BRANTFORD, a quick 40km west of Hamilton on Hwy-403, takes its name from Joseph Brant, an Iroquois chieftain who was one of the most intriguing figures of colonial Canada. Brant helped the British during the American War of Independence and, after their defeat, he and his followers were obliged to make a hasty exit from New York State before the Americans could take their revenge. The British stayed loyal to their ally (just about) and in 1784 Brant was ceded a large tract of land beside the Grand River on the site of what is today Brantford. European settlers reached the area in numbers in the 1850s and subsequently Brantford developed as a manufacturing centre churning out agricultural equipment by the wagon load. By the 1980s, however, the town was in decline as many of its factories and foundries went bust or relocated. Brantford still bears the scars of this de-industrialization, but a concerted effort has been made to breathe new life into the centre and, for the most part, this has been a success with a batch of new leisure facilities and shopping malls. For Canadians, Brantford is most famous as the home town of Wayne Gretzky, probably the greatest ice-hockey player of all time; for everyone else, the town is best known as being the one-time home of the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

Canada is famous for its stunning vistas, from the Arctic shores to the Rocky Mountains. But that's not all the country has to boast about. It also has engro…

30 Jun 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Simply put, Canada is stunning. The second largest country in the world, Canada is a land of crashing waterfalls, turquoise lakes and magnificent soaring mounta…

29 Jun 2017 • Olivia Rawes videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook