping needs!
We hope you love our local shops just as much as we do. To check out more places to go shopping in Brockville, Ontario, please see Downtown Brockville’s directory here. See you downtown for some incredible shopping!
At this point, most of us have adjusted to life during a global pandemic and have settled into some sort of routine. To that we say: why not try something new? We’ve put together a list of a few cafes located in downtown Brockville that consistently receive rave reviews from their customers. If you’re looking for things to do in Brockville, Ontario or simply for a place for a great cup of coffee and a tasty treat, this is for you. Some have transitioned their method of servicing customers during the pandemic and some are still operating as usual. We want to give them the credit where it’s well deserved. Alas, here it is:
Great Coffeehouses & Cafes in Downtown Brockville
Richard’s Coffeehouse is a one-stop shop you simply can’t pass up. From the charmingly designed indoor/outdoor seating area to their endless options for specialty lattes, whatever it is you’re looking for – they can provide. Richard’s has been open for a few years now and brings in overwhelmingly positive feedback from locals and tourists alike. Their never-ending menu includes all day breakfast, home-made lunches, pastries, smoothies, and more types of coffee beans and hot drinks than you could dream of. With so many options to choose from, you can try something new each and every time you visit. Richards continues to grow, changing and improve day after day. Recently, they even installed a take-out window to make it possible to provide service for those in a hurry and for those who would prefer not to enter the store. This Café is not only comfortable to sit and eat in (when it is deemed safe to dine indoors again) - the staff are welcoming, kind and always looking to make your stay the best possible. They have a website that is located HERE and you can see their daily updates on their Facebook Page
Cosies is exactly how it sounds: a beautiful & cozy British Tearoom offering authentic British scones and beverages. The owners are from England and let’s just say, they know their stuff. If you’re a local trying to find a unique place to dine or if you’re a traveler that wants to be transported to England for a few minutes, this is the place for you. Their food and drinks are top tier and they have prioritized safety and care in their operations during the COVID19 lockdowns. Currently, their business model is delivery only. Who doesn’t love wonderful, ready to make meals and scones and delivered to their door? Order on Wednesday for delivery on Friday and /or Saturday, save yourself the trouble of preparing a homemade meal and join the throngs of overjoyed Cosies’ customers! Cosies’ unique vibe and extremely kind owners have solidified it as a favourite for many. From what we’ve heard, it seems Cosies is a 10/10 in everyone’s books boasting awesome google ratings from their over the moon visitors! They post their weekly meals on their Facebook page that you can order so check them out HERE. To get in touch with them and to order a meal please call 613-865-9179 or email firstname.lastname@example.org! Their website also has some great photos and information and can be found HERE
Come Visit Downtown Brockville Today!
We hope this list convinced you to check out some of our unique Cafés scattered throughout Downtown Brockville. These locations have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic. The Brockville restaurants and cafés can use all the loving support they can get while they cater to locals. If you want to see a full list of restaurants in the Downtown, please visit our Directory
This week is Shop Local week! It started December 6th and ends on December 12th. This week is a big week for shopping in Brockville, Ontario. Christmas shopping has started, and the rush is on. We are here to tell you about our awesome contests; Eat Local and Shop Local. The contests run until December 29th and January 7th, respectively. Sign up for a chance to win awesome discounts to your favourite restaurants and stores in the Downtown, with a total weekly value of $1,800! Each Tuesday until the 29th and Thursday until January 7th, we will be giving out 41 prizes to people that enter (and you can enter once per day by the way). 1st place prize wins a $100 Gift Certificate from a local retailer or restaurant, 2nd place wins 50% off a gift certificate from any Downtown Brockville restaurant or retail business up to $50. 3rd place wins 30% off a gift certificate from ANY business in the Downtown. If you are looking for things to do in Brockville, we have got you covered!
Sign up for the Eat Local contest here: https://www.downtownbrockville.com/eatlocal.php
Sign up for the Shop Local contest here: https://www.downtownbrockville.com/shoplocal.php
Be sure to watch our calendar to find things to do in Brockville next year!
