With a rich history dating back to the 1770s, Brockville and the surrounding region is now home to a wide range of historical sites and museums. Explore Brockville on foot and visit Brockville’s Designated Heritage Sites and Cultural Heritage Properties. Walk along The Brock Trail and read about the waterfront sites of historical significance. Along the trail, visit Brockville’s newest museum and waterfront attraction, the Aquatarium; enter Canada’s Oldest Railway Tunnel; and step into the Brockville Museum. Visit Fulford Place National Historic Site (the home of millionaire George Fulford, the creator of “Pink Pills for Pale People”), and even fire a canon at Fort Wellington National Historic Site.
Discover the 1000 Islands and St. Lawrence River at Brockville’s brand new attraction and waterfront museum, the Aquatarium. Experience interactive exhibits, shipwrecks, dive tank, aquarium, and otter habitat. With 27,000 square feet of immersive explorations, the Aquatarium is more than just an aquarium. We offer a full range of interactive exhibits and activities for kids in a comfortable environment. We inspire curiosity and critical thinking while offering engaging and entertaining adventures.With ongoing clubs and camps for youth, dive certification through a course in our state-of-the-art dive tank and the ability to host unforgettable special events aquarium and discovery centre on the shores of the St. Lawrence River! Our facility is open year round.
A visit to the Brockville Museum offers a glimpse into the social and industrial history of Ontario’s first incorporated town. Through a variety of thematic and interpretive displays the Brockville Museum shares the stories of the people who have shaped this riverfront community for over 200 years. Home to exhibits and displays on Brockville’s industrial and social past, we are focused primarily on the themes “Made in Brockville” and “The People of Brockville”. Our exhibition schedule includes temporary and travelling exhibits in addition to our more permanent displays.
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. He constructed Fulford Place, a 20,000-square-foot Edwardian mansion between 1899 and 1901. The original grounds were designed by Frederick Olmsted of the Olmsted landscaping firm, which also designed Central Park in New York City. Original tapestries, paintings, statuary and ceramics collected on the Fulfords’ world travels are on display throughout the period rooms and are featured in special exhibits. Fulford Place is open for tours throughout the year.
Incorporated in 1832, Brockville is one of Canada’s oldest municipalities and one of its oldest railway centres. The Grand Trunk Railway connected Brockville and Montreal in 1855. Canada’s First Railway Tunnel, part of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway, was build here between 1854 and 1860. This historic Tunnel was completed 21 years before construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway even began and predates all of the rail tunnels in the Western Rockies. Controversial for its time, our tunnel was a major feat of engineering and it remains a remarkable example of Canada’s pre-Confederation industrial heritage. The tunnel was in use for 110 years with the last train passing through the tunnel in 1969. The City acquired the tunnel from CPR in 1983 along with the north gorge and waterfront property in front of the tunnel’s south portal.
Explore multiple museums and historical sites all in one weekend during Doors Open. Brockville & the 1000 Islands take part in Doors Open annually at the end of May. 30 to 40 sites take part each year, opening their doors for the public to visit and explore for free. Many of the participating sites are otherwise not open to the public, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.
Cruise to the Castles
The 1000 Islands are home to two famous castles, Boldt Castle and Singer Castle. Accessible only by water, these two castle are open to the public in the summer months for tours. On select days take part in a full day 1000 islands cruise with two castle stop-overs. Cruises stopping at the castles are located in the United States and do require border crossing identification. Many of the cruise options will take you past the castles without stopping there, which is a great option if you don’t have your passport or you just want to see them from the boat.