Burford, Ontario

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Canada Post Office in Burford's downtown.

Burford is a rural community and is part of the County of Brant, in central southwestern Ontario. It has 1,940 residents (2006 Census). It is located eight kilometers west of the City of Brantford along Highway 53, and seventy kilometers east of London, Ontario. It is approximately 100 km southwest of Toronto.

Burford was the largest town of the former Burford Township, which included Cathcart, Harley and Princeton. Burford's ‘downtown’, the intersection of Maple Avenue and King Street (Highway 53), includes a stop light, several small businesses and a post office. The community was founded by Canadians of German, Dutch and British backgrounds. Shortly after the Rebellion of 1837, Burford was the centre of an abortive rebellion in the Western District of Upper Canada led by Charles Duncombe.

Historically, when tobacco was lucrative, the farms and families surrounding Burford were relatively prosperous. However, when smoking habits began to change in the 1980s, the economy slipped into decline. Currently, farmers are more likely to be growing ginseng for oriental markets than tobacco. Dairy, poultry, hog and fish farming persist and range from large scale commercial operations to subsistence type family farms. The community has lost population since the 1970s and is eager to attract new investment.

Burford District High School was the only secondary institution for eighty years, opening in 1922 and closing in June 2002 due to low enrollment. The building was then revamped to become Burford District Elementary School and drew students from three elementary schools which were closed around the same time: Maple Avenue, Coronation and Harley-Northfield. Most high school age students now attend Paris District High School, Brantford Collegiate Institute or Assumption and St. John’s Catholic schools.

A rural community with strong ties to religious and community organizations, Burford Township prides itself on being a modern community with traditional small town ethics such as honesty, charity and industry. There are few visible minorities except for migrant workers from Jamaica, Mexico and elsewhere.

Burford is home to the Burford Bulldogs, a junior hockey team that plays in the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League; is also the hometown of well known Canadian newspaper reporter Anne Jarvis.

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Coordinates: 43°06′08″N 80°25′44″W / 43.1022, -80.429

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