During these trying times, our local businesses in downtown Brockville, and residents in general, are feeling the effects of COVID-19. With many shops forced to close and others operating with minimal staff and services, now more than ever is the time to support our local businesses and restaurants.
Our team at The Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Area outlines some of the biggest reasons you should shop locally now, and in the future as well. Also, to learn what is open and closed in downtown Brockville, please click here. You can even support many businesses and award local healthcare workers for their efforts during this time by buying local gift cards here.
Five Ways You Can Help Your Community by Buying Local
While this may seem obvious when you shop local, you are first and foremost helping your local shop owners and neighborhood. The businesses in downtown Brockville are the cornerstone of our town, and many business owners are your neighbors, friends, and maybe even family members.
COVID-19 has had a tremendous effect on our economy and your local town economy is no different. Did you know that if you buy from local independent retailers the returns from your purchase will be up to three times higher than if you shop at a mega-chain, and up to fifty times higher than buying from a huge online retailer?
Local businesses generally do not have massive warehouses and utilize minimal transportation and shipping chains – which in turn creates less pollution and consumption. Not only do they consume less energy and fuel, but they also source locally owned products and commodities, which have a positive effect on fellow local shops and operations.
Following up on the previous point, you can also lower taxes when you choose local downtown Brockville businesses. Not only do they create a higher tax return per dollar they sell, since they don’t affect roads, safety services, and more, they can actually put less strain on your economy and potentially lower taxes.
Choosing and buying local creates jobs for the community. Increased sales mean increased staffing and further expansion of local shops and businesses.
Choose Downtown Brockville Shops & Businesses
Now is the perfect opportunity to stick together as a community and try our best to support local businesses and shops. To learn more about Downtown Brockville, please contact our team today.
Easter looks a lot different this year for all of us, so we compiled some resources to help make it a bit more normal and maybe even a bit more exciting than you're projecting it to be.
As with any large holiday, planning is the best plan of action, whether that is heading to Metro for your essentials to be sure you’re able to create the closest traditional version of the upcoming Easter weekend or looking to do something completely different. If that is the case, we encourage you to think of our many eateries who have stayed the course, creatively met your needs and are making festive adaptations to their menu to bring some comfort to you and yours.
- Buell St Bistro (613 345-2623)
- Brockberry Food 2 Go (613 498-2829)
- Manoll’s (613 342-7448)
- The Mill (613-345-7098)
- Noshery (613-865-9969)
- The Sweet Life Café (613 803-8882)
One might say that having a new spring outfit is pointless at this point because who knows when you’ll get the chance to show it off. Well if there’s anything to be said about Fashion, it might be just as important for you as it is to share it with others. We know the bright spring displays have done a lot to amplify positive feelings throughout the community, so the same could apply to wearing them around the house. Contact your favourite local shops, many are doing a variety of e-commerce solutions to keep you styling during these times, your purchase might be what helps keeps them open at the end of this.
Taits might be the first local café that comes to mind when it comes to making sure you are set for sweets at during special occasions, you’ll also find an assortment at O’Mally Kourt Fudgery, Richards Coffeehouse and Sweet Life Café as well. Spitfire Café has even offered to delivery your 4 O’clock Tea Party if you want to add a fancy touch, or send to put a smile on someone’s face.
If you haven’t already, you can participate in 3 chances to win gift certificates to Downtown Brockville Businesses to use when this is all over! Decorate an EGG and upload it to your social networking platform using the hashtags displayed (making sure to set privacy to public for an entry + bonus entries for tagging the business you would spend it at) or while socially distancing you can find eggs placed in windows throughout Downtown Brockville businesses by Monday April 12th.
Keep your eyes out for the Easter Bunny! Officially deemed an Essential Service Provider on April 7th, you just might see it in person for the first time as they drive throughout the city celebrating everyone for safely socially distancing themselves. Check out #BrockvilleBunnyWatch2020 for details!
