Brockville facts for kids
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|City of Brockville|
"City of 1000 Islands"
Industria, Intelligentia, Prosperitas (Latin)
"Industry, Intelligence, Prosperity"
|County||Leeds and Grenville (independent)|
|• Land||20.90 km2 (8.07 sq mi)|
|• Metro||893.44 km2 (344.96 sq mi)|
|• City (single-tier)||21,854|
|• Density||1,167.8/km2 (3,025/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||43.7/km2 (113/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (EDT)|
|Postal code FSA||
K6T to K6V
|Area code(s)||613, 343|
Brockville, formerly Elizabethtown, is a city in Eastern Ontario, Canada, in the Thousand Islands region. Although it is the seat of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, it is politically independent of the county. It is included with Leeds and Grenville for census purposes only.
Known as the "City of the 1000 Islands", Brockville is located on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, about halfway between Kingston to the west and Cornwall to the east. It is 115 km (71 mi) south of the national capital Ottawa. Brockville faces the village of Morristown, New York, on the south side of the river.
Brockville is situated on land that was inhabited by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians and later by the Oswegatchie people. Brockville is one of Ontario's oldest communities established by Loyalist settlers and is named after the British general Sir Isaac Brock.
Indigenous peoples lived along both sides of the St. Lawrence River for thousands of years. The first people known to have encountered the Europeans in the area were the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, a group distinct from and preceding the Iroquois nations of the Haudenosaunee, based further to the south. While the explorer Cartier recorded about 200 words in their Laurentian language and the names of two villages, the people had disappeared from the area by the late 16th century. Anthropologists believe they may have been driven out or defeated by the powerful Mohawk people of the Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee), who by then reserved the St. Lawrence Valley as a hunting ground.
This area of Ontario was first settled by English speakers in 1785, when thousands of American refugees arrived from the American colonies after the American Revolutionary War. They were later called United Empire Loyalists because of their continued allegiance to King George III. The struggle between Britain and the 13 American colonies occurred in the years 1776 to 1783, and seriously divided loyalties among people in some colonies such as New York and Vermont. In many areas traders and merchants, especially in the coastal cities or the northern border regions, had stronger business ties and allegiance to the Crown than did the frontiersmen of the interior. During the 6-year war, which ended with the capitulation of the British in 1782, many colonists who remained loyal to the crown were frequently subject to harsh reprisals and unfair dispossession of their property by their countrymen. Many Loyalists chose to flee north to the British colony of Quebec. Great Britain opened the western region of Canada (known as Upper Canada and now Ontario), purchasing land from First Nations to allocate to the mostly English-speaking Loyalists in compensation for their losses, and helping them with some supplies as they founded new settlements. The first years were very harsh as they struggled on the frontier. Some exiles returned to the United States.
The St. Lawrence River was named by French explorers in the 18th century to honour the martyred Roman Christian, Saint Laurentis. In 1785 the first U.E. Loyalist to take up land in Brockville was William Buell Sr. (1751–1832), an ensign disbanded from the King's Rangers, from the state of New York. Residents commonly called the first settlement "Buell's Bay." Around 1810 government officials of Upper Canada designated the village as Elizabethtown.
About 1812 leading residents of the village suggested that the village be renamed to differentiate it from the township of Elizabethtown. The commanding British General in Upper Canada and temporary administrator of the province was Major-General Isaac Brock. He was celebrated as the "Hero and Saviour" of Upper Canada because of his recent success in securing the surrender by Americans of Fort Detroit during the War of 1812. Perhaps to curry favour with Gen. Brock, certain leading citizens of the village, including Charles Jones, proposed the name of Brockville. They began using this name in their correspondence and dealings with Isaac Brock. Gen. Brock was soon involved in other battles on the Niagara Peninsula. On October 13, 1812, he was fatally wounded while leading troops up the heights near the village of Queenston, then held by American militia.
A raid on Elizabethtown occurred on February 7, 1813, when Benjamin Forsyth and 200 of his American forces crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River to occupy the settlement and seize military and public stores, free American prisoners, and capture British military prisoners.
General Brock had learned of the honour being offered by the residents of Elizabethtown, but had no chance to give it his official blessing before his death. Provincial officials accepted the new name, which was soon commonly used by residents and visitors. In 1830 the population of Brockville exceeded the 1000 mark. This entitled it to be represented by its own elected member in the House of Assembly. Henry Jones, the village postmaster, was elected in October 1830 to the 11th Parliament of the Province.
