Incorporated in 1832, Brockville is one of Canada’s oldest municipalities and one of its oldest railway centres. The Grand Trunk Railway connected Brockville and Montreal in 1855. Canada’s First Railway Tunnel, part of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway, was built here between 1854 and 1860. This historic Tunnel was completed 21 years before construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway even began and predates all of the rail tunnels in the Western Rockies. Controversial for its time, our Tunnel was a major feat of engineering and it remains a remarkable example of Canada’s pre-Confederation industrial heritage.
At 525 metres (1722 feet) long, the Tunnel now features a smooth concrete travel surface and state-of-the-art energy efficient LED lighting. A programmable light show highlights the Tunnel’s engineering, architectural, and geological features.
It also features a state-of-the art sound system; safety, security and fire protection systems; rest areas and benches; a ventilation system; wayfinding and education signage; and public wi-fi access. Canada’s First railway Tunnel is now a bright, smooth, safe and fully accessible experience for all ages!
The north end gorge features an accessible ramp to enable pedestrians and people using wheelchairs to travel through the Tunnel south to Armagh Sifton Price Park at Brockville’s waterfront.