The Brockville and Area Food Bank, a community support that seeks support leading up to special weekends, has seen an influx of business during these times because more families are in need and it needs your support than ever before. Thankfully, the Winter Classic Weekend and City Council have partnered together to put a new twist on giving back during these difficult times with a Community Strong Food Drive. You can choose to Donate Now or check to see how you can donate to the town pick-up here.
Altered hours will always be a thing in business around the holidays, note that some have extended to make access easier for customers, while others have toned down their resources to allow staff time with their families and a few have done both. During COVID-19 the impact of altered hours may be more noticeable because our individual needs are greater and less people are working, so please plan with the highest levels of patience and support for your fellow people.
If one thing is for sure, we are in unchartered waters and relying heavily on leadership to keep us safe during this strange time we find ourselves in currently. Staying informed and kind are key factors to keep front of mind because we are in this together; despite isolation and social distancing, it has become apparent how closely connected we all are and the importance of looking out for our neighbours. In Downtown Brockville the support for local cannot be emphasized enough.
With social distancing practices in place and the closure of non-essential businesses to prevent the spread leaves us hyper-vigilant to say the least and we want you to feel safe in how you support business, so we’ve compiled some of our observations over the past few days in a list for your reference here. We can’t stress safety enough, so if in doubt please reach out and ask questions!
Self-care is important during these uncertain times and many of our service-based businesses are minimizing the impact of constant traffic at their business by providing virtual support and precautionary screening for essential services. Innovation is mobilizing the means to help both businesses and customers through these choppy waters and allowing us to support our most vulnerable neighbours, so if you can offer assistance please consider doing so.
Buying local from the essential services that remain is as important as it ever has been, many small businesses dance a fine line between loss and profit without these unforeseen circumstances and can offer a safer option to you with smaller spaces. These are businesses who, through donations, drive the extracurricular activities our community thrives on when we’re at our best and they need us now more than ever.
Alongside our businesses are the charities that are striving to hold up our most vulnerable populations. We’ve seen the generosity that can exist at these times, from Moose McGuire’s Brockville donating their perishable supplies during closure and The Noshery becoming a small local wholesale grocer to help those in need; we know this kindness will continue as we heal. True feel good stories happening right around the block!
Suggestions for spreading prosperity during such a challenging economic time includes giving yourself a break and ordering take-out or delivery from your favourite businesses, or buying hope by showing the intent to support your favourite shops again through online local shopping. Many are available through their Facebook pages and some have capabilities for online shopping through their websites.
With all this considered, we’ve borrowed a brilliant idea from social media and put together two ways to encourage staying engaged with your neighbourhood businesses while staying safe during these times. While social distancing and getting some exercise be sure to do some window shopping in search of these colourful Easter Eggs posted throughout downtown, fill out the form and let us know where you find them for your chance to win. Submit completed sheets to our Events and Communications Coordinator, Melissa at email@example.com by April 13th for your chance to win $25 in Downtown Brockville Gift Certificates. Gain up to 5 ballots and note: sheets less than 15% completed will not be included in the draw.
If you can’t get out or want more to do please consider downloading our printable Egg to decorate, or use the image pictured below to decorate on your device. Simply upload to social media, using the hashtags pictured and gain extra point(s) for individual shout-outs to a Downtown Brockville business you would support if awarded $25 dollars to spend. Open your account and while posting type @businessname to tag them. If nothing comes up, search the business to see how they display their business (many popular names have to be creative with their tags). Finally, make sure all posts are "public" and use the hashtags or we will not see them!
Brockville is by far one of Canada’s most diverse travel destinations, boasting numerous exciting activities and mesmerizing views of Eastern Ontario’s waterfront. This city is often referred to as the city of 1000 islands, given its position along the stunning St. Lawrence River.
With plenty of activities to choose from and the March break coming up, we have narrowed down a few of our favourite things to do in downtown Brockville. Continue reading for a list of Brockville’s very popular offerings.
