Brockville, Ontario is fast becoming one of my favourite day trip locations.
Located about an hour’s drive south of Ottawa, the “City of the 1000 Islands” lies on the Northern shore of the Saint Lawrence River, opposite Upstate New York.
A revitalized historic downtown district anchors the city’s tourist industry. There are locally-owned shops, pubs and eateries lining King Street, the downtown core’s main thoroughfare.
This past weekend I stopped in at Tait’s Fresh Start for coffee and a snack. The atmosphere inside the store is friendly and there is open WiFi.
Blockhouse Island, the city’s most southern point, is a popular spot year-round. It’s a great place to watch the big boats pass by along the shipping lanes of the Saint Lawrence river. The marina is home to tall ships, a major tourist attraction.
Consider visiting Brockville’s historic downtown if you are looking to explore a new city in Eastern Ontario. I plan to make a few more visits through the warm summer months. The city has planned many events to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
On July 5th, I attended a CAN-AM League baseball game between the Rockland Boulders and the Capitales de Quebec.
I was particularly interested in checking out the Capitales home park, the Stade Municpal. which dates back to 1938. Under the government of Maurice Duplessis, construction was ordered to build a new baseball stadium during the great depression, creating 900 jobs during that difficult era.
The stadium is designed in a “Streamline Moderne” style, which conjures up an art-deco impression. Hank Aaron (who hit a home run) and Warren Spahn played here on exhibition tours. Gary Carter also spent a portion of his minor league career playing in this park.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me lately, with a change of jobs (more on that in a coming post) and adjusting to a new routine, so I haven’t been able to blog as often as I would like to.
With things being so hectic, I made sure to take advantage of the Easter long weekend and treat myself to a bit of fun, by making a quick overnight trip to Montreal.
I booked a hotel using Hotwire.com and rather than driving up and down the 417, I opted for a VIA Rail ticket for my trip to Montreal and a Greyhound Bus ticket on the way back. That was my first Greyhound experience, overall it was fine, but it wasn’t without its peculiarities.
Overall I had a solid 24 hours in the city. On Saturday afternoon, I climbed Mount Royal and enjoyed the view from the lookout, then headed to Les 3 Brasseurs to take in the Habs game. On Sunday, I had a smoked meat sandwich at Dunn’s, visited a big Cathedral and then rode the Metro to visit my old neighbourhood.
One observation: I noticed that as I walked around downtown Montreal, there seemed to be free wifi offered just about everywhere, including public spaces and‚ night time‚ bars. I’d love to see more of that in Ottawa, but maybe it’s already here and I just haven’t noticed.
It was nice to get back to Montreal, even though it’s only a couple of hours away, I don’t get there nearly enough. Visiting the city is a great way to treat yourself to a mini-vacation.
Made a quick overnight trip to Montreal this weekend to celebrate a pair of birthdays with friends.
I was in the city for less than 24 hours, but still managed to eat a ridiculous amount of delicious but incredibly unhealthy food.
Saturday night’s meal was the Smoked Meat Platter at Dunn’s.
Medium Montreal-style smoked meat, a healthy serving of fries, rye bread, coleslaw and a pickle. The service was fast. We must have gotten our food within three minutes of having placed the order.
Sunday lunch took me to a Belle Province outlet located in St.-Henri, at the corner of Notre-Dame and Atwater. Found this place by accident years ago and now make sure to stop in on every trip to Montreal.