Brockville became Ontario's first incorporated self-governing town on January 28, 1832, two years before the town of Toronto. By means of the Brockville Police Act passed by the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, Brockville was granted the right to govern its own affairs, pass laws, and raise taxes. The first elections for the new Board of Police were held on April 2, 1832 to elect four members to the Board. These four in turn chose a fifth member, Daniel Jones, who became the first Police Board president or Mayor of Brockville. In March 1836 he became the first native Upper Canadian to receive a knighthood for services to the Crown; he was known as "Sir Daniel Jones".
In the 19th century the town developed as a local centre of industry, including shipbuilding, saddleries, tanneries, tinsmiths, a foundry, a brewery, and several hotels. By 1854, a patent medicine industry had sprung up in Brockville and in Morristown, New York, across the St. Lawrence River, featuring such products as "Dr Morse's Indian Root Pills", "Dr. McKenzie's Worm Tablets," and later, "Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People".
In 1855, Brockville was chosen as a divisional point of the new Grand Trunk Railway between Montreal and Toronto. This contributed to its growth, as it could offer jobs in railway maintenance and related fields. At the same time, the north–south line of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway was built to join the timber trade of the Ottawa Valley with the St. Lawrence River ship route. A well-engineered tunnel for this railway was dug and blasted underneath the middle of Brockville. The Brockville Tunnel was the first railway tunnel in Canada.
Brockville and many other towns in Canada West were targets of the threatened Fenian invasion after the American Civil War ended in 1865. In June 1866 the Irish-American "Brotherhood of Fenians" invaded Canada. They launched raids across the Niagara River into Canada West (Ontario) and from Vermont into Canada East (Quebec). Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald called on the volunteer militia companies in every town to protect Canada. The Brockville Infantry Company and the Brockville Rifle Company (now The Brockville Rifles) were mobilized. The unsuccessful Fenian Raids were a catalyst that contributed to the creation of the new confederated Dominion of Canada in 1867.
By 1869, Brockville had a population of 5000 and a station on the Grand Trunk Railway. It was the County Town of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and a Port of Entry. Steamboats stopped in Brockville daily while plying among Montreal, Kingston, Toronto and Hamilton. The Brockville and Ottawa Railway connected Brockville with Smith's Falls, Perth, Almonte, Carleton Place and Sandy Point. During the summer, a steam ferry plied every half-hour between Brockville and Morristown, New York.
In 1962 Brockville was granted official status as a city. Its coat of arms featured a beehive surrounded by a golden chain and bears the motto Industria, Intelligentia, Prosperitas. This is an official heraldic design. Brockville is one of the few Canadian cities to have a recognized heraldic flag.
Brockville experiences a Humid continental climate (Dfb). The highest temperature ever recorded in Brockville was 103 °F (39.4 °C) on 31 July 1917 and 4 June 1919. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −37 °F (−38.3 °C) on 4 February 1886 and 28 January 1925.
|Climate data for Brockville, 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1871−present|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.7
|Average high °C (°F)||−3.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−7.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−12
|Record low °C (°F)||−38.3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||78.4
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||29.3
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||49.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||15.8||11.8||11.5||12.7||13.9||12.1||11.4||11.2||12.1||13.4||14.5||14.6||154.9|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||4.9||3.9||6.2||11.5||13.9||12.1||11.4||11.2||12.1||13.2||12.0||6.6||118.8|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||12.5||9.0||6.5||2.3||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.5||3.7||9.7||44.1|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Transportation and communications
Brockville is midway between Toronto and Montreal (340 km (210 mi) northeast of Toronto and 210 km (130 mi) southwest of Montreal) and less than one hour from Ottawa. Highway 401 runs through Brockville, with exits at Leeds & Grenville County Road 29 and North Augusta Road. There are several daily Via Rail connections at Brockville station to Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa along the Corridor.
The town has a municipal airport (Brockville Regional Tackaberry Airport) in the neighbouring Elizabethtown-Kitley Township. The Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport is approximately 100 km away.
The Thousand Islands Bridge and the Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge, both of which cross the Saint Lawrence River into New York, are 35 km (22 mi) south-west and 25 km (16 mi) north-east from Brockville, respectively.
Brockville Transit is the city-operated public transit system which covers the urban area, providing three regular scheduled bus routes and paratransit services, from Monday to Saturday.
