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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 3:01 AM
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Grit and Great Architecture in Brantford, ON

Brantford, Ontario
"The Telephone City"

Brantford is an old industrial city in Southern Ontario, about 15 minutes west of Hamilton. It was once a great rail hub and important industrial centre, but fell on hard times during the 80's and 90's. This is a tour of Brantford's downtown area, which is quite large and displays a rich and diverse architectural heritage, but also some serious decline. Today, its population is just under 100,000.

Brantford is the home of Wayne Gretzky and Alexander Graham Bell.





















































































































































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Last edited by flar; Jan 8, 2007 at 2:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 3:14 AM
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awesome. Ive never been to Brantford. Gretzky and Bell, not bad.

Small town grit.

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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 3:15 AM
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What a shame. Brantford has to stop propping up its suburban areas, and actually focus on the downtown.

However I don't think that will be happening anytime soon, as Brantford actually was all excited and celebrating the opening of a large big box power centre.

Probably the worse inner city in Ontario.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 4:26 AM
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Nice job!

Brantford has some really nice architecture but it totally got hit hard economically over the 80's and 90's. But recently it made some gains economically, where do you think all the donuts from Tim Hortons is made from? Proctor and Gamble recently opened up a massive plant, mostly because of Hamilton's fault.

Remember the part where in Silent Hill the mother walks down the town well there's ash falling in the sky? This is the street she walked down.


Most of the movie Silent Hill was filmed in downtown Brantford of course in the movie the town is dead.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 4:59 AM
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I've been through here, eh.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 5:04 AM
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Brantford has lovely inner city neighborhoods, but a sad and almost dead downtown. The new town square they are constructing is an architecturally disgusting attempt to bring back some life, although most people in Brantford don't care anyway.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 5:24 AM
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 5:55 AM
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It's the worse downtown I've seen in Canada which is a shame considering the great architecture there. They just moved a college campus into downtown so that might help.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 5:36 PM
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Take some pictures of the North End near Wayne Gretzky Pkwy tho....a BIG difference from downtown
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 6:25 PM
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Reminds me of what Stratford probably looked like before all the gentrification.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 6:30 PM
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Good photos. Just wondering, was Brantford one of the Loyalist settlements, or does it predate that?
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 12:09 AM
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Damn, I was only 15 minutes away last spring. Sorry to see so many old gems going no where fast. Maybe it'll revive, but if not, I guess it will make a good generic movie set. Thanks for the tour.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 2:50 AM
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Yeah, it's really too bad that so many historic buildings sit empty. The problem is Brantford's downtown is simply too big for its population. Brantford's downtown core is like double or triple the size of cities with similar population (eg: Sarnia or Guelph).


Quote:
Originally Posted by keninottawa View Post
Good photos. Just wondering, was Brantford one of the Loyalist settlements, or does it predate that?
Interestingly I wondered that myself, so I looked it up. It's loyalist but with a twist. The founder, George Brant, was a British military officer born in Ohio. However his real name was Thayendanegea and he was a Mohawk chief. He unified several New York tribes and led them in battle for the British side in the War of Independence. After the war, the New York tribes had no land in the US. However, as a reward for their loyalty, the British Crown gave them land in Canada, so they settled the Brantford area. The most populous native reserve in Canada still occupies the land beside Brantford and is currently the site of a major land dispute.
I got this info from http://www.indians.org/welker/brant.htm
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 2:56 AM
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Very cool small town. Loved the pics.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 3:34 AM
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Awesome pics.

So is downtown Brantford getting better, or is it getting worse?
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 3:39 AM
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Great pics.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 4:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softee View Post
So is downtown Brantford getting better, or is it getting worse?
Brantford's hard times were in the 80's and 90's. The economy is stabilized, and as Steeltown mentioned above, there is actually some growth in industry (out along Highway 403). One hundred years ago Brantford was one of Ontario's largest cities and a major rail hub. Because of that history, Brantford's downtown is very large. Unfortunately with the current trend of suburban shopping there is probably little hope that all of the buildings could be filled with stores--simply not enough demand. Downtown has two main parallel streets, Dalhousie and Colbourne. Dalhousie isn't too bad, but Colbourne is deserted. There has also been some restoration of historic buildings in recent years. If it was just Dalhousie St, Brantford's downtown would be fine.
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Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 5:06 PM
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The downtown is very depressing.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 6:11 PM
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If somehow the natives win their land claim case Brantford would be under native control. Brantford is right along the Grand River and so the natives claim they own so much land from each side of the river. The Brantford casino is right next to the river so the natives protest the casino revenue should be going to the tribe. It's just a very messy land dispute problem with Brantford.

Perhaps the natives placed a curse for downtown Brantford :O
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 7:50 PM
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We can come up with all the excuses we want for Downtown Brantfords decline.

But the economy did not cause downtown Brantford to decline. The downtown did not decline because its to big for the pop of the city.

Downtown Brantford declined because suburban malls where built on the fringe of the city, and now power centres.

That is why downtown is dead, and nothing else. Brantford made a decision to support the fringe instead of the core, and now they are paying for it.


One of the only things helping downtown and a jewl in the ruff, is the Sanderson Centre, which is a historical live theatre.





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