Dundurn has published Canadian history for forty years on everything from the history of Canada’s food to its towns and cities. Brockville: The River City by Russ Disotell is a small book but gives a comprehensive and concise history of this important city.
For thousands of years indigenous people lived along the shores of the St. Lawrence River at the site that is now called Brockville. The fertile lands and abundant hunting grounds along the main highway, the St. Lawrence River, made it an ideal place to live.
English speakers first came to this area in 1785, when thousands of American refugees fled from the American Revolutionary War. The colonists were later called United Empire Loyalists for their political position supporting continued relationship with King George III.
The site grew quickly as the refuges poured in and went though several names but was officially designated “Brockville” in the summer of 1812 in honour of General Isaac Brock, who was tragically killed in the War of 1812-14 at the battle of Queenston Heights.