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Brockville had a population of 22,116 living in 10,647 of its 11,088 total private dwellings, a change of 2.5% from its 2016 population of 21,569. With a land area of 20.91 km2 (8.07 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,057.7/km2 (2,739/sq mi) in 2021.
|Canada census – Brockville community profile|
|Population:||21,854 (-0.1% from 2011)||21,870 (-0.4% from 2006)||21,957 (2.7% from 2001)|
|Land area:||18.71 km2 (7.22 sq mi)||20.90 km2 (8.07 sq mi)||20.74 km2 (8.01 sq mi)|
|Population density:||1,167.8/km2 (3,025/sq mi)||1,046.2/km2 (2,710/sq mi)||1,058.8/km2 (2,742/sq mi)|
|Median age:||50.3 (M: 47.8, F: 52.3)||44.2 (M: 42.7, F: 45.6)|
|Total private dwellings:||10,893||10,645||10,394|
|Median household income:||$51,219||$46,071|
|References: 2016 2011 2006 earlier|
|Visible minority and Aboriginal population (Canada 2006 Census)|
|Population group||Population||% of total population|
|Visible minority group
|Visible minority, n.i.e.||45||0.2%|
|Multiple visible minority||50||0.2%|
|Total visible minority population||685||3.1%|
|Multiple Aboriginal identity||10||0%|
|Total Aboriginal population||410||1.9%|
The community is dominated by the St. Lawrence River and is known as The City of the Thousand Islands. The city has revitalized its downtown area, enhancing a waterfront open to the public with parks and walking trails, and numerous shopping locations are found throughout the city. The city's architecture consists of many stately mansions and elaborate fountains, carefully preserved as reminders of Canadian history. The historic Fulford Place house museum is located in the east end of Brockville at 287 King St. E. This was the palatial home of Senator George Taylor Fulford, whose success in marketing "Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People" around the world made him one of the area's richest industrialists before his death in 1905. The house owned and operated by the Ontario Heritage Trust is open for public tours on a seasonal schedule.
The Brockville Museum, situated in the historic downtown core, features exhibits and artifacts related to Brockville's rich Loyalist history and the city's development as a waterfront community.
The Aquatarium, a $12-million dollar (estimated) Discovery Centre of the 1000 Islands, is a tourism and waterfront education attraction, which opened its doors to the public in March 2016. It is part of developer Simon Fuller's $60-million Tall Ships Landing condominium project located on Broad Street, overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
1000 Islands Cruises out of Brockville are offered by 1000 Islands and Seaway Cruises offering scenic cruises on the St. Lawrence River.
The Brockville area is the launching point for some of the best fresh-water wreck diving in the world. Numerous sunken ships have been discovered below the waters of the St. Lawrence, and a number of dive operators with fully equipped boats are ready to take divers to these sites. In 2014, the City of Brockville started a collaboration with S.O.S. (Save Our Shipwrecks) to launch an underwater sculpture park off of Centeen Park. New sculptures will be added to the park annually. (Since the early 1990s underwater visibility had increased, due to effects of the invasive species zebra mussels.)
Brockville has been awarded one of Canada's safest communities by the World Health Organization.
Brockville also offers excellent boating resources, with a large, deep-water municipal marina, a yacht club and several commercial marinas. Just upstream on the mighty St. Lawrence River is the Brockville Islands group, which contain some city island parks, and an island park belonging to the St. Lawrence Islands National Park system.
The next closest commercial boating facilities are each about a half-day boat-trip away (at displacement speeds), downstream at Prescott, Ontario and upstream at Rockport, Ontario. So, many boaters come to Brockville during their boating vacations, to re-fuel, have repairs done, and re-provision, before casting off again for home.
The city has several music, art and dance organizations, such as Brockville Artists Studio Association, Brockville Community Choir, Brockville Concert Association, Brockville Musicians' Association, Brockville Operatic Society, City of Brockville Pipe Band, and the Thousand Islanders Chorus.
The Brockville Concert Band arises from a long tradition of community and military bands in Brockville. Civic bands provided entertainment at public venues such as community picnics and outdoor skating rinks. The Brockville Rifles Reserve Band entertained "on the green" in the 1930s and 40s.
Military band members returning from the Second World War formed the Brockville Civic Band. Re-organized as the Brockville Concert Band in 1974, it inherited a musical tradition (and sheet music) from civic and military bands dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The Brockville Concert Band plays a series of summer concerts every second Tuesday in Hardy Park in Brockville within view of the St. Lawrence River. The band also plays for various civic functions and entertains at charitable fundraising events. Since 1995, the band's musical director and conductor has been trumpeter and music teacher Lance Besharah.
St. Lawrence College in Brockville is home to the Music Theatre - Performance Program which trains students to enter the professional world of musical theatre. SLC Stage produces three professional-quality musicals each season at the Brockville Arts Centre. The Brockville Arts Centre is a 710-seat, newly refurbished theatre venue with a full season of entertainment offerings.
Several festivals occur each year. Riverfest, a four-day entertainment event, was an annual attraction until 2011.
