Public Art

We are proud of our history and vision for the future. Brantford's Public Art Collection reflects some of our community's most important people, places and stories.

Alexandra Park Cannon, c. 1860

Alexandra Park Cannon in Alexandra Park

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Location: Alexandra Park, 265 Dalhousie Street

The cannon located in Alexandra Park is of Russian origin and was captured by the British during the Crimean War (1853-1856) at the siege of Sevastopol. It was donated to the city by the British circa 1860 and was originally located in Victoria Park, but was moved to its current location before 1900.

The cannon has several markings, including the two-headed eagle on the barrel, which was part of the former Imperial Coat of Arms. The foundation where the cannon sits was refurbished in the early 2000s, and the current wooden carriage support was reconstructed in 2008.

Bell Memorial, 1917

Bell Memorial

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Artist: Walter S. Allward
Location: Bell Memorial Park, 41 West Street

The Bell Memorial is a granite and bronze sculpture commissioned by the Bell Memorial Association in 1908 to commemorate the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell at his parents' home in Brantford in July 1874. Sculptor Walter Seymour Allward won an international competition to be awarded the commission, and it was unveiled on October 24, 1917. The Memorial was rededicated by the City of Brantford on October 24, 2017.

An outstanding sculptor of some of Canada's finest public monuments, Walter S. Allward is best known for his masterpiece, the Vimy war memorial in France. The Bell Memorial, unveiled in 1917, is seen as the finest example of his early works and plaque was erected there by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 2010 to commemorate Allward's national historic significance.

Boer War Memorial, 1903

Boer War Memorial

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Artist: Hamilton MacCarthy
Location: Jubilee Terrace Park, 10 Brant Avenue

The Boer War Memorial is located in Jubilee Terrace Park, adjacent to the Brantford Armouries. In late 1899, thirty Brantford men volunteered to serve with Canadian and British units during the Boer War in South Africa.

The monument is the work of artist Hamilton MacCarthy of Ottawa, and was dedicated on Victoria Day in 1903. A soldier of the Queen stands ready for battle atop the granite base. One of the bronze reliefs below depicts the three Brantford men who lost their lives in battle: Alfred W. Sherritt, Norman Builder and J.W. Osborne. The remaining three reliefs depict the battles where each lost his life.

Jubilee Terrace Park designated as a heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Brant War Memorial, 1933, 1992 & 1954

Brant War Memorial

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Artist: Walter S. Allward (design), Helen Granger (bronzes)
Location: War Memorial Park, 6 Dalhousie Street

From 1914 to 1918 many men from Brantford and Brant County enlisted in the war effort. Of a total 5,571 who enlisted, 701 lost their lives. In 1921, the Brant War Memorial Association was formed to develop a suitable tribute to the valorous deeds of those who served in the Great War.

The initial commission was awarded to Walter S. Allward, and the monument was dedicated on May 25, 1933. The design of the monument bears similarities to Allward's masterpiece, the Vimy war memorial in France.

The bronze sculptures intended in Allward's initial design were not included in the final monument; therefore the War Memorial Committee initiated the addition of seven bronze figures by artist Helen Granger Young, which were unveiled in 1992. These figures represent the men and women of the armed forces. In 1954, the memorial was expanded to by the addition of a granite Memorial Gallery designed by local architect Charles Brooks, which includes the names of those who gave their lives during World War II, the Korean War, and in Afghanistan.

Brook Trout, 2008

Brook Trout

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Artist: David Hind

Location: TH&B Rail Trail at Colborne Street West

The Brook Trout sculpture by Brantford artist David Hind is located at the entrance to the T.H. & B. Rail Trail, which is part of the Trans Canada Trail Network. The trail was formerly a segment of the Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo (T.H. & B.) Railway, and was converted into a public trail in 2007.

Crafted from reclaimed steel, the sculpture's openwork and organic form reflects the natural setting in which it is displayed. Nearby D'Aubigny Creek is a spring-fed coldwater stream which flows into the Grand River. The trail can be accessed from the parking area of nearby D'Aubigny Park.

Field Howitzer, 1913

Field Howitzer

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Manufactured by: Friedrich Krupp AG (German)

Location: Jubilee Terrace Park, 10 Brant Avenue

Located adjacent to the Boer War Memorial in Jubilee Terrace Park, markings on this German howitzer's breechblock indicate that it was manufactured in 1913 by Friedrich Krupp AG, a large family-run German business that began making cannons in the 1840s. It was captured during World War I.

