Team Forster Real Estate Blog

April 11, 2021

The 10 Best Things to do in Stratford, Ontario

The 10 Best Things to do in Stratford, Ontario

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Don’t let size fool you - there is so much to see and do in this little city, it packs a powerful punch! With all that Stratford has to offer, it is virtually impossible for anyone to ever be bored. Whether you enjoy exercising outdoors along the Avon Trail, sitting in the park with a picnic lunch and a good book, revel in the unique boutiques, dining, and galleries down town, take a tour of the city with your ‘chocolate passport’ on the ‘Chocolate Trail,’ or entertain a play at the Festival Theatre, there is something to tickle everyone’s fancy! Let’s peruse just ten of the myriad of events, venues, and adventures that await in little Stratford, Ontario.


1) THEATRE

Stratford Festival Theatre
When we’re talking about things to do in Stratford, the list would not be complete if it did not include theatre! The world renowned Stratford Festival hosts a variety of plays and performances from May to October in all four of its theatre venues: the main Festival Theatre seating 1800, located in Upper Queen’s Park; the remarkable, newly built, $68 million dollar Tom Patterson theatre overlooking the river on Lakeside Drive; the regal Avon Theatre in the heart of down town on Downie Street; and the most recent addition, The Studio Theatre annexed behind the Avon on George Street. As a local, you can easily opt for an impromptu night out by chancing ‘rush tickets’ for up to half price, two hours before show time on shows that are not sold out. It pays to be a Stratfordite!
https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/


2) GARDENS AND PARKS

Stratford’s Shakespearean Gardens, created in 1936, have been an attraction all their own, located next to the Perth County Courthouse and adjacent to the Avon River. The beautifully manicured English gardens bespeak of Shakespeare’s day with such a wide array of colour and variety. Further in, a gazebo often plays host to summertime weddings. Trails twist in and around the myriad of vegetation. A wooden footbridge to a small island on the river offers serenity and solitude.


Up river in the wooded area of Upper Queen’s Park, the Confederation Park hosts a perfect place to picnic, surrounded by pines and a rock waterfall. This is another hot spot for weddings and family portraits.


But more than just these, Stratford is home to 5 prize winning gardens. In fact, every garden and flowerbed throughout the city are eye catching and thoroughly enjoyable. Which is no doubt one of the reasons why Stratford was named the “Prettiest City in the World” by Nations in Bloom in 1997.


3) THE AVON RIVER

The Avon River in Stratford, Ontario
The Avon River is central to Stratford’s highlights. Boasting two dozen mute swans dotting the river, the striking Tom Patterson Island connected by a photogenic arched wooden footbridge, paddle boating, miles of trails, picnic tables and parkland, the Stratford River is a destination all in itself. With 115 acres of maintained parkland, Stratford is a nature lover’s paradise. A 2.6 km trail encircling the River is the perfect place to get your daily exercise, with a 360° stunning vista, year round. The Avon River is one of those ‘only in Stratford’ delights that cannot be found anywhere else on earth.


4) BOATING

Your experience at the Avon River would not be complete without renting a paddleboat from the Boathouse and floating along the River with a trail of swans and ducks behind you. Waterfowl-friendly food is available for purchase at the Boathouse to take along so you can practically feed the birds by hand. If paddleboating is not your style, canoes and kayaks are also available to rent. Once back onshore, enjoy a delicious salad or sandwich at the Boathouse, or grab one of their $1 cones to enjoy while strolling along the River.
http://www.avonboatrentals.ca/


5) SHOPPING AND DINING

With multiple unique shops ranging from Totally Spoke’d for all your cycling needs, to MacLeods Scottish Shop offering a wide assortment of imported clothing, tartans, and giftware from across the United Kingdom, to world class confectioners like Rheo Thompson Candies for their famous mint smoothies since 1969, to healthy-style options at the unique Little Green Grocery and The Gentle Rain, to Olive Your Favourites tasting bar with an astounding assortment of olive oils and balsamics… the list of ‘only in Stratford’ shopping venues is simply amazing and practically endless. And with well over a hundred restaurants, one does not have to look very far to find a savoury bite to fit any taste after a day of shopping adventure.


6) THE STRATFORD PERTH MUSEUM

The Stratford Perth Museum
The Stratford Perth Museum, located on 7 acres at the western edge of town, exhibits thousands of artifacts and particulars concerning Perth County; some of which include the history of  the railway, the Perth Regiment, the Stratford Festival, and of course, Stratford’s son: Justin Bieber. The Museum is well worth a visit at any time of the year.
https://www.stratfordperthmuseum.ca/


7) JUSTIN BIEBER TOUR

Yes, Stratford is Justin Bieber’s hometown. He was discovered by his YouTube home videos showcasing his singing in a local talent show and busking on the steps of the Avon Theatre. The rest is pop star history! Guide maps are available at Tourism Stratford for ‘beliebers’ to visit Justin’s favourite hangouts from when he was growing up as well as his frequent visits back home. With his new home just an hour away, Justin frequently visits his old hometown, so Bieber-sightings are highly possible for all his star-struck fans.


8) THE STRATFORD FARMER’S MARKET

The Stratford Farmer’s Market, established in 1855, is one of the oldest in the province. Located inside the Stratford Agriplex at the Stratford Rotary Complex, the Market is open year round, offering meats, cheese, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, farm fresh eggs and produce, take home meals, coffee, handmade crafts, birdseed, fresh cut flowers, and more. From May until October the Market overflows into the parking lot with many in season offerings of fruit and veggies from local farms. Stay for lunch with the savoury bacon on a bun or a sausage on site. 
https://www.stratfordagriculturalsociety.com/farmers-market/


9) PUCK’S PLENTY

Get off the beaten path with Puck’s Plenty, a highly acclaimed forager that has been featured in national papers such as The Globe and Mail and The National Post, and television on The Oprah Network and Global TV. This unique experience will take you into nature’s garden with a new set of eyes and garner you invaluable knowledge of healthful and tasty local plants and mushrooms. Since 2010, naturalist Peter Blush has been educating people through Puck’s Plenty excursions on the countless varieties of edible vegetation as wells as sensible harvesting techniques. Sharpen your survival skills and find out more by booking your own foraging trek into the lush nature around Stratford at www.pucksplenty.com


10) FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

Stratford’s festivals and events are many and varied. The following is just a small sampling of how Stratford entertains visitors and locals alike.
The Stratford Summer Music Festival is a month long array of dozens of concerts, both indoors and out, by numerous international, Canadian, world renown and up and coming performers. Many performances are free or pay by donation. And then there’s everyone’s favourite, the music barge, providing diverse styles and genres to an audience seated on the sloping banks to the River.
https://stratfordsummermusic.ca/    

Stratford Ontario Summer Music Festival


The Dragon Boat Festival, held every September and drawing from all over the province, spectators have been watching and cheering dragon boat races on the Avon River for 25 years.
https://rotarystratford.com/SitePage/stratford-rotary-dragon-boat-festival


The Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival is now 14 years strong, holding the annual event at the Stratford Rotary Complex grounds. Offering a myriad of garlic products, from sauces to lotions to even ice cream, along with cooking demonstrations and info seminars, this potent festival is sure to make a strong impression. Spotlighting 26 varieties of garlic, this is one event that totally stinks—but in a completely delicious way!  
https://stratfordgarlicfestival.com/


While shopping down town, hop aboard a horse drawn carriage in the square above the Memorial Gardens to take a tour of Stratford’s core. Or be entertained by one of many buskers throughout the city streets. Or stop and watch the filming of Murdock Mysteries or some other show or movie using the city as a setting for their film.


The Winter Festival of Lights, the Stratford Blues and Rib Fest, the Stratford Concert Band, Art in the Park, the Friday night music barge strumming down the River, the Swan Parade – just to name a few of the many events always happening in this city where community spirit is alive and thriving.
https://calendar.stratford.ca/default/Month?StartDate   

With these highlights as just a sampling, it is not out of the way to say that there is always something going on in Stratford. It’s all the unique shops, sights, and events that make this city absolutely one of a kind. There is simply never a dull moment in Stratford. For a small city it packs a big impact… and you don’t want to miss a beat!
  

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Posted in Stratford
April 9, 2021

The 20 Best Restaurants in Stratford, Ontario

The 20 Best Restaurants in Stratford, Ontario

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With a stunning array of restaurants to delight every possible palate, Stratford’s culinary arts are a world class offering in a small town setting. Not surprising, since the renowned Stratford Chef’s School has been operating in the city since 1983, turning out numerous expert chef de cuisine just waiting to serve you. With well over one hundred restaurants, Stratford caters to every way of life. Vegans don’t just have to choose from one or two menu options, but from several plant-based establishments like The Planet Diner, The Pulp, and Grounded. Meanwhile, hearty carnivores can sink their teeth into juicy steaks, ribs, and burgers at The Hub, Braai House, and Mercer Hall. A variety of gluten free selections are available from York Street Kitchen, Boars Head Pub, Sirkel, and Downie Street Burgers. From the unrivalled food-truck fare of Ken’s Fries to the epicurean delicacies of Revival House and Bijou Restaurant, and literally everything in between, Stratford has something satisfying for absolutely everyone in the family.

 

Breakfast and Lunch Restaurants in Stratford

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and lunch is not far behind. So start your day off on the right foot with any of these local favourites:

Breakfast and Lunch Restaurants in Stratford, Ontario


Features

https://featuresstratford.com

One of the most popular restaurants in town for breakfast, Features has been a Stratford favourite since 1998. A classic diner with old school friendliness, Features serves hearty helpings of all the conventional diner cuisine. Breakfast is served until close at 3pm, all day, every day. Conveniently located on main street in the down town core of the city. Be sure to drop by and see why this diner is a prime Stratford ‘Feature.’

