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City (single-tier)
City of Brantford
Official logo of Brantford
Nickname(s): The Telephone City
Brantford is located in Southern Ontario
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Brant (independent)
Established May 31, 1877
 • Mayor Chris Friel
 • Governing Body Brantford City Council
 • MP Phil McColeman (Conservative)
 • MPP Dave Levac (Liberal)
 • Land 72.47 km2 (27.98 sq mi)
 • Metro 1,073.11 km2 (414.33 sq mi)
Elevation 248 m (814 ft)
Population (2011)[1][2]
 • City (single-tier) 93,650 (54th)
 • Density 1,292.3/km2 (3,347/sq mi)
 • Metro 135,501 (30th)
 • Metro density 126.3/km2 (327/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code span N3P, N3R, N3S, N3T, N3V
Area code(s) 519/226

Brantford is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada, founded on the Grand River. Modern Highway 403 connects it to Woodstock in the west and Hamilton in the east; and Highway 24 connects to Cambridge to the north and Simcoe to the south. It is the seat of Brant County, but it is politically separate with a government independent of the county.

Brantford is sometimes known as the "Telephone City": former city resident Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone at his father's home, the Bell Homestead. In 1876 he conducted the first long-distance telephone call, making it from Brantford to Paris, Ontario.

Brantford is also the birthplace of hockey player Wayne Gretzky, comedian Phil Hartman, as well as Group of Seven member Lawren Harris. Brantford is named after Joseph Brant, an important Mohawk chief during the American Revolutionary War and later, who led his people in their first decades in Upper Canada. Many of his and other First Nations citizens live on the neighbouring reserve of Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, the most populous reserve in Ontario.


  • History 1
    • Historic sites 1.1
  • Economy 2
  • Climate 3
  • Demographics 4
    • Film and television 4.1
  • Education 5
    • Universities and colleges 5.1
    • Secondary schools 5.2
    • Elementary schools 5.3
    • Other 5.4
  • Political organization 6
  • Media 7
    • Print 7.1
    • Radio 7.2
    • Television 7.3
  • Transportation 8
    • Air 8.1
    • Rail 8.2
    • Bus 8.3
    • Provincial highways 8.4
  • Culture and entertainment 9
  • Brantford Public Library 10
  • Sports teams and tournaments 11
    • Current intercounty or major teams 11.1
    • Defunct teams 11.2
    • Events 11.3
  • People 12
  • Municipal twinning 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


Brant County Courthouse in Brantford

The Iroquoian-speaking Attawandaron, known in English as the Neutral Nation, lived in the Grand River valley area before the 17th century; their main village and seat of the chief, Kandoucho, was identified by 19th-century historians as having been located on the Grand River where present-day Brantford developed. This town, like the rest of their settlements, was destroyed when the Iroquois declared war in 1650 over the fur trade and exterminated the Neutral nation.[3]

In 1784, Captain Joseph Brant and the Six Nations Indians of the Iroquois Confederacy left New York State for Canada. As a reward for their loyalty to the British Crown, they were given a large land grant, referred to as the Haldimand Tract, on the Grand River. The original Mohawk settlement was on the south edge of the present-day city at a location favourable for landing canoes. Brant's crossing of the river gave the original name to the area: Brant's ford. By 1847, European settlers began to settle further up the river at a ford in the Grand River and named their village Brantford. The Mohawk Chapel, built in the original Mohawk settlement, is Ontario's oldest Protestant church. Brantford was incorporated as a city in 1877.

