Pros and Cons of Living in Brantford, Ontario

Did you know that Brantford, ON is known as the Telephone City of Canada? This is because it was home to the inventor, Alexander Graham Bell when he invented the telephone? To this day the city pays tribute in the form of a museum to the inventor who set the precedent for our precious smart devices.

Also known as the Tournament Capital of Ontario, the city of Brantford, is perfect for sports enthusiasts! Hometown of the famous ice hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, Brantford hosts several local provincial, and regional tournaments every year including the famous fundraiser Hockey Night in Brantford.

Whether you’re into sports, history, or just looking for an affordable home, this versatile city has a lot to offer!  If you’re considering relocating to a new city like Brantford, check out the advantages and disadvantages of living in Brantford.

PROS

1. Proximity to Major Centers

Located about 103 km away from Toronto, and 35 km southwest of Hamilton, Brantford is a small, but historic city not too far from many main centers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Many times the city of Brantford is often confused for a bedroom community because of its strategic location and easy accessibility options because of Highway 403. This prominent highway runs through the main city thereby making it easy for residents to easily commute between neighbouring cities and towns.

You will also be surprised to know that Brantford was an industrial center in Canada during the late 19th century, ranking third in the whole country for the value of goods exported. However, the good times didn’t last, and the economy of this city declined in the 1980s. Despite this, in the last two decades, Brantford has seen a revival. With more job opportunities, new housing developments going on, multiple education options and a thriving community, the city is on the route to greatness.

2. Great Schools

Schools are amongst the first things parents look at when moving to a new town, and Brantford has several options for public schools, private schools, as well as post-secondary options. 

While the majority of elementary and secondary schools are administered by the Grand Erie District School Board and the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, there are also French-language Catholic Schools, which are governed by the Conseil scolaire MonAvenir. In addition, the Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy offers a special curriculum blended with early access to college courses. 

For older students, post-secondary options exist in Brantford, including Wilfrid Laurier University, Conestoga College, and Six Nations Polytechnic. Moreover,  McMasters students can live in Brantford and commute to Hamilton, which is only 35 minutes away!

3. A Lively City

Some cities can be quiet and dull, but not Brantford! If you are looking for a place that offers a holistic cultural and social experience, then Brantford is the place to be! From the Brantford International Villages Festival, Brantford Kinsmen Ribfest, and the Brantford International Jazz Festival, the city hosts multiple annual festivals. 

You will also find that the plethora of historical buildings in downtown Brantford have featured in many films and television shows over the years. For example, CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries was filmed at the Carnegie Building and Victoria Square.

4. Museums Galore

For all history buffs out there, the city of Brantford welcomes you with open arms! The city features several galleries, museums and historic landmarks to visit in your free time. There’s the Bell Homestead National Historic Site, where you can visit the home of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.

Then there’s the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, which is known for its peculiar location. Built within a historic house, the gallery features hundreds of permanent and limited galleries, as well as sculptures in the garden.

It is no secret that the city of Brantford is a culture lovers paradise. You will find yourself keeping busy with sites like the Woodland Cultural Centre, Canadian Military Heritage Museum, and the Brantford Artisans’ Village.

5. A Foodie Friendly City

The city of Brantford is a Ontario’s well kept secret in the food industry. If you are a foodie at heart, you will love the seasonal food festivals and events such as the Chili Willy Cook-Off, an annual chili tasting competition. Residents also celebrate World Nutella Day, thanks to the fact that Ferrero Canada, makers of Nutella, are based in the city. Moreover, there is also an annual Brantford Beer Fest held every September.

In addition, there are dozens of restaurants offering international fare, as well as local favorites. The recent growth of the city has led to the launch of beloved cafes and new additions to the food scene. 

CONS

1. Skyrocketing Real Estate Prices

Property prices in Brantford are rising rapidly, as sales figures from the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association show. Sales in June 2021 were 14.1% above the five-year average and 22% above the 10-year average for the month of June.

While the benchmark price for single-family homes rose by 41% on a year-over-year basis to $656,100, the benchmark price for townhouse/row units rose by 39% to $452,900. The benchmark apartment price increased by 23.9% to $325,600.

While prices may go down a bit when the market cools, it is quite possible that prices will continue to increase in Brantford as more people decide to work remotely.

2. Rising Crime Rate

Unfortunately, Brantford has a high crime rate, with the total crime 124% higher than Ontario. This may be related to the high unemployment rates in the city. On another account, according to areavibes.com, the city has a 17% higher crime rate compared to the national average. The Brantford Police department has been working on improving the crime statistics for the city, with mixed results. 

3. Hard Drinking Water

Many residents of Brantford have one time or the other complained about the hard water available in the faucets. Aquatell.ca reports that the water hardness level of the city is at 310 mg/L which is approximately 18 grains per gallon. In other words, the water is hard enough to block faucets, kettles and dishwashers over the years. The scaling can become dangerous especially in houses with old plumbing. 

Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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