Things to Do in Downtown Brockville
See a live performance
Brockville is one of the most culturally-rich regions in Ontario, boasting a lively art scene that draws in thousands of visitors every year. Visitors can head to the historic Brockville Arts Centre and enjoy one of the city’s highly anticipated plays or musical concerts.
Visit the Aquatarium
If you want to do something informative that’s also fun for the whole family, taking a trip to Brockville’s Aquatarium is ideal. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of all the different types of fish found in the St. Lawrence River and get a diver’s eye view of a real shipwreck. There’s also a biosphere where you can learn all about the different plants and animals in the area. Those in need of some activities for the March break will be delighted to learn that the Aquatarium runs a fun-filled kids camp!
Visit Museums and Shop collectibles
Brockville is at the heart of Ontario’s history, proudly displaying 19th-century architecture and offering tours of historical sites such as the Fulford Place, a magnificent 20,000-square-foot mansion built in 1899-1901. Senator George Taylor Fulford made millions of dollars from "Pink Pills for Pale People" – a patent medicine he manufactured in Brockville and sold around the world. There is no better way to dive into the past than by picking up a few precious collectible items or antiques from the several antique and thrift shops in downtown Brockville.
March Break Skating at Rotary Park
During the March break, why not step out onto the ice? Outdoor skating at Brockville’s Rotary Park can make a great activity. Whether you want to visit the rink with your partner or the whole family, there’s enough fun to be had for everyone. During March break, the rink will be open from March 16-20, from 1-2:20 p.m.; the best part is it only costs $2.50 per person.
Spring into Flavour in Downtown Brockville
The perfect pairing isn't just limited to food and wine...this year's Spring Into Flavour is celebrating pairings of all sorts, from coffee and snacks to brewery favourites and delicious meals. Downtown Brockville invites you to their coffee shops, breweries, and more as you discover what your perfect pairings are! Join us from March 19-30 for Spring into Flavour!
Downtown Brockville offers countless things to do, and our team is here to help you discover this beautiful city! Visit our website today to learn more about Brockville’s upcoming events, book a bus tour or view accommodation options within the city.
January can be a hard time of the year for people to get out of the house, especially in Canada with winter and more specifically our region with the constant fluctuations. Somedays we get teased to think that Spring is right around the corner and reality sets in with a random 20+ cm of snow overnight! This tends to lead to hibernation and that can put you at risk of the winter blues; since we don’t want that to happen to you we compiled a list of seasonal ideas (most available year round) to keep you busy.
Experiences are trending lately and we’re proud of what our downtown core has to offer you – there is literally something for everyone:
Winter is certainly a month that can require more creativity – yet it doesn’t get enough credit because it can certainly be beautiful. The important part is to not let those date nights slip away because you think there is nothing to do during these months.
A few suggestions include:
- Booking an Escape adventure at Skedaddle Escape Rooms: Brockville’s newest escape room that offers year-round activities with different themes coming out regularly
- Do a food crawl! This is a service you can have organized by 1000 Islands Tasting Tours or try your own edition by having each course in a different restaurant – we dare you to make it to dessert!
- We have two billiard halls if you’re up for trying something new or you haven’t played a round of pool in ages: Broad St Billiards and Sam’s Brass Racks are open daily with free live entertainment at Sam’s on the weekend as, both charge a low hourly rate for to play pool
- Keep it budget friendly by lacing up your skates and taking a few laps around the Rotary Park Skating Rink followed by a night cap at Richards Coffeehouse, or one of our local pubs
- If you really insist on staying inside, consider grabbing a beautiful flower arrangement and take-out on your way home from work to enjoy in the cozy comfort of your own home.
Spring can be a bit easier to pull the ideas together and get out of the house, but maybe you haven’t thought of these suggestions:
- It is time again to appreciate the beautiful tunnel we have underneath our downtown core with its re-opening! This is always a cost – effective and great choice, you can also choose to SPRING for an ice cream or a bite at Fat Les’ Waterfront Patio, followed by a stroll around Blockhouse too.