The history of the Brantford region from 1793 to 1920 is described at length in the book At The Forks of The Grand.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, both the United States and Canadian governments encouraged education of First Nations children at Indian boarding schools, which were intended to teach them English and European-American ways and assimilate them to the majority cultures. These institutions in Western New York and Canada included the Thomas Indian School, Mohawk Institute Residential School (also known as Mohawk Manual Labour School and Mush Hole Indian Residential School) in Brantford, Southern Ontario, Haudenosaunee boarding school, and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Decades later and particularly since the late 20th century, numerous scholarly and artistic works have explored the detrimental effects of the schools in destroying Native cultures. Examples include: the film Unseen Tears: A Documentary on Boarding School Survivors,[4] Ronald James Douglas' graduate thesis titled Documenting Ethnic Cleansing in North America: Creating Unseen Tears,[5] and the Legacy of Hope Foundation's online media collection: "Where are the Children? Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools".[6]

Historic sites

Brantford's First Nations and European-Canadian development began in the 18th century with the arrival of the Six Nations tribes from New York State, and the later arrival of colonists and European immigrants. A number of historic monuments have been erected within the city marking those events and Brantford's contributions to the Commonwealth's defense of the realm.

Among the Anglo-Canadian residents were Alexander Graham Bell and his family, whose first residence in North America was a farmhouse on Tutela Heights (named after the First Nations tribe which settled the area[7] and later absorbed into Brantford.) Bell invented the telephone here in July 1874, later building his first working model in Boston. He developed early improvements to it in 1876.

As part of the invention and development of the telephone, Canada's first telephone factory was built here, and the city was called "Brantford, The Telephone City". Associated with those events in the present day are the Bell family's museum home on Tutela Heights Road, Melville House, now called the Bell Homestead National Historic Site, and the Bell Telephone Memorial (below), dedicated by the Governor General of Canada in 1917 to mark the invention of the telephone in Brantford.

A majestic, broad monument with figures mounted on pedestals to its left and right sides. Along the main portion of the monument are five figures mounted on a broad casting, including a man reclining, plus four floating female figures representing Inspiration, Knowledge, Joy, and Sorrow.
The Bell Telephone Memorial, commemorating the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. The monument, paid by public subscription and sculpted by W.S. Allward, was dedicated by the Governor General of Canada, Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire with Dr. Bell in The Telephone City's Alexander Graham Bell Gardens in 1917. Included on the main tableau are figures representing "Man, the Inventor," "Inspiration whispering to Man, his power to transmit sound through space," as well as "Knowledge, Joy, Sorrow." Courtesy: Brantford Heritage Inventory

Brantford generated controversy in 2010 when its city council took the controversial step of expropriating and demolishing 41 historic downtown buildings on the south side of its main street, Colborne Street. These buildings constituted one of the longest blocks of pre-Confederation architecture in Canada. Included in the list of demolitions were one of Ontario's first grocery stores and an early 1890s office of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada, now Bell Canada. This decision was highly controversial and was widely criticized by Ontario's heritage preservation community.[8][9]


The electric telephone was invented here, leading to the establishment of Canada's first telephone factory here in the 1870s. Brantford developed as an important Canadian industrial centre for the first half of the 20th century, and it was once the third-ranked Canadian city in terms of cash-value of manufactured goods exported.

The city developed at the deepest navigable point of the Grand River. Because of existing networks, it became a railroad hub of Southern Ontario. The combination of water and rail helped Brantford develop from a farming community into an industrial city with many blue-collar jobs, based on the agriculture implement industry. Major companies included Massey-Harris, Verity Plow, and the Cockshutt Plow Company. This industry, more than any other, provided the well-paying and steady employment that allowed Brantford to sustain economic growth through most of the 20th century.

