Discover and Explore Brockville, Ontario

Brockville is located in southeastern Ontario, Canada, along the St. Lawrence River opposite Morristown, New York. Founded around 1790, the city was originally known as Elizabethtown, Williamstown, and Charlestown before being renamed in honour of British soldier and administrator Sir Isaac Brock after the War of 1812.


Brockville is a summer resort destination and a starting point for boat trips on the St. Lawrence Seaway and through the Thousand Islands region. The city has also seen some light industrial development. As of the 2016 census, its population was around 21,900.


For those moving to Brockville from larger cities like Toronto, there can be an adjustment period as the pace of life is slower and the urban hustle is absent


However, Brockville offers more affordable housing and less traffic than major metropolitan areas. Newcomers to Brockville are encouraged to get involved in the community by joining the Brockville Newcomers Club to help them adapt to small-town living.


Some of Brockville's key attractions include its historic city hall and the Brockville Ontario Speedway, a popular racetrack. Overall, Brockville is a scenic riverside city that serves as a summer resort and gateway to the Thousand Islands region of Ontario.


History of Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Brockville, Ontario, Canada, has a rich and vibrant history that dates back to its early settlement in the spring of 1785 by former ensign William Buell, a veteran of the British-American War of 1776-1783. 


Initially known as Elizabethtown, the town was renamed Brockville in the summer of 1812 in honor of General Isaac Brock, a prominent figure in the War of 1812. By 1832, Brockville became Ontario's first incorporated, self-governing town, preceding Toronto by two years. 


This historical city boasts landmarks such as the Brockville Railway Tunnel, built between 1854 and 1860, making it the first railway tunnel in Canada. 


Additionally, the city is home to significant sites like Fort Wellington, Lyn Heritage Place, and the iconic Brockville City Hall, formerly known as Victoria Hall, which was originally constructed during the 1862-64 era. 


Brockville's history is deeply intertwined with its development as a key transshipment center and a major tourist destination known as the "gateway to the Thousand Islands." 


Today, Brockville stands as a testament to its past, preserving its heritage through various historical sites and landmarks that offer a glimpse into its fascinating history.


Geography of Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Brockville, Ontario, Canada, is situated on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, approximately halfway between Kingston to the west and Cornwall to the east. 


It is located 115 km (71 mi) south of Ottawa's national capital. The city faces the village of Morristown, New York, on the south side of the river. 


Brockville is situated on land previously inhabited by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians and later by the Oswegatchie people. 


The city's geography is characterized by its proximity to the Saint Lawrence River, which plays a significant role in its history and economy.


Land Area and Population Density

Brockville has a land area of 893.44 square kilometers and a population density of 43.7 persons per square kilometer, compared to the national land area of 8,965,121.42 square kilometers and a population density of 3.7 persons per square kilometer. The city's population density is higher than the national average, indicating a more urbanized area.


Census Data

As of the 2011 census, Brockville had a population of 39,024, representing a percentage change of -1.6% from 2006. This compares to the national growth of 5.9% and the average growth among all census agglomerations (CAs) of 4.2%. 


The median age in Brockville was 47, compared to 40.4 in Ontario. The city had 11,600 census families, with 70.9% of them being married couples. The percentage of the population aged 65 and over in Brockville was 21.0%, compared to a national percentage of 14.8%.


Economic Development

Brockville has a hometown atmosphere, centrally located between Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto. Its prime geographical location has proven to be an asset for development, with land costs and building leases available at a fraction of the cost of larger urban centers. 


The city supports various manufacturing industries, producing goods such as cables and wires, chemical products, microelectronic equipment, and pharmaceutical products. 


Brockville maintains two large industrial parks, which have attracted a wide variety of new industries in recent years. 


The city is not only beautiful but also successful, offering a comprehensive consumer base from Ontario, Quebec, and New York State.


Demographics of Brockville, Ontario, Canada


  • Brockville's population was 21,854 as of the 2016 census, down 1.9% from 2011. This compares to the national population of 35,151,728.
  • Brockville's population density is 1,167.8 people per square kilometer, much higher than the national average of 3.7 people per square kilometer.


  • The median age in Brockville is 50.5 years, significantly older than the national median age of 40.9 years.
  • 21.0% of Brockville's population is aged 65 and over, compared to the national percentage of 14.8%.
  • The working-age population (15-64 years) makes up 64.9% of Brockville, lower than the national percentage of 68.5%.

