Formerly known as Elizabethtown, the gorgeous city of Brockville is located in Eastern Ontario. It is a politically independent city even though it currently serves as the seat of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. It is also often referred to as the “City of the 1000 Islands,” as it is located in the Thousand Islands region. The place is also home to Canada’s first railway tunnel that was later transformed into an LED-lit tunnel with lively music for pedestrians.
Besides enjoying all the modern facilities of Ontario, the residents here can also enjoy plenty of arts and recreation opportunities, social gathering events, and enhanced healthcare system, and a top-notch educational system. There are year-round family-friendly festivals, boating, art exhibitions, sports, skating, hiking, and scuba diving options, among other recreational activities. The “age-friendly” initiative from local authorities is also a well-appreciated plan that aims to include and accommodate people of all ages.
Additionally, the Newcomers Club invites new residents to mingle with existing ones and participate in a wide array of social activities. This place is perfect for active and outdoorsy families who want to enjoy the serenity of a closeted city without giving up on any of the modern amenities. Let’s see what else Brockville, Ontario has to offer to the residents.
What Are the Pros of Living in Brockville, Ontario?
This city has a lot to bring to the table for the residents and newcomers alike. From versatile outdoor activities to well-maintained city operations, the wide array of benefits is a fitting choice for newlyweds and large families. Let’s see the list of benefits that this place has to offer at your disposal.
The Welcome Wagon
Your Brockville experience starts the day you step into your new home. The Brockville Newcomers Club invites new residents to join hands with the community and get familiar with their neighborhoods to find everything they need. This is an amazing option considering one of the biggest challenges of moving to a new location is the lack of local knowledge. So, no need to fret about that in this area, as you can quickly make new connections, contacts, and friends that will help ease the transition to a new home.
You can join this club within the first week of your arrival or within five years since you moved in. The club will always welcome you and offer social activities suited for men and women alike. Whether you want to befriend like-minded active people or literary and sedentary friends, there is something for everyone at this club.
Since this city is located between Montreal and Toronto on Highway 401, the residents can access several metropolitan hubs, such as Toronto, Windsor, and Detroit. Moreover, this highway also connects to Interstate 81 that leads directly to New York in the US. Ottawa is also an hour away from this conveniently located city. You can also use the same highway to go to Northern Ontario. Therefore, the residents can quickly gain access to all the modern amenities within two hours.
The residents can also enjoy scenic views of the St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands from the shoreline. You can also access the US by two International bridges. However, you will need to have the right documents to pass through the border legally.
Arts and Recreation
The thriving arts community in this place will entice those who have an artistic side and want to spend more time with other artists. You will find everything here from contemporary art galleries to local art exhibitions. The famous Brockville Arts Center is a hub of masterpieces from local artists and famous international ones. This arts center is also considered to be among the best mid-sized theaters in Canada, and it can easily accommodate up to 700 guests without any issues. You can catch amazing plays here and enjoy skits, theatrical performances, concerts, and art exhibitions throughout the year.
You will also find the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve near the magnificent St. Lawrence River. This is one of the UNESCO World Biospheres in the nation and serves as the perfect attraction to visit with your family and kids. There are different outdoor activities here, and you can go biking, trekking, picnicking, or swimming in this biosphere.
The 27,000 square foot aquarium that resides in the heart of Brockville is also an amazing place for families and singles alike. The Aquatarium lets you discover the true beauty of the 1000 Islands, and it offers an unparalleled immersive experience that brings a lot of visitors here on an annual basis. You can enjoy the aquatic life from a fish’s eye view with underwater immersion and guided tours of the place.
If you are interested in parks, you should know that this city is home to many waterfront parks that offer scenic views, outdoor recreational activities, and an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family. Here are the most famous parks and trails in this city:
- The Brock Trail
- St. Lawrence Park
- Centeen Park
- Blockhouse Island
- Hardy Park
- Rotary Park
These parks are not only senior-friendly and kid-friendly but also offer full-service campsite for out-of-town RVers who can hook up their RVs here and enjoy the view.
Are you looking for some family-oriented festivals, events, and activities to do in this city? Well, lucky for you, the authorities pay special attention to making sure that there are plenty of family-oriented and family-themed events throughout the year. From live music concerts for kids to paint classes in the park, the authorities ensure that all the different members of the house find something exciting to do together and strengthen the family ties.
The families can also participate in boating, canoeing, fishing, and sailing during the right season and come together as one in the open waters. There are also guided tours of the lake where families can go together and have a memorable dinner on top of a yacht during nighttime. It is one of the best family-friendly activities to do in the city, and it is quite affordable for all families.
What Are the Cons of Living in Brockville, Ontario?
There are several cons that the city is dealing with right now. These might be a problem for the residents, but maybe an issue for outsiders who are accustomed to other cities and their respective cultures. Let’s see the cons of living in this place.
Lack of Good Transportation Systems
If you want to move here, you must start thinking about getting a car if you don’t already own one. The inter-city transport system is not as active as it should be. Moreover, the total budget for the maintenance of this system is $32 million, and it is not enough to accommodate the needs of everyone in the place.
There are only three bus stops in the area, which will take you from downtown to some of the major hubs across the city. The subway is also continually under maintenance, and the residents have to rely on their vehicles to get around the city.
Not Suitable for Young People
The town is an excellent choice for retirees and families but not a good place for young and lively people who are looking to get more out of their nighttime activities. If you are a young millennial and are looking to call this place your home, you should know that the nightlife here is not as active as in some major cities across the nation. The handful of bars and pubs downtown are rundown, and these offer very little entertainment value to active and lively people.
Vandalism and Shenanigans
The kids here are also known to cause shenanigans, and the local law enforcement authorities are continuously trying their best to stop the growing ratio of vandalism in the area. Most of the teenagers and youngsters in the area are deprived of any true fun due to the lack of good nightlife activities. Therefore, these kids often indulge in vandalism activities and harmless shenanigans that are nothing more than the kids acting out.
What Do We Have to Say?
You will rarely see a homeless person in this place as the city council tries its best to take care of everyone and offer affordable housing options and meal options for everyone. Besides the occasional shenanigans from the younger population, this place is almost ideal for families with kids or retirees looking for an active and peaceful place to settle down.
Most of the retirees and adults become members of the Brockville Country Club and spend their day networking and staying active with plenty of age-friendly activities in the club. The lake offers water-based activities that families can do together, such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and sailing when the season is right. It can be a great place to live for those who are not looking for a vibrant nightlife but a peaceful and active environment to raise kids and settle down.