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TALL SHIPS 1812 Tour in Brockville

The St. Lawrence River has always been an important transportation route.

During the War of 1812 the Upper St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Kingston provided the lifeline for the defenders of Upper Canada. Every regular soldier, sailor and weapon needed in the province passed through this waterway, which acted as a superhighway into the interior of the continent. Brigs, schooners and sloops would have all been common ships on our waters in 1812.

The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour is a pan provincial event that will travel throughout Ontario during the summer of 2013, commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.  Brockville is the First Port of Call on the province-wide tour, hosting one of the biggest fleets this summer.

It all begins on June 14-16, 2013. This blockbuster event will feature 13 ships, special vessels from the Clayton Antique Boat Museum, as well as Dinner Charters and Sail outs on the Empire Sandy. Even the replica HMS St. Lawrence II will be a part of the modern celebrations.

A special free music performance by the Great Lake Swimmers will be given aboard the Brigantine Fair Jeanne on June 14 at 9 PM followed by fireworks atop of the newly constructed skyscraper, Tall Ships Landing.

Flames of War, a multi media “fusion” of video, sound, music, drama and dance, will tell visitors the story of the War of 1812. A Parks Canada exhibit will provide a backdrop on the conflict.

The weekend will also feature heritage programming such as the Akwesasne Travel Troupe, a period military encampment, and a sneak preview of the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival’s newly commissioned play, “Maid for a Musket.”

The Great Waterway, a Regional Tourism Organization who promotes and invests in tourism from Quinte West to the Quebec border, has acquired a hot air balloon that will fly high above the skies of The Great Waterway and Ottawa this summer. The official launch will be commemorated by a ribbon burning ceremony at the Brockville TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour in Reynolds Park on Friday, June 14 at 3:30pm. Complimentary tethered rides will be available weather permitting.


Two other major events will also be held over the monumental weekend. The fourth annual 1000 Islands Wine and Food Festival will take place at the Brockville Memorial Centre on June 14-15. And Diana Panton will perform at the1000 Islands Jazz & Blues Festival on June 15 at the Brockville Arts Centre.


From June 14th to September 2nd the Tall Ships will travel to 16 Ontario ports, including Brockville, Toronto, Hamilton, Port Dalhousie, Sault Ste. Marie, Owen Sound, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Penetanguishene, Midland, Discovery Harbour, Windsor, Amherstburg, Leamington, Kingsville and Pelee Island. This exciting summer of waterfront entertainment is produced in partnership with the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2013 series.

Passports to access the ships at the Brockville event will go on sale this April and cost $12 each. Tickets for the dinner charters are $75 per person and take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Sail outs cost $30 per person and will be available June 15 and 16 from noon to 5 PM.

For more information visit 


By Alicia Wanless

As the Bicentennial Manager for the St. Lawrence War of 1812 Bicentennial Alliance, Alicia Wanless is helping to market many great events in Eastern Ontario over the next three years. A business developer and marketer in Eastern Ontario, Alicia's focus has been on branding, market research and creative campaigns for gaining attention. Before joining the Alliance, Alicia helped small businesses grow through her cottage industry @CrowderHouse.  Alicia also sits on the board for the Spencerville Mill Foundation and the Township of Edwardsburgh-Cardinal's Community Development Committee.

The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour in Brockville kicks off a month of heritage programming in the region. Between June 14 and July 14, Eastern Ontario will host the Spencerville Heritage Fair and a Thousand Islands Flotilla moving from Bath to Morrisburg culminating in the bicentennial of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm. For more information on those events or other ideas see A Guide to Time Travel at

  • "Peacemaker"Photo courtesy Tall Ships Brockville

  • "Empire Sandy" Photo courtesy Tall Ships Brockville

  • "Unicorn" Photo courtesy Tall Ships Brockville

  • "Mist of Avalon" Photo courtesy Tall Ships Brockville


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Comment by: LyndaCrothers ( )
Left at: 6:15 AM Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Nice story, very exciting Tall Ships are just so beautiful , and when in full sail on the River Special.