 

Joe’s Diner

www.facebook.com/joesdinerstratford

Family owned and operated, with heart as well as hands, Joe’s Diner is all the rage for its friendly staff, exceptional food, and fair pricing. It is no wonder everyone leaves happy when they come from Joe’s, situated in the plaza on Erie Street close to down town. They even offer ‘Grub To Go’—frozen dinner favourites to enjoy any day of the week at home. All home made on site, Joe’s dinners are sure to please. 

 

The Pulp Fresh Bar

www.thepulp.ca

Who doesn’t like a fresh smoothie to start the day off right? Relatively new to the scene, The Pulp Fresh Bar opened its doors in 2017, but has quickly garnered rave reviews and quite a following. Serving up deliciously healthy smoothies, cold pressed juices, hot porridge, and fresh bowls served on your choice of rice or quinoa, The Pulp is a plant based paradise! Whenever possible, local ingredients are used in this sustainable eatery located in the heart of Stratford on Downie Street.

 

Madelyn’s Diner

www.madelynsdiner.ca 

Madelyn’s Diner has been the go-to diner of choice since 1985. Their home-style cooking, signature award winning fish and chips, all day breakfasts, and their ‘to die for’ butter tarts are just a small sampling of why locals and home-grown celebs, such as anchorman Lloyd Robertson, keep coming back again and again. Where friends meet over good eats! Located at the west end of Stratford on Huron Street, take out and delivery are available. But of course, that’s only when you don’t want to enjoy your meal in a family friendly atmosphere where smiles and laughter continually reside.

 

The Planet Diner

www.theplanetdiner.com

Located just down from the Avon Theatre on Downie Street, this little retro diner is serving up plant based perfection! While most restaurants cater to meat and dairy consuming patrons and only provide a small portion for vegans and vegetarians, The Planet Diner has turned the tables. Here there is a small selection of meat options, so if there’s still a carnivore in your plant based crowd everyone can still be happy. But with options like the Planet Burger, Chick’un Parmesan, and the Buffalo Caesar Wrap that make even the heartiest carnivore do a double take… your meat loving friends might just soon understand this vegan craze a little better!

 

Dining In Restaurants in Stratford

With so many amazing restaurants to choose from, where does one begin?! Whether you’re entertaining company, relaxing with friends, heading out on a date, or just wanting to have someone else serve you for a change, this is the list to start with:

Dining In Restaurants in Stratford, Ontario

 

Pazzo Traverna and Pizzeria

https://pazzo.ca/

Who doesn’t love pizza?! Look no further than Pazzo’s Pizzeria for not just the best made from scratch pizza, but a royal experience to go along with it. Located on the principle corner of Stratford’s main street overlooking the Avon River, Pazzo Pizzeria is truly one of a kind. Since 1997 Pazzo has been serving up authentic thin crust pizzas baked in their in-house pizza oven, house made pastas, and drinks in Stratford’s oldest cellar. Yes, a cellar. But don’t let that throw you, for this is no ordinary basement! With a back door for step-free accessibility and windows to watch the sunset, the Pizzeria is like entering an atmospheric blending of sophistication, fun, and relaxed ambience. Friday’s $6 pizza and $6 pint special is guaranteed to draw the crowds. Reservations are recommended for dinner, but you’re also welcome to drop in if you don’t mind waiting a little bit. The wait is most definitely worth it, rest assured!
But Pazzo isn’t just a Pizzeria. Upstairs is the Pazzo Traverna, an upscale dining room and patio serving gourmet Italian cuisine at its finest. With delicately stunning décor and a depth of ambience, Pazzo Traverna is the exemplary epicurean establishment.
Pazzo will never disappoint, whichever venue meets your fancy.

 

Grounded

https://groundedvegancafe.com

It may be the new kid on the block having opened in 2018, but don’t let that deter you. Hand crafted, made from scratch creations are the order of the day at this ‘purely plant based café.’ Located at Stratford’s main intersection on Erie Street, Grounded is quickly becoming a smash hit with everyone who has darkened its doors. Enjoy epicurean delights at a price that’s right for any pocketbook. Vegans and non vegans alike will be taken aback by the quality, flavour, and pristine presentation of every Grounded dish. A definite spot to visit again and again.

 

The Alley

www.thealley.restaurant

Tucked between two buildings in the heart of Stratford is a little covered alleyway oasis of dining tables, umbrellas, lush vegetation and lights waiting to transport you to another world. Formerly known as Keystone Alley, this quintessential restaurant is in a class all its own. Heaters enable comfortable outdoor dining even in winter months for a truly unforgettable experience. As a micro brewery and gastro pub, The Alley’s menu is distinct and innovative, offering fine dining far with heaping helpings of creativity and class. Located on Brunswick Street across from the legendary Rheo Thompson Candies, The Alley is one of the city’s treasures.

 

Bentley’s Bar Inn and Restaurant

www.bentleysbarinn.com

An English style pub, Bentley’s is the favourite hangout for locals and visitors alike. Whether you relax to enjoy the scene of main street from the patio or sit inside to catch up with friends in a booth or at the bar, Bentley’s caters to all. Serving up comfort food and all the expected pub fare at reasonable rates, Bentley’s has been a Stratford favourite for more than 37 years strong. You cannot help but take notice of Bentley’s on Ontario Street.

 

Bijou

www.bijourestaurant.com  

For 21 years Bijou has been offering a farm to table menu, a pioneer leader in the way of sustainable food fare, garnering a variety of ingredients from several local sources. A masterful French Canadian cuisine plated in gourmet perfection is the norm at this exquisite establishment. People come from near and far just to dine at Bijou. If you want some of the best Stratford has to offer, Bijou has a table reserved for you. Located just down from City Hall on Wellington Street.

 

Take Out and Delivery Restaurants in Stratford

Take Out and Delivery Restaurants in Stratford, Ontario

While most, if not all of Stratford’s restaurants offer take out, here is a list that offers a wide variety of choices, styles, and flavours to enjoy without having to do the dishes:

 

Demetre’s Family Eatery

www.demetresfamilyeatery.com

Demetre’s entire menu is available for take out. But it is also a relaxed family dining room open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Serving up Canadian/American and Greek fare at the east end of the city across the street from the Festival Marketplace. Stratfordites and visitors have been enjoying Demetre’s cozy atmosphere, friendly service, and daily specials since 1996. Monday’s all you can eat fish and chips is always a hit. Reservations are recommended for dine-in dinner.

 

The Hub

www.thehubstratford.com

Located right across from City Hall, The Hub is a restaurant, a pub, and Stratford’s only three season roof top patio. Where else can you enjoy your meal or drink overlooking the city’s sights from a roof top terrace?! Sporting modern industrial decor, The Hub offers live sports on 17 flat screens and a massive 120 inch screen for game days to make you feel as if you are right in the midst of the action. With usual pub fare and a few unexpected delights, as well as 54 draughts on tap, The Hub is not surprisingly ‘the hub’ of activity in Stratford!

 

Gilly’s Pubhouse

www.gillyspubhouse.online

Gilly’s entire menu is available for take out and delivery. Or you could just dine in! With a lively atmosphere, fully opened front in the summer months, game tables in the back, a family friendly setting and mouth watering eats – who could ask for more?! Except maybe a Justin Bieber sighting, as Gilly’s has been one of his favourite hangouts. Situated directly across from the Avon Theatre, Gilly’s featured daily specials – like the ever popular half priced burgers on Thursdays – are sure to be a hit!

 

Stratford Thai Cuisine

http://stratfordthaicuisine.com

When it comes to Thai food, absolutely no one does it as well as Stratford Thai Cuisine. Garnering rave reviews from near and far, this jewel of the orient has been serving up affordable authentic Thai dishes with friendly efficient hospitality since 2012. Stratford Thai Cuisine is a keepsake that is worth visiting over and over again. Mouth watering meals in the center of the city square. Located on Wellington Street just a stone’s throw from City Hall, Stratford Thai Cuisine offers full dining-in service as well as take out.

 

Boathouse Riverside Patio

www.avonboatrentals.ca/riverside-patio-backup  

Stratford’s exclusive riverside dining is located just below the Tourist Info Building on lower York Street. While it is operational only in the warmer months, the Boathouse Riverside Patio is sheer delight encompassed by a picturesque panorama. Food is self serve at the provided tables under an attractive pergola. Enjoy your meal with the surrounding scene: the river just feet away, paddleboaters feeding mute swans, the encircling florals and blossoms, and the serenading sounds from the Stratford Summer Music floating barge just up the river. While their menu is concise, it is varied, appealing, and very well executed. Offering tasty sandwiches, bowls, wraps, and grilled dishes, the Boathouse packs a tasty lunch! It’s also home to the $1 cone, perfect for a treat while strolling along the banks of the Avon after dinner.

 

Desserts, Cafes, and Snacks Restaurants in Stratford

Looking for a quick bite, a special treat, or a relaxing cup of joe? Look no further than these exceptional establishments that make Stratford truly one of a kind!

Desserts, Cafes, and Snack Restaurants in Stratford, Ontario

 

Revel

http://revelstratford.ca  

Revel is certainly not your typical coffee shop. Located right behind City Hall, Revel is an absolute gem in the city’s down town core. Step inside to a distinctively cozy yet unique setting where bakery and barista blend in utter perfection. As your eyes begin to take in the quaint yet modern rustic surroundings, you are hit with the mouth watering aromas that carry you forward and beckon you to order a delectable delight. It’s sensory overload at its finest! This is one ‘coffee shop’ that you can truly ‘Revel’ in!


