Brantford

Brantford

[brant-ferd]
Brantford, city (1991 pop. 81,997), S Ont., Canada, on the Grand River. It is a leading manufacturing city, noted particularly for its large farm implement factories. The city was named for the Mohawk chieftain Joseph Brant, who led the Six Nations of the Iroquois to the region after the American Revolution and who is buried in the old Mohawk Church near the city. The Mohawk Institute, a Native American residential school, is nearby. Alexander Graham Bell was living in Brantford in 1876 when he made his first successful experiment in the transmission of sound by electric wire. A museum, formerly his home, exhibits the first telephone.

Brantford is a city located on the Grand River in south-western Ontario, Canada. This single-tier municipality is part of Brant County. The city had a population of 90,192 in the Canada 2006 Census.

Brantford, geographically surrounded by Brant, is connected to Woodstock in the west and Hamilton in the east by Highway 403 and to Cambridge to the north by Highway 24. Highway 424, connecting Highway 401 from Cambridge to Highway 403 in Brantford, is in the planning stages.

Brantford is sometimes known by the nickname The Telephone City, after one of the city's most famous former residents, Alexander Graham Bell.

History

The Attawandaron, or Neutral Nation, lived in the Grand River valley area before the 17th century; their main village and seat of the chief, Kandoucho, was identified by 19th-century historians as having been located on the Grand River where Brantford lies today. This town, like the rest of their settlements, was destroyed when the Iroquois declared war in 1650 and exterminated the Neutral nation.

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

Brantford was incorporated as a city in 1877.

Economy

Brantford was an important Canadian industrial centre for the first half of the 20th Century, and was once the number three city in Canada in terms of cash-value of manufactured goods exported. The city is at the deepest navigable point of the Grand River, and was once a railroad hub of Southern Ontario. The combination of water and rails helped Brantford develop from a farming community into a blue collar industrial city based on the agriculture implement industry centred around companies such as Massey-Harris, Verity Plow and the Cockshutt Plow Company. This industry, more than any other, provided the well-paying and steady employment that allowed Brantford to sustain economic growth through most of the 20th century.

By the 1980s and 1990s, the economy of Brantford was in steady decline as a result of the bankruptcies of White Farm Equipment, Massey-Ferguson, Koering-Waterous, Harding Carpets, and other manufacturers. The closure of the businesses left thousands of people unemployed and created one of the most economically depressed areas in the country. The unemployment rate, however, has steadily decreased in more recent years, from almost 14% in 1993 down to 6.3% in 2006. This improved employment picture led to the rate of personal bankruptcy in Brantford falling by 6.2% in 2006.

The completion of the Brantford to Ancaster section of Highway 403 in 1997, was intended to provide an increased incentive for business to locate in Brantford because of easy access to Hamilton and Toronto, as well as being along the quickest route through southern Ontario between Detroit and Buffalo. In 2004 Procter & Gamble and Ferrero SpA chose to locate in the city. Though Wescast Industries, Inc. recently closed their local foundry, their corporate headquarters will remain in Brantford.

On February 16 2005, Brant, including Brantford, was added to the Greater Golden Horseshoe along with Haldimand and Northumberland counties.

Education

Statistics from the 2001 Census indicate that 40% of Brantford residents had not earned a high-school diploma, compared to the provincial average of 33%.

The average annual income is 9% less than the national average.

The W. Ross Macdonald School for blind and deafblind students is located in Brantford.

Universities and colleges

  • Mohawk College, has a satellite campus in Brantford, and offers programs in the downtown.
  • Laurier Brantford, a campus of Wilfrid Laurier University, offers undergraduate degrees in their downtown facilities. They include degrees in Contemporary Studies, Criminology, Leadership, Journalism, and a joint program in education offered in partnership with Nipissing University.
  • Nipissing University, joint program with Wilfrid Laurier.

Secondary schools

Politics

The city council was elected to a four-year term in November, 2006, and is headed by Mayor Mike Hancock. Two councillors were elected to represent each of five wards. The current councillors are: Jennifer Kinneman and Mark Littell(Ward 1), Vince Bucci and John Sless (Ward 2), Greg Martin and Dan McCreary (Ward 3), Richard Carpenter and James Calnan (Ward 4), and John Bradford and Marguerite Ceschi-Smith (Ward 5).

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

Media

Print

The Brantford Expositor, printed six times a week excluding Sunday, is owned by Osprey Media.

Radio

Television

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

Film

Several movies have had scenes shot in Brantford, including Welcome to Mooseport and Where the Truth Lies, which were filmed at the Brantford Airport. An episode of Due South, "Dr. Long Ball", was filmed at Arnold Anderson Stadium in Cockshutt Park. A more recent filming was Weirdsville, which was filmed downtown in 2006. "Silent Hill" was filmed in the downtown in 2005. Many Brantfordians observe in jest that very little work needed to be done to make Downtown look decayed and haunted. Brantford's Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts was used as "The New Burbage" mainstage theatre in the series Slings & Arrows.

Transportation

Air

The Brantford Airport located on the outskirts of the city serves as a small municipal airport. It hosts the an annual air show, featuring the Snowbirds. The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in Hamilton is located 20 minutes from Brantford, as well as the Toronto Pearson International Airport located about an hour from Brantford.

Rail

The Brantford Train Station is located just north of downtown Brantford. The station is part of the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. The only passenger rail that passes through the station is VIA Rail, which features daily trains to and from Union Station in Toronto, Ontario.

Bus

Brantford Transit services the city with nine regular routes operating on a half-hour schedule from the downtown Transit Terminal on Darling Street, with additional school service.

Greyhound Canada has intercity service to Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor, etc.

All Around Transportation operates a Paris/Brantford shuttle bus.

Highways

Brantford

  • Highway # 2 & 53, which goes east from Brantford to Ancaster and connects to the 403.

Entertainment and attractions

Brantford is home to the Brantford OLG Casino and weekly professional wrestling offered by the Pure Wrestling Association.

The Sanderson Centre offers nightly performances of musicals, operas, concerts, and other performing arts. The Kinsmen Club of Brantford offer many entertaining events throughout the year, including a weekly Kingo (Bingo) game which runs every Thursday evening.

The Ford Plant is an independent, not-for-profit music venue that has hosted concerts by many musical artists, including Arcade Fire, Wintersleep, Blue Rodeo, and more. The week-long Murdered City Music Festival is held here to showcase independent Canadian music.

Sports teams and tournaments

Local rep teams

  • Brantford Intercity Soccer (Bics)
  • Brantford Saints (hockey team)
  • Brantford 99er's (hockey teams)
  • Brantford Ice Cats (girls hockey team)
  • Brantford Bison's (football team)
  • Brantford Red Sox (baseball team)
  • Brantford City Soccer Club
  • Brantford Briers (basketball team)
  • Brantford CYO (basketball team)
  • Brantford Aquatic Club

Current intercounty or major teams

Defunct teams

Tournaments

Other

  • Brantford hosted and won the 2008 Allan Cup, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the event.
  • The Brantford Golf & Country Club was founded in 1879. It is the fourth oldest golf club in North America. It is ranked 29th on Score Golf's "Top 100 Golf Courses in Canada" 2006 list.

People

Service clubs

Religion

Brantford is home to many churches and religious temples. It is estimated there are over 35 churches in Brantford, including Anglican, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Presbyterian, United, Christadelphian, and Mormon. There are two mosques - a Sunni mosque and a Sufi mosque. There is also one Sikh temple.

See also

References

External links

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