Did you know that this year marks 160 years since the tunnel was built? Stay tuned for special opening details as they come together from the Brockville Railway Tunnel Committee.
- It might not be patio season yet, but the days are getting longer, and the trails will be sprouting their seasonal beauty, so why not grab the bike and enjoy some nightlife while you’re out! The Keystorm is still having trivia every Monday night, not to mention the library, many of the cafes and art stores have ongoing themed workshops. A good place to check is our events calendar (LINK EVENTS PAGE). If you love the idea, but don’t have a bike, or need a tune up get in touch with Scott at Cranks Bicycle Shop.
- We will be hosting our first Street Festival, also known as Street Eats on May 30th and this is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy a day filled with entertainment and food! The event starts at 9:00 AM and runs until 4:00 PM – many downtown businesses will be out on the streets and we will host multiple food trucks during this time. Plan to join the fun!
- Beat the summer rush and enjoy the Aquatarium, loaded with river history you’re guaranteed to learn something new and if you’re adventurous you can try the AquaDrop and Ropes Course. The High Ropes Course is a 9 element obstacle adventure suspended a minimum of 12 feet above our 3rd floor. Strapped into a harness with lanyards and following the safety guidelines, you will learn how to navigate through our course in a safe but exciting way – then do a 40ft quick jump if you dare!
- Dinner and a movie! You can do that in Downtown Brockville? YES! The Brockville Arts Centre, not only plays host to live entertainment and theatrical performances – they also have regular film features playing.
Summer! The time of great activity when all the above suggestions are possible (except of course skating at the Rotary Park), but in case you did them all in their suggested seasons here are a few that you may want to try out over the next few months.
- Patio season is here! Check out some great views and brews this summer at Buds on the Bay, Fat Les’ Waterfront Patio or Moose McGuire’s, each have a unique viewpoint and great bites of food to enjoy
- Ghost walks! The Brockville Museum will now be hosting these entertaining and informative walks throughout the summer months alongside their historical walks, both walks have a historical nature to them and make for a great unique date night idea
- Keep you ears perked for live music! We will be hosting some at our annual FunFest Street Festival on August 15th and other places who are famous for hosting in addition to the obvious, Brockville Arts Centre are Sam’s Brass Racks, Richards, The Bar, The Georgian, The Keystorm Pub, Spitfire Café, Moose McGuire’s, Fat Les’ Waterfront Patio, the Courthouse Lodge and most recently the 1000 Islands Brew Pub
- Top this one – plan an Island Picnic, have it chartered by the Dive Brockville Island taxi and catered by your choice of Cosies Tearoom or Manoll’s Fish and Chips. This just might be one for the books.
- 1000 Islands Seaway Cruise! Recently winning the Tourism Award from the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce, Captain Andy provides a variety of ways to view the magnificent St Lawrence River, including themed dinner and party cruises, sightseeing cruises at high speed via the wildcat or the two storied licensed patio cruise boat. With so many great options – you might have to do this one a few times!
Autumn, last but certainly not least, the Fall is a great time of year to get in any of the above ideas you may have missed as the year wraps up because, let’s face it we’re not all made for Summer. Afterall Fall is an all-around romantic time of year.
- Fall is a great time of year to browse what the downtown shops have to offer you, whether you’re building your Christmas list or finding gifts for others, we’re sure you’ll find something unique while you’re here. Keep an eye out for how your partner responds to certain stores and items while you’re out. The Jewel Box and Penny’s Jewellery are also great stops if you’re looking to make that next step!
- Soak up that last bit of warmth in the weather forecast by grabbing some to go items from Metro or Brockberry and having a picnic in one of our beautiful parks
- Sensual Adult Gifts may also have an original experience for you to enjoy a relaxing night at home
- A couple’s photoshoot could be a fun idea for you and your partner to enjoy all the fall foliage together and have a lifelong keepsake of your time together.