Balzac’s Coffee Roasters

https://shop.balzacs.com/pages/stratford

It is apparent the flagship Balzac’s shop has been heavily influenced by Paris’ cafes along the world renowned Champs-Elysees. With its authentic vintage interior and its outdoor patios, this coffee roaster is the perfect spot to kick back, relax, and enjoy a sip while watching all the activity of main street. A ‘certified green restaurant,’ Balzac’s is Canada’s very first coffee company to be authorized by the third party certification program L.E.A.F. There’s always a crowd at Balzac’s – and for good reason.

 

Jenn and Larry’s

www.jennandlarrysicecreamshoppe.ca

Overlooking the Avon River up on historic York Street, is a little shop called Jenn and Larry’s, and it is always a hub of activity. Established in 2010, it did not take long to become a top favourite of locals and tourists alike. Serving up hand spun milk shakes, ice cream, and a variety of brittles, this nostalgic ice cream parlour will take you back in time and deliver a guaranteed smile. There is always a line up for frozen treats to enjoy while walking along the river with the family.

 

Kandy Cakes

www.kandycakes.ca

For the sweet tooth in all of us, look no further than Kandy Cakes. Situated right beside Jenn and Larry’s on York Street, this deliciously unique store is easy to spot with its big one of a kind iced cupcake canopy over the front window. But Kandy offers more than ‘just’ cupcakes. With a wide assortment of cakes, cookies, and cake pops in the usual to gourmet flavours, everyone is sure to get the perfect sugar hit gauged to each individual taste. Custom made to order cakes are also available. Kandy Cakes is a scrumptious treat to both see and taste.

 

Ken’s French Fries

www.kensfrenchfries.com

It may seem strange to mention a food truck, but for over 60 years, anyone who has ever tasted Ken’s French Fries will tell you unequivocally they are simply ‘the BEST.’ Fresh spuds hand punched on the spot are served with salt and generous amounts of vinegar enclosed in a brown paper bag. It’s a tradition held by generations. There is always a line up at Ken’s for good reason. Located at both ends of the city, Ken’s can be enjoyed in the Canadian Tire parking lot at the Festival Marketplace and in the KW Surplus parking lot in the west end of town.

Posted in Stratford
April 8, 2021

The Best High Schools in Stratford, Ontario

The Best High Schools in Stratford, Ontario

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Stratford, Ontario has three secondary schools presenting quite a range of programs, extra curricular activities, and offerings to the up and coming generation. There are two school boards in Stratford: the Avon Maitland District School Board and the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board. There is also one private sector secondary school that we will also explore.

The following showcases Stratford’s three secondary schools, giving you a glimpse at what they offer your teenager as well as highlighting what makes each school stand out in its own right. Each school excels in different areas. In the end it will come down to what school best fits the requirements and aspirations of each individual student to develop their full potential.

 

Stratford District Secondary School

Stratford District Secondary School is an Avon Maitland District School Board school. It is located at 428 Forman Avenue in the northwest quadrant of the city, directly adjacent to the new McCarthy Road Area and Coventry neighbourhood. Stratford District S.S. is now an amalgamation of two former high schools: Stratford Northwestern Secondary School and Stratford Central Secondary School. This merge took place for the 2019 - 2020 school year, combining both the staff and students to the Stratford Northwester S.S. location, with a new name. This is now Stratford’s only public secondary school.

Stratford District Secondary School in Stratford, Ontario

Stratford District Secondary School offers a variety of unique and special programs including culinary classes, Cosmetology, and Green Industries – which branches into Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, and Landscaping. Stratford District S.S. offers a series of programs under Specialist High Skills Major, which allows the individual student to customize their academics to focus on a path to a vocation that suits their interest and abilities, all while meeting the credit requirements for their diploma.  Through Specialist High Skills Major (SKSM), students can choose from five focus courses: Health and Wellness, Energy, Transportation, Manufacturing, and Hospitality and Tourism.  Stratford District S.S. is also known for its impressive array of athletics and a variety of courses in the arts.

Because Stratford District S.S. does not have enough of a history in itself to show any scores, we will have to look at the previous two schools for their provincial testing scores.

Stratford Northwestern Secondary School ranked 352 out of the province’s 739 secondary schools, with an average Fraser Institute ranking of 5.4 out of 10. Stratford Northwestern’s score of 6.4 in 2019 landed it above the provincial school average of 6. This was up from the previous four years’ scores.

Stratford Central Secondary School ranked in the top one hundred – 95 out of 739 and scored an impressive 7.7 out of 10 in 2019. This was Stratford Central’s second best score over the last 5 years. It was consistently a high scorer, ranging from 7.1 to 7.8, making Stratford Central’s average an inspiring 7.5.

Beyond academics, students have a plethora of clubs and activities to find their niche in their teenage years. Stratford District Secondary School’s sports cover the entire gamut: Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Curling, Field Hockey, Golf, Hockey, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Wrestling. Those who lean more toward the arts also have an impressive array of music ensembles to choose from: the Symphonic Band, the Concert Band, the Jazz Band, the Marching Band, the Flute Choir, and Choir. There are also many clubs to join, such as: Me to We, Fly Fishing Club, Dance Club, and the E-Team. 

 

St Michael Catholic Secondary School

St Michael Catholic Secondary School, affectionately nicknamed ‘St Mikes,’ is the only secondary school under the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board in all of Huron and Perth counties. Established in 1990, St Michael Catholic Secondary School is located adjacent to Stratford District Secondary School, at 240 Oakdale Avenue in the northwest quarter of the city, just south of the McCarthy Road Area and Coventry neighbourhood subdivisions. Both schools share the same library, opened in 1993, called the Stratford Education Recreation Centre (SERC).

St Michael Catholic Secondary School Stratford, Ontario

As of 2019, St Michael Catholic Secondary School ranked 330th out of 739 with a score of 6.5 in the Fraser Institute ranking scale. St Michael’s average score over the last five years is 6.4, usually holding steady slightly above the provincial average with scores ranging from 6 to 6.6. Also of note, the percentage of students with special needs taking the testing for these scores was 27.2% in 2019. This makes St Mike’s scores particularly inspiring.

St Michael Catholic Secondary School is well known for its athletic programs, consistently bringing home OFSAA medals. The school offers an extensive and vigorous academic program for all of its students to discover and grow in their potential. St Michael’s also offers courses through the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), including: Arts and Culture, Business, Construction, Energy, Health and Wellness, Non-Profit / Social Justice, Sports, and Transportation. St Mike’s also offers a French Immersion program and Co-op opportunities for students to participate in. Their selection of programs in the arts includes: Drama, Musical Theatre, Visual Arts, Media Arts, Instrumental Music, and Guitar. The band program consistently participates in the Kiwanis Festival and has even moved to the Musicfest Regionals. The school’s Technological Education courses are also diverse: Construction, Electrical Techniques, Plumbing and Sheet Metal, Manufacturing, Communications, Design, Transportation, Hairstyling, and Aesthetics. With such a wide range of courses and programs to choose from, it is no wonder more than 900 students call St Mike’s their home away from home. 

After school programs, clubs, and extra curricular activities are as exciting and manifold as their academic offerings. There is an activity to suit every single student at St Michael’s. For the athletes, there’s sports; for those interested in clubs, everything from the arts to social justice; for music lovers, there are three bands: junior band, jazz band, and senior band. Every student can blossom and grow in their interest and skills with such a wide array of choices on every level at St Michael Catholic Secondary School.  

 

Nancy Campbell Academy

Stratford’s third and final high school is the Nancy Campbell Academy, operating under the private sector.  It is located just at the edge of the down town core of Stratford at 45 Waterloo Street South, just a block from the Avon River, and flanking the lovely neighbourhood of the Avon River South Area. This co-ed preparatory school, founded in 1994, has a residence for students to board in, but also accepts day students. There is tuition for admission, ranging from $9,750 to $40,065 – the latter for those boarding in the school’s residence (complete with a swimming pool), located the other side of the Avon River, just a short distance from the school.  Scholarships and Bursaries are available. School enrollment varies, but comparatively low to other schools; recent counts being anywhere from 80 to 170. Class sizes range from 5 to 18 pupils per class, creating a more personal, individualised learning atmosphere. While the social environment of learning may be relaxed, the academics themselves are anything but. Students are pushed to their full potential and find their purpose through the wide array of programs and activities the school offers. 

Nancy Campbell Academy Stratford, Ontario

Nancy Campbell Academy offers a wide range of programs that melds the arts and sciences in scholastic superiority. Along with the usual high school selection, courses are available in English as Second Language (ESL), Civics (Politics), Law, World Citizenship, Humanities and Social Sciences, Foreign Language, and Technology and Media. Students are enriched through a diligent curriculum designed to challenge them to their full potential. Nancy Campbell Academy’s education also focuses on character building through mentorship programs, training up tomorrow’s leaders in every field of opportunity.

Because Nancy Campbell Academy has not taken the testing for the Fraser Institute School Rankings, scores are not available for comparison with Stratford’s other two secondary schools. However, Nancy Campbell Academy’s academic excellence and success rate is apparent in that there is over 95% placement of its graduates in universities. The school’s distinctive education methodology has been proven to develop students for the competitive university scene. Excellence is the goal at Nancy Campbell Academy.

