Travel Guides to Canada

2016 Travel Guide to Canada

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 89 of 163

TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA D o you know the story of Brockville? It is centuries old; set along the St. Lawrence River and an access point to the world famous Thousand Islands. Taking its name from Sir Isaac Brock—a British Army offi cer known for his heroics in the War of 1812—Brockville was the fi rst incorporated city in Upper Canada. It's the mighty St. Lawrence that shaped the area's physical and cultural landscape, both past and present. In days gone by, the river was an important route for ships travelling inland toward the Great Lakes. Today, that weighty maritime history will be celebrated in two major, family-friendly ways—the opening of Aquatarium, Brockville's new anchor attraction, and the autumn arrival of masted sailing vessels for the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016. Debuting this spring, Aquatarium is a hands-on, interactive discovery centre built to reveal the wonders of the Thousand Islands' unique history, culture and ecosystems ( ). There is a menu of 17 unique Aquatarium experiences. The colourful history of the waterway is told through exhibits about pirates and shipwrecks— including reconstructions of ships that have sunk in the area. Brockville boasts some of the best freshwater diving in the world. There is fun and games at the heart of the Aquatarium too. A full ropes course recreates climbing the rigging of a sailing vessel. Getting down from the four-storey rigging climb can be just as exciting—hop on a slide or cinch a harness tight, walk the plank and take the tethered quick jump to the ground fl oor. For nature enthusiasts it doesn't get any better than the centre's three large aquari- um tanks mimicking the habitats of the river, lake and shoreline environments— including the view from an underwater tunnel. Otters frolic in another expansive, custom-designed habitat. The centre's Green Screen experiences mimic a boat trip on the St. Lawrence, a major weather event and a helicopter ride over the Thousand Islands Bridge. Visitors play a role in their own adventure and have the fi nal fi lm copy emailed directly to their inbox. This fall Brockville will be the site of a magical event that transforms the water- front around Blockhouse Island. Over the weekend of September 16 to 18, Tall Ships Brockville is the last port of call for the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016. The boom of cannon fi re will welcome at least seven of the majestic sailing vessels to port at the Parade of Sail before they tie up at dock and welcome visitors aboard. The event is free although deck tours, cruises and dinner charters will require special ticketing. Visitors will quickly discover there is action on land as well as on the vessels. Re-enactments, historic encampments, entertainment and nautical demonstrations will speak to the heritage of the St. Lawrence River communities. The nighttime water- front will become a festival of lights as the rigging and masts glow with the twinkle of fi ne lights. Overhead, fi reworks will wrap up the experience—a perfect ending to a perfect autumn weekend in Brockville ( www. ). BLoCKHoUSe iSLanD, BroCKViLLe • DaVe MaCKie THE CALL OF BROCKVILLE'S WATERFRONT BY JOSEPHINE MATYAS ONTARIO

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Travel Guides to Canada - 2016 Travel Guide to Canada