Brantford, Ontario – It’s not hard to tell you are in the hometown of Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky, you’ll see the signs, whether it’s to the the Wayne Gretsky Sports Centre in the city’s north end or the Wayne Gretzky Parkway cutting right across the community.
‘The Great One’ was born here on January 26, 1961, the oldest of Walter and Phyllis Gretzky’s five children. He started skating on a backyard rink at the age of 2 and by the time ‘number 99’ retired he had chalked up four Stanley Cups in a row (1984-1988), and set the all-time NHL scoring record in 26 seasons. Gretzky’s father Walter is still very active in the community.
The Wayne Gretzky Foundation, a charity that helps disadvantaged youth is supported by a variety of fund-raising events and donations from corporate sponsors, including a portion of proceeds from the Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery in Niagara.
Brantford, located on hwy 403 just one hour west of Toronto, is on the Grand River, which offers canoeing, rafting, paddling and 40 km of hiking and biking trails (including 26 km of the Trans Canada Trail.)
The city is just 93 km (58 miles) southwest of Toronto. It boasts its own symphony orchestra, opera guild, and even an annual international jazz festival. There are eleven local museums, aboriginal tours, and it has a thriving community of artisans. For outdoors lovers the Grand River, a designated heritage river, offers canoeing, kayaking, rafting and fishing. For cyclists and hikers, local trails connect to the Trans Canada Trail.
Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, The Brantford and Area Sports Hall of Recognition, 254 N Park St, Brantford, Ontario