Tourism Grand Erie

Tourism Grand Erie

Before the Covid-19 Pandemic, Canada’s Tourism Industry accounted for $105 billion in total economic activity and 1.8 million jobs, half of which were held by people under the age of 35.

Tourism is a dynamic and vastly diverse industry, comprised of innovative travel, hospitality, accommodations, as well as various cultural and recreational businesses in every region of the country, including the Grand Erie region.

While the past year has placed a heavy toll on tourism, the support of local patrons has provided opportunities to kick-start recovery. In 2020, there were 13,666 jobs in the tourism industry in Grand Erie (13% decline from 2019) with Brantford employing the largest number of tourism positions (6,500) followed by Norfolk (3,602) and Haldimand Counties (1,795). (Source: EMSI Analyst)

Between December 2019 and December 2020, the local tourism sector lost 18 businesses. The total number of tourism businesses in Grand Erie as of December 2020 is 2851, of which 1297 have employees. Notably, 1,245 tourism businesses in the region employ 5-99 people and 14 employ 100-199. (Source: EMSI Analyst)

Some of the top tourism businesses in the region include personal care services and recreation businesses.

Completion of training for the tourism industry has been on the rise in our region in the recent past. In 2018, 222 people completed hospitality administration and management programs in Grand Erie, which is up from 108 in 2016. (Source: EMSI Analyst)

Over the course of the pandemic, tourism operators have worked to implement high standards of health and safety protocols and have often dedicated much time and resources on adapting premises, training staff and changing processes to ensure a safe and welcoming environment when they are given the go-ahead to reopen.

While there are currently still restrictions in place, there are great destinations, attractions and local businesses across Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk to keep in mind for when measures are lifted. Below are some highlights of our region’s tourism destinations that you can plan now, to explore later.

Haldimand County

Visiting Haldimand County is a rural retreat with plentiful fishing opportunities and an abundance of cycling and hiking trails. In Haldimand County’s towns and hamlets, there is an atmosphere of small-town charm, with unique attractions, quaint shops, cultural and historic sites, and a range of accommodations and restaurants.

Six Nations of the Grand River

Located alongside the picturesque waters of the Grand River, Six Nations is a community everyone should experience. Visitors can explore its unique history, culture, events, attractions, businesses and a variety of experiences unmatched by any other community throughout the nation.

Norfolk County

Norfolk County’s wineries, breweries and farm markets highlight Norfolk County’s status as Ontario’s Garden. Some of its popular destinations are the towns along Lake Erie, with warm sandy beaches in Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. Back roads provide scenic cycling routes and attractions include live theatre, boat cruises, tasty food in port towns. Abundant outdoor adventures include eco tourism, fishing, birding, star-gazing, and camping.

County of Brant

“Rich In Culture, Adventurous In Nature” – from paddling the Grand River to exploring parks and trails and visiting beautiful and vibrant small towns, the County of Brant has tons of charm to offer local residents and visitors once it is ready to reopen and welcome explorers.


In Brantford, you can explore world-class entertainment options, shop at unique boutiques, taste your way through the city, and brush up on your local history at one of the city’s many museums and galleries.

While COVID-19 has had an undeniable impact on the tourism sector in our region, Grand Erie Jobs data indicates that many businesses within this sector are continuing to hire for top tourism positions, including retail salespersons, cashiers, store shelf stockers, retail sales supervisors and retail and wholesale trade managers.  


Fewer people active in May job market

Fewer people active in May job market

May 2021 employment numbers show Brantford’s jobless rate fell, but it was more due to residents leaving the labour force than people starting jobs.

The city’s unemployment rate fell for the fourth straight month in May, landing at 6.1%, down from 6.4% in April, according to Statistics Canada seasonally adjusted estimates.

Canada shed 68,000 jobs last month with the monthly unemployment rate virtually unchanged at 8.2%. Ontario’s monthly jobless rate climbed modestly to 9.3% as employment fell by 32,000.

Brantford’s unemployment rate is lower than the surrounding communities of Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, St. Catharines-Niagara and London. But Brantford was the only job market in the area that saw the size of its labour force shrink in May.

The city’s labour force shrunk by about 1,100 in May. The majority were employed residents leaving the workforce and not searching for new work. Others were unemployed people who gave up looking for work, according to the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

The largest drop in the labour force has been among young male workers, ages 15 to 24, with about 800 fewer working or looking for work.

“The pandemic has caused a lot of ups and downs in people’s lives. It’s understandable if some people have felt disheartened and discouraged, and have dropped out of the labour force,” said executive director Danette Dalton.

“Hopefully, these discouraged workers will return once things stabilize more. We are fortunate in our community to have a lot of employment support services and training opportunities.”

Dalton said the Workforce Planning Board continues to see a healthy number of jobs listed on its Grand Erie Jobs board. There were 1,300 new jobs posted last month for Brantford and Brant County, and another 600 more positions were for jobs in Norfolk, Haldimand and Six Nations.

May 2021 data from Grand Erie Jobs on most frequently posted job openings has been consistent for months, with material handler the No. 1 posting. Others in the top-5 were retail salespersons, home support workers and related occupations, customer service representatives, and general farm labourers.

In Ontario, Statistics Canada is reporting the student job market is particularly challenging. The unemployment rate for students, ages 15 to 24, was estimated at almost 28% in May. This, however, is better than the 41% from May 2020 during the first lockdown.

Visit Statistics Canada to read its News Release about May 2021’s job market in Canada and Ontario.

Work-Life balance survey launched

Work-Life balance survey launched

A new Workforce Planning Board survey is asking local residents about challenges they face achieving a healthy work-life balance.

