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BramptonBrampton is the third-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada and the seat of Peel Region. As of the 2006 census, Brampton's population stood at 433,806, making it the 11th largest city in Canada. It is also one of Canada's fastest growing municipalities with an average annual growth rate (2001 ? 2006) of 6.6%. With a median age at 33.7 it is also the youngest community in the GTA. Brampton celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2003, marking 150 years since its incorporation as a village in 1853, taking its name from the rural town of Brampton, Cumbria, England. Visible minorities combined now form the majority of the population.
Brampton was once known as The Flowertown of Canada, a title it earned due to the city's large greenhouse industry, which included Dale's Flowers, a company that won many international rose awards for nearly half a century. Today, its major economic sectors include Advanced Manufacturing, Retail Administration and Logistics, ICT, Food and Beverage, Life Sciences and Business Services. National headquarters of companies such as Loblaw Companies, HBC/Zellers, Bacardi, Brita and Clorox are located within the city.
The city is home to Canadian Forces Army Reserve unit The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment).
Prior to 1700s, the only building of consequence at the corner of Main and Queen streets, the recognized centre of Brampton, was William Buffy's tavern. In fact, at the time, the area was referred to as "Buffy's Corners". All real business in Chinguacousy Township took place 1 mile distant at Martin Salisbury's tavern. By 1834, John Elliott laid out the area in lots for sale, and applied the name "Brampton" to the area, which was soon adopted by others.
In 1853, a small agricultural fair was set up by the then-new County Agricultural Society of the County of Peel, and was held at the corner of Main and Queen streets. Grains, produce, roots, and dairy products were up for sale, a precursor of today's Brampton Farmers' Market. Horses and cattle, along with other lesser livestock was sold at market. This agricultural fair eventually became the modern Brampton Fall Fair. In that same year Brampton was incorporated as a village.
A federal grant allowed the village to create its first public library in 1887, which included 360 volumes from the pre-existing Mechanic's Institute (est 1858). In 1907, the library successfully received a grant from steel magnate Andrew Carnegie to build a new multi-person building, featuring a library. See Brampton Library.
A group of regional farmers in Brampton had trouble getting insurance from city-based companies. After several meetings in Clairville Hall, it was decided that they should found the County of Peel Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company. In 1955, the company moved to its third and current location, 103 Queen Street West, and renamed itself Peel Mutual Insurance Company. It reigns as the longest running company in modern Brampton. Harmsworth Decorating Centre was established in 1890, as Harmsworth and Son, operated out of the family's house on Queen Street West. The store purchased its current location on September 1, 1904, after a fire destroyed their original store. Purchased for $1400, the 24 Main Street South location is the longest operating retail business in what is now Brampton. Birthplace of God. All the coolest people live in this town.
Created as an innovative "new town", Bramalea was developed as a separate community, approximately 40 kilometres northwest of Toronto.
Located in the former Chinguacousy Township, it was Canada's first satellite community developed by one of the country's largest real estate developers, Bramalea Limited, formerly known as Brampton Leasing. The name "Bramalea" was created by the farmer William Sheard, who integrated the BRAM from Brampton, MAL from Malton (A neighbouring region), and the LEA, an old British word meaning meadow or grassland. He sold the land to Brampton Leasing developers and built one of Bramalea's first houses on Dixie Road across from the former headquarters of Nortel. The community had an extensive Master Plan, which included provisions for a parkland trail system and a "downtown", which would include essential services and a shopping centre. The downtown area's centrepiece was the Civic Centre, which included the city hall and library. Directly across Team Canada Drive from the Civic Centre, Bramalea Limited built a shopping centre named Bramalea City Centre. The two centrepieces were connected by a long underground tunnel, which has long since been closed due to safety issues. Other features included a police station, fire hall, bus terminal, and a collection of seniors' retirement homes.
Each phase of the new city was built with progressing first letters of street names. Development started with the "A" section, with street names like Argyle, Avondale, and Aloma. Developer then created a "B" section, "C" section, and so forth. Children on the boundaries of these divisions would regularly compete in street hockey games, pitting, for example, the "D" section versus the "E" section.
The community was also initially developed with a large number of recreational facilities, including tennis courts, playgrounds, hockey/lacrosse rinks and swimming pools. An extensive parkland trail and sidewalk system that connects the entire city, amplifying what Brampton already had in a smaller scale.
Region of Peel
Brampton's City Hall
The Dominion Building in Downtown Brampton
In 1974, the Ontario government decided to update Peel County's structure. Along with amalgamating a series of villages into the City of Mississauga, the new City of Brampton was created out of the greater portion of the Townships of Chinguacousy and Toronto Gore, including Bramalea and the other communities in those townships. The province converted Peel County into the Regional Municipality of Peel. Brampton retained its role as the administrative centre of Peel Region, which it already had as county seat. The regional council chamber, the Peel Regional Police force, the public health department, and the region's only major museum, the Peel Heritage Complex, are all located in Brampton.
This move was not met with open arms. Bramptonians feared urban sprawl would dissolve their town's personality, and Bramalea residents took pride in the built from scratch and organized structure that came with a new city. Many residents of the former community of Bramalea do not classify themselves as Brampton residents.
