This week, Tourism Brantford is rolling out the welcome mat to all new and returning students from Conestoga College's Brantford Campus, Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford Campus and Six Nations Polytechnic. Today, we'll be sharing some fun facts about Brantford.
With a population of nearly 100,000 residents, Brantford continues to grow and draw attention from visitors, businesses and students alike. The historic Grand River runs through the city, creating a beautiful backdrop and a serene place to hang out. It’s no wonder Brantford is known as the ‘big city with a small town feel’ with its abundance of amenities and picturesque natural assets.
Brantford is the birthplace of many talented individuals, with the most notable being legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky. But did you know that actor-comedian Phil Hartman also was born in Brantford? Hartman was a well-known comic on Saturday Night Live and also voiced the reoccurring characters of Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure on The Simpsons, appearing in 52 episodes.
Here are some other fun facts about Brantford:
- Wayne’s dad, Walter Gretzky, still lives here and is the ‘Lord Mayor’ of Brantford
- Brantford boasts 70km of natural trails to run, bike or hike
- The beautiful Grand River, a designated Canadian Heritage River, runs through the City of Brantford
- Nicknamed “The Telephone City,” it was here in 1874 that Alexander Graham Bell discovered the principle of which his most famous invention, the telephone, would work
- The world’s first long distance telephone call was executed from here in 1876
- The historic Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts is the crown jewel of Brantford’s downtown, delighting audiences for over 100 years
- Brantford was officially declared “The Tournament Capital of Ontario” in 1998
- Brantford holds a Guinness World Record for the largest street hockey tournament (Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament, 2010)
- In 1869, Prince Arthur was inducted as an honorary Six Nations Chief when he visited Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks
- For 46 years, the Brantford International Villages Festival has showcased cultural food and entertainment from around the world
- TV series The Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries, and Schitt’s Creek were filmed here, among many others
- Brantford, and our surrounding communities of Six Nations of the Grand River and the County of Brant, is home to some of the largest remaining blocks of Carolinian forest
The rich history of our community is shaped by our industrial heritage; our location on the Grand River; the Indigenous, agricultural and settlement histories; an incredible record of accomplishments in sports and athletics; and the artistic expression and achievements of our citizens, past and present.
There’s so much to see and do in Brantford, but even more to learn. Have fun exploring!