Diversity in Brantford
An Analysis of the Most Diverse Neighbourhoods in Our Community.
Angel Panag & Amanda Mersereau, January 04, 2023 // Brantford, OntarioA discussion in Downtown Brantford's Harmony Square. Stock photo.
The potential for our community is growing with our population, which saw a 6.2% increase from 2016-2021 (let’s get those city limit signs updated!)
With a population of 104,688 according to the 2021 Census, Brantford is also diversifying. Here is a look at some of Brantford’s most diverse neighbourhoods, paired with some key data points and history:
Brantford’s overall diversity index score is 36
Brant County’s overall diversity index score is 17
A diversity index of 0 means that all people in the area belong to the same ethnic group. The highest possible index of 93 corresponds to a perfect mix of ethnic groups, with an equal proportion of each ethnic group reflected in the region.
Cainsville : 67
The portion of Cainsville now located within city limits, bound by Garden Ave on the West, Colborne Street East to the South, and Brant County Road 18 to the East is the most diverse area in the city. Once known as Bunnell’s Landing, Cainsville was first settled by African-American freedom seekers. The area has been home to a historic Black community since at least 1834. Today, the neighbourhood has a higher diversity index than major cities like Ottawa (56), Montreal (61) and Calgary (66) approaching levels seen in Toronto (76).
A community gathering at Johnson Park in Cainsville. Stock photo.
Shellard Lane (West Brant) : 54
Shellard lane is an expansive suburban neighbourhood in the city’s southwest, centred around Assumption College School. The three Census Areas that make up the area of Shellard Lane have varying levels of diversity. The most diverse is the area Southwest of Conklin Road which is home to among the highest concentration of South Asians, Black Canadians, West Asians, and Latin Americans in the city.
Downtown Core : 52
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Brantford’s downtown has seen its fair share of ups and downs. The area is home to a large student population drawn to study at Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. The diversity of these institutions’ student bodies is reflected in the diversity of the city’s downtown. Equally diverse are the area’s food choices, with Indian, Jamaican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Mexican food spots all within a short walk. Meanwhile, institutions like the Aboriginal Health Centre and G.R.E.A.T. offer meaningful support and community programming to the area’s Indigenous community.
Do you know of any services, groups or organizations that help welcome newcomers to our community or provide a space to network and connect?
Source: Canada Census, 2021
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brantford’s native son, Angel spent much of his life living in the far reaches of Canada. After graduating from Dalhousie University, he began a career as a public servant and later in human rights. Meanwhile, remaining strongly rooted in the arts - DJing, managing musicians, producing films, and performing on Broadway. Angel strongly believes in the power the arts have to inspire, and transform communities and people. He is currently a final year Law student, and is excited to help tell stories from his hometown.