October 2017

Refurbished Brockville Railway Tunnel Receiving Many Accolades

Brockville, Ontario – October 16, 2017: The refurbished Brockville Railway Tunnel opened end-to-end for resident and visitor traffic to much fanfare Saturday, August 12, 2017. The opening included an exciting parade, which followed the route used for the 1854 cornerstone-laying of the tunnel travelling from Court House Square to the tunnel’s south portal. Well attended opening ceremonies followed the parade. The tunnel opening was part of Brockville’s Canada 150 weekend festival titled “Rails to Trails”. The festival drew huge crowds which saw over 25,000 of them tour the tunnel the Saturday and Sunday following the tunnel’s opening.


December 4 to March 30: Closed for winter.
The Tunnel will re-open for 2018 on Saturday, March 31, 2018
Opening ceremonies commencing at 11:00 AM
Tunnel will then be open daily from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.


The restored Canada’s First Railway Tunnel was opened too much fanfare August 12, 2017. Residents and visitor traffic was brisk with much congratulatory feedback. Jackie Hribernik of Toronto writes, “Every year, my family of 11 chooses a place to visit for our Thanksgiving weekend. This year, a radio station from Toronto posted on Facebook the Brockville Railway Tunnel and I decided that that would be a nice thing for us to see as a family. We had an amazing time! Everyone absolutely loved the tunnel, the colours, the music. A phenomenal job was done to renovate it!”. Just one of many such accolades.


The dazzling light show highlights the features of the tunnel, especially the colourful and sometimes spooky mineral deposits on the walls. The fully programmable, multi-coloured LED lighting technology is by Philips Lighting, a renowned world-wide organization. The installation and programming of the lights and sound is by David Bouwers, owner and CEO of Ford Electric, Brockville. At this time, the light show is on a 90 minute cycle with 5 minutes of white light, then 5 minutes of a colour show, interspersed with train sounds and light running the tunnel’s length at 15 minute intervals.


The same Philips Lighting technology, with an outdoor casing, has been installed outside along the face of the tunnel’s south portal. This highlights the tunnel’s signature south portal wall after the tunnel closes each evening.


Construction at the north entrance was also undertaken during the fall of 2017. The ramp, which exits the gorge area, has been re-graded to a constant rise meeting OADA standards, Curbs have been added along with light standards up the pathway. Paving of the ramp will be completed in the spring of 2018.


The tunnel will be available for special events or guided tours, at a fee, even during the winter months as the tunnel does not freeze and stays at 55 degrees Fahrenheit/12 Celsius. If any organization wishes to host a special event while the tunnel is open or during the winter months, they can contact the Railway Tunnel Committee at


The tunnel committee remains active with short term activities including some signage and longer term Phase II planning for the old railway lands beside the north gorge. In addition work is progressing to see a tour train operate from the Tunnel’s south portal to transport visitors around town and to other interesting Brockville facilities and sites.


The Railway Tunnel Committee’s web site contains additional information.


Or please contact:

David LeSueur

Councillor – City of Brockville

Chair, City of Brockville Railway Tunnel Committee

613-803-5501 -

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