By the 1980s and 1990s, the economy of Brantford was in steady decline due to changes in heavy industry and its restructuring. Numerous companies suffered bankruptcies, such as White Farm Equipment, Massey-Ferguson (and its successor, Massey Combines Corporation), Koering-Waterous, Harding Carpets, and other manufacturers. The bankruptcies and closures of the businesses left thousands of people unemployed and created one of the most economically depressed areas in the country. It took a long time for the economy to recover and rebuild in new directions. In the early 21st century, an influx of new companies moving to the area has brought the unemployment rate down to 7.4%, which is below the national rate.[10]

The Brantford to Ancaster section of Highway 403 was completed in 1997, in part to create an increased incentive for businesses to locate in Brantford because of easy access to Hamilton and Toronto. This was along the quickest route through southern Ontario between Detroit and Buffalo. In 2004 Procter & Gamble and Ferrero SpA chose to locate in the city. Though Wescast Industries, Inc. recently closed their local foundry, their corporate headquarters will remain in Brantford. SC Johnson Canada has their headquarters and a manufacturing plant in Brantford, connected to the Canadian National network. On February 16, 2005, Brant, including Brantford, was added to the Greater Golden Horseshoe along with Haldimand and Northumberland counties.



Brantford's 2011 population was 93,650 people according to the 2011 census.[12]

Visible minority and Aboriginal population (Canada 2011 Census)
Population group Population % of total population
White 81,035 88.1%
Visible minority group
South Asian 1,640 1.8%
Chinese 710 0.8%
Black 1,550 1.7%
Filipino 450 0.5%
Latin American 365 0.4%
Arab 575 0.6%
Southeast Asian 740 0.8%
West Asian 80 0.1%
Korean 285 0.3%
Japanese 95 0.1%
Visible minority, n.i.e. 100 0.1%
Multiple visible minority 255 0.3%
Total visible minority population 6,850 7.4%
Aboriginal group
First Nations 3,565 3.9%
Métis 355 0.4%
Inuit 0 0%
Aboriginal, n.i.e. 95 0.1%
Multiple Aboriginal identity 55 0.1%
Total Aboriginal population 4,090 4.4%
Total population in private households 91,975 100%

Film and television

Brantford has been used as a filming location for TV and films.


Statistics from the Federal 2006 Census indicated that 72% of Brantford's adult residents had earned either a certificate, diploma, or university degree.[19]

Universities and colleges

Brantford campus of Nipissing University

Several post-secondary institutions have facilities in Brantford.

  • Laurier Brantford, a campus of Wilfrid Laurier University, offers a variety of programs at their downtown campus.[20] The 2013-14 enrollment is 2,800 full-time students.
    • The Faculty of Liberal Arts includes Contemporary Studies, Journalism, History, English, Youth and Children’s Studies, Human Rights and Human Diversity, Languages at Brantford and Law and Society programs. The Faculty of Human and Social Sciences includes Criminology, Health Studies, Psychology and Leadership.
    • The Faculty of Social Work includes the Bachelor of Social Work.
    • The Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies includes Social Justice and Community Engagement (MA) and Criminology (MA)
    • The School of Business and Economics includes Business Technology Management.
  • Nipissing University, in partnership with Laurier Brantford, offers the Concurrent Education program in Brantford. In five years, students achieve an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Society, Culture & Environment from Laurier Brantford, and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University.[21] During the 2013-14 academic year there were 70 full-time and 100 part-time students in the program.
  • Conestoga College offer academic programming in Brantford’s downtown core in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University and its Laurier Brantford campus. Conestoga College offer diplomas in Business and Health Office Administration, a graduate certificate in Human Resources Management and a certificate in Medical Office Practice in Brantford.[22] This program has 120 full-time students in the 2013-14 academic year.
  • Mohawk College, a tribally controlled college, had a satellite campus offering programs; however, the college ceased operations in Brantford at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.[23]

Secondary schools

Public education in the area is managed by the Grand Erie District School Board, and Catholic education is managed by the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board.

Elementary schools

Public education in the area is managed by the Grand Erie District School Board, and Catholic education is managed by the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board and the Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud.

