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Brantford and County of Brant

-Sarah Bruno

Brantford is 39 km south west of Hamilton, 89 km from Toronto, and one hour northwest from the Buffalo-Fort Erie point of entry from the United States.

Brantford is a city with an illustrious history and a promising future. It is known, throughout the world, as the place where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Brantford also lays claim to such sports greats as Wayne Gretzky and Tom Longboat, artists Lawren Harris and Robert Whale, and distinguished writers Thomas B. Costain and Sarah Jeannette Duncan.

Four hundred industries now call Brantford home, and employ over 14,000 people. The industries add to a 19% net employment growth in five years, in the industrial sector alone. Much of this growth occurs within companies that employ less than 100 workers. The industrial base includes automotive, plastics, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and food processing.

A business located in Brantford provides one-day trucking access to: 60% of all manufacturing firms in North America; 70% of the Canadian population; 54% of retail sales in North America and a market area of 130 million people.  Firms that have undertaken major investments in the area during the past year include Dana Corporation, Adidas Canada Ltd., Raymond Industrial Equipment Limited, Nu-Gro Corporation, RMH Teleservices Inc., GenFast Manufacturing Company and Chemcraft International Inc.

In 1999, Wilfrid Laurier University opened a campus in the former Carnegie Library building in downtown Brantford. Known as Laurier Brantford, the university offers a 3-year liberal arts degree in contemporary studies – a degree unique to the campus.

Brantford enjoys an excellent network of road systems, with good access to major centres, and is also accessible by rail and air. Situated on Hwy. 403, the city is directly connected to Hwy. 401, to the west, and Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), to the east. Other major highways include 2, 24, 53 and 54. Brantford Transit provides local service.

On the rails, the Canadian National Railway services Brantford. Extensive passenger and freight services are available within the city, and regular VIA train services, to and from Brantford, run daily.

Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport is one hour away and provides flights to all major global destinations. Hamilton International Hope Airport, 20 minutes away, serves the surrounding area with jet service to many Canadian and American destinations. Brantford’s Municipal Airport provides service for light private, jet and commercial aircraft.

In the heart of the city is the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts. Originally built in 1919 as a vaudeville house, the theatre was beautifully restored in 1990. The Sanderson Centre presents theatre, music and dance throughout the year.

Other area cultural attractions include the Woodland Cultural Centre, which preserves, promotes and interprets the cultural heritage of the First Nations of the Eastern Woodland (Six Nations of the Grand River). The Bell Homestead, is also located nearby, and is a historical site marking the birthplace of the telephone in 1874. Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, the oldest surviving church building in the province, rests in Brantford, as well as the city’s newest interactive attraction, a replica of a 17th century Iroquoian village ‘Kanata.’

Visitors and residents alike enjoy the exhibits and displays provided by the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead (founder of the Women’s Institute), Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, Myrtleville House Museum and Brant County Museum & Archives and Canadian Military Heritage Museum.
Special events include Riverfest, on the last weekend in May, Brantford Symphony concerts, Kiwanis Music Festival, Brantford Downtown Jazz (series of jazz concerts), Six Nations Native Pageant, Springtime in Paris, Family Day at Glenhyrst, International Villages Festival, Canada Day and Summerfest.

Brantford is part of Festival County Travel Association. The County of Brant has 50 points of interest and 250 annual events and activities.

On June 4, 1998, the provincial legislature officially recognized Brantford as the Tournament Capital of Ontario. Brantford hosts over 100 tournaments that attract over 40,000 out of town participants a year.

Brantford and area residents can experience a wide range of shopping choices within the community.  Facilities are situated conveniently throughout the City; the largest being the Lynden Park Mall with 100 stores and services, and Brantford Mall with 60 shops and services. MTM