Jubilee Terrace Park was designated as a heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1996. The presence of the Boer War Memorial, the Howitzer, and the nearby Armouries are all cited in the designation by-law.

Hope, 2012


Artist: Heather Vollans

Location: St. Andrew's Park/Children's Memorial Garden, 230 Brant Avenue

“Hope” is central to the Children's Memorial Garden in St. Andrew's Park. It is a two-part modern sculpture developed as a memorial tribute for children in the City of Brantford. A guiding principle of the project was to involve the community, particularly children, in the creation of an artist-led community art piece. Artist Heather Vollans was selected through an open competition process, and developed the concept for the abstract mosaic sculpture after a series of art workshops with children.

Over 200 children and community members participated in the design and creation of mosaic elements that were incorporated by Vollans into the artwork.

I.O.D.E. Memorial, 1923

Artist: F.C. Bodley

Location: Tom Thumb Park, 45 Brant Avenue

The I.O.D.E. Memorial was provided to the city following the Great War by the local members of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE) and designed by architect F.C. Bodley.

The limestone monument bears the inscription “Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten”. These words were part of the message that was sent by King George V to all the parents or wives of the fallen soldiers after the war. It was originally located in Gore Park and was dedicated on November 11, 1923. In 1992, it was moved to Tom Thumb Park and was rededicated on November 11, 1992.

Joseph Brant Monument, 1886

Joseph Brant Monument

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Artist: Percy Wood
Location: Victoria Park, 65 Market Street
Located at the centre of the Victoria Park Square Heritage Conservation District, the monument dedicated to Joseph Brant and the Six Nations Confederacy is considered to have been one of the first pieces of statuary of its kind in North America. The granite and bronze monument was sculpted by Percy Wood, of London, England, who won an international competition for his design of the monument. It was dedicated on October 13, 1886 and re-dedicated on September 16, 2000.

There are four bronze reliefs at the base of the monument and six figures representing each of the Six Nations located at the midpoint. A statue of Joseph Brant stands atop the monument. A limestone tablet at the base of the monument identifies numerous contributors to the project, including that the bronze used in the statue came from cannons donated by the British Crown.

La Landscape de Kanata, 2017

La Landscape de Kanata

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Artists: Dave Hind and the Aluminum Quilting Society, Jason Dong, Thomas Anderson, Bonnie Whitlow, Ralph Heather, Shana Elijah, Daniel Hill, Arlene Laskey, Steph Jacobs, and Andrea Flockhart.

Location: Brantford Public Library Main Branch, 173 Colborne Street

Lawren Harris and the Group of Seven's paintings of the north are synonymous with what it means to be Canadian. “La Landscape de Kanata” uses this relationship as a starting point to celebrate Lawren Harris' life and work, his hometown of Brantford, and the importance of the “Land” to the diverse groups of people that call this place home. In this piece we have tried to bring these histories together, in a contemporary context, one that broadens the scope of the connection between the landscape and our evolving Canadian identity.

In the spirit of community and collaboration, this project set out to share the public commission with as many people as possible. It features a portrait of Lawren Harris by Jason Dong amidst a symbolic group of seven, where each figure was conceived and created by a different local artist. Each artist decided who their figure would be, basing that choice on the story of Lawren Harris, the histories of Brantford and/or Canada, and our connections to the natural environment. In doing so, the “group gathered around the fire” illustrates a diverse cross-section of the people and cultures that call this place home.

Lawren Harris' contribution to Canadian culture speaks to the reverence of the natural landscape that he loved, an appreciation shared by all those who have inhabited and experienced it, past and present.

This piece was created by Dave Hind and the Aluminum Quilting Society, Jason Dong, Thomas Anderson, Bonnie Whitlow, Ralph Heather, Shana Elijah, Daniel Hill, Arlene Laskey, Steph Jacobs, Andrea Flockhart, plus many more artists and participants from the community.

La Landscape de Kanata was made possible with assistance from the Province of Ontario, the City of Brantford, Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, Brant Community Foundation, The Crew, Murky Productions, and Brooks Signs.

Little Free Libraries in Brantford, 2017

Artists: Cassandra Chambers, Aleah Durham, Elizabeth Gosse, Arlene Laskey, Dave McCreary, Aliki Mikulich, Alex Mikulich, Lizzie Mikulich, Christa Potter and Heather Vollans

Location: Various

The Little Free Library in Brantford is a public art project aimed at inspiring a love of reading, building community, and sparking creativity in Brantford. This is a collaborative project between the City of Brantford, Brant Skills Centre, and Jono & Laynie Photo + Film.

