Ontario Real Estate News Blog

by Team Forster

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
Sept. 19, 2020

Best Neighbourhoods in Brantford Ontario

If you’re planning a move to Brantford, Ontario, the question has probably crossed your mind: which neighbourhood is best for me? The answer depends on what you are looking for in a neighbourhood. Do you need to be close to the Highway? Are you looking for the neighbourhood for a family? Or as a young professional? What about house-age, style, and lot sizes? A lot of factors go into the “Best” Brantford neighbourhoods and we’ve got a list of suggestions based on a few key factors.

The Best Neighbourhoods for Commuters

Brantford Ontario Commuters

The 403 Highway is going to be the most important part of your commute. It runs through Brantford between Woodstock to the west and Hamilton to the east. To cut down on the travel time, many Brantford residents live on the northern end of the city in the neighbourhoods north of the 403. This includes Mayfair, Fairview, Greenbrier, Brier Park, and Branlyn.

Out of those, Greenbrier and Brier Park have the best blend of overall convenience.

Greenbrier is one of Brantford’s northernmost neighbourhoods. It is located to the immediate east of King George Road. Greenbrier is a great choice not only for the commute, but for everyday convenience, too! There is a lot of shopping all along King George Road especially concentrated in the Brantford Commons shopping area in the northeast corner of the neighbourhood. To the south,  residents of Greenbrier can easily connect with the 403.

Brier Park is east of Greenbrier and is full of pleasant and quiet residential streets. The neighbourhood has many detached housing options in a variety of styles. Residents of Brier Park enjoy access to lots of community parks, schools, and are right beside the Wayne Gretzky Parkway which feeds into the 403. 

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The Best Neighbourhood for Nature-Lovers

Brantford Ontario Wilkes Damn

Thanks to the Grand River, good tree coverage, and scenic trails, the Holmedale/Lansdowne area is easily among the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Brantford.

Residents of Holmedale enjoy winding trails along the Grand River and some lovely parks. The standouts include the SC Johnson Trail, Waterworks Park, and the Rotary bike park with cycling trails and a BMX area as well. Some houses even back onto the forest or the Grand River itself - talk about having nature in your backyard!

While the streets themselves are fairly quiet and residential, Holmedale isn’t too far from conveniences with some shopping and dining along King George Road and Brant Avenue to the north and east. The 403 is also less than 10 minutes to the north. To Holmedale’s credit, it has some of the best schools in the city to top it off as a truly winning neighbourhood.

The Best Neighbourhoods for Families

When looking at family-oriented neighbourhoods, important features like community parks, nearby school reputations, and safety are common priorities. Fortunately,  Holmedale, Henderson, and Shellard Lane are all excellent choices for families in Brantford to explore.

Henderson is just north of Holmedale, which was already featured for being great for nature-lovers. Well, Holmedale in addition to the great parks, Holmedale also has some well-regarded schools. Both the French Immersion École Dufferin and Christ the King Catholic School are in Holmedale and they sport excellent rankings. Henderson is included on this list because of the school options it offers as well as the overall quality. École Confédération is another good French Immersion elementary school located in the very north of Henderson. For parents looking for a French Immersion program for their kids, it helps to find one at well-ranked schools!

The southwestern neighbourhood of Shellard Lane is even further west of West Brant. Shellard Lane is a great choice for families looking for great schools and even better convenience. There is a trio of great schools very close to one another: Ryerson Heights Elementary School, St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School, and Assumption College School - a Catholic board secondary school. If your kids are within walking distance of one, they can walk to all three options! Shellard Lane has some fantastic parks, too:  Donegal Park and Rink, Edith Monture Park and playground, and trail access on the eastern side of the neighbourhood.

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The Best Neighbourhoods for Stylish Houses

Alexander Graham Bell House in Brantford Ontario

Brantford is a city that is expanding quickly, but it’s also a city with deep heritage roots. Whether you are interested in a century-home packed with character, a fixer-upper, or a brand new dream home, there are a few great neighbourhoods in Brantford known for stylist houses.

Terrace Hill

Older homes present a challenge for handy folk, a blank slate for dream-home renovators, or a charming home full of original personality. The Terrace Hill area of Brantford offers a staggering variety for all types of buyers! This mature neighbourhood is just south of the 403 Highway. It features quiet, tree-lined streets, and many houses with beautiful original brick. Better yet, there are several classic homes in the neighbourhood mix. Many older properties on the market have already received interior updates, but there are some out there perfect for a project!

West Brantford

Brantford’s growth means plenty of new housing developments are always popping up! If you are looking for the newest properties with modern exteriors and up-to-date interiors, then consider some of the developments on Brantford’s west side. The first development is Nature’s Grand by LIV Communities, located south of Hardy Road and north of the Grand River. While this development is quite a distance outside Brantford’s core, it is still relatively close to the 403 and offers key access to several riverside trails. It features brand new two-storey, detached homes with floor plans ranging from 1,400 to over 3,000 square feet of livable space. Another new LIV development is called Sienna Woods, planned for Colborne Street West near the Brantford Municipal Airport.