There never needs to be a dull moment with all that Nancy Campbell Academy has to offer its students through extra curricular activities, clubs, and events. There are plenty of clubs to get involved with such as: Basketball, Chess, Gym, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Music, Math, Yoga, Dance Workshop, Writers Club, Badminton, and Dodge Ball. The Academy offers workshops twice a year at the Wildlife Outdoor Education Center, in Tiny, Ontario. Short term programs include ESL credit program, Nature Camp, Wilderness Survival Camp, and Arts Camp. There are also many projects, including: tree planting, highway cleanup, and climate rallies, as well as opportunities through Stratford’s House of Blessing and Optimism Place, among many others. Students are required to give 50 hours of service in the community per year. Through the school’s Dance Workshop, international service trips takes students abroad to experience and inspire fellow students through their song and dance performances. There are also school trips for students to experience Canada’s sites, steeped with adventure and learning. At the Residence, where each boarding student has their own private room complete with a desk, bed, dresser, and closet, there is always something going on in the kitchen and Common Room, bonding classmates as family – which is unique to Nancy Campbell Academy.

 

It is clear that each of Stratford’s three high schools has their own flare, with manifold course offerings, a wide array of after school activities, and programs specializing in developing the next generation for their unique niche in this world. Stratford being a small city, living in specific neighbourhoods does not need to factor in to the decision of what school to attend. Should one need a lift, all schools are accessible by city bus lines if no other mode of transportation is available. In now comes down to each individual student and which school would be best suited to challenge and develop their potential to the fullest, and prepare them for what lies ahead. 

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The Best Elementary Schools in Stratford, Ontario

The Best Elementary Schools in Stratford, Ontario | Preview

Posted in Stratford
April 4, 2021

The Best Elementary Schools in Stratford, Ontario

The Best Elementary Schools in Stratford, Ontario

It is normally high priority for families who are moving to locate in a neighbourhood that has the best school suited for their young family – and with good reason. With so many elementary schools in Stratford, this should make this aspect of your decision much easier, as there is practically no neighbourhood within the city that does not have an easily accessible elementary school within walking distance.

There are fourteen elementary schools serving the city and surrounding community of Stratford, Ontario. Nine public elementary schools are served under the Avon Maitland District School Board. Four Catholic elementary schools are under the umbrella of the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board. And there is also one private elementary school serving Stratford and the surrounding area. The following is a look at five of the fourteen schools: two public, two Catholic, and one private. It is hoped that this will give you a glimpse into what each one offers, and which might be the best fit to develop your youngster to grow into the best person they can be.

 

Bedford Public School

bedford public school Stratford, Ontario

https://bedford.amdsb.ca/

Quick Facts:

  • Morning Bell: 9:00 am
  • School Day Ends: 3:25 pm
  • Grades: Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6
  • Highlights: Emphasis on the Arts and the Environment, French Immersion

Bedford Public School is located north of the Avon River at 59 Bedford Drive in the northeastern part of the city, just off Mornington Street. It is adjacent to the following neighbourhoods: Romeo Street North Area: Verona Village, North Pointe Estates, and The Fields, and the Avon River North Area. Bedford PS is a dual track French Immersion / English school providing grades Junior Kindergarten through Grade 6 under the Avon Maitland District School Board. School enrollment is around 450 students, but class sizes are kept below 20 pupils per class.

Bedford PS puts much importance on the arts, going above and beyond to give the children a wonderful opportunity to express their talents. The school also strongly emphasizes the environment. Outdoor learning and greening Bedford PS’s school yard initiatives that have been prioritized for a number of years.

Bedford Public School’s ranking on the provincial testing for 2019 is 6.1. This landed the school at 1540 out of 3037 provincial schools. Bedford’s average over the last four years is 5.7, making them a nice average since the provincial overall school average is 6.0.

 

Avon Public School

Avon Public School Stratford, Ontario

https://avon.amdsb.ca/

Quick Facts:

  • Morning Bell: 9:10 am
  • School Day Ends: 3:30 pm
  • Grades: Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6
  • Highlights: Fundraising, Participating in Special Events, Home of Avon Eagles

Avon Public School is located at 31 Huntingdon Avenue in a quiet neighbourhood in the West end of Stratford, not far from the neighbourhood of John Street Area. Avon PS is an Avon Maitland District School Board school, teaching grades Junior Kindergarten through Grade 6. School enrollment is just over 300 students, with an average class size at or below 23 pupils.

Avon PS’s spirit of community within the school is readily evident, making this an inviting place for your youngster to grow in learning and development. Home of the Avon Eagles, there are many activities through sports and the arts to enlarge each child’s borders of discovery and growth.

Avon Public School’s ranking for 2019 is 6.1, making it about average on the Fraser Institute score listing. This ranks the school 1540 out of 3037 province wide. Avon PS has held quite steady the last four years fluctuating between 5.7 and 6.3, giving the school an average of 6.0.

 

Hamlet Public School

Hamlet Public School Stratford, Ontario

http://hamlet.amdsb.ca/

Quick Facts:

  • Morning Bell: 8:55 am
  • School Day Ends: 3:25 pm
  • Grades: Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6
  • Highlights: Focused on Learning, Days of Awareness, Exciting Spirit Days, Character Building

Situated in the south end of Stratford, Hamlet Public School is located at 315 West Gore Street and is under the Avon Maitland District School Board. The school is sandwiched between these two neighbourhoods: the John Street South Area and the Dufferin Park Area. It holds classes for grades Junior Kindergarten through Grade 6, with a total school enrollment of about 190 students. Class sizes are under 24 pupils.

Hamlet PS’s emphasis is on learning in a comfortable encouraging environment. Educators strive to teach students to grow through appealing, stimulating, and novel means, preparing them for their future endeavours. Children are encouraged to learn even more through extra curricular activities in arts and athletics. There is never a dull moment at Hamlet, with exciting spirit days, engaging days of awareness, and innovative fun in the classroom and beyond.

Hamlet Public School’s ranking for 2019 came in at an impressive 6.6. This is Hamlet’s best score over the last four years. Their four year average is 5.4, so this latest score of 6.6 shows that Hamlet PS is making huge strides in the right direction. Hamlet is ranked 1195 out of the 3037 provincial elementary schools.

 

Jeanne Sauve Catholic School

Jeanne Sauve Catholic School Stratford, Ontario

https://jeannesauve.huronperthcatholic.ca/

Quick Facts:

  • Morning Bell: 8:45 am
  • School Day Ends: 3:05 pm
  • Grades: Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8
  • Highlights: Excellent Provincial Test Scores, French Immersion Proficiency, Highly Recommended

One of four of Stratford’s elementary schools under the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board, Jeanne Sauve Catholic School is located at 8 Grange Street just southeast of the city’s down town core, and serves both the city and the surrounding area. It is not far from the Avon River South Area neighbourhood. Fifteen classrooms provide plenty of space for grades Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8, with class sizes kept nicely below 20 pupils. Average enrollment totals just over 300 students. 

Jeanne Sauve’s French Immersion program commences in the first grade. Throughout the school years, students develop strong aptitude by having ample opportunities to learn and communicate ‘en francais.’ The school emphasizes development in faith and school studies in both English and French. In fact, students learn more than 50% of their studies in French, making them quite proficient bilingually upon graduation. 

Jeanne Sauve Catholic School’s provincial test scores are consistently well above average. Their 2019 score is 7.0. Ranging from 6.2 to 7.3, they have a four year average of 6.7. The school ranks 893 out of Ontario’s 3037 schools. A professor of economics at Wilfrid Laurier University said Jeanne Sauve is “truly outstanding,” in his study of Ontario’s best public schools. How is that for a fine recommendation! 

 

Stratford and District Christian School

Stratford and District Christian School Stratford, Ontario

https://sdcs.on.ca/

Quick Facts:

  • Morning Bell: 8:45 am
  • School Day Ends: 3:15 pm
  • Grades: Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8
  • Highlights: Education Excellence, Exceptional Student to Teacher Ratio, Teaching of Phonics, Emphasis on Faith

Stratford and District Christian School (SDCS) is located in a quiet neighbourhood in the southwest area of Stratford at 190 Queensland Road, at the south end of the John Street South Area neighbourhood. Established in 1977, yet in a newly built facility as of 2009, SDCS is Stratford’s only parent-run private elementary school, serving the city and surrounding communities. As a multi denominational, Christian faith-based school, tuition is required for admission; however bursaries and support may be available if eligibility requirements are met. Some may think it silly to pay for primary schooling; but others realize that education is worth its price. School enrollment averages about 100 students. Other than kindergarten, classes are split grades; but in spite of this the average class size runs approximately 17 pupils (this number reflects the class size, not the grade size). So students still get the attention and direction they need from the teacher.  

Because SDCS is a privately run school, Fraser Institute ratings are not available for comparison. But with small class sizes, dedicated teachers, and a strong commitment to enriching students’ learning, SDCS exceeds Ontario’s education standards. The school strives to be a place of developing the student as a whole – mentally, physically, and socially – the perfect formula for growth as an individual.

Above and beyond the required Ontario curriculum, students also have 30-40 minutes of study in the scripture each day. However, the biblical perspective also influences all the other subjects as well. A variety of sport opportunities are available to participate in, where students can discover and hone their talents, as well as develop their teamwork skills and good sportsmanship. Music is also a priority in all grade levels, through singing and playing instruments. In Grades 3 to 6, students learn to play the recorder. By Grades 7 and 8 students can then enter the instrumental band program. The school also has a full sized computer lab for students to sharpen their technological proficiency. With many exciting spirit days and events, learning is challenging and always fun in a family type atmosphere at Stratford and District Christian School.

 

So there you have the specs and highlights on just five of Stratford’s 14 elementary schools. With so many schools to choose from, the decision of which one is right for your growing family may be a challenge. But you are sure to find one that suits your needs and desires for your children to advance as a person in learning, development, and maturity.

