Brantford is certainly no stranger to rearing Canadian icons. It is known as The Telephone City due to being the birthplace of Alexander Graham Bell. Brantford wasn’t done there though, it is also the birthplace of one of the greatest athletes of all time - Wayne Gretzky.

Brantford is located on the grand River, in Southern Ontario. It is home to just over 90 000 residents. It isn’t simply a place where greatness is born though. It is home to it’s own set of great attractions, and here are a few:

1. Canada Day Festival: Almost every town has a Canada Day Festival. If they don’t have a festival they may have a midway set up or at the very least a fireworks show. Brantford takes it to the next level though. In 2004, no one in Brantford was able to organize a Canada Day Event. The mayor vowed it would never happen again. He got the ball rolling on a not-for-profit organization dedicated to planning the Canada Day Event.

This organization has since put on a spectacular show. With a budget of nearly $250 000 the Canada Day festival has become a big time deal. Headliners have included Juno winners; The Trews and Jeff Healy. Shining Stars Tourism awards has recognized the festival twice in 2006 and 2009. The festival regularly draws over 35 000 people.

2. The Ford Plant: This is not where F150’s are built. In fact this isn’t related to the Ford Motor Company at all. The Ford Plant is a not-for-profit music venue that has been around since 2002. It has also been used as an art gallery and music store/label.

The real draw is the music venue though. The Ford Plant is unique because it only holds about 100 people. This makes for very intimate and lively rock shows and it is not surprising to see the party spill outside. The Ford Plant has played host to Canadian greats Blue Rodeo as well as more cutting edge acts like Arcade Fire and Tokyo Police Club. CBC Radio named it one of Canada’s Top 20 live music venues.

3. The Grand River: The Grand River crosses a large expanse of Ontario. So why mention it in a Brantford article? Well Brantford was built on this stretch of the Grand River and can thank it’s early success as a village on the fact that it is located on it’s deepest part.

In some area the Grand River is almost slowed to a trickle with a depth of only one to two feet. This isn’t true in Brantford. It is large and deep here. It makes for some of Ontario’s best canoeing, kayaking and rafting. Anglers won’t mind this stretch of the Grand either, it is reportedly home to roughly 85 species of fish.

Brantford has a rich history that goes beyond the famous people born there. It is picturesque, located on one of Ontario’s biggest rivers and has a thriving night life that might surprise you for a city of it’s size. Brantford is a great destination to visit, and hey who wouldn’t want to visit the birthplace of The Great One.

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