- Escape Brockville, our first ever Escape Room in the railway car outside of the south side of the tunnel will be getting ready to wrap up the end of the season, so don’t miss out!
We hope you have some new ways of enjoying Downtown Brockville throughout the year because Downtown Brockville is a great way to think outside of the box and get out there and live. We continue to become a more well-known destination spot by the day, so we want you to know that you can even gift a year of Seasonal Date Nights as a package with a few simple clicks and one unique purchase at our office. To do so just follow these simple instructions:
- Print each of the Seasonal Date Night Cards (3.5x6")
- Call or visit us at Downtown Brockville (613-345-3269 or 3 Market St W) to purchase gift cards that will let your recipient pick what they choose to do
- Optional – Print the seasonal ideas
It is time to celebrate! Afterall, it is the end of a decade and there are many great things to do in Downtown Brockville, where there is something exciting for everyone – Really!
Our longest standing tradition starts at 6:00 PM, a historic church concert tour, beginning at your choice of First Baptist Church or St Lawrence Anglican Church, a new act begins hourly and 15 minutes between allows for travel time through the rotation of 6 churches (2-3 venues hosting simultaneously). See program to the right.
Courtesy of Brockville New Year’s Eve Church Concerts we have Matthew O'Halloran pictured below at 2018’s New Year's Eve concerts, his quintet will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of 1959 during their set at this year’s event. 1959 is one of the most important years in jazz history, so they will be performing songs from significant albums such as "Kind of Blue", "Moanin'" and "Time Out" playing at 8pm at the St. Lawrence Anglican Church.
Moose McGuire’s Brockville will host their first New Year’s Event in Downtown Brockville and they have chosen two charities to donate their proceeds to benefit, Leeds and Grenville Interval House and the Aquatarium. For $100 dollars a person, or $150 per couple, you can join them as they ring in 2020 Great Gatsby style! Note: this is a black-tie event; ticket price includes appetizers and champagne toast at midnight.
Dress up in your best flapper/ gangster attire and dance your way to 2020!
Photo Booth – Live Music – Masks – 3 Ticket Options
The 1000 Islands Brewery is also creatively celebrating the New Year with a dinner party (2 seating options of 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM), or more casual options available and live music by Willy Nally starting at 9:30 PM.
- Dinner: $80 single/$150 a couple, includes 3 course dinner at a reserved table, 1 drink and bubbly @ midnight.
- Option #2: $50 single/$90 a couple includes Bubbly at midnight, 1 drink and an appetizer platter (seating is first come first serve).
- Option #3: $30 a single/$50 a couple includes Bubbly at midnight and 1 drink (seating is first come first serve).
Celebrate New Year’s with a Rock show, featuring an all-star band lineup of Liam Deery (Liam Deery Project), Lucas Rayvals (Easy), Dustyn Locke (Easy), and Scott Greene (A Bigger Hammer). The Party is Roaring Twenties Themed, so we encourage everyone to dress up for the event, but it isn't mandatory. There will be 2 LCBO gift cards awarded to the best dressed guy and girl. There will also be A 50/50 draw.
Doors Open at 9:00pm, the band will play from 9:30pm-11:30pm, followed by music played through a fully equipped PA, until the event ends at 2:00am.
Advanced tickets are 20$, Door Tickets are 25$: Tickets can be purchased from Liam Deery, Lucas Rayvals, and Meara Deery.
A limited amount of tickets will be held and sold at the Spitfire Cafe.
Whisky ROCKS, the band will play from 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM at the BAR. (Click image to stay up to date on details as they are released).
Also consider contacting one of our great restaurants to make a reservation and see if they are doing anything special to celebrate.
Currently requesting reservations now:
The Noshery (regular menu + specials): (613) 865-9969
Buell St Bistro (preset menu): (613) 345-2623
We’ll continue updating this list the best we can as we hear of any additional venues!
Happy New Year - From Downtown Brockville
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/, firstname.lastname@example.org 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).