The Iroquoian-speaking Attawandaron, known in English as the Neutral Nation, lived in the Grand River valley area before the 17th century; their main village and seat of the chief, Kandoucho, was identified by 19th-century historians as having been located on the Grand River where present-day Brantford developed.
The original Mohawk settlement was on the south edge of the present-day city at a location favourable for landing canoes.
Brant's crossing of the river gave the original name to the area: Brant's ford.
By 1847, European settlers began to settle further up the river at a ford in the Grand River and named their village Brantford.
Brantford is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada, founded on the Grand River.
Modern Highway 403 connects it to Woodstock in the west and Hamilton in the east; and Highway 24 connects to Cambridge to the north and Simcoe to the south.
It is the seat of Brant County, but it is politically separate with a government independent of the county.
Brantford is sometimes known as the "Telephone City": former city resident Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone at his father's home, the Bell Homestead.
In 1876 he conducted the first long-distance telephone call, making it from Brantford to Paris, Ontario.
Brantford is also the birthplace of hockey player Wayne Gretzky, comedian Phil Hartman, as well as Group of Seven member Lawren Harris.
Brantford is named after Joseph Brant, an important Mohawk chief during the American Revolutionary War and later, who led his people in their first decades in Upper Canada.
Many of his and other First Nations citizens live on the neighbouring reserve of Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, the most populous reserve in Canada.