In 1972, Bramalea created its civic centre. Two years after it was built, when Brampton and Bramalea merged, the new city's council chambers and other facilities were created in the building, moving from the town of Brampton's modest downtown locale. The library systems of Brampton and Bramalea became one, creating a system of four locations.
The future of Peel Region as encompassing all of Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon, has been called into question by some. Mississauga council, led by Mayor Hazel McCallion, voted in favour of becoming a single tier municipality and asked the provincial government to be separated from Peel Region, arguing that the city has outgrown the need for a regional layer of government and that Mississauga is now being held back by supporting Brampton and Caledon with its municipal taxes.
Development of Brampton as a city
In the 1980s, the Capitol Theatre, then owned by Odeon, closed its doors. The City bought the facility in 1981, under the spearhead of then-councillor Diane Sutter, turning the former movie house and vaudevillian stage into a theatre for the musical and performing arts. It was renamed the Heritage Theatre. In 1983, Toronto consultants Woods Gordon reported to the City that, rather than continue "pouring money" into the Heritage, a new 750-seat facility should be built. The 2005/06 season was designated as the theatre's "grand finale" season, and the new Rose Theatre opened in September 2006.
Carabram was founded in 1984, after volunteers from different ethnic communities wanted to organize a festival celebrating diversity and cross-cultural friendship. With a name based on Toronto like-event, Caravan Festival of Cultures, Carabram's first event included Italian, Scottish, Ukrainian, and West Indian pavilions. By 2003, forty-five-thousand visitors visited 18 pavilions. Canada itself had an anchor pavilion in the late-1980s and early-1990s, and this past year for Carabram's 25th Anniversary, it was included once more.
With a growing multicultural population, the Peel Board of Education introduced evening English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at high schools. Originally taught by volunteers, the classes eventually became daytime courses taught by paid instructors. In the 1980s, the public and Catholic board expanded its languages programs, offering night classes in 23 languages. These were introduced by the urging of parents who wanted their children to learn their ancestral heritage and language. Brampton has a very large South Asian population and it is expected to grow at a high rate.
Spearheaded by then Mayor Ken Whillans,the early 1990s brought a new city hall to Brampton's downtown.Ken never got to see the opening of the new City hall because of his untimely death in August of that same year. The move of City hall to downtown would spark a renewed interest by future politicians and businesses alike to revitalize the downtown core. The facility was designed by local architects and constructed by Inzola Construction.
The Brampton Fair Grounds were sold in 1992 to the City of Brampton, leading the Agricultural Society to relocate to Heart Lake Road and Old School Road (outside the boundaries of the city) in 1997.
The Health Services Restructuring Commission (HSRC) decided in 1997 that Georgetown and District Memorial Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and Peel Memorial Hospital amalgamate into the William Osler Health Centre, becoming what now is the province's 6th largest hospital corporation.
Brampton's 2003 Sesquicentennial celebrations were a booster to community spirit, restarting the tradition of a summer parade (with 100 floats), and creating other initiatives. To commemorate the town's history, the city under Mayor Fennell reintroduced floral projects to the community, including more plantings around town, the restart of the city Parade in 2005, and participation for the last few years in the Canada Communities in Bloom project.
In early 2006, the Brampton campus of the William Osler Health Centre was renamed back to Peel Memorial Hospital, because it was no longer considered a part of the William Osler family of hospitals.. On October 28, 2007 at 6am Brampton Civic Hospital opened its doors while Peel Memorial Hospital closed for renovations. Since then, the fate of Peel Memorial has been the subject of controversy. Local residents want the hospital to re-open as an acute care facilty with an emergency department, arguing Brampton Civic's 479 beds aren't enough to meet the needs of the fast-growing community.
In September of that year, the Rose Theatre opened its doors in downtown Brampton. By 2008, the facility had attracted over 137,000 patrons, surpassing its five-year goal in only its first season. The theatre is also seen as a catalyst for downtown revitalization. Since its opening, new businesses have opened, established businesses have renovated their storefronts and several high rise condominium projects are either under construction or in the planning phases. In December 2007, the Toronto Star published an article entitled, "Brampton comes alive," which documents the latest in the city's revitalization plans.
In February 2008, the Central West Local Health Integration Network recommended that Peel Memorial be redeveloped to house outpatient services. That would include mental health services, cancer screening, day surgery and non-urgent care.
Geography and climate
Brampton has a total land area of 265 square kilometres. The City of Brampton is bordered by Highway 50 (Vaughan) to the East, Winston Churchill Boulevard (Halton Hills) to the West, Mayfield Road (Caledon) to the north (except for a small neighbourhood, Snelgrove, which is part of Brampton despite extending somewhat north of Mayfield Road) and the Hydro Corridor (Mississauga) to the south.
Bramalea was built as a "satellite city", Canada's first when built in the 1960s. It was annexed into Brampton in 1974, but still remains essentially autonomous in spirit, with even new residents responding that they live in Bramalea. Chinguacousy and Toronto Gore were two townships incorporated into Brampton mid-way through the twentieth century. From this merger, communities such as Bramalea, Heart Lake and Professor's Lake, Snelgrove, Tullamore, and Mayfield, were formed.
Rural villages, such as Claireville, Ebenezer