Households and Families:

  • 63% of households in Brockville are married couples, compared to 66% nationally.
  • 30% of families in Brockville have children at home, lower than the national rate of 43%.

Ethnicity and Immigration:

  • 88.9% of Brockville's population speaks only English, higher than the national rate of 68.8%.
  • 2.6% of Brockville's population was born in the United Kingdom, 1.0% in the United States, and 0.7% in India.
  • 12.8% of Brockville's population are immigrants, lower than the national rate of 21.9%.


Brockville's population is older and less diverse than the national average. There is a higher proportion of seniors and fewer families with children. The city has a higher population density but a slower growth rate than the rest of Canada.


Economy of Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Manufacturing and Industry

  • Brockville is a "comparatively small but dynamic industrial center" supporting diverse manufacturing industries.
  • The city produces goods such as cables and wires, chemical products, micro-electronic equipment, pharmaceutical products, and packaging materials.
  • Brockville has two large industrial parks that have attracted many new industries in recent years.
  • Some of Brockville's large manufacturers include Canarm, 3M, Northern Cables, Biscuit Leclerc, Burnbrae Farms, Ketchum Manufacturing, Novaflow, Shell, Trillium Healthcare, and Wills Transport.


Transportation and Logistics

  • Brockville is strategically located on Highway 401 and the main rail line, with access to two international bridges to the U.S.
  • This prime geographical location has made Brockville a hub for transportation, warehousing, and logistics companies.


Retail and Tourism

  • Brockville offers a comprehensive consumer base from Ontario, Quebec, and New York State.
  • The city attracts many tourists every year, especially in the summer, due to its waterfront, parks, and recreational amenities.


Economic Development

  • Brockville promotes itself as an affordable alternative to larger urban centers, with lower land costs and building leases.
  • The city works to maintain its heritage atmosphere while supporting growth and new industries.
  • Brockville is described as a "beautiful city" that is also "successful" and a "vital urban and regional center."


Brockville has a diverse manufacturing and industrial base, serves as a transportation and logistics hub, and benefits from tourism and retail activity, positioning itself as an affordable alternative to larger cities.


Education in Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Brockville has various educational facilities known for their high standards across different subjects. The city has both public and Catholic schools located throughout the community.


Some key points about education in Brockville:

  • Brockville is home to several private schools that serve the local community and offer a range of educational programs.
  • Brockville's public and Catholic school boards provide elementary and secondary education options for students. These publicly funded schools maintain high academic standards.
  • Brockville's educational institutions cover a wide spectrum, from early childhood education to post-secondary opportunities. This allows students to access quality education at all levels within the city.
  • The city's educational facilities are an important part of the community, contributing to Brockville's reputation as a place with strong academic standards and resources.


Brockville has a diverse and high-quality education system, with public and private school options available to serve the needs of students in the city and surrounding region.


Transport System in Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Brockville has a public transit system called the Brockville Transit System that provides bus service within the city. Some key details about the Brockville transit system:

  • The transit system operates buses that serve Brockville's municipal boundary and routes to St. Lawrence Lodge and Sherwood Park Manor.
  • Passengers must be registered to use the transit system and are expected to have their fare payment ready when boarding.
  • The transit system has rules, such as no smoking, respecting drivers and other passengers, and safely riding the buses.
  • Brockville's transit system is an important part of the city's transportation infrastructure, allowing residents to get around without needing a personal vehicle.


In addition to the public transit system, Brockville also has:

  • The Brockville-1000 Islands Tackaberry Regional Airport serves as a gateway to the region.
  • Active transportation options like bicycle and pedestrian trails and paths throughout the city.
  • Connections to major highways like Highway 401, allow for easy access to other parts of Ontario and the United States.


Brockville has a diverse transportation network that includes public transit, air travel, and active transportation infrastructure to serve the needs of residents and visitors.


Living in Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Living in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, offers a unique blend of charm, history, and recreational activities in a picturesque setting along the St. Lawrence River. 


The city is known for its great restaurants, many festivals, and year-round recreational opportunities like boating, fishing, sailing, camping, golfing, scuba diving, cycling, hiking, skiing, and more. 