The Navigating Work-Life Balance in Grand Erie survey is aimed at adults in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Executive Director Danette Dalton said the pandemic has drawn additional attention to the subject of work-life balance, especially with more people working from home and students of all ages taking online classes.

“It can be tricky balancing work life and home life at any time, especially with so many demands on our time,” Dalton said. “We want to hear directly from individuals so we can better understand what factors are causing stress and imbalance in the lives of workers.”

Dalton said work-life balance can be impacted by many things: money, job insecurity, shift work, family responsibilities, physical and mental health, and more.

The survey will provide information that could be used by individuals to make changes in their lives, or to identify supports workers may need from employers or community organizations, she said.

“Employees, employers, families and the community all benefit by supporting healthy work-life balance. There’s a large return on investment for everyone.”

The Workforce Planning Board hopes to have at least 500 surveys completed over the next few months. All information collected is confidential.

People can take the survey by clicking on the following link:

People who complete the survey are eligible for weekly prizes that promote a healthy lifestyle. Prizes include a Fitbit, child and youth bikes, and gift cards for community businesses.

The Workforce Planning Board thanks community partners for their support.

April 2021 employment showed modest gains

April 2021 employment showed modest gains

April 2021 employment numbers for Brantford showed modest job gains, even as new lockdowns sidelined workers across Canada.

The city’s jobless rate fell to 6.4% in April, down from 7.2% in March, according to the latest seasonally adjusted estimates from Statistics Canada released Friday. Local employment reached the highest level since the pandemic’s first wave a year ago in April 2020, when the jobless rate was 8.9%.

April 2021 employment numbers show Brantford fared better than many places in Canada.

Employment fell by about 207,000 jobs across Canada as COVID-19 restrictions were tightened in several provinces, pushing up the national monthly jobless rate to 8.1%. Ontario’s monthly unemployment rate climbed to 9%, due to an estimated 153,000 fewer residents working.

Ontario started its current stay-at-home order on April 8, just prior to Statistics Canada conducting its labour force survey April 11 to 17.

“It’s great to see the Brantford area’s unemployment rate at a one-year low,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board. “We hope that trend continues, but we may continue to see instability in the job market, especially if the pandemic’s third wave isn’t brought under control.”

Dalton said it is important to remember that “there are still more than 5,000 local residents who don’t have jobs, which means thousands of families are struggling and need our community’s support.”

In Brantford, April 2021 employment numbers show that more women across all age groups worked full-time, while full-time work fell among men, with young workers ages 15 to 24 the hardest hit. Part-time employment grew for men.

There were about 1,200 new job listings in April for the city of Brantford on the Grand Erie Jobs job board. Another 1,000 new jobs were listed for Brant, Norfolk, Six Nations and Haldimand. A large majority of job postings are for full-time permanent positions.

While material handler remains the No. 1 job posting locally, employers are looking to fill a wide variety of positions. Businesses are still recruiting for sales, customer service and restaurant jobs, even with the curtailing of these types of operations. Many area farms are also hiring.

Visit Statistics Canada to read its News Release about April 2021’s job market in Canada and Ontario.

Canadian Census Provides Important Data

Canadian Census Provides Important Data

Most Canadians will have received their 2021 Census by now.

The census provides a count of Canada’s population – it was 35,151,728 when the last one was held in 2016 – but it does much more. Information collected in the census paints an up-to-date picture of Canadian society and how it has changed or is changing.

Canadians are being asked to complete the census online by May 11, Census Day. Census employees will follow up with people who don’t complete the census. They’ll likely explain why doing the census is important and provide a friendly reminder that Canadians are required to complete it by law every 5 years.

Statistics Canada is also conducting its Census of Agriculture during May. This census is aimed at farm operators across the county. In 2016, there were 193,650 farm operations in Canada – a number that will be updated with the 2021 census.

Short and long form census

Most Canadians, about 75%, will receive a short version of the census which will require only a few minutes to complete for an entire household. Questions will mainly cover: name, gender, date of birth, age, marital status and spoken languages of all members in a household.

A smaller number of Canadians will receive the long form version of the census. It contains the same questions, plus other questions about people’s birthplace, citizenship, cultural heritage, Indigenous status and religion. Other sections focus on education, mobility, housing, health issues and employment.

Questions that are related to the workforce include employment status, number of hours worked, occupation, self-employment, work location and commuting habits.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie uses this census data to help with workforce planning in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Watch Statistics Canada’s video: How do I complete the questionnaire?

Why doing the census is important

Questions on who lives in a household helps the government understand family size and composition, including the number of children and seniors. This helps the government plan programs such as Old Age Security and the Canada Child Benefit.

In line, this information is used by provincial and local governments to help plan services for communities, including new schools, seniors’ residences and day cares.

Watch Statistics Canada’s video: Why the census is important

Census demographic data can also help small businesses understand their target market in their particular area.

Here’s more info from Statistics Canada on how businesses can use census data:

Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie – Our Census Map Tool

Our Grand Erie Jobs website has a free online Census Map Tool anyone can use to look up census information from the 2016 census.

There’s information on population, families, language, aboriginal peoples, citizenship, immigration, housing, education and more. Workforce related data includes size of the workforce, number of Canadians who work in each occupation and each industry, where people work, language of work, place of work and commuting habits.

For example, the 2016 census told us that 1,920 Haldimand County residents worked in their homes, while 65 residents worked outside Canada. There are also numbers for how many residents travel outside Haldimand to work and how many come to the county to work. There’s similar data for all Grand Erie communities.

If the information appears dated on the Census Map Tool, since it is from 2016, that just reinforces the importance of completing the 2021 census, so we have more up-to-date data.

Help Us Serve You Better

We are collecting data to better understand who is looking for work and what kind of opportunities jobseekers are searching for. This data is completely anonymous and non-personally identifiable.

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