Brantford is a small town about an hour west of Toronto. It’s known for being Wayne Gretzky’s hometown. It’s also the town in which I’ve spent 9 of the most informative years of my life. Growing up here, there was not much to do aside from hanging out in the local mall or fast food joints. The minute I finished high school, I could not wait to get out, and I was determined to explore the world. That was 15 years ago (wow, has it been that long?); I’ve changed and Brantford has changed. Coming home this time I wanted to explore the town that I was in such a rush to get out of. Here is a list of things I like about this city in no particular order.
1. Art in unlikely places. On one of my walks, I’ve stumbled upon these weird/wacky sculptures in someone’s yard. I don’t know what they are supposed to be, except for that hand holding a golf ball, but I love the fact that it’s so random and unexpected. I am a sucker for contrasting things, it’s beautiful to see the rusty metal juxtaposed against the soft green grass.
2. Nature. Living in New York, sometimes I miss nature. Hanging out in the park is not quite the same because even in the park, you are still surrounded by people. It’s hard to find a place in the city where you can be alone. So I took advantage of my stay in Brantford to explore a hiking trail by our house that stretches all the way to Ancaster. It’s perfect, because it combines my love of walking with the stillness of nature that I so miss. The one thing I don’t miss are all the mosquitoes. If you decide to explore this area, make sure to remember bug spray.
3. Train tracks – I know there are train tracks in other cities, and yes I do take pictures of them too. Something about train tracks fascinate me and remind me of a time in art class where we drew converging lines to show perspective. I don’t draw anymore, but these lines still captivate me and provide endless inspiration for my photos. I think something about the idea of traveling off into the distance really appeals to me.
4. Ketchup chips – This has nothing to do with Brantford per say, but it’s always the highlight of my trips to Canada. I am obsessed with ketchup chips, and for some odd reason, America doesn’t carry them (don’t get me started on this). So whenever I go back or anyone comes over, I always try to stock up as much as I can. If you are American and have not tried them, make sure to hit up the nearest grocery store next time you cross the border. These things are like crack in a bag, you definitely can’t just have one.
I was in such a hurry to leave to see far-flung places, I didn’t bother to look back. Now that I am ready to explore, I realized that in some ways my childhood hometown has become a stranger to me. I’ve been making it a point to discover more places closer to home, not just explore the world. If you have suggestions on other things I can do in or around Brantford, drop me a comment. Have a great day.