Tuesday, November 29, 2016

MY Brantford! My Little Town Part 2

A River Runs Through It (memories of Brad Pitt zing through my head.)

Can't help but sing. "Ain't nothin' but the river running through my little town." (Sorry, Paul.)

The mighty Grand River wends its way through Brantford, forcing the artificially constructed bits of humanity to curl around it instead of going straight. Several bridges ford the water so people could continue to spread around the town.

There's a fabulous article in the Globe & Mail from 2015 that writes eloquently about The Grand: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/grand-river-a-waterways-rise-to-its-former-greatness/article27890648.

E. Pauline Johnson grew up on the banks of the Grand at Chiefswood and penned beautiful words about its currents and majesty. Walter Gretzky learned to skate on the frozen places and taught his son Wayne to navigate the rough spots.

For a time, The Grand was fouled by industry, when Brantford was a huge manufacturing town. But sensibilities have changed, the town has changed, and so have other places along its 300 kilometre trek to Lake Erie. Now the waters are, if not pristine, at least clean enough to canoe on.

Vince and I have been on The Grand River Cruise several times, particularly the sunset dinner package. Not only is the navigation of the waters smooth and calming, but the information is fascinating, and the food is great. I am very sure we'll do it again next spring or summer or fall!

Another place we frequent with the grandkids is Wacky Wings. It's like Chuckee Cheese for older kids. They have a blast and quite literally go a little squirrelly. But that's what our job is: to spoil the crap out of them, wind them up, and send them home.

In case you think we just encourage gambling, we also take the grandkids to Earl Haig Park for a swim in the summer. Or Brant Park. Or The Wayne Gretzky Centre. All great places to run around, splash, and pretend we're in the middle of the ocean with sharks all around (or people, as the case may be).

We love to shop at the Farmers' Market, which is open Fridays and Saturdays all year 'round. Vince remembers when he took the streetcar to the location up the hill when he was young. At one time a canal ran straight through the town, connecting The Grand to the markets on the Great Lakes.

Tomorrow, I'll introduce you to some cultural aspects of my little town.
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