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Grand River - Bloom Town

The flowering of an old-style Ontario Town

More on the Grand River:
Grand River:
Ontario’s historic heartland

Bloom Town:
The flowering of an old-style Ontario town

The Grand’s Canyon:
Tourism powers an old mill town

Grinding Along the Grand:
Stone mills lined the riverbanks

High-Rise Herons:
Big swamp birds thrive in a wetland haven

Home and Native Land:
Homestead of the Six Nations

Old Order:
Mennonites set their own pace of change

Plaster of Paris:
A town arises from gypsum and cobblestones

Raising Rainbows:
Rehabilitating a tired industrial river

Sausages to Software:
The Industrial Evolution

Grand Stand:
Survival of a river valley forest

Brantford likes to boast that it has the "best blooming streets" in Canada.

One reason for the profusion of flowered gardens is the mild climate. Brantford is tucked between the Great Lakes which act like a huge, automatic climate control. In summer, the Great Lakes absorb heat keeping the air temperature cool. In winter, they give the heat back by warming frigid air blowing in from the north and west.

Brantford has grown up gracefully from beginning as a mill town serving surrounding farms. Its shaded streets of well-maintained red-brick homes make Brantford a cultural anchor in a sea of economic and social change.

Another of its proud claims is the conception of the telephone in 1874 by a resident teacher of the deaf, Alexander Graham Bell. While Bell actually made and first tried his device while living in the United States, Brantford boasts that he developed the idea at the Bell family homestead, the city's best-known tourist attraction.

Rapid economic growth and immigration have changed the physical appearance and cultural definition of southern Ontario. Brantford, while prospering from that development and enrichment, is unique in retaining the visual character of old Ontario, neat, sure of itself, and in no great hurry to change. Brantford's Loyalist roots are still firmly in place.

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