  • Christ The King School (Catholic)[24]
  • St. Peter School (Catholic)
  • Holy Cross School (Catholic)
  • St. Basil Catholic Elementary School (Catholic)
  • Jean Vanier Catholic Elementary School (Catholic)
  • Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School (Catholic)
  • St. Pius X Catholic Elementary School (Catholic)
  • St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School (Catholic)
  • Our Lady of Providence Catholic Elementary School (Catholic)
  • Resurrection School (Catholic)
  • St. Leo School (Catholic)
  • St. Patrick School (Catholic)
  • Russell Reid Elementary School[25]
  • Woodman-Cainsville School
  • Echo Place School
  • Cedarland Public School
  • Centennial-Grand Woodlands School
  • Fairview School (French Immersion)
  • Dufferin Public School (French Immersion)
  • Walter Gretzky Elementary School
  • Ryerson Heights Elementary School
  • Graham Bell-Victoria Public School
  • Lansdowne-Costain Public School
  • Major Ballachey Public School
  • Agnes G. Hodge Public School
  • Prince Charles Public School
  • Greenbrier Public School
  • James Hillier Public School
  • Grandview Public School
  • Banbury Heights School
  • King George School
  • Bellview Public School
  • Branlyn School
  • Brier Park School
  • Central School


Political organization

Brantford is located within the County of Brant; however, it is a single-tier municipality, politically separate from the County. Ontario's Municipal Act, 2001 defines single-tier municipalities as "a municipality, other than an upper-tier municipality, that does not form part of an upper-tier municipality for municipal purposes".[26] Single-tier municipalities provide for all local government services.[27]

At the federal and provincial levels of government, Brantford is part of the Brant riding.

The current

  • City of Brantford
  • Brant Museum and Archives
  • Brantford Public Library
  • Kinsmen Club of Brantford
  • The Brantford Expositor
  • Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre
  • Brantford & Area Sports Hall of Recognition
  • The Sanderson Centre
  • Four Season Sports Roller Hockey League

External links

  1. ^ a b "Brantford, City Ontario (Census Subdivision)". Census Profile,  
  2. ^ a b "Brantford Ontario (Census metropolitan area)". Census Profile,  
  3. ^ Reville, F. Douglas. The History of the County of Brant, Brantford: Hurley Printing Company, vol. 1, pp. 15–20, 1920.
  4. ^ ICTMN Staff (December 2, 2010). : A Documentary on Boarding School Survivors"Unseen Tears". Indian Country Today Media Network. 
  5. ^ Douglas, Ronald James, M.F.A., State University of New York at Buffalo (2010). "Documenting ethnic cleansing in North America: Creating unseen tears (AAT 1482210)". 
  6. ^ Legacy of Hope Foundation. "Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools". Where are the Children?. 
  7. ^ Patten, William; Bell, Alexander Melville. Pioneering The Telephone In Canada, Montreal: Herald Press, 1926, pg.7. (Note: Patten's full name as published is William Patten, not Gulielmus Patten as stated at Google Books).
  8. ^ Blaze Carlson, Katherine (June 8, 2010). "Ontario city to demolish historic street, despite Ottawa's objection". National Post. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Wilkes, Jim (June 8, 2010). "Demolition of historic buildings begins in Brantford". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Brantford Expositor article
  11. ^ "Brantford MOE". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010.  
  12. ^ "Brantford (City) community profile".  
  13. ^ [10], 1996 Census of Canada: Electronic Area Profiles
  14. ^ [11], Community Profiles from the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada - National Household Survey Profile: Visible Minority Population
  15. ^ [12], Aboriginal Population Profile from the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada - National Household Survey Profile: Aboriginal Population
  16. ^ a b Ruby, Michelle (August 28, 2012). "Murdoch Mysteries filming in Brantford". The Expositor. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Ruby, Michelle (October 1, 2013). "No mystery Murdoch is popular". The Expositor. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "A Walk On The South Side", Brantford Expositor, 10 June 2010
  19. ^ "Brantford (City) community profile".  
  20. ^ [13]
  21. ^ [14]
  22. ^ [15]
  23. ^ "Mohawk College to expand Hamilton programs for Brantford students", Mohawk Matters
  24. ^ "Schools | Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board". Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  25. ^ "Elementary Schools". Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  26. ^ [16]
  27. ^ [17], City of Brantford website.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Brantford Council Members, City of Brantford website.
  30. ^ BrantNews
  31. ^ Two Row Times website
  32. ^ BScene website
  33. ^ Brantford, Ontario Principal System, Canadian Street Railways. 31-Mar-2011.
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ [18]
  40. ^ "Contact us". Brantford Public Library. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  41. ^ a b Kirk, Denise (2000). "History of the Brantford Public Library". Brantford Public Library. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  42. ^ Brantford Minor Hockey Association - Wayne Gretzky Tournament
  43. ^ Allen Cup
  44. ^ "Pittsburgh Penguins Start With Many Goalies On Team". Observer-Reporter. 13 September 1967. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  45. ^ Ball, Vincent (30 May 2009). "City gets a twin". Brantford Expositor. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 


