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The Brantford Identity Project

Survey Results

In addition to the focus groups (over 300 attendees), an online survey was conducted by the City of Brantford in the fall 2012 to solicit feedback from residents, businesses and those that work, play, visit or study in Brantford. 670 responses were received with 525 (78.6%) being residents of Brantford and 145 (21.4%) being non-residents.

As part of the project, JAN Kelley Marketing has been retained to analyze the results and to assist the City in developing a brand for the City of Brantford.

Executive Summary

The survey input resulted in fairly even distribution of negative and positive feedback regarding the City, its services, its viability and its challenges. Most telling are the answers to the question “Brantford is…?” which were vague, demonstrating that that the City does not have a clear identity in the hearts and minds of the community.

This is a place of risk for the City, as a strong and identifiable link to community is essential to fostering sustainable growth and economic development. The survey confirmed that the City lacks a commonly embraced identity, further supporting the need for the City to engage in branding Brantford.

Key Survey Findings

Overview of Responses


Below are graphs that show the age, gender and location of those who responded to the survey. This information is gathered to ensure that the survey reflects the population of the City of Brantford.

Survey Participants' Age
Age Group Response Percentage
Under 18 1.5%
19-30 16.9%
31-50 49.5%
51-65 27.7%
66+ 4.4%

Note: Based on the number of responses received from youth, in relation to the actual youth population in the City of Brantford, additional feedback is required to accurately reflect the make-up of the community. As part of the branding identity process, it will be important to solicit their feedback and include their ideas

Survey Participants' Gender
Gender Response Percentage
Male 57.9%
Female 42.1%
Do You Live in Brantford?
Response List Response Percentage
Yes, I am a resident of Brantford 78.4%
No, I do not live in Brantford 21.6%
Do You Work in Brantford
Response List Response Percentage
Yes - I work in Brantford 77.9%
No - I work outside of Brantford 15.6%
I am Retired 6.5%

Note: 647 responses were received for this question. The survey reflects 16% of those who answered leaving the City for work, whereas secondary sources suggest the number is closer to 25%.


Living In Brantford

Below are graphs showing the location of those people that responded that live in Brantford, length of time they have lived in the city and why they have chosen to stay in Brantford. For those that do not live in the city, the survey captured where they live and why would they chose to live elsewhere.

  • 525 Residents
  • 145 Non-Residents

For Those Living In Brantford:

What Are The Three First Digits of Your Postal Code?
Postal Code Response Percentage
N3L 1.0%
N3P 6.3%
N3R 38.5%
N3S 21.9%
N3T 29.8%
N3V 2.5%
Have Long Have You Lived in Brantford?
Number of Years Living in Brantford Response Percentage
0 - 10 Years 21.6%
11 - 20 Years 17.6%
21 - 30 Years 20.5%
30+ Years 40.3%
For Those That Have Lived Here Less than 10 Years, What Attracted You to Brantford?
Reason for Moving Response Percentage
Affordability 40.2%
Education Opportunities 10.7%
Employment Opportunities 28.6%
Family 33.9%
Quality of Life 23.2%
Proximity to Other Communities 17.9%
Other 22.3%
For Those That Have Lived Here For More than 10 Years, Why Did You Stay or Return?
Reason for Moving Response Percentage
Affordability 38.8%
Education Opportunities 4.7%
Employment Opportunities 37.6%
Quality of Life 34.4%
Family 70.0%
Other 15.0%

Note: Most people who responded are staying or returning for Family (70%) or Affordability (38.8%)

Sample Comments

  • Community
  • Location/Proximity
  • Opening small business
  • Grew up here / Memories
  • It's compact urban form, the community's personality and ease of travelling around the city by car
  • No opportunity to get out
  • Poor judgement

For Those Who Live Elsewhere, but Work, Visit or Study in Brantford:

Location of Non-Residents
Community Response Percentage
Toronto 6.2%
Paris 16.9%
Brant County 25.4%
Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge 9.2%
Hamilton 18.5%
Out of Province 3.8%
Halton 3.1%
Other 16.9%

Note: Question was answered by 130 of the 145 non-residents that participated in the survey.

Have You Ever Considered Moving to Brantford?
Response List Response Percentage
Yes, I have considered moving to Brantford 51.4%
No, I have not considered moving to Brantford 48.6%

If Not, Why Not?

Sample comments include:

  • Too far from family
  • Due to my profession, I prefer to work in Brantford and live in another City.
  • Too connected for me with work with violence and poverty, this is changing as I become more connected in communities though.
  • I've considered it but it would not be wise to sell and move at the moment. I work in Brantford
  • Property Taxes are too high compared to the taxes in Paris
  • I enjoy not living in the same community I work in. I also don't feel the same community, family-friendly atmosphere in Brantford that I do in Binbrook.
  • We moved out of Brantford to the country for a safer environment for our children. We were living in a core area of Brantford before moving.

About Brantford?

The following series of survey questions were open-ended and allowed the participants to answer with individually-driven choices, providing their top 3 answers for each question. These results were then accumulated and the top 3 choices (ranking highest to lowest) of all responses are summarized below.

Please Rate Your Overall Satisfaction With Brantford
Response List Response Percentage
Excellent 15.8%
Good 55.3%
Fair 23.6%
Poor 5.3%

Note: A total of 647 responses were received. According to these statistics, 71.2% of respondents had a satisfaction level of Good or higher.