Brockville is home to several large industrial manufacturers. 3M operates three factories in Brockville, manufacturing tape and occupational health and safety products. Procter & Gamble manufactures dryer sheets and cleaning products from the brands their brands Bounce and Swiffer respectively, employing 600 people, however, operations began to slow down in 2017 until the closure of the plant in 2020 and all operations of the plant being moved to locations in West Virginia. In January 2022, the Canadian food company Leclerc, a brand known for making dessert products announced it would be moving into the vacant P&G plant. Other industries include ceiling fan manufacturer Canarm, pharmaceutical manufacturer Trillium Canada, and the oil-blending plant of Shell Canada. Canadian retailer Giant Tiger has also opened a distribution centre for frozen food in Brockville. Some area residents are employed at the Invista Canada facility (formerly DuPont Canada Ltd.) in Maitland, just east of Brockville.
Brockville is also the main administrative, health-care and commercial centre for Leeds—Grenville county. The Upper Canada District School Board, has its headquarters in Brockville. The Brockville General Hospital is embarking on a major expansion project. The Brockville Mental Health Centre is located east of Brockville.
The Brockville youth basketball teams, the Brockville Blues and the Brockville Blazers, provide basketball coaching and training for boys and girls across the area. The Blues and Blazers have repeatedly placed in the Ontario Basketball Association (OBA) championships. A female basketball player, Stacey Dales (a graduate of Thousand Islands Secondary School), has gone on to play for the University of Oklahoma Sooners, coming in a close second for the NCAA title in her graduating year. She also has the highest Canadian woman's draft pick for the WNBA, where she has played for the Washington Mystics and Chicago Sky. She has worked for ESPN and the NFL Network.
Several local clubs, organizations and high schools have achieved success on provincial, national, and international levels, such as the Brockville Rowing Club, one of the oldest and most successful rowing clubs in Canada. The Rowing Club has captured the Royal Canadian Henley Championships several times. The club has also sent crews to London, England where they have won several Henley Women's Regatta titles. This success often comes by competition against clubs from much larger Canadian centers such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Close to 50 Brockville Area Youth are offered an opportunity to participate in a national level rowing program annually. The club has also sent athletes to cities across Europe and Asia to compete at international regattas as part of the Canadian National Team.
Track and field
Thousand Islands Secondary School is home to a strong high school track & field and cross-country running program. The Pirates have captured numerous Canadian championships and have won 5 straight overall provincial (OFSAA) Ontario championships in track & field and cross country running in an association of over 1000 schools since 2004. With over 15 former students on NCAA athletic track & field scholarships in the United States, TISS has been awarded over $1,000,000 in student athletic scholarships. The TISS team travels all over North America including Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, and British Columbia, consistently winning major international championships. The accomplishments of the school have inspired the community to construct a $1.5 million athletic centre at the school.
The Brockville Braves are a Tier I Junior "A" ice hockey team representing Brockville. They are a part of the Central Junior A Hockey League.
Founded in 1963, the Brockville Braves are the second oldest team that has never ceased operation in CJHL history—second only to Pembroke. In the 1979, the teams was the focus of national attention when they were left homeless due to their arena collapsing. This did not stop the Braves though, playing their home games out of Cardinal and Rockland, Ontario, the Braves did not miss a beat.
It took until 1986 for the Brockville Braves to win a CJHL championship. They clinched the Bogart Cup on a late April night, defeating their nemesis Pembroke Lumber Kings 8–7 in the finals. Braves' goalie Jacques Breault was the hero, as with 22 seconds to go in the game, turned away a penalty shot by the league's all-time leading scorers Luc Chabot. Although losing to Orillia, Ontario in the Ontario playdowns, the team was a memorable one. Notable members of this team were all-time Braves leading scorer Larry Mitchell, Breault, Paul Duford, Tim Dubas, Dan Nummikoski, Steve Rachwal, Chad Badawey and Rob White.
Since that championship, the team has experienced more bad times than good. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Braves failed to make the playoffs multiple times.
In 1997, times began to change for the better again. The Braves were given the duty of hosting the Fred Page Cup, the Eastern Canadian Junior "A" championship. This allowed their team to compete in the event and give them the experience they needed for the next season. The Braves regained their league title in 1998, bringing the club around full circle. The team will host the 2010 Fred Page Cup.
Star graduates Bryan Murray (Barry's Bay, Ontario) Mike Daoust (Brockville, Ontario) and Guy Come (Iroquois Falls, Ontario) of the Brockville Braves won the 2001 NCAA National Championship with the Plattsburgh Cardinals vs the RIT Tigers.