See also

Brantford is twinned with:

Municipal twinning


  • The Wayne Gretzky International Hockey Tournament[42] is held in Brantford annually
  • Brantford hosted and won the 2008 Allan Cup, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the event.[43]
  • The city served as the pre-season camp and facility for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the late 1960s, hosting the franchise's first preseason training camp and its first preseason exhibition game.[44]


Defunct teams

Current intercounty or major teams

Sports teams and tournaments

Brantford Public Library's central branch is located downtown on Colborne Street. It has an additional branch on St. Paul Avenue.[40] It has been automated since 1984.[41] In 2000, the library was the first in North America to join the UNESCO model library network.[41]

The main entrance to the Brantford Public Library

Brantford Public Library

Brantford has a casino, Brantford OLG Casino. The Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts is a local performance venue.[39]

Annual events include the "Brantford International Villages Festival" in July;[36] the "Brantford Kinsmen Annual Ribfest" in August;[37] the "Chili Willy Cook-Off" in February; the "Frosty Fest", a Church festival held in winter;[38]

Local museums include the Bell Homestead, Brant Museum and Archives,[34] Canadian Military Heritage Museum[35] and the Personal Computer Museum.

The Armoury

Culture and entertainment

Provincial highways

  • Brantford Transit serves the city with nine regular routes operating on a half-hour schedule from the downtown Transit Terminal on Darling Street, with additional school service.
  • Greyhound Canada has intercity service to Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor and other cities.
  • All Around Transportation operates a Paris–Brantford shuttle bus.


Street rail began in Brantford in 1886 with horse-drawn carriages; by 1893 this system had been converted to electric. The City of Brantford took over these operations in 1914. Around 1936 it began to replace the electric street car system with gas-run buses, and by the end of 1939 the change-over was complete.[33]

The train station is located just north of downtown Brantford. Via Rail has daily passenger trains on the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. Trains also stop at Union Station in Toronto.


Brantford Municipal Airport is located west of the city. It hosts an annual air show, featuring the Snowbirds. The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in Hamilton is located about 35 km east of Brantford. Toronto Pearson International Airport is located in Mississauga, about 100 km northeast of Brantford.


Highway 403 connects Brantford with Woodstock and Hamilton. Seen here is the 403 eastbound near the Grand River bridge.


Brantford's only local television service comes from Rogers TV (cable 20), a local community channel on Rogers Cable. Otherwise, Brantford is served by stations from Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener.



BScene, a Free community paper founded in 2014, is published monthly and distributed locally throughout Brantford and Brant County via local businesses and community centers, It can also be viewed online at their website. [32] Independently published.

The Two Row Times, a Free weekly paper started in 2013, is published on Wednesdays, delivered to every reservation in Ontario and globally online at their website,[31] published by Garlow Media.

The Brant News is a weekly paper (delivered Thursday); it publishes breaking news online at their website,[30] and is published by Metroland Media Group.

The Brantford Expositor, started in 1852, is published six days per week (excluding Sundays) by Sun Media Corp.




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