Brockville's central location between Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto, along with its proximity to international bridges to New York State, provides residents with the convenience of larger urban centers nearby while enjoying the benefits of a smaller, safe community. 


The city's vibrant downtown, waterfront parks, and cultural amenities like museums, galleries, theaters, and schools contribute to its appeal, making Brockville a desirable place to live with a high quality of life.


Healthcare in Brockville, Ontario, Canada

In Brockville, Ontario, Canada, residents can access various healthcare services provided by institutions like the Brockville General Hospital, Bayshore Home Care Solutions, and Change Health Care. 


The Brockville General Hospital is a community hospital dedicated to the health and well-being of the local population, offering various services and programs to meet the community's healthcare needs. 


Bayshore Home Care Solutions provides home care services in Brockville and the surrounding areas, ensuring individuals receive care in the comfort of their homes. 


Change Health Care is another organization in Brockville that contributes to the healthcare landscape, offering services to support residents' health and wellness. 


Overall, these institutions support Brockville's healthcare system, providing essential medical care and services to the community.


Tourist places in Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Top tourist places and attractions in Brockville, Ontario, Canada:

  1. Brockville Railway Tunnel - This historic railway tunnel, built between 1854 and 1860, is the first railway tunnel constructed in Canada and a popular visitor attraction.
  2. Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing - An interactive aquarium and discovery center that allows visitors to get hands-on experience with local marine life and explore sunken ship replicas.
  3. 1000 Islands Cruises - Boat tours that take visitors through the scenic 1000 Islands region along the St. Lawrence River.
  4. Brockville Museum - A museum that showcases the history and culture of Brockville and the surrounding area.
  5. Centeen Park - A waterfront park with walking trails, picnic areas, and views of the St. Lawrence River.
  6. St. Lawrence Park - A large riverside park with camping facilities, beaches, and recreational activities.
  7. Mac Johnson Wildlife Area - A nature preserve with 11km of trails through woodland, wetlands, and fields.
  8. Brockville Arts Centre - A historic performing arts venue that hosts a variety of concerts, plays, and other cultural events.
  9. Downtown Brockville - The city's charming historic downtown area has shops, restaurants, and annual festivals like the "Shop the Street" sidewalk sale.
  10. Dive Brockville Adventure Centre - A scuba diving operator that offers access to the region's renowned freshwater diving sites and shipwrecks.


Brockville is a popular tourist destination in Ontario due to its natural beauty, outdoor recreation, historic attractions, and vibrant cultural scene.


Local foods in Brockville, Ontario, Canada

In Brockville, Ontario, Canada, visitors and residents can enjoy several local foods and culinary experiences. Some of the local foods and dining options in Brockville include:

  1. Superfries: Known for their crispy French fries cooked in a blend of pork lard and vegetable oil, Superfries also offers Angus burgers and other menu items.
  2. Locally Grown Produce: The Brockville Farmers' Market offers a variety of locally grown fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, and gooseberries.
  3. Handcrafted Beer and Hard Soda: Brockville boasts handcrafted beer and hard soda made in the 1000 Islands region, using locally sourced Canadian ingredients.
  4. Fish and Chips: Captain George’s Fish and Chips and Don’s Fish & Chips are popular spots in Brockville that specialize in authentic English-style fish and chips, including varieties like Halibut, Haddock, and Cod.
  5. Bakeries and Dessert Shops: Boboli, a local cafe, serves soup, sandwiches, and desserts, while Buell Street Bistro offers Mediterranean and local fare in an intimate setting.
  6. Canadian/Pub/Grill: Restaurants like Boston Pizza and Jon’s Restaurant serve various casual Canadian and pub-style dishes.
  7. Pizza: Little Caesars is a carry-out chain in Brockville known for its chicken wings, signature breadsticks, and pizza made from housemade dough.
  8. International Cuisine: Golden Gate Restaurant offers Chinese buffet fare, Island Delight serves Chinese and Thai dishes, and Kochi Sushi provides Japanese cuisine in Brockville.


These local foods and dining establishments in Brockville showcase a diverse culinary scene that caters to various tastes and preferences, offering a mix of traditional, international, and locally sourced dishes for residents and visitors to enjoy.


You can also check the information regarding what to see and do in Beloeil, Quebec

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