Bradford is the primary country urban area of the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury. It overlooks a farming community, known as The Holland Marsh, located on the Holland River that flows into Lake Simcoe. The eastern boundary of Bradford is the Holland River, named for Samuel Holland, first Surveyor General of British North America, who passed this way on an exploration from Toronto to Balsam Lake, by way of Lake Simcoe, in 1791. Bradford was incorporated as a village in 1857. The former Town of Bradford was amalgamated with portions of the former Townships of West Gwillimbury and Tecumseth to become the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury on January 1, 1991.