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

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

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

(Click on the image for larger view)

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

(Click on the image for larger view)

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.

Federal Building Lions, 1915

Federal Building Lions, 1915

Artist: Hamilton MacCarthy

Location: Federal Building, 60 Dalhousie Street

The bronze Lions were created in 1915 by sculptor Hamilton MacCarthy. The artwork consists of two lion figures on granite bases, located on either side of the steps leading to the former Federal Building (now City Hall) entrance on Dalhousie St. The sculptures are cast in bronze and painted.
The Lions have been featured in a handful of movies and television series, including Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale (2021).

Field Howitzer, 1913

Field Howitzer

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.

Guardians and Guides, 2021 

Guardians and Guides, 2021

Location: Federal Building, 60 Dalhousie Street

The piece selected, “Guardians and Guides,” honours Brantford’s rich industrial heritage with the use of several pieces of colourful wood foundry moulds and related artifacts from Brantford's industrial heritage. It builds on that heritage by generating pride and resilience, and forges ahead conveying a vision of vibrancy. Reflecting eras of socio-economic shifts in Brantford’s diverse history, it encourages optimism and hope as a catalyst for further evolution.
The project’s origin was inspired by local Brantford historian Rob Adlam, who houses many pieces of colourful wood foundry moulds and related artifacts from Brantford's industrial heritage on behalf of the Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre. The Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre will donate these historical pieces to become part of this public art piece in Brantford’s new City Hall. Adlam will also donate a small number of relevant pieces from his personal collection for inclusion in the piece.

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

IODE Memorial

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

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

(Click on the image for larger view)

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

Mount Hope War Memorial

Mount Hope War Memorial

Location: Mount Hope Cemetery

This monument was erected in 1928 as a memorial to the soldiers from Eagle Place, Brantford, lost in the First World War. The polished pink granite pedestal has the inscription “THEIR NAMES LIVETH FOREVERMORE” written in relief lettering on each face of the second tier. Each face has the same incised decoration: a maple leaf in a circular medallion at the top of the marker, a central, vertical sword, and a banner below that reads “LEST WE FORGET.” The marker is rectangular but tapers gradually to a slightly narrower, curved top.

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

(Click on the image for larger view)

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

Preston Park Flagpole

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.

Round of Applause 

Round of Applause

Location: Sanderson Centre 88 Dalhousie St, Brantford, ON N3T 2J2

The Sanderson Centre is a popular spot year-round for a multitude of events, including approximately 50 Sanderson Centre Presents shows and dozens of rentals, including concerts, dance recitals and competitions, banquets, weddings, and much more.

Inspired by similar pieces found at Blue Mountain Village and Toronto’s Nathan Phillip Square. “Round of Applause”, is a larger than life clapping hands backlit by a large light installation. Located by the Darling St entrance, the light box is the perfect photo-op to commemorate a visit.

Take Your Shot, 2023

Take Your Shot, 2023
Artist: Karen Roberts
Location: Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre

Lord Mayor Walter Gretzky, father of Wayne Gretzky and Canada’s most beloved hockey dad, was a pillar of the Brantford community. Shortly after his passing on March 4, 2021, members of the public spontaneously started placing hockey sticks, pucks and other paraphernalia with heartwarming tribute messages to Walter in his dedicated parking space at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. These tokens of affection were collected by City staff and used as part of a Call for Artists to create a new Public Art piece in this parking space using the tributes left behind by the community.
Artist Karen Roberts created a sculpture that embodies the spirit of Walter Gretzky as a cherished figure in the local community, an emblem of hockey’s power to inspire, and a reminder of his enduring impact on the sport and its players. The hockey sticks incorporated into the design represent Walter’s connection to the sport and symbolizes his role in handling and nurturing the local hockey community. The puck in the net symbolizes Walter’s philosophy of always taking a shot at your goal. The sculpture is a metaphor for winning – the moment in which it all comes together, the apex of excitement, reaching your goal and achieving success.
Karen Roberts is a versatile artist based in Toronto, who seamlessly navigates a diverse range of creative realms, all in pursuit of bringing her unique visions to life. With a dynamic repertoire spanning murals, digital design, still photography, dance photography, painting, installations, and sculpture, Karen selects her medium with a discerning eye, tailoring it to the essence of each project.

The Great One, 2013

The Great One statue

(Click on the image for larger view)

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.

Walter Gretzky Bust, 2022 

Walter Gretzky Bust, 2022

Artist: Robert Dey

Location: Federal Building, 60 Dalhousie Street

The bust to honour the late Walter Gretzky by local sculptor Robert Dey is installed in a public area at Brantford City Hall outside Council Chambers cast in bronze, measures 20 inches tall and 12 inches wide and fits neatly inside an enclosed case, also designed and produced by the artist. Dey is a Canadian born artist who lives and works from his home studio in Paris, Ontario. He has been creating and exhibiting his work since 1996 which focuses on depicting the human figure in bronze.
Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant facilitated the special legacy project directly with Dey and launched a campaign to secure full funding of the project, receiving many generous donations from local community members and organizations. Glenhyrst has gifted the piece to the City of Brantford.
Endeared to many, especially in his hometown of Brantford, Ontario, Walter Gretzky selflessly dedicated countless hours to coaching youth and supporting Brantford’s local charities. Walter is also remembered for his passion for golf and the legacy of the Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Tournament first held in Brantford in 1995, and eventually held in eight cities across Canada.

Walter Gretzky Portrait, 2021 

Walter Gretzky Bust, 2022

Title: Lord Mayor Walter Gretzky

Artist: Christina Sealey

Location: Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course, Banquet and Learning Centre at 320 Balmoral Drive in Brantford.

Painted by renowned Portrait Artist Christina Sealey, this portrait of Walter Gretzky sits in the main entrance to the Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course.

Endeared to many across the country and in his hometown of Brantford, Ontario, Walter Gretzky selflessly dedicated countless hours to coaching youth and supporting Brantford’s local charities.
Painted using oil paints in a realist style, this of 51” x 72” painting creates an instantly recognizable vision of Walter. Sealey uses a wet-on-wet approach with visible brush marks and slightly intensified colours that add character, vitality and warmth. This purposely chosen style of painting allowed for a more expressive painting that would better represent Walter’s friendly and unpretentious persona and strength of character. The background is painted with a thin, translucent glaze that helps to create a greater sense of depth as well as a realistic rendering of space.

Sealey is a world famous Portrait Artist who received her Master of Fine Arts from the School of Drawing and Painting in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has shown her work in exhibitions and collections across Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia and overseas in London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. Sealey comes highly referred from previous commissions she was awarded. Her works can be found in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Varley Gallery of Markham, McMaster University, Dalhousie University, the Hamilton. Club and within private and corporate collections internationally including the collections of Margaret Trudeau and Standard Life (Scotland).

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.