What Amenities / Activities Do You Use?
Amenity / Activity In Brantford Other Community Not Applicable
Arts, Culture & Heritage 53.7% (295) 27.7% (152) 18.6% (102)
Dining 85.1% (526) 12.6% (78) 2.2% (14)
Education 42.4% (219) 29.0% (150) 28.6% (148)
Entertainment 65.3% (387) 31.0% (184) 3.7% (22)
Healthcare 76.7% (470) 21.4% (131) 2.0% (12)
Leisure Activities 73.3% (418) 24.4% (141) 3.3% (19)
Professional Services 76.0% (436) 17.7% (102) 6.8% (39)
Shopping 64.9% (399) 32.6% (200) 2.4% (15)
Attend Sporting Events 32.0% (164) 37.8% (197) 30.7% (160)

Note: Of the 647 who responded, the majority are dining, shopping and seeking entertainment / leisure activities within the City. There is also good support for the Arts community in the City. The survey did not allow respondents to answer both “Brantford” and “Another Community” together and respondent comments indicate that they actually do both. Results may be weighted higher to Brantford because of the survey mechanics.

How Would You Rate Brantford On These Qualities?
Quality Excellent Good Fair Poor No Opinion
A Place To Raise A Family 24.0% (152) 48.8% (309) 19.7% (125) 4.3% (27) 3.2% (20)
Affordability 28.3% (179) 49.4% (313) 16.4% (104) 3.9% (25) 1.9% (12)
Arts, Cultures & Heritage 8.2% (52) 36.2% (229) 39.3% (249) 9.3% (59) 7.0% (44)
Education 13.7% (87) 52.0% (329) 24.0% (152) 5.7% (36) 4.6% (29)
Employment & Business Opportunities 3.6% (23) 25.1% (159) 40.9% (259) 27.0% (171) 3.3% (21)
Post Secondary Education 16.0% (101) 47.7% (302) 22.0% (139) 6.2% (39) 8.2% (52)
Quality of Life 15.0% (95) 55.0% (348) 25.0% (158) 3.3% (21) 1.7% (11)
Sports & Recreation Amenities 16.6% (105) 48.3% (306) 20.3% (125) 5.1% (32) 9.2% (58)
Trail System, Parks & the Grand River 49.8% (315) 39.0% (247) 6.3% (39) 1.4% (9) 3.0% (19)

Note: 633 responses were received. Individual comments were not collected for this question.

How Do You Think Brantford is Perceived by These Groups?
Quality Excellent Good Fair Poor
How Do You Think Investors, Developers or Businesses Outside of the Community Perceive Brantford? 3.2% (20) 30.4% (190) 47.6% (301) 19.3% (122)
How Do You Think Your Family & Friends outside of the Community Perceive Brantford? 2.1% (13) 30.5% (193) 44.2% (280) 23.2% (147)

Note: 633 responses were received. Individual comments were not collected for this question.

Name Three Things that Brantford is Best Known For (603 Responses)

Of the 603 responses received, the top three categories were:

  1. Wayne Gretzky / Gretzky Family / Hockey Roots
  2. Alexander Graham Bell / Telephone / Bell Homestead
  3. Casino and Six Nations (closest to reserve, issues, etc)

Other responses included the Grand River, the Trail system, Sanderson Centre, “blooming flowers” / ”blooming city” references, and sports tournaments.

Where in Brantford Would You Take a Visitor?

Of the 603 responses received, the top three categories were:

  1. River / Trails / Parks / Glenhyrst
  2. Downtown (Sanderson Centre, Harmony Square, restaurants)
  3. Casino / Gretzky Centre / Out of town

Other responses included the Farmer's Market, Mohawk Park, shopping and the Bell Homestead

What Do You Love About Brantford?

This question was completely open-ended & responded to by 603 participants. The following is an average of response themes to generate a picture of what respondents love about Brantford.

  1. Small, close-knit community / Strong sense of community / Friendly people / “small town feel” / Slower paced
  2. Affordability & closeness to bigger cities
  3. Green spaces / Trails / Parks / Grand River

What is Brantford’s Current Slogan?

The 592 responses to this question, highlight the optimism of some people who talk of progress, potential and the positive attributes of Brantford; but also the pessimism of others whose answers are negative & cynical. Most respondents did not know the current slogan as asked. A variety of answers from both sides are below:

  • Tournament City
  • Blooming City
  • Telephone City
  • Home of Alexander Graham Bell
  • Home of Wayne Gretzky
  • A River Runs Through It
  • “Keep Your Doors Locked”
  • “Nothing Lasts in Brantford”
  • “Small Town Mentality. Big City Politics.”

Please finish the following sentence: “The City of Brantford Is:"

This question was also open-ended and asked the 592 respondents to finish the sentence with their own ideas, thoughts, and opinions. As with the previous question, answers ranged from positive to negative perceptions, however there is a great sense of potential and hope within these answers. The following represent the variety of answers that were given:

  • Evolving
  • Rich in history and nature
  • Wonderful
  • The centre of Southwestern Ontario
  • In need of a lot of help
  • Small city qualities, big city amenities
  • In need of a curfew
  • A city with good intentions but poor planning
  • A place to grow
  • On the move
  • Great place to raise a family
  • Hidden gem
  • Boring / stagnant / lost / tired
  • Known for the wrong things currently
  • Growing & improving
  • A city with potential


Positivity and pride amongst citizens is critical to encouraging community development and long-term sustainable growth within a population. We can conclude that there is a definite optimistic outlook amongst those who responded to the survey, but also a sense of negativity that needs to be overcome.

The challenge will be for the City to disrupt negative perceptions on a number of points and tangibly demonstrates that Brantford is indeed a desirable place to live, work, and play.