Posted in Stratford
March 29, 2021

Best Small Cities To Live In, In Canada

Best Small Cities To Live In Canada

There are about a million reasons why many people are choosing small town living vs. large city life and luckily, Canada is chock full of quaint and charming small towns and cities spanning from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver Island. Nowadays, with many jobs providing “work-from-home” options, or satellite offices, more and more buyers are opting for a small town atmosphere over a big city. 

Small towns and cities throughout Canada boast a number of benefits which include a great atmosphere to raise children, lower crime rates, less traffic, a wider variety of real estate, more land and close knit atmospheres. Though they may not offer as many options, Canada’s small towns are also packed full of amazing and necessary amenities which include medical services, restaurants, unique and local shops and businesses and dozens of parks, recreational spaces and community centers. 

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Posted in Buying
March 19, 2021

The Top Elementary Schools in Kitchener Ontario

The Top Elementary Schools in Kitchener, Ontario

Kitchener is a lively city with a considerable number of elementary schools. If you’re making a move here, it’s important that you’re aware of the best educational options for your child or future children. We’ll provide you with the crucial information you’ll need to make this significant decision, including the academic prowess and core values of each school. The Fraser Institute, a non-profit organization, is a valuable reference that shows us the top schools based on yearly test results. Their 1-10 scale will give you a great start on narrowing down the most suitable options. We’ll also outline the key aspects of the schools’ surrounding neighbourhoods to give you the most clarity in meeting your family’s needs.

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St. Teresa Catholic Elementary School

Located at 270 Edwin Street, Kitchener’s highest ranked school is in the neighbourhood of Fairfield in North Kitchener. Its F.I. scores have always been high, and presently it weighs in with a solid 8.2.

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St. Teresa emphasizes achievement in all areas, including faith-based learning, academics, and social skills. They work together with St. Teresa’s Catholic Church nextdoor, and students are able to frequent this gorgeous and stately building.

Fairfield is only about eight minutes north of downtown Kitchener. The residential neighbourhood holds modest detached houses that prove to be very affordable for many families, as well as an array of low-rise apartment buildings.

 

Williamsburg Public School

Residents of Laurentian West typically attend Williamsburg at 760 Commonwealth Crescent. The school runs a French Immersion program and teaches Grades 1-6. It scores a very respectable 7.4 according to F.I. rankings.

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Williamsburg has a particular commitment to celebrating diversity, stating that many of their students are bilingual or multilingual. They take part in some specified programs, like Strong Start to reading.

The surrounding suburban neighbourhood in southwestern Kitchener is in close proximity to the Laurentian Wetlands and the Borden Wetlands. There are a multitude of large and modern multi-residential homes tucked away in this secluded and peaceful area of town.

 

St. Mark Catholic Elementary School

This Catholic school at 240 Autumn Hill Crescent has remained above average throughout the past four years, currently scoring a 7.7 on the F.I. scale. It sits in a scenic suburban area in West Kitchener.

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The school works with St. Mark’s Catholic Church down the road to enhance spiritual learning and practices. The school takes into account important responsibilities apart from academics, such as the process of becoming a responsible citizen and contributing to society.

The school’s neighbourhood of Forest Heights is an elegant suburb with a particularly high number of parks and natural areas. Westheights Park and Trailview Park are just across from the school. The winding cul-de-sacs in this area display average-sized detached family homes with varied styles.

 

Alpine Public School

Alpine Public School in Kitchener, Ontario

The school at 75 Lucerne Drive is in a fairly central location just below the Conestoga Parkway. Its 7.4 F.I. score is a sign of success from many years of stable increases. Alpine educates students from Kindergarten to Grade 6, and students typically transfer to Laurentian Senior Public School or W.H. Townshend Public School for Grades 7 and 8.

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Alpine maintains the notion that emotional support and wellbeing leads to academic achievements long-term. Teachers offer many quality experiences in the form of clubs and spirit days as a part of this strategy.

Alpine Village is a safe and comfortable neighbourhood with a range of single family homes and low-rise apartments. The school building is nestled between Alpine Park, the Laurentian Trail, and McLennan Park, proving to be a spectacular place for school activities and family fun.

 

Canadian Martyrs Catholic Elementary School

The neighbourhood of Heritage Park in the northeast end of Kitchener houses this reputable school. The latest F.I. score of 7.5 is the school’s highest result yet, and shows positive signs for further growth.

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Teachers at Canadian Martyrs aim to apply Christian values to daily life, and to challenge students to observe and react to broader issues in society. A range of extracurriculars add to students’ academic experience.

There are a mix of single family homes and apartment buildings in the neighbourhood. The main attraction of the district, Stanley Park Conservation Area, offers valuable exposure to nature and wildlife and makes up a huge part of the suburb.

 

Brigadoon Public School

At 415 Caryndale Drive, Brigadoon is a great option for families in the south of Kitchener. It educates children from Kindergarten to Grade 6, and displays a promising F.I. score of 7.4. Many parents of growing families appreciate the YMCA daycare attached to the building.

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A mantra of inclusivity and involvement helps give kids the mental wellbeing to succeed in their education. Students enjoy trips, special group activities, and even a Peace Garden. Parents are encouraged to get actively involved, as there are over 100 volunteers at the school.

Locals enjoy the large detached homes in the Brigadoon neighbourhood for which the school was named. The numerous cul-de-sacs are in the midst of a huge span of natural areas like Strasburg Creek and Brigadoon Park. Though quite far south of downtown Kitchener, this district is a quaint environment with amazing sights.

 

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School

A Catholic option in South Kitchener can be found at 560 Pioneer Drive. St. Kateri holds a 7.2. F.I. score while teaching Catholic values and collaborating with the school parish.

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St. Aloysius serves as the school parish and promotes active participation in the Catholic faith. The school prides itself on having great communication between teachers, parents, and the Church.

The school is right between Carlyle Park and Millwood Park. Its surrounding neighbourhood has a great selection of single family homes, often with multiple stories and wide lots. In this verdant part of town, connecting to nature easily becomes a normal facet of daily life.

 

John Darling Public School

John Darling Public School in Kitchener, Ontario

Another exceptional school with an F.I. score of 7.2. is John Darling, which you’ll find at 200 Rolling Meadows Drive in West Kitchener. It sits above the Conestoga Parkway and is a simple ten-minute drive to downtown.

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The school’s main values include mutual respect, hard work, and positive attitudes. Notably, it offers a Core French program for Grades 1-6 to give children a solid head start in linguistic achievement.

The homes in this safe neighbourhood are relatively substantial in size, with most having multiple stories and spacious yards. Students also have access to Rolling Meadows Park and Timberlane Park.

 

J.W. Gerth Public School

In southern Kitchener, J.W. Gerth is a very new public option situated at 171 Appleridge Drive. It opened for the first time in 2008 and teaches students up to Grade 6. This school also has an attached YMCA Child Care Centre for parents’ convenience.

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A standout feature of J.W. Gerth is its interior, which is painted in warm and nurturing colours inspired by A.Y. Jackson’s painting, “The Red Maple.” The staff is dedicated to students in many ways inside and outside the classroom, providing extracurriculars and additional support to the kids.

The school lies between Doon Creek Natural Area and Doon Mills Park. The area has a tremendous amount of green space, yet maintains a secure and modern suburban feel. It holds some of the newest and most impressive homes in the city.

 

Please get in touch with us for additional information that will help you and your family make the best move possible!

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Posted in Kitchener
Nov. 6, 2020

The 20 Best Restaurants in Brantford Ontario

The Best Restaurants in Brantford Ontario

Brantford’s culinary scene is exciting and diverse. There are so many delicious places to try along main streets like King George Road and many more dispersed throughout the city. Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a place to chat with friends over a drink, Brantford has something to offer you. In the list of 20 places to try all around the city, there are plenty of options for every occasion.  

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Breakfast and Lunch

Best Breakfast in Brantford Ontario

Start your day off right with any one of these five fine breakfast and brunch menus around Brantford. Whether you are looking for a weekend tradition or the best Sunday brunch in the city, these are the must-try spots:

Kel’s Family Restaurant

https://www.facebook.com/kelsdinerbrantford/

Starting off the category is Kel’s Family Restaurant, a dedicated breakfast and brunch place located on Dunsdon Street in the northern Brier Park neighbourhood. Their standard menu includes Breakfast plates, breakfast wraps and sandwiches, omelettes and a sweet selection of pancakes and French toast. Delicious weekly specials take existing menu items and enhance them with innovative topping combinations and sides. They are announced on the Kel’s Facebook page, so keep an eye out. There are sandwiches, wraps and burgers on the menu that appeal more to the lunch crowd, too. 

Kingswood’s Breakfast & Lunch Restaurant

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Diner/Kingswoods-Breakfast-Lunch-Restaurant-1641687806128043/

Since 1934, Kingswood’s Restaurant has served the Brantford Community. To this day, the family diner continues to offer a homestyle breakfast menu from their Colborne Street location in West Brant. Their menu includes Omelettes, Eggs Benedict, Pancakes and six different breakfast platters, all with the appeal of warm homemade cooking. In addition to the sizable breakfast options, the lunch menu includes savory sandwiches, loaded wraps and a build-your-own 8 oz. burger section.

Angel’s Diner

https://www.angelsdiner.ca/menu-brantford.html

Angel’s Diner is a north Brantford family restaurant located on the section of King George Road north of the 403 in the Mayfair neighbourhood. This family-friendly diner offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Their breakfast menu includes creative egg dishes like “Eggs Under The Blanket” - scrambled eggs secured under a warm blanket of melted cheese - and “Angel’s Breakfast Poutine” - fries, cheese, gravy, and bacon all covered in hollandaise sauce! They also serve Omelettes, Eggs Benedict, Breakfast Sautées, and Belgian Waffles, French Toast and Pancakes for diners with a sweet-tooth. 

