Attractions / Brockville / Thousand Islands / What To Do

Brockville : Beauty and a Bit of Brouhaha

Visiting mother and her sons sit on the edge of the St. Lawrence, Hardy Park, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

By MAGGIE M, Editor, The Wedge.LIVE

When I visited Brockville, a mother and her two young sons, sat quietly taking in the sound of roaring waves, the grand view, their feet inches from the St. Lawrence River. The two boys became very animated as an enormous cargo ship entered into our view. “Woooaaa!,” they exclaimed. The ship was carrying light natural gas. The St. Lawrence is always on parade; all sizes and types of water craft float by and Brockville provides plenty of front row seats.

The city is located next to the Thousand Islands. It’s no wonder tourists plan a scenic cruise to the Islands. It tends to be high on the Where-To-Go list. This mother was fired-up about their upcoming cruise. You cannot see all this city offers in one day nor can you cover it in one story.

Cargo ship moves up the St. Lawrence : a view from Hardy Park, Brockville, Ontario CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Two other personalities set high up above Brockville are better able to see the movement up and down the heart of the city and across its harbour. “Sally,” as she is lovingly referred to by locals, stands highest above all, atop the courthouse holding the scales of justice. She is the new Sally, as the former and original was damaged by Hurricane Hazel in 1954. She used to be blindfolded i.e. impartial; but, now she stands her eyes wide open. Robert Kerr, Smiths Falls, carved her replica without the blindfold, in 1982. This gives many pause.

The second “Sally” stands without blindfold highest above Brockville, Ontario. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

The Soldier stands atop the Brockville War Memorial looking down into the harbour since 1824. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

A little way down the median at the crossroads, King Street and Court House Avenue, stands the Brockville soldier, crowning the War Memorial. He seems to be directing traffic down the road toward the harbour; so, I took his lead.

Both cast their eyes straight down manicured, Court House Avenue and Broad Street right to the harbour. The downward plunge from the Courthouse to the St. Lawrence is quite a sight.

Popular Block House Island, far side of Brockville Harbour, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

At Broad Street’s end, Tall Ships Landing is a spectacular edifice built by Simon Fuller from Ottawa. Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

It is said Simon Fuller built Tall Ships Landing as a legacy to his Father and Grandfather, prominent Ottawa architects of the highest order. The famous, Aquatarium, is housed in 27,000 sq. fr. within the complex. Imagine, somewhere inside are otters swirling in water tanks and visitors immersed below water, river life and scuba divers.

Lobby at Tall Ships Landing and Aquatarium features the Granite Sphere, planet earth, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Elevated walkway in a small oasis populated by ducks by Tall Ships Landing Marina. Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

West end of Block House Island, viewed from Hardy Park, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Something is about to kick-off this August 11th–a Brockville milestone. Canada’s first railway tunnel is about to re-open to the public. It will allow people to travel from the St. Lawrence to the Northern city limits in a truly atmospheric environment, lit by LED lighting. It is all paved and smooth for wheel-chair access. This great, new attraction is in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

St. Lawrence doors to Brockville’s Railway Tunnel, paved and ready for pedestrians, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

This writer knows what our regular readers are thinking. “Where’s Maggie’s comedic take on things?” Well, Brockville had me in awe; but, I shall not betray you. In my exploits I discovered, Don’s Fish and Chips, another landmark in Brockville.

Famous Don’s Fish and Chips, Downtown Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

When I arrived, I was an annoyance with my question, “Is it farmed fish?” Bewilderment from the young man at the order counter.

“NO!,” came a voice from another room.

“Where is it from?”, I continued. The boss quipped with a little attitude, “The ocean.”

I felt like Mary Walsh torturing politicians.

“Is it from the Pacific or the Altantic?,” I continued. I waited for the boss to break. He was too busy serving a line of customers that moved quickly, including moi.

I watched Duncan Dewar, the current owner, perform a choreography I trust he has performed a million times, from refilling the chips through wrapping fish to handling payments. The man was on auto-pilot.

I wondered, “You must be half-dead when you get home.” He broke into laughter and let one of his staff report, “A few days ago he fell asleep standing up, mid-sentence.”

I know why this place is hopping and it ain’t just the fish, which by the way was delicious.

“Can I take a photo of you?,” I asked. “Sure, lots of people take photos of us.” So , here it goes again Duncan. You are a big fish in Brockville.

Duncan Dewar and employee Cole, Don’s Fish and Chips, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Enjoy a few more images of this extraordinary small city of 22,000–and stay-tuned for more.

Large mural on Stewart legal firm, Court House Avenue, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Manicured Court House Avenue, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Man from Kingston plays beautifully on public piano, Hardy Park gazebo by the St. Lawrence River, Brockville, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

One thought on “Brockville : Beauty and a Bit of Brouhaha

  1. The soldier is Thain MacDowell. He spent his formative years in the Brockville area. He was one of four Canadian soldiers to be awarded the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He was the only one to survive the war.

    Sally’s full name is Sally Grant, named, jokingly for Major Alexander Grant who was a prodigious 6 foot five inches tall. The original Sally resides in the Rideau Museum in Westport, Ontario.


Write a Happy Reply !

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s