This article is my ode to living healthy in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. If you’re not from Brantford, you might have heard that the telephone originated in Brantford. So did number 99, Wayne Gretzky. Brantford likes to honor the Great One in creative ways (check out the picture below). One of Brantford’s residents, Krista DuChene, most recently represented Canada at the Rio Olympics in marathon running! Brantford is also the birthplace of Wehl, a social community for wellness. There are many options to make healthy living in Brantford affordable and fun! In this article, we’re going to feature 9 of them (99 would have been too long!).
Treat yourself to a healthy lunch or dinner (and try yoga too) at The Healthy Rabbit
The Healthy Rabbit is my favorite place to eat in Brantford. The owner, Justin, has created a wonderful community of people who contribute to the Healthy Rabbit experience. The dishes are healthy and delicious, and cover all kinds of diets, including gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, raw, vegetarian and vegan. In the summertime, there are patios out front and on the side of the building which are great for sharing a conversation and having a drink. Inside, artists have transformed the space to make it feel warm and inviting. Local musicians come in once a week for special music nights. There’s kombucha on tap. Behind the main building, a coach house has been converted into a beautiful yoga studio.
Get yourself a tennis racket and start playing
If it’s been a while since you’ve played a game of tennis and you’d like to try practising the game for free without the burden of having onlookers staring at your wild shots (speaking from experience!), there are some tennis courts at Pauline Johnson Collegiate which are not widely known. When I last went there, it was empty. The courts are not even listed on this summary of Brantford’s tennis courts. You can see the Pauline Johnson Collegiate tennis courts on this map:
Go for a walk, run or bike ride along the trails
There are numerous trails that wind through Brantford and connect Brantford to other towns and cities, including Cambridge, Paris, and Hamilton. Some of the trails follow the Grand River, making them a scenic route to go for a stroll.
The best map that I’ve found for understanding the entire trail network in the region can be downloaded here from the Grand River Conservation Area. One of the trails that connects through Brantford is called the SC Johnson Trail, and you can find instructions and maps on where to access the SC Johnson Trail (including parking) here. I often drive to the very end of Powerline Road and then access the trail there. There is always plenty of parking, and the gravel path is decent to run on.
Learn to play golf!
There are many golf courses in the Brantford area catering to different tastes and abilities. When I moved to Brantford, I decided I wanted to become better at golfing. After searching around for who might be able to offer me a lesson, I opted to get lessons from Greg at the Oaks of St. George. This turned out to be a great decision! Greg was very patient with me, helping me improve my swing over multiple lessons. He even helped me with buying a quality set of a used golf clubs. The Oaks of St. George have a nice driving range to practise. I also really enjoy the driving range at Northfield Golf Centre, which is quite affordable and located conveniently on Highway 24.
Walk or jog on the indoor track at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre
The Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre is a multi-purpose sports facility that features a fitness centre, swimming, ice rinks, a gymnasium and numerous programs for all ages and skill levels. It is a state-of-the-art complex! When I compare it to sports facilities of other cities similar in size to Brantford, I can unequivocally state that Brantford is blessed to have such an incredible facility.
One of the hidden gems of the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre is the indoor track. If it’s the middle of winter and you’re in need of some exercise, you can go for a walk or jog on the indoor track which surrounds one of the arenas – for free! There’s usually a hockey game or practice going on, which provides some nice entertainment to accompany your workout!
Join the Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program at Devon Acres Organic Farm
Being a part of the CSA program at Devon Acres Organic Farm provides a great opportunity to get organic vegetables through the summer and fall. The farm is located just outside of Brantford. Robin, who runs Devon Acres, uses horses to do the heavy work in the garden. I really enjoy driving out to the farm and catching up with Robin, who is friendly and provides helpful tips on how to cook certain kinds of vegetables that aren’t available at a conventional grocery store. Robin also sells eggs from chickens and ducks.
Find your organic groceries at Goodness Me
When it comes to sourcing organic groceries and natural supplements in Brantford, Goodness Me has the biggest selection, and is a great one-stop shop to get reputable products that you can’t find anywhere else. And it isn’t just people in Brantford who come to this location. I met a wellness enthusiast in Ingersoll who told me she drives to the Brantford Goodness Me every week. Janet Jacks has created a wonderful store that touts the power of food.
Get your organic meats and wild fish at Faul Farms
The “country store” at Faul Farms in Ayr, a short drive from Brantford, is quite a treasure trove of organic meats and natural foods. Faul Farms guarantees that all of their products are free of antibiotics, hormones, steroids, chemical nitrates and preservatives. All of the beef comes from their farm, and Shirley has worked with “100 mile partners” to also sell turkey, chicken, lamb, pork, fish, eggs, cheese, maple syrup, honey, flour, and apple products. Click here to check out their latest price list. One of the particularly unique items at Faul Farms is their wild-caught rainbow trout from Georgian Bay – tastes amazing!
Relax in a Salt Cave at Grand Wellness Centre
If you’re suffering from a respiratory illness, or you just want to experience the relaxing effects of immersing yourself in a salt cave, check out Grand Wellness Centre’s salt cave. The salt cave recreates what a salt mine would have been like thousands of years ago. There are some comfortable chairs in which to stretch out and have a nap. I combined a soothing salt block foot detox with a 45-minute session in the salt cave, and really enjoyed the experience.
I hope you feel encouraged by these healthy living options in Brantford! There are many more that I didn’t cover, so please leave us a comment and let us know if you have a favorite that we missed! What healthy options have you found in Brantford?