The Olde School Restaurant

https://www.oldeschoolrestaurant.ca/

The Olde School Restaurant, Piano Bar, and Wedding Chapel offers a fine-dining breakfast experience with their special Sunday Brunch. They are located along where Paris Road and Powerline Road meet about halfway between the City of Brantford and Paris, Ontario. Definitely worth the drive, this up-scale restaurant has two brunch sittings on Sunday that feature an all-you-can-eat buffet. The buffet includes a hot table and a cold table as well as Chef-prepared omelettes with versatile fillings.

Stacked Pancake & Breakfast House

https://www.stackedpancakehouse.ca/ 

Stacked is an Ontario breakfast chain serving up classic breakfast plate specials and decadent pancake creations. In Brantford, they are located on the northern end of King George Road on the Mayfair neighbourhood side of the street. Their breakfast menu offers stacks of pancakes in an amazing variety of flavours: Chocolate caramel, Nutella strawberry, white chocolate Oreo, Cinnabun cakes and PB & J are just some of the delicious combinations listed. Other sweet samplings include French toast, waffles and crepes.  

 Brantford Real Estate

Dining In

Whether you are looking for an evening with the family, a night out with friends or a memorable date-night, Brantford’s many evening restaurants offer a wide selection of atmospheres and flavours from around the world. Here are a selection of five amazing restaurants to try in the Brantford area:

On the Lam

https://www.onthelamrestaurant.com/

On the Lam promises a great night out enjoying creative hand-crafted dishes, wine and gourmet cocktails. They are located near the corner of Queen Street and West Street in Downtown Brantford. Their menu is frequently changing to take advantage of the freshest ingredients, but the staple categories include a selection of bar snacks, fish - which usually includes raw oysters and a complimentary dip, chef’s choice of meat cuts, delicious sides and a seasonal soup menu. One recurring and very popular side dish is the Beet and Barley Risotto, a colourful one to watch out for to be sure!

Al Dente

https://www.aldentebrantford.com/

Al Dente is the evening destination for classic Italian dining. Once located in Downtown Brantford, this local, family business has been serving Brantford for over 30 years. Their current location along northern King George Street in the Greenbrier neighbourhood specializes in pizza, pasta and grilled entrées like New York striploin and grilled Atlantic salmon. Al Dente stays true to its origins as a cheesecake restaurant and several decadent selections remain on the menu to this day: Coconut cream pie, orange chocolate and caramel bourbon chocolate chip to name a few mouthwatering examples.

The Everest Grill- Fine Indian Cuisine

http://www.theeverestgrill.ca/

The Everest Grill is a traditional Indian restaurant located in Brantford’s southern Echo Place neighbourhood. Their menu offers vegetarian options like Malai Kofta - potato and cheese dumplings - and Chana Masala - a curry made from spices and chickpeas. Their non-vegetarian options include Chicken Seekh Kebab, Tandoori prawn and marinated Lamb chops. You can finish off the meal with a sampling of traditional Indian desserts like the milk dumpling based Rashmalai and Gulab Jamun and Indian-style ice cream called Kulfi.  

Zander’s Fire Grill & Brew Lounge

https://zanders.ca/

Zander’s is a lively restaurant in northern Brantford’s Greenbrier neighbourhood. They provide a package experience with great grilled food, standout service and live music on the weekends. Their food and drink menus are both locally-sourced, showcasing the best of Brantford and the surrounding area. Their menu features sandwiches, wings, burgers, pasta, stir fry and lots to throw on the grill. A popular menu item is the oven-baked beer can chicken which is served covered in a signature homemade BBQ sauce!

Fume RestoBar

https://www.fumerestobar.ca/

If you are looking for a special dining experience in Brantford, then consider the Fume RestoBar and its modern twist on fine-dining. This Holmedale restaurant serves beautiful weekly specials made with locally-sourced ingredients. Watch for their specials and weekend features on social media because you do not want to miss favourites like the Bison Burger or Octopus Appetizers. Their main menu offers a premium take on burgers, ravioli and fish and chips as well as stuffed chicken, duck, beef tenderloin and a venison rack as bountiful entrées.    

 

Takeout and Delivery

Takeout Restaurants in Brantford

TakeOut is a great way to end the day. Sometimes, you don’t want to cook or do dishes and other times you are craving a really specific dish. The takeout and delivery options available in Brantford are perfect for every situation. Here is a list of five must-try orders from around the city.

ZaZa’s Pizzeria

https://zazas.ca/

It wouldn’t be a Takeout list without a recommendation for a pizza place and ZaZa’s is one of Brantford’s best. They are located on Lynden Road in Brantford’s northeastern end. Their menu offers over 20 different flavours of pizza all baked in a proper wood-fire oven. You can try some of ZaZa’s signature combinations like Potato Bacon, Grilled Chicken Canadian, a traditional Capri pizza or you can build your own creation by selecting from their list of toppings. Besides pizza, they serve hot sandwiches, 3-topping panzerotti and pasta dishes. 

Goo’s Takeout and Catering

http://www.goostakeout.com/

Goo’s provides Brantford with Canadian favourites with a unique twist. From their location along Shellard Lane in the southwestern neighbourhood also called Shellard Lane, Goo’s offers a fully-loaded menu of all your classic takeout meals. Goo’s menu offers burgers, sandwiches, wraps, fish and chips and 13 flavours of chicken wings. Another standout menu item is Goo’s selection of poutines which include the traditional fries, cheese and gravy alongside creative combinations like a pulled pork poutine, a big mac poutine and a sweet chili poutine among many others.

Burrito Brothers

https://www.burrito-brothers.com/

Another great way to spice up your evening is gourmet burritos from Burrito Brothers. This takeout place can be found along Dalhousie Street in Downtown Brantford or online with Skipthedishes. Their signature burritos come in 10” and 12” sizes and can be customized with a variety of fresh toppings. In addition, Burrito Brothers offers Burrito Bowls, Nachos, Quesadilla and tacos. They will also bundle several different types of meals together in a Family Deal and a Double-It-Up Special.

The Chinese Sisters

https://www.thechinesesisters.com/

This Downtown Brantford restaurant provides the community with a taste of authentic Chinese cooking and the convenience of takeout or delivery dining. The restaurant is located right downtown along Colborne Street or online with their own online ordering or Skipthedishes. The Chinese Sisters’ menu features plenty of hot dishes from Kung Pao Chicken to fried cauliflower with cumin and ground chicken and so much more! Spring rolls, fried rice and many flavours of noodle dishes are also available. This versatile menu is also complimented by weekly specials announced online and over social media, a great way to try something new.  

Sai Thai Kitchen

http://saithai1.com/

Opened in 2018, Sai Thai Kitchen is Brantford’s hotspot for dine-in and takeout Thai cuisine. They can be found along King George Road in the north Brantford neighbourhood of Greenbrier. Their menu includes noodle dishes, soups, stir-fry, fried rice and plenty of curry options. Their list of appetizers are a great way to start off your meal with a crunch. Standouts include shrimp rolls, crab wonton and golden pouch wonton wraps. All of Sai Thai’s main dishes are made with fresh vegetables and rich, authentic Thai spices.

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Desserts, Cafés and Snacks

Sociable Kitchen and Tavern

This last category is for people looking for a place to order special desserts, to enjoy a brief chat over a cup of coffee or to try local craft brew and share a platter with friends. These five restaurants offer a mix of experiences to appeal to a variety of diners looking for a quick bite in Brantford.

Sociable Kitchen and Tavern

https://www.sociabletavern.ca/home?

Located on King George Road just south of the 403 in the western neighbourhood of Henderson, Sociable Kitchen and Tavern is a trendy spot to enjoy an evening in Brantford. While Sociable also offers burgers, sandwiches, salads and entrées as a part of a dine-in dinner menu, their appetizers and platters are perfect for light snacking during a night out. Their “Sociables'' menu items include an extensive dip platter, loaded nachos, lettuce wraps, wings, and flatbread. On the lighter side, their appetizers pair well with their rotating tap of Ontario-brewed craft beer.   

Healthy Rabbit

https://www.healthyrabbit.ca/feedme/

Healthy Rabbit is an amazing restaurant in central Brantford that offers a huge list of smoothies, drinks, and snacks. They can be found along Brant Avenue in the North Ward neighbourhood. Their smoothies are blends of superfoods, protein, fresh fruit, and exciting flavours. The best part? They sound like desserts: Mocha Cream, Vanilla Chai, and Orange Creamsicle are just some of the options off this tasty menu. Healthy Rabbit serves Kombucha, tea and lattes on the drink menu as well. As for treats, they offer a healthy spin on countless classic desserts like brownies, cupcakes and Cheese Cake, many made Gluten-free, Vegan and Raw. 

Blue Dog Café

https://www.thebluedogcafe.com/

Blue Dog Café has it all: all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner and an entire page of their menu dedicated to specialty beverages. Visiting this central Brantford café is great any time of day. The café is run out of a converted heritage home in Brantford’s North Ward neighbourhood. Stop by and warm up with their “Strong Dog Pressure Brew,” Espresso blends, latte creations or any other specialty blends. Their cold offerings include smoothies, affogato, and a variety of ice coffee drinks. They also double as a board game café, so you can find a new favourite game and a new favourite seasonal drink!

