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.
History of 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.
Living in Brantford, Ontario
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.
Things to do in Brantford, Ontario
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.
Search for Brantford Real Estate