Image via Brantford Tourism
This community is the perfect place to call home for those who are always looking for something new to discover. Read on to find out why this buzzing city is one of our favourite areas for the activity lovers in the market!
Know Your History
You can’t get to know Brantford (which is on traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples) without learning about the history behind it, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do so while living here. Brantford is named after Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea), a Mohawk chief and leader who allied with the British during the American Revolutionary War; many of his descendants live on the nearby Six Nations of the Grand River. We encourage you to learn about his story, the history of the land that we stand on, and to visit the Joseph Brant Memorial Statue in Victoria Square during your visit.
Image via Woodland Cultural Centre
Continue your learning of Brantford and our Indigenous Peoples’ history with a visit to the Woodland Cultural Centre, the site of the first residential school which has since been transformed and is now dedicated to preserving their history with an art gallery, library and learning centre. Through regular exhibitions and events, the centre provides an opportunity to learn and experience Indegenous culture firsthand, making this a great place to educate yourself and your children in an engaging way.
You’ll likely know why Brantford is known as “The Telephone City,” but if not, a visit to the Bell Homestead National Historic Site will quickly fill you in. When you visit this museum you’ll take a step back in time to July 26, 1874; the date that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in this exact location, his home. Learn about the history of one of our most important inventions and how it has changed over the years in a fun way with the family.
Of course, we can’t talk about Brantford without giving a nod to one of our country’s legends. Make sure you take a trip over to the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre and take a picture with the statue of “The Great One” before heading inside for a skate. Who knows, you might just pick up some of his skill!
Image via Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre
Veterans and military buffs will also love the Canadian Military Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and displaying military artifacts, with a focus on history in the Brantford area. Though their doors are currently closed, they are hopeful that they’ll be reopening again soon.
Enjoy eating delicious food? You’re in luck! Brantford is home to an incredible array of spots to eat that locals have fallen in love with. Give them a chance and you likely will too!
Start your morning off right with a visit to Pavol and Ibeth’s Deli, known for their delicious breakfasts with a fusion of Eastern European and Spanish Cuisine. If you’re in need of a midday pick-me-up afterwards, local coffee stops like The Blue Dog Café and Healthy Rabbit will do the trick!
When it comes to dinner, enjoy upscale dining with a side of entertainment at The Olde School Restaurant and Piano Bar or delicious Italian fare at Cafe Andreou. If you prefer something more casual, meeting up with friends at Sociable Kitchen + Tavern or Hudson Public Kitchen and Bar might be a little bit more your speed, with delicious grub and local brews on tap.
Of course, you’re going to want to check out a few places that locals have been coming back to for years. Add Dairee Delite (an absolutely must-visit in the summer with 60+ years of ice cream goodness under their belt), San Franos, and Stromboli’s Brick Oven Pizza to your list to see what they’ve been keeping a secret.
Image via Steel Wheel Brewery
Not feeling too full from all that delicious food? Perfect! It’s time to discover some of the area’s incredible breweries. Start off with Steel Wheel Brewery, an on-farm brewery; while your visit will start with the intention of checking out some new brews, you’ll also get a side of beer education! Once you have a better idea of where your beer comes from, you’ll want to check out Bell City Brewing Company and Mash Paddle Brewing Company for a taste and to stock your fridge up with great local creations.
Find Your Fun
Brantford is a great place for the adventurous and the laid-back alike. Begin exploring the area with a visit to Brant Park, a popular spot for hikers, bikers, and canoeists, tucked into a bend of the Grand River. With campsites available for rent, this is a great spot to enjoy the great outdoors while partaking in fun activities. Make sure you also take advantage of the Grand River as a whole, a haven for locals during the summer months as they canoe and float in the sun. Mohawk Park is another popular outdoor destination, and a great spot for the little ones with a splash pad, playgrounds and more. Brantford is also home to an incredible trail system for those who want to get moving!
Those who prefer their fun to be a little less active will have lots to check out in Brantford. If you need to relax, look no further than the Grand Wellness Centre, known for their salt cave and massages. They also offer a pretty unique experience; their beer spa offers a selection of hoppy treatments to help you relax. Once you’re feeling refreshed, stop by Glenhyrst Gardens and Art Gallery, a gorgeous 16-acre park with outdoor sculptures and a gallery that features inspirational fine art exhibits. If you’re up for it afterwards, turn up the fun and test your luck at Elements Casino Brantford or catch a show at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts.
Image via Grand Wellness Centre
Of course, we can’t forget about the kids! There’s plenty of family fun to go around throughout the year. Get the kids moving with a visit to Kidtastic Adventures, an indoor playground that will let them get out that pent up energy, or learn to skate at Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre or one of the community's other great indoor and outdoor rinks. If they love to explore, make sure you add Twin Valley Zoo, Brantwood Farms and Earl Haig Family Fun Park to your list - they’re all great places to spend the day with lots of activities to keep the little ones busy!
Fall in Love with Your Community
Brantford has lots of fun ways to get involved in the community, especially during the summer months! In July (though on hold this year), locals and visitors can get a taste of the world during the Brantford International Villages Festival. This four-day annual festival gives attendees a chance to explore different cultures as they visit different “villages” and enjoy entertainment, activities and local fare. In August, your mouth will water when you visit the Brantford Kinsmen Annual Ribfest, where five of North America’s top ribbers compete for the number one spot. Once September hits, you’ll also be able to enjoy the Community Charity Airshow, featuring aerial displays that your family will love to take in.
Brantford is the perfect spot to settle down if you’re looking to get out of the city without losing all the action; with a slew of fun local spots to discover, you’ll never run out of things to do! If you’re ready to find out if this is the place for you, get in touch with our team and let us help you explore this incredible community that you might soon call home.
Note: Please check with all attractions before visiting to find out about their closures and COVID protocols.