Dairee Delites

https://www.daireedelite.ca/

Dairee Delites is a seasonal treat that opens around March and closes at the beginning of fall. This old-fashioned ice cream shop has been an iconic Brantford dessert stop since the 1950s. It is now located at the Home Hardware Plaza along King George Road in the Terrace Hill neighbourhood. They sell treats like soft-serve cones (with nine available dipped-cone flavours), sundaes, flurries and yogurt pies as well as milkshakes, slush drinks and ice cream floats! For several menu items, their sizes come in child size, regular, large and monster.  

Bell City Brewing Co.

https://bellcitybrewing.com/

The Bell City Brewing Co. specializes in craft beer, but they also open their tap room to guests in order to try their brews in pairings with great food. Bell City is located south of Lynden Road, near the Lynden Park Mall in northeastern Brantford. Their menu includes classic snacks like pretzel bites and mustard dips, sliders, samosas and a charcuterie board to enjoy with friends. Bell City has also crafted a masterpiece bacon-pepper grilled cheese served with sriracha lime ketchup on the side.

Brantford Ontario Real Estate

Posted in Brantford
Nov. 2, 2020

The Best High Schools in Brantford Ontario

 Brantford Collegiate Institute

Between the Grand Erie District School Board and the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, there are five secondary schools in the City of Brantford. Each school has a unique combination of programs and activities that make it shine. Where one school might fall behind, it excels in another area, so looking at them all side-by-side is part of making the best decision for a student.

This list will explore program offerings, special academics, and extra-curricular options for students to make the most of their 4 years. Here is the breakdown of what each of the five schools offers students in Brantford, Ontario.

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Assumption College School

Assumption College School

Assumption College is a Catholic High School located in the Shellard Lane neighbourhood in southwestern Brantford. The school’s boundaries cover much of southern Brantford and the rural area to the southwest of the city.

This high school offers a wide variety of special programs for its students including Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP) - both regular track and an accelerated track for Automotive Services and Cooking. There are also course options for  Advanced Placement and Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM). For students interested in SHSM at Assumption, they can choose from a focus in Business, Health Care, Fitness, Hospitality and Tourism, Visual Art, Instrumental Music, Construction, Communications, Computer Technology, Transportation, Manufacturing, or Child Care and Family Services.

In terms of provincial test scores, Assumption College sports an average Fraser Institute ranking of 6.5 out of 10. Assumption’s most recent ranking of 6.5 comes from a level 2.9 average on the Math EQAO and a 79% pass rate on the English Literacy Test.

Assumption College is also well known for their breadth of student activities. For those interested in performance, the school has excellent Drama and Music Programs. In addition to the school courses, students can participate in the annual theatre production or join the Concert Band or Vocal Ensemble. There are high school teams for football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, rugby and many more. Other clubs and leadership opportunities include Environmental Club, Art Club, Animation Club, Games Club and Student Council.   

Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School

Brantford Collegiate is a Grand Erie School Board secondary school. It can be found just west of Brant Avenue and north of the Grand River. The school’s intake boundaries indicate that they accept students from a lot of the southwestern and central-west side as well as the rural areas south of the city.

Brantford Collegiate offers a few different kinds of programs. For students more interested in hands-on learning, Brantford Collegiate has OYAP, SHSM, and STEP options that help students take their learning outside of the classroom. The SHSM program at Brantford includes an Arts Program for Stage and Screen, Fitness, and Manufacturing with a focus in Welding/Fabrication. For students set on University, Brantford Collegiate offers both Advanced Placement eligible courses and the special Brantford Laurier Program which offers students enriched academics alongside leadership opportunities. Brantford Collegiate also offers both a French Immersion Certificate and an Extended French certificate to students who meet the course requirements upon graduation.

In provincial testing, Brantford Collegiate has an average ranking of 5.4 for the last five years with a much-improved 5.8 being their most recent. This comes from an average of level 3 on the Grade 9 Math EQAO and a 72% pass rate on the English Literacy Test.

Outside of the classroom, students of Brantford Collegiate can explore many different interests during their time in high school. Sports are offered both as seasonal team competitions and regular intramural games. Students looking to get involved in the arts programs can join concert band, jazz band, musical theatre, or a film festival. Brantford Collegiate also runs a Yearbook Club, a Book Club, and an AV club as well as many others throughout the year.    

North Park Collegiate and Vocational School

North Park Collegiate and Vocational School

North Park is a Grand Erie secondary school that services the north end of Brantford. The school itself is located in the Fairview neighbourhood.

The programs at North Park have something to offer every type of student. The SHSM program offers a specialist focus in the areas of Communication Technology, Health and Wellness, Sports, and Architecture and Construction. OYAP gives North Park students a chance to begin an apprenticeship while still in high school. The Dual-Credit program allows students to work toward post-secondary school credits while still finishing their high school diploma. North Park also offers an Advanced Placement program and supports general E-Learning.

During the most recent year of provincial testing, North Park had a level 2.8 average on the Math EQAO and a 72% pass rate on the English Literacy Test. With these scores, North Park got a Fraser Institute ranking of 6.0 out of 10. This score contributes to their five-year average score of 6.3.

North Park has an incredible variety of extra-curricular programs for students to try. In addition to joining numerous sports teams, students can exercise their leadership skills within the Trojan Athletics program. The competition doesn’t stop there as students can participate in science fairs and math contests, too. Music students have the chance to join either the concert band or the wind ensemble. Some North Park clubs include art, drama, chess, and baking among many more.  

Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School

Pauline Johnson is a south Brantford secondary school located east of the Downtown core in the neighbourhood of Echo Place. The school boundaries encompass much of central and eastern Brantford and expand out into the rural area east of the city’s boundaries.

There are many great programs being offered by Pauline Johnson. For their SHSM, students can choose between a Culinary Arts Focus, a Media Arts Focus, and a special E3 Focus which specializes on studying the environment and is unique to Pauline Johnson. Another unique program is S.O.A.R., an athletic dedication that goes in-depth about fitness and nutrition. Pauline Johnson also offers an Advanced Placement Program and an Enrichment Program which offers enriched core subjects and is capped off with a Legacy Project in Grade 12.

When compared by provincial test scores, Pauline Johnson ranks at an average of 3.6 out of 10 according to the Fraser Institute. Their most recent ranking of 3.3 comes from a combined level 2.8 average on the Math EQAO and a 45% pass rate on the English Literacy Test.

Pauline Johnson is building a reputation for its dedication to athletics. Outside of the unique program opportunities offered by the school, the new Kiwanis Field opened in 2016 is right in the school’s backyard. This game-day-ready field features a full-length field, versatile track space, and bleachers for spectators. Best of all, it  serves as the home field for the Pauline Johnson Thunderbirds! Other extra-curricular activities include bands, clubs, and leadership roles across the school.

St. John’s College

St. John’s College

St. John’s College is a Catholic secondary school located along Paris Road in the north part of Brantford’s Henderson neighbourhood. The wider school boundaries also cover much of north Brantford.

St. John’s offers both experiential learning opportunities and enriched academics depending on what a student would rather focus on. For those who want a smoother transition into an apprenticeship or college program, there is OYAP or Dual-Credits. Students can also choose between a SHSM in Arts and Culture, Construction, Health and Wellness, Hospitality and Tourism, Information Communication Technology, or Sports. St. John’s also offers an Advanced Placement program in STEM courses or in English Literature and Composition.

In the most recent provincial testing St. John’s scored an average level 2.8 score on the Math EQAO and a 85% pass rate on the English Literacy Test. This earned the school a Fraser Institute ranking of 6.5 out of 10 and an average of 6.6 across the last five years.

Extra-curricular activities at St. John’s enhance the classroom learning in every subject or area of interest. For students who enjoy STEM programming, this high school participates in science and math contests as well as the STEM Olympics. Students with a passion for athletics can join any of the school’s sport teams or participate in individual sports like Golf. Other great activities and events include performance groups in Drama and Band as well as a Debate Team and participation in the Mock Trial program.

There are programs to highlight for every high school in Brantford. Whether it’s a specific academic program or a special extra-curricular offering, the best high school in Brantford depends on what a student is looking for.

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If you want to know more about Brantford, Ontario consider our Guide to Living in Brantford. If you want to explore specific neighbourhoods, check out our Best Neighbourhoods in Brantford.

Posted in Brantford
Oct. 8, 2020

The Best Elementary Schools in Brantford, Ontario

Best Elementary Schools in Brantford Ontario

When looking at Brantford neighbourhoods, finding nearby schools is a high priority for families with children. Finding a great local school is even more important. Brantford has a lot of elementary schools to choose from, so the decision can seem overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best elementary schools in Brantford based on their EQAO test results and their Fraser Institute rankings.

High scores aren’t where our ranking stops. Great schools not only test high once, but do so consistently or improve greatly over a few years. Additionally, the extra-curricular programs, clubs, and teams that a school offers can go a long way in fostering a fantastic school community. Here are our top 5 elementary schools in Brantford, Ontario based on those factors:

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5. Ryerson Heights Elementary School

Quick Facts:

- Morning Bell: 8:35am

- School Day Ends at: 2:55pm

- Grades: JK to Grade 8

- Highlights: Lighthouse Leadership (in recognition of the Leader in Me program)

Ryerson Heights is a forward-thinking Brantford school with good provincial scores and promising community programs. Ryerson Heights strives to inspire all of its students to become leaders by encouraging the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Additionally, the school promotes the environmentally-responsible “Boomerang Lunches” program which teaches students to reduce the waste from their lunches.

Located in the southwest Brantford neighbourhood of Shellard Lane, Ryerson Heights takes students from Kindergarten through to Grade 8. This Grand Erie District School Board school also takes students from the area north of Colborne Street West and south of the bend of the Grand River that is included in its boundaries.

