Downtown Brantford Revitalization
Descriptive video transcript
A man hangs his coat up on the back of a door. There are scissors and combs layed out on a counter. The interior of the barbershop is revealed he begins to cut another manís hair.
"32 years ago Brantford was starting to decline a bit."
Caption: Caesar - Business owner
"I definitely considered leaving because there was nobody left downtown." Downtown storefronts are boarded up with plywood covered in graffiti. The streets are empty. "Downtown was a little bit frightening. Not a fun place to take your kids out walking at night."
Caption: Penny - Resident
A woman speaks to the camera. "A lot of people lost their jobs and the downtown started to deteriorate." More boarded up shops and empty streets make Brantford look like it was abandoned. A man stands at a street light as sunlight showers down on him. Students walk through the streets of Brantford to the university campus. "The post-secondary boom started as more of a trickle. It started growing and as it built and built and built," Inside a local cafÈ, students are eating, chatting and working on their laptops. "what we were noticing were them saying 'we donít want to go back to our home communities,'"
Caption: Marc - Business owner
Inside an empty theatre, a man with a beard speaks to the camera. "'we want to make a new home community in Brantford.'" Caption: Brantford invested proceeds from their OLG Gaming Centre into building college and university campuses. "The university coming to Brantford was probably the best thing that happened to Brantford." People walk past the Research & Academic Centre at Laurier University. "About a dozen businesses opened up in the downtown core in the last year." A local baker spoons batter into a muffin tin. Employees at a local Mexican restaurant make burritos.
Caption: Andrea - Resident
A woman speaks to the camera. "Weíve never had a Mexican place in Brantford so thatís pretty exciting." "There is just a vivaciousness that wasnít there a decade ago." Downtown, there people crossing the street, coming out of the public library, and walking past the Sanderson Centre ñ the local theatre. "I was just at the sold out comedy festival and that was right here." Inside the theatre, antique chandeliers hang from an ornate ceiling. Empty rows of red velvet seats face the stage. "To see a local event fill this place - that was really a special time." A man with a beard speaks to the camera. "Having the campuses means thereís more businesses down here." A woman in an apron and baseball cap plates some baked squares inside her local bakery and cafÈ. "Youíll see hundreds of people enjoying a time with their families and with our community." Several people cross the street at a downtown intersection.
Caption: Lucas & Laura - New business owners
A local business owner turns the sign in his shop window from closed to open. "Good things turn into other good things. That travels fast." A man with a beard, who is wearing an apron, proudly holds up a tray of freshly-baked bread. A woman, wearing an apron, stands beside him smiling. "I think weíre going to see a greater increase in people living in the downtown core and more just interesting social good happening. " The sun is shining, people are walking around downtown Brantford. An older man stands outside his shop under a sign that reads Caesars Place Barbershop, two men and two women smile and laugh as they stand in front of their Burrito Brothers sign, a man and woman, both in aprons, stand outside their shop under an awning that reads Sophieís Bakery and CafÈ, and students walk around the Laurier University campus. "Last year alone OLG gaming centres gave back $110 million to their communities. This is only part of the $36 billion OLG has contributed to Ontario since 1975. Real stories like this are happening all over the province all the time. To see more stories visit modernolg.ca."