There are many benefits of installing Little Free Libraries, including: an enhanced sense of neighbourhood and community pride, freewheeling exchange of books that is community-curated, giving staff insight into the values and interest of their community, and children, youth and adults of all ages, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds can participate equally, among countless other reasons.

Our hope is that these Little Free Libraries will inspire the love of reading, provide opportunities to learn and meet someone new, and encourage appreciation for public art in Brantford. These humble book exchanges will help to enhance our neighbourhoods, and will provide our community with a space to express what is important to them.

Lorne Park Sundial, 1932

Lorne Park Sundial

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Artist: F. Porter Adams

Donated by: I.O.D.E. Brantford Chapter

Location: Lorne Park, 15 Colborne Street West

The Lorne Park Sundial was donated to the city by the local chapter of the I.O.D.E. in 1932 and was originally placed at the site of Brant's Ford off of Gilkison Street, south of its current location. That same year, the Brant Historical Society also placed a bronze plaque mounted on a boulder to mark this historic site. In 1950, both the boulder and the sundial were moved to their current location in Lorne Park. The bronze plaque on the boulder was replaced by a granite inscription in 2012.

Designed by F. Porter Adams, the sundial is composed of granite atop a concrete platform, with two limestone and bronze plaques at the base. The bronze gnomon is absent, rendering the sundial non-functioning

Poetry at Carnegie, 2015

Poetry at Carnegie

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Location: Carnegie Building, 73 George Street

This project was developed through a partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University and the City of Brantford. The piece features granite tablets inset into the concrete; the granite is arranged in a swirl pattern, and engraved with the quote, "Then meet we as one common Brotherhood. In peace and love, with purpose understood." This excerpt was written by E. Pauline Johnson for the dedication of the Joseph Brant Monument (Victoria Park) in 1886.

The quote ties together the Carnegie Building (formerly a library) and the Joseph Brant Monument, while recognizing the significance of Johnson as a local author and historical figure.

Polish War Veterans Memorial, 2011

Polish War Veterans Memorial

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Artist: Paul Lojko (design)

Donated by: Polish Combatants Association of Canada Branch 4 - Brantford

Location: Tom Thumb Park, 45 Brant Avenue

The Polish War Veterans Memorial is composed of polished black and grey granite, and is inscribed in English on the east side and in Polish on the west side to commemorate the heroic contributions of Polish and Canadian Soldiers under British Command during World War II.

Preston Park Flagpole, 1925

Artist: Unknown

Donated by: the family of T.H. Preston and the the Board of the Parks Commissioners in 1925.

Location: Preston Park, 275 Dufferin Avenue

Thomas Hiram Preston, for whom Preston Park is named, was a resident of Brantford from 1890 until his death in 1925. In 1890 he became the owner of the Brantford Expositor, and later served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario representing the Brant South riding.

The flagpole is currently unused.

The Great One, 2013

The Great One statue

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Artist: Brad Oldham

Donated by: The Wayne Gretzky Project

Location: Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, 254 North Park Street

"The Great One” sits at the front of the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. The sculpture was donated to the community by the Wayne Gretzky Project and features a 12-foot bronze-cast sculpture of Wayne Gretzky hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head in victory. A life-sized depiction of Wayne as a child, with parents Walter and Phyllis Gretzky, stand together and look on.

The installation is a celebration of the remarkable accomplishments of Wayne Gretzky, and the contributions of the Gretzky family to the City of Brantford and the sport of hockey. The installation also acts as a destination and an inspiration to the up-and-coming generation of young athletes.

Victoria Park Drinking Fountain, 1892

Victoria Park Drinking Fountain

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Artist: Unknown
Donated by: J.K. Osborne
Location: Victoria Park, 65 Market Street

The Victoria Park granite drinking fountain was donated to the city in 1892 by J.K. Osborne, a one-time Vice President of prominent Brantford companies A. Harris, Son and Company and Massey-Harris Co. Ltd.

It was restored in 2001 following vandalism, but has been inoperable since the 1960s. The fountain is located at the west side of the park, adjacent to Market Street and is part of the Victoria Park Square Heritage Conservation District, which was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1986.

Public Art Acquisitions

The City of Brantford can acquire new public art through selection and purchase, commissions, loan or donation. The Public Art Subcommittee of the Brantford Cultural Advisory Committee and a staff technical committee makes acquisition recommendations to Council. The Public Arts Policy guides all of our decisions related to public art.