For the last 4 years, Ryerson Heights has shown fairly steady improvement in its provincial test scores. With an average Fraser Institute ranking of 6.2 out of 10, Ryerson is working to exceed provincial averages. In the most recent ranking, they earned a 6.3, continuing to show their growth. 

 

4. St. Peter School

Quick Facts:

- Morning Bell: 8:35am

- School Day Ends at: 2:55pm

- Grades: JK to Grade 8

- Highlights: YMCA After School Program

St. Peter is a tight-knit Catholic elementary school with rapidly rising provincial scores, a range of sports, and a YMCA After School program. As a part of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic School Board, students can participate in board-supported sports teams like  Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Cross Country, and Track and Field.

St. Peter is located in the Echo Place neighbourhood and services students from much of south-central Brantford and the rural southeast. Students attend St. Peter from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

The provincial scores at St. Peter result in a favourable average of 6.7 in Fraser Institute rankings for the last three years of available scores. In the most recent rankings, St. Peter jumped all the way to an 8.0, showing incredible growth and great scores in Reading and Writing.

 

3. St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School

Quick Facts:

- Morning Bell: 8:55am

- School Day Ends at: 3:15pm

- Grades: JK to Grade 8

- Highlight: Close to Assumption College School (High School)

St. Gabriel is another elementary school in Brantford that scores well, but this school has the added benefit of being incredibly convenient for students and parents. St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School not only sports a great average on provincial testing, it is right beside one of the best-scoring secondary schools too, Assumption College. For Grade 8 students of St. Gabriel, the transition to high school isn’t that far at all!

St. Gabriel is an elementary school in the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board which takes students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Located in the Shellard Lane neighbourhood of Brantford. The school’s boundaries expand out to include the eastern part of the neighbourhood as well as the western stretch out north of Shellard Lane.

In the last four years, St. Gabriel has built up a solid average of 7.1 in Fraser Institute rankings. This is topped off by a most recent score of 7.3, one of the top 5 scores in Brantford. St. Gabriel has consistently ranked above provincial standards in the subject of Writing across both Grade 3 and Grade 6 EQAO results.   

 

2. École Dufferin

Quick Facts:

- Morning Bell: 8:50am

- School Day Ends at: 3:10pm

- Grades: JK to Grade 8

- Highlight: French Program

As more and more families are seeking out a good French education for their children, schools like École Dufferin become important places to start learning a new language. It combines a good reputation, pleasant neighbourhood, and high recent test scores to become one of the best French Immersion schools in Brantford.

École Dufferin is an elementary school in the Grand Erie District School Board. It offers French Immersion programming for children in kindergarten through to Grade 8. This terrific school is located in the Holmedale neighbourhood on the west end of Brantford. The school’s boundaries encompass the areas along the Grand River and further into West Brant.

In terms of test scores, École Dufferin has had fairly strong results over the last four years. In an increasingly positive trend, École Dufferin’s newest score according to the Fraser Institute was an even 8.0, among the highest in the city. For all scores within the last 4 years, École Dufferin has an average of about 6.9, so this most recent score shows incredible improvement!

 

1. Our Lady of Providence

Our Lady of Providence

Quick Facts:

- Morning Bell: 8:45am

- School Day Ends at: 3:05pm

- Grades: JK to Grade 8

- Highlight: Great Scores - especially in Reading and Writing

Sitting in the top spot is the Catholic elementary school, Our Lady of Providence. This school not only has the best average of test scores in Brantford, but it also had one of the top 5 scores on the most recent provincial testing!

Our Lady of Providence is located right in the northeastern neighbourhood of Mayfair. This Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board school takes children from Kindergarten through to Grade 8. The school’s boundaries also include a section of north-central Brantford and a large area north of Powerline Road. 

Our Lady of Providence has the highest average across the last 4 years of provincial test scores in Brantford. They have an overall average of about 7.2 with their most recent ranking of 7.3 highlighting a positive trend in their scores, too.

 École Dufferin Brantford Ontario

Ultimately, the best elementary school in Brantford, Ontario is the one that meets the needs of your family. With so many neighbourhoods and school programs to choose from, Brantford’s public schools have a lot to offer.

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If you want to know more about Brantford, Ontario, check out our Guide to Living in Brantford, Ontario. If you are looking for the highlights of Brantford neighbourhoods, consider our The Best Neighbourhoods in Brantford, Ontario.

 

 

Posted in Brantford
Sept. 19, 2020

A Guide to Living in or Moving to Brantford, Ontario

Brantford Ontario

Brantford is a medium-sized city in southwestern Ontario that is gaining popularity as an alternative to living in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Located between Woodstock and Hamilton, Brantford’s main claim to fame is as “Telephone City”, the hometown of Alexander Graham Bell. Long-time residents and newcomers to Brantford enjoy a blend of community activities, attractions, and services that make Brantford an appealing and convenient place to live!

About Brantford - Where is Brantford Ontario?

The City of Brantford is in southwestern Ontario, located on the Grand River at the centre of Brant County. Despite being surrounded by Brant County, Brantford is considered politically independent from the rest of the County. In the 2016 census, Brantford had a population of 97,496 and in this growing city, that number is definitely on the rise!

The 403 Highway runs through Brantford, connecting it with Woodstock and the 401, Hamilton, and the rest of the Greater Toronto Area. In terms of distance, Brantford is about 95km east of London, Ontario and 40km west of Hamilton. Brantford is just northwest of the Six Nations of the Grand River, the largest population of First Nations communities in Canada.

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History of Brantford, Ontario

Alexander Graham Bell Memorial in Brantford Ontario

Brantford’s vibrant history is all the more rich because visitors and residents alike interact with it every day. The city was formally incorporated in 1877, but before that it was a part of the land along the Grand River granted to Joseph Brant in 1784. Brantford - originally Brant’s Ford - refers directly to Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) who led Mohawk and Loyalist forces during the American Revolution and was granted the land around the Grand River. A statue and monument commemorating Joseph Brant and the Six Nations Confederacy can be found in Victoria Park Square. Other famous residents include Alexander Graham Bell, who gave Brantford the title of “Telephone City” when he  invented the telephone and made the first long-distance call from the city. The former Bell family home has been turned into a National Historic Site and museum called The Bell Homestead. Another is Wayne Gretzky, perhaps the most famous hockey player in the history of the sport. He was born in Brantford, Ontario and many streets, buildings, and special events are named in honour of Wayne Gretzky and the contributions of his family to the game. 

Real Estate in Brantford, Ontario

The City of Brantford is seeing the same steady rise in real estate activity as the rest of the southwestern Ontario. So far in 2020, the average sale price of a residential property in Brantford was about $540,000. Despite a trend of higher prices, owning a sizable property in Brantford remains affordable compared to communities closer to the GTA. Some residents are willing to accept that longer commute for lower average prices on detached homes.

The majority of Brantford residents live in single family detached houses. This style of property is also the most popular on the market. Depending on the area of Brantford, there are semi-detached, row style townhouses, and apartment-style condominiums available - especially in areas of newer development. Brand new, detached homes have a higher average starting around $600,000, while townhouses and condos tend to be listed for less than $350,000 at some of the lowest prices in the city.

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Living in Brantford, Ontario

 Brantford Ontario City Hall

Brantford has all the comforts of an expanding southwestern Ontario city. It has an affordable and accessible transportation network, a variety of education streams and programs, and diverse and exciting industries. With all the convenience of larger cities, it’s no surprise that Brantford’s popularity is rising. 

Transportation in Brantford is handled by Brantford Transit - a bus service that operates 15 routes around the city, real-time service communication, and smart card passes. Brantford is also connected to the GO Transit network with a bus route that makes routine trips to nearby Hamilton. For those commuting, Brantford residents have easy access to the 403 Highway which runs through Hamilton     and connects with the GTA. Though Brantford does have a municipal airport for charter flights and events, the nearest airports offering commercial flights are the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Brantford has a diverse range of public school options. The two largest boards are the Grand Erie District School Board and the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board which manage the majority of elementary and secondary schools between them. French-language Catholic Schools are covered by the Conseil scolaire MonAvenir and  the Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy offers a special curriculum blended with early access to college courses. Outside of public schools, there are many options for private elementary and secondary schools for students in Brantford as well. Post-secondary options in Brantford include campuses for Wilfrid Laurier University, Conestoga College, and Six Nations Polytechnic. With Hamilton only 35 minutes away, students can live in Brantford and commute to McMaster University.

A lot of Brantford’s development has been attributed to its great location along a major Ontario Highway. The 403 provides the city with easy access to many of the largest markets including the Golden Horseshoe area and even access to border crossings with the United States. Some of Brantford’s important industries are Manufacturing (food and beverage, plastic, and rubber), Film, Television, and Digital Media, and Warehousing and Distribution. 

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Things to do in Brantford, Ontario

Brantford Ontario Train Station

Whether its a year-round attraction or an annual festival, the City of Brantford has something for everyone to get excited about. Many of the city’s well-known attractions are the historical and cultural sites, the Bell Homestead, the Myrtleville House Museum, and the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brantford. Spending the day outdoors in a community park or along one of Brantford’s many trails is an equally rewarding way to explore the city!

There are so many great Brantford annual festivals to visit and even partake in! Some of the biggest names are the Brantford International Villages Festival - a celebration of the diverse cultural makeup of the city, Brantford Kinsmen Ribfest - a summer gathering of great food, music, and people, and the Brantford International Jazz Festival - a live music festival right in Downtown Brantford. There are even more community events to discover throughout the year as well.

There is a lot to explore in and around Brantford, Ontario, but this blog should give you a good place to start! If you are looking for more detailed information, consider checking our Brantford Neighbourhood Guide or Brantford School Guides for Elementary and High Schools.

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Posted in Brantford