Brockville, City of the 1000 Islands
Located in the heart of the 1000 Islands and St. Lawrence Seaway, Brockville is a beautiful historic waterfront town that attracts visitors from around the world.
In a community of 24,000 people, Brockville is a city with hometown charm. The City of Brockville has the same services and amenities that can be found in larger suburban centres while enjoying the benefits of a community-oriented atmosphere. The city works hard to maintain the heritage feel found in the downtown area while keeping up on growth and competition throughout the other parts of the city.
Come and visit, but be warned, once you discover the charm of Brockville and succumb to the City’s hospitality, you will want to stay longer! One of the most picturesque areas in the world, Brockville is host to countless festivals, events and fun activities for visitors to enjoy. The Brockville and 1000 Islands Tourism Office is open year round to help you plan your stay.
A Brief History of Brockville
Brockville has its roots in the first wave of Loyalist refugees displaced from their homes during the years of the American Revolution, 1776-1783. In the summer of 1784, the first of these disbanded soldiers and their families arrived by bateaux and set-up camp in the area known today as Johnstown. They gathered and drew for their land grants. In the summer of 1784, William Buell landed at the mouth of the creek now known as Buell’s Creek. Buell, a native of Hebron, Connecticut, was 33 years old and a former officer in the King’s Rangers, one of the Loyalist regiments.
Buell and other families settled in the area including the Charles and Daniel Jones. The Jones and Buells were responsible for the pattern of early development in our city. In 1808, it was decided that a central location was needed for the courthouse and jail for the districts known as Johnstown and Elizabethtown. All three landowners were eager to give a piece of land to the government to re-locate to the area. The high ground on Buell’s land, where the present Leeds-Grenville Courthouse stands, was chosen. This proved to be perhaps the step that sealed the future prosperity of this settlement.
A large courthouse and jail were erected and a wide avenue was laid out down to the river. It wasn’t long before the inhabitants of the growing community began to seek a name that would be distinct from that of the Township of Elizabethtown. We find that officially Brockville is referred to by name as early as August 10, 1812 in a report sent to Major General Isaac Brock by Col. Lethbridge of Kingston who reported having just returned from Prescott and “Brockville”.
On January 28th 1832, Brockville became the first incorporated village in Upper Canada to receive the status of a self-governing community. In 2007, we celebrated our 175th Anniversary.
Coat of Arms
In 1966, the City of Brockville was granted a Coat of Arms from the Royal College of Arms in England. The shield colours of white and blue are the colours of the Brockville Rowing Club, while the wavy bars represent the community’s connection with the St. Lawrence River. Of the three beehives, the first comes from the old town seal as did the motto “Industria, Intelligentia et Prosperitas”; the second and third beehives represent Commerce and Industry.
The lion and eagle supporters appear in the Coat of Arms of Sir Isaac Brock, the 1812 war hero, for whom the city was named. The crest atop the helmet denotes the city’s rifle regiment, the Brockville Rifles.
In May of 1967, the City of Brockville passed a by-law adopting the new Seal, the City of Brockville Flag, the Citizen’s Flag and the Mayor’s Banner.