Events | Brockville Railway Tunnel



RAILWAY TUNNEL POSTERBrockville celebrates:

the opening of Canada’s first Railway Tunnel and Canada’s 150th birthday with a...

  • Parade
  • Tunnel Opening Ceremonies
  • A “Rails to Trails” Festival
  • all in conjunction with Brockville RibFest


Park and ride shuttles running daily from the Brockville Memorial Centre and Brockville Shopping Centre to the Festival.  Please see event website for more details.

The Parade

Date: Saturday, August 12, 2017
Parade Start: 10:30 AM
Parade Route: Court House, West on Church, South on John Street, East on King, South W. Market

bagpipe bandThe route is the same as used for the parade celebrating the laying of the Tunnel’s corner-stone in 1854. Come celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and the re-opening, from end-to-end, of Canada’s 1st Railway Tunnel. The parade will include many identities of the original parade PLUS many of Brockville’s tourism highlights. AND a number of BANDS! Yes, if you like music, you will love the multiple bands being lined up. There will be something for everyone; history, music, tourism, first responders, fun, clowns, contractors .. and more.


Tunnel Opening Ceremonies

Following the parade, tunnel opening ceremonies will be held at the tunnel’s south portal in Armagh S. Price Park at Brockville’s Tunnel Bay area.

tunnel constructionThe tunnel restoration has been underway since August, 2016. Once complete, Brockville residents and visitors will be able to walk end-to-end in a clean, well-lit environment and on a concrete pathway. The creative concept of the dynamic Philips Architectural Lighting System will highlight the inner beauty of the tunnel and transform it into a stunning visual walkway.  The restored tunnel celebrates Canadian history and provides a unique experience by the running of the "Philips Light Show" 365 days a year.

The character of the tunnel will remain. The north and south portions are beautifully lined with stone and the center section is still open with craggy rock surfaces where the early contractors blasted through the solid granite.

The Opening Ceremony Will Occur: Saturday, August 12, 2017 At 11:30 AM (Approx.)

Following the opening ceremonies, everyone will be able to proceed through the tunnel, as many times as you wish.

Rails to Trails Festival

CELEBRATE CANADA'S 150 at the BIGGEST WATERFRONT FESTIVAL in the Thousand Islands region.

We've packed a bunch of fun into four fabulous days in beautiful Brockville, overlooking the mighty St. Lawrence River.

Pick one Rails to Trails Festival attraction or pick them all, there's something for everyone!

Rails To Trails

As part of these Canada 150 celebrations plan to attend the official re-opening of Canada's First Railway Tunnel starting at 11:30am August 12th.  Get there early to watch the Tunnel Opening Parade starting at 10:30am leaving from Court House Square.  Following the opening ceremonies tour the 525 metre long tunnel with its exciting new Philips Light Show.

Experience a vintage carnival complete with rides, games, and Tropical Terror snake show.  Bring your bike for a guided slow ride along the beautiful Brock Trail. Enjoy ONTARIO 150 Tour action with the axe swinging, saw-pulling, and poll climbing of the West Coast Lumberjack Show. Raise your heart beat with the interactive breakdance-filled performance by Rhythym of the Nation.  Be amazed at the World's Largest Rubber Duck, six stories and eleven tons of floating cuteness.  Plus a finger-licking Ribfest a short stroll away.  Get On Board!

Rails to Trails will run: Thursday through Sunday August 10 – 13, 2017

Come join the fun; parade, tunnel opening and Canada 150 celebrations.


Ribfest LogoThe weekend “Kitchen” is Ribfest 2017, being brought to you by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Come watch the Tunnel opening and Canada 150 parade; then take part in the Tunnel opening ceremonies, including being one of the first to walk through the rejuvenated Canada’s First Railway Tunnel. Then drop over to Hardy Park for a great RibFest lunch or dinner … or both!

RibFest will operate at Brockville’s Hardy Park:

Thursday through Sunday August 10 – 13, 2017

Check the Brockville RibFest Web site for times when the ribbers will be serving:



Canada 150

FedDev Ontario

1000 Islands Community Development Corporation

Grenville Community Futures Development corporation

Community Foundations of Canada


Ontario Trillium Foundation

City of Brockville

phillips logo

canarm logo

bmo logo

burnbrae logo


ford electric

rotary brockville

northern cables

collett surveying


henderson printing

apex logistics

amazing places logo

see all our donors