The County of Brant is gradually becoming a major tourist destination. It is also recognized as one of Canada’s best locations for finding a home. The County has a charming community for new settlers to join, a naturally abundant location, and a strong economic system based on the services of local businesses.
It would be no surprise if you are also wondering to make a trip to the county. If you arent, YOU SHOULD.
Since the location has recently been put on the map, they are several things about the County that are unknown to common tourists and travelers who are planning on visiting the place.
In this article, we will tell you things that you must know before visiting the County.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. The place has a rich geographical history
The County of Brant is a historical amalgamation of small townships named Brantford, Burford, Oakland-Scotland, Onondaga, Tuscarora, and South Dumfries. Based around the banks of the Grand River, it was formed when that land was granted to the Six First Nations bands to reside in South Ontario.
First Nations is the name given to the indigenous people who are the original inhabitants of an area. These bands were the Mohawk, the Cayuga, the Onondaga, the Oneida, the Seneca, and the Tuscarora. They later became known as the Six Nations of the Grand River.
Today, the County has museums and public art that commemorate that legacy; and are open for the public to visit.
2. The Joseph Brant connect
The place gets its name from the 18th-century Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, who played a major part in the American revolution.
He was one of the first chiefs to build communities on the land given. In 1788, he established a Mohawk village of about 400 people in Ontario, Upper Canada. This place later became Brantford. In 1851, Brant County was formed and Brantford was combined with it. 148 years later, in 1999, several other townships amalgamated to form a new city, which was officially named the County of Brant.
3. The Royal Chapel
In the present day, the only remaining part of the Mohawk village established by Brant is the Mohawk Chapel. It was built in 1785 and was dedicated to the Mohawk and Iroquois people.
19 years later, it was given Royal status by King Edward VII in memory of Six Nation’s services and alliance with the British Crown and its role in the revolution.
As of today, it is one of the only two royal chapels in Canada and the oldest protestant church in its province.
The life of Brant county may have just begun with only 400 people, but today it is home to over 39,000 thousand people. The county’s population boom began in the 1820s. The population further expanded after the development of railways in Brantford.
Today, if we include the other townships as well, then there are over 144, 771 people in the whole city according to the 2021 census.
5. The Telephone was invented here by Alexander Graham Bell
The County of Brant has the distinction of being the birthplace of the telephone. In 1875, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. He did this in his father’s homestead called Melville House in Brantford, Ontario. He was granted its patent in 1876.
The homestead was the Bell family’s first residence in Canada. As of today, the house has been declared the “Bell Homestead National Historic Site.”
Brantford was also home to the first two successful voice transmissions to happen via the telephone. These occurred in early 1876, between Paris and Brantford and between the telegraph office in Brantford and Melville House. Later, Canada’s first telephone factory was created and operated by James Cowherd in Brantford in 1879, until his death in 1881.
6. The form of Government
The County of Brant is a rural municipality situated in Southern Ontario. It is divided into five wards, while Brantford has its own fully independent municipal government.
Brant County is a single-tier municipality. A single-tier municipality does not form a part of any other upper-tier municipality. It is independent and takes all the municipal roles, services, and responsibilities upon itself.
7. It has a library to die for
The County of Brant Public Library is a vast library that serves people across the county. It has 5 branches located in Burford, Oakland-Scotland, Paris, St. George, and Glen Morris.
As mentioned on the County of Brant’s website, the library is “dedicated to cultivating a culture of community, literacy, knowledge, and understanding.” Since going digital, the library has expanded its scope to not only accommodate books but also films, music, and games. They have developed an online presence, sending out newsletters, organizing book club meetings, reading events, and providing various other services to the people.
The library also conducts community-building activities and offline/online programs for both children and adults. It also maintains a Digital Historical Collection which consists of photo essays about Brant’s history.
8. The Album of Honor
The people of the County are very dedicated to preserving their community’s history. One of their clubs compiled “The Album of Honor for Brant County” in 1946. They did so to commemorate those of Brantford, the County of Brant, and the peoples of the Six Nations who served Canada during the Second World War.
The book highlights the name of men and women who served in the war. This includes over 3,500 photographs. It was made with contributions by the people of Brant County. Several local companies proudly provided the names of the employees who served in the war.
9. The relationship between nature and culture
As you might have figured out by now that the culture of the County of Brant is steeped in its heritage and culture. An important aspect of the lifestyle of the people and their community is their shared relationship with the environment.
Their website underlines their philosophy, “Our communities are vibrant and creative places that are inspired by a deep appreciation for the natural beauty and lively history of the area’s places and spaces.” Most of their recreational activities consist of adventures in the wild. Within the whole district, they have multiple parks and outdoor fields which provide space for community programs, meetings, and other services.
They have several skate parks, swimming pools, and tennis courts for both adults and children to play in.
10. Unique Trail systems
One of the most popular parts of Brant County’s outdoor culture is its trail systems. A trail system is an area that is used for recreational activities like hiking, jogging, cycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, or other similar activities.
The trails within the county extend over 70 km, allowing the residents a lot of first-hand interaction with nature.
11. Simply Grand Dog Park: A treat for your dogs
The County of Brant doesn’t just cater to human beings, they even have outdoor complexes for dogs! They have a lush dog park called the Simply Grand Dog Park located in a natural setting in Green Lane Sports Complex, Paris.
It is a members-only park, with a small dog area and a large dog area within the 2-acre fenced park.
The park is well maintained and clean. It is very popular among the community and is a good spot to join in and socialize and give a great time to your pup! Even if you don’t have a dog, this is something you should NOT miss, because it is a part of a large sports complex which is a treat on its own.
12. The Grand River: A dream location for water-sports
The Grand River is another one of the highlights for visitors to the County of Brant. It is a designated heritage site, houses over 80 species of fish, and is the only tract to the Carolinian forest. It is a large waterbody, 300 km in length, and has been over the years great water support for the people of Brant County.
The river is economically and socially significant for the county and has invited numerous visitors over the last few years.
It is a very popular area for water sports like canoeing, rafting, boating, paddling, fishing, and kayaking. You can find several local companies to provide their services for water sports near the river bank.
The river has an abundance of fish as well as creeks and ponds which have made it a highly-rated fishing hotspot in Canada.
13. Farming culture of the County of Brant
Farming is a very common activity in the community of Brant. They celebrate and support their farmers for their services with festivals and events like the “National Eat Your Vegetable Day”, “National Strawberry Shortcake Day”, and “Ontario Craft Beer Week”.
They are part of an active and flourishing brewing industry with over 4,600 people employed under 332 Brewers across Ontario. Out of these, the County of Brant houses 3 craft breweries and one craft cidery that brews using locally sourced ingredients.
I hope that this guide has set you up to unlock the next chapter in your travelling diaries, whenever you’re ready, of course. Make sure to be prepared for a lot of physical activity and time out in nature, because that is what is at the heart of the County, making it a visitor’s dream.
Do tell us about your experiences and comment in case you discovered something new during your visit to the county that we may have missed out on!