In November 2017, at Rotary Park, they dug the grounds and built their new skating rink with bathroom and change rooms. On January 9, 2020, they named the building after P&G so the name of this skating rink is P&G Pavillion, as P&G Brockville is their biggest sponsor.
Brockville Bunnies Youth Baseball Program is also an elite level program that operates out of this small city, with provincial championships and several pro and Olympic graduates. Brockville was home to a minor league baseball team that competed in the Canadian–American League in 1936 and 1937, known as the Brockville Pirates for one season and then as the Brockville Blues.
There are several golf courses in the Brockville area for a variety of skill levels. Sunnidel Golf is a par three course designed for an easy-going round. The Brockville Highlands is a full-length 18 hole course. The course has a small membership and is open to patrons willing to pay green fees. The Brockville Country Club poses greater difficulty to the average golfer. The membership comprises an older demographic and is semi-private. The course is open to green fees however certain playing restrictions are imposed.
The Brockville Ontario Speedway (The BOS) is a clay oval track just north of the city on Highway 29 in Forthton. The track races every Saturday night from May to September. Classes that race every week include Rookies, Street Stock, Sportsman, Modified, and Vintage.
The Brockville Privateers R.F.C. was formed in 1993, reestablishing a local rugby club in the area. Rugby has been played in Brockville area as far back as 1899. The original Brockville Rugby Football Club eventually became part of Brockville Collegiate Institute (BCI). Brockville Rugby now includes multiple men's and women's teams along with a strong junior age grade program.
The Upper Canada Swim Club (The River Otters) runs competitive teams for children and young adults. The YMCA Brockville runs competitive teams for children and young adults
Brockville has a community college, four high schools, and several elementary schools.
St. Lawrence College (Brockville Campus) has an enrolment of around 800. St. Lawrence College was recently ranked number one in Ontario for graduate employment rate.
Académie catholique Ange-Gabriel is a French Catholic school (Grades JK-12) and has an enrolment of approximately 282 students.
Brockville Collegiate Institute has an enrolment of approximately 560 and has strong academic, theatre, and sports programs. St. Mary Catholic High School is the English Catholic school and has around 600 students.
The Fulford Academy is a private boarding school for international students grades 7-10.
Thousand Islands Secondary School has an enrolment of approximately 1000 and is both a university and college preparatory school with strong technology facilities. It is also known for its athletics programs including: track and field, women's basketball, men's soccer, and cross country running.
Public elementary schools in the city include Commonwealth Public School, Westminster Public School, Toniata Public School, and Vanier Public School.
The Catholic English elementary schools are St. Francis Xavier, St. John Bosco and James L. Jordan.
Académie Catholique Ange-Gabriel is a French-language Catholic school serving JK - Grade 12.
Heritage Community Christian School, 20 minutes from downtown Brockville, is a privately funded Christian school offering pre-school through grade 8 in a Christian environment.
- Brad Abraham - screenwriter of Stonehenge Apocalypse and Robocop: Prime Directives; graduate of Brockville Collegiate Institute
- George Chaffey - civil engineer and urban planner; founder of Ontario, California, a sister city of Brockville
- William Chaffey - civil engineer and urban planner; brother of George Chaffey
- Brian Chapman - AHL All-Star
- William Everett Chipman - Wisconsin State Senator
- Burke Dales - CFL punter; player with Calgary Stampeders
- Stacey Dales - WNBA AllStar and ESPN broadcaster
- Joan Erikson - author, educator, craftsperson, and dance ethnographer; wife of Erik Erikson
- Todd Gill - NHL player and owner of the CJHL Brockville Braves
- Ben Hutton - ice hockey player for the Los Angeles Kings
- Walter William LaChance - architect and author in the early 20th century
- Randy Ladouceur - NHL player and coach
- Hank Lammens - professional hockey player
- Cyril Leeder - Ottawa Senators hockey team president
- Robert Henry Lindsay - painter
- John Matheson - Member of Parliament and judge; moved to Brockville as an adult
- Alyn McCauley - player with Toronto Maple Leafs
- James Motluk - documentary filmmaker who graduated from Thousand Islands Secondary School in 1981
- Portia Perez - women's professional wrestler
- Rachel Perry - former MuchMusic VJ and host on VH1
- Nathan Phillips - Mayor of Toronto
- Shon Seung-wan - singer from South Korean girl group Red Velvet
- Randy Sexton - general manager of the Ottawa Senators and St. Lawrence University alumnus
- Frances Ford Seymour - mother of Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda, wife of Henry Fonda
- Kelly Thornton - theatre director
In Spanish: Brockville para niños
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