Brantford to Share its Expertise in Downtown Revitalization 

For Immediate Release
3/26/2012 
Contact: Trudy Belanco, Manager of Corporate Policy and Management Practices 
Phone: 519-759-4150 

On Tuesday, March 27, the City of Brantford will host 15 other municipalities and organizations from across southern Ontario to share its downtown success story: how the development of post-secondary education in the city’s downtown core has led to urban renewal and economic transformation. Delegates will gather to hear from municipal and academic leaders and will also take a walking tour through the downtown to see firsthand the results of the community’s efforts over the last ten years.

With education being the catalyst, Brantford has been able to attract strategic investment from post-secondary institutions, the business community and other regional partners. Engaged and supported by the City of Brantford, Wilfrid Laurier - the first post-secondary institution in Brantford - opened its doors with 39 students in September 1999.  Today, the City’s strategic partnerships have grown to include Nipissing University and Mohawk College, with the addition of Conestoga College and McMaster University this fall.  In the next 12 years, post-secondary institutions’ enrollment is expected to grow from 2500 students in 2011 to over 15,000 students. 

“The City of Brantford is poised to become a 21st Century City. With the completion of a comprehensive Downtown Masterplan, supported by the Wilfrid Laurier Campus Masterplan, downtown Brantford will continue its transformation into a vibrant, diverse and beautiful destination.  Partnerships with post-secondary institutions will continue to play a key role in the educational attainment and development of our workforce, which will diversify the community’s economic base and enhance our ability to attract and retain residents, businesses and students to service the new economy”, says Mayor Chris Friel.

“Brantford should be very proud of the successful partnerships created by community members, the municipality, academic institutions and industry. Citizens have engaged and supported Council in its taking of a dire situation and developing a unique solution, and your reinvented downtown will continue to grow and prosper and present ongoing benefits to your community. The results you have achieved speak very well for Brantford”, said Gary Svoboda, President of Adventus Research Inc. and author of the recently completed post-secondary economic impact study of Brantford.

Mayor Chris Friel, tweeting from the “Mayor’s Breakfast of Champions” held last Tuesday morning, proudly summed up the current state of our downtown: “Brantford: The Most Dynamic Downtown in Canada!”