One of the most populated neighbourhoods in the City of Brantford, Eagle Place is the go-to community for first-time homebuyers looking to settle down or start a family.
Bordered by the Grand River to the west, the County of Brant to the south, East Ward to the east and downtown Brantford to the north, Eagle Place comprises the city’s southern border and is among Brantford’s most historic neighbourhoods.
As former Brantford Public Utilities Commissioner Roy Guscott used to famously put it, “You’re not a Brantfordian unless you’ve lived in Eagle Place … God’s country.”
The late Guscott was the owner of Gordon-Guscott Supersave on Erie Avenue, the remnants of which are still present on expropriated land next to Veterans Memorial Parkway.
While his sentiment may ruffle feathers of some other born-and-raised Brantfordians, what’s evident in Guscott's motto was the pride that Eagle Place residents historically – and currently – take in their neighbourhood.
And they come by it honestly.
When your neighbourhood once held the nerve centre of the North American agricultural revolution, fuelling Brantford to be the third-largest manufacturing city in Canada at the turn of the century, a little pride is warranted.
With a 52-acre site to the east containing Massey-Harris, Verity Plow and the Cockshutt Plow Company, a majority of the workers who churned out the farm equipment made Eagle Place their home.
More than 93 per cent of the homes in Eagle Place are more than 30 years old, with many of them constituting sturdy century homes that were built by the enormous workforce that flocked to the manufacturing powerhouses.
Traditionally a working-class neighbourhood, Eagle Place only trails the West Brant and Greenbriar/Fairview neighbourhoods for the number of families who call it home and only trails West Brant and Lynden Hills/Brantwood for the highest percentage of residents under 14 years old.
Yes, Eagle Place is Brantford’s haven for young families buying their first home.
The parks, recreation and school system all exist to support the family feel of the neighbourhood.
Bellview Public School, Princess Elizabeth Public School and Jean Vanier Catholic School serve the Eagle Place neighbourhood, while Pauline Johnson Collegiate is the closest public high school.
All of the schools are among the “greener” schools in the city.
Bellview has an active environmental club, having twice won a national recycling contest in recent years (2015 and 2017). Princess Elizabeth collected $50,000 in sponsorship and fundraising to green the schoolyard with three new soccer pitches, a sanded area and plenty of new trees. Similarly, Jean Vanier invested $23,000 from grants and fundraising for a two new outdoor kindergarten classrooms, and will be building more for the elder grades in the coming years.
As for Pauline Johnson Collegiate, it’s the first school in the entire Grand Erie District School Board to earn platinum status in the province’s EcoSchool certification process.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Thanks to the Grand River’s proximity on one side and the Mohawk Lake district on the other, Eagle Place boasts kilometres of trails which encircle the neighbourhood. Recreational users can walk east, south or west from any point in Eagle Place and pickup the trail system. The trails in Eagle Place, which feature a connecting part of the Trans Canada Trail, meander along the city’s dike, past the third-oldest building in Ontario (Mohawk Chapel) and connect to the trails hub at Brant’s Crossing in the downtown.
With Earl Haig Family Fun Park at the north end of Eagle Place and a boat ramp to access the Grand River at the south end near Cockshutt Bridge, water recreation is also a key aspect of the neighbourhood. There is also a group of residents, with the support of the ward councillors, looking to add a community splash pad to Tutela Park in the near future.
Tutela Park, by the way, is the largest of the community parks in Eagle Place, with brand-new playground equipment installed in 2015. Eagle Place is also home to the John Wright Soccer Complex on Birkett Lane, which is the city’s largest soccer facility featuring four fields, as well as the Brantford and District Civic Centre, home to the 2008 Allan Cup champion Brantford Blast.
Doug Snooks Eagle Place Community Centre offers year-round programming by the city’s parks and recreation department, including drop-in pickle ball, summer camps and activities through the Ontario Early Years Centre.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Eagle Place could be argued as one of the cultural hubs of Brantford.
Home to the Canadian Military Heritage Museum and the Woodland Cultural Centre, its is only a short drive to the Bell Homestead.
The Canadian Military Heritage Museum, located on Greenwich Street, boasts as having the largest collection of Canadian war memorabilia outside the national museum in Ottawa. The Woodland Cultural Centre, located on the grounds of the former Mohawk Institute on Mohawk Street, is one of the leading champions of First Nations art, culture and traditions in Canada.
Potential future amenities include efforts to create a “museum of conscience” located at the Mohawk Institute Residential School and a Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre on the former Mohawk-Greenwich properties.
In addition, the Creamery on Erie Avenue, a longstanding, family-operated restaurant and bar, is encouraging the development of an alternative music scene, while also featuring local musicians.
From Eagle Place commuters can access Highway 403 at different interchanges depending on their ultimate destination.
Travelling northwest on Brant Avenue to Paris Road will get westbound drivers to the highway in 15 minutes, bound for Highway 401, Woodstock and London. Heading northeast on Wayne Gretzky Parkway will connects to the Highway in closer to 10 minutes for those travelling to Hamilton or the GTA.
Leaving via Erie Avenue/Cockshutt Road will take commuters to Six Nations in 15 minutes, Simcoe in 30 minutes and the beach in Port Dover in 45 minutes.
The No. 1 bus route winds its may through Eagle Place every 30 minutes, connecting users to the transit terminal, which then connects to all other city routes, the city’s GO bus to the GTA or Greyhound bus service.