There are even more great neighbourhoods to explore in Brantford outside of this list, but it’s a great place to start. If you want to know more about Brantford, check out our Guide to Living in Brantford, Ontario! For some more information on Brantford Schools, take a look at the Best Elementary and Best High Schools.

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Posted in Brantford
April 29, 2020

Moving to Uplands? The Ultimate Guide to Living in Uplands (2020)

Moving to and living in uplands london ontario

Uplands is a modern, thoughtfully planned neighbourhood that Londoners are getting excited about. Its substantial contemporary homes and prime northern location contribute to the area’s growing success. Uplands is an ideal place for anyone to settle down, and for families to upgrade to their dream home. The proximity of the neighbourhood to parts of North London and the Masonville area is a key factor for many residents, who easily commute yet enjoy more seclusion and distance from the urban scene. Uplands Trail runs through the neighbourhood and connects each community, increasing the safety and security of residents. If you’re searching for a bright new area with lots of potential for growth, Uplands should be near the top of your list. We’ll show you more of the main reasons why many are considering the stunning homes here.

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Posted in Buying
April 28, 2020

Relocating in 2020? Follow These Moving Tips for a Stress-free Transition!


Relocating in 2020? Follow These Moving Tips for a Stress-free Transition!

Posted in Buying
April 27, 2020

Moving to Sunningdale? The Ultimate Guide to Living in Sunningdale (2020)

Moving to and living in sunningdale london ontario

Sunningdale is a remarkably modern community in the north of London, Ontario. It is one of the latest neighbourhoods in the city and is still expanding with sensational new building projects. The area is bordered at the south end by Fanshawe Park Road West, and nearly reaches Arva on Medway Road to the north. The properties here often serve as fantastic upgrades for families, who can soak in Sunningdale’s natural scenery while still enjoying proximity to major locations in North London. Withdraw into these safe, elegant, and green suburbs to discover the perfect home you’ve envisioned.

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Posted in Buying
April 13, 2020

Moving to Byron? The Ultimate Guide to Living in Byron, Ontario

living in byron london ontario

The allure of Byron in London, Ontario has been rapidly increasing as more and more Londoners are taken in by its charm. Byron’s small town atmosphere stems primarily from its long history. Though it is now a thriving neighbourhood in southwest London, Byron once stood on its own as a lively village over two centuries ago. This energy has carried through to the present day, and it remains one of the most popular locations to live within the city. Its abundance of green spaces is another irresistible perk that enhances every aspect of family life. With its newer areas as well as long-standing neighbourhoods, Byron is a treasure trove of homes suited to many lifestyles and family needs.

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Posted in Buying
April 9, 2020

Moving to White Oaks? Guide to Living in White Oaks, Ontario

Living in white oaks ontario

London’s south end can be as lively and convenient as its northern counterpart, especially when it comes to the favourably located neighbourhood of White Oaks. This residential area has perhaps the widest variety of single family homes, townhouses, and apartment buildings in the city. It is therefore a highly populated area and yields a great opportunity for first-time buyers. Any home here is close to one of London’s prime shopping centres, as well as many restaurants, parks, and community areas. The major Highway 401 lies directly south of the neighbourhood, making it a simplified commute to Toronto or Windsor. With everything within reach and a plethora of options in terms of living spaces, this is an especially practical and comfortable neighbourhood to consider when preparing for a move.

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Posted in Buying
April 7, 2020

Moving to Bayfield? A Guide to Living in Bayfield, Ontario [2020 Edition]

Moving to bayfield ontario

Huron County contains some of the most charming communities that Ontario has to offer. First to mind is often Goderich, the once named “prettiest town in Canada,” but just south of that, Bayfield, Ontario is a fine contender. Nearby to the Bayfield River, Lake Huron, and the Bluewater Highway, the Village of Bayfield is an attractive community in the Bluewater Municipality. The village is a draw for anyone visiting the waters of Lake Huron and a beautiful place to call home.

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Posted in Buying
April 6, 2020

Moving to Port Franks? Guide to Living in Port Franks, Ontario

Homes-for-sale-port-franks-ontario

For many residents of southwestern Ontario, Lake Huron is the go-to getaway destination. From camping amid the forest of Pinery Provincial Park to enjoying the sand and sun on one of Lambton Shores many beaches, there is something for everyone along the lake’s shore. In Port Franks, Ontario, permanent and seasonal residents get to own a slice of beach life away from the tourism and bustle of more well-known areas like Grand Bend. Check out our handy guide to see what living in Port Franks is all about!

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Posted in Buying
April 2, 2020

Moving to Grand Bend? Guide to Living in Grand Bend, Ontario

Guide to living in grand bend ontario

Have you ever wondered what living steps from the beach might look like? Whether you are moving to Grand Bend or considering spots for a lakeside cottage, this guide has everything you need to know about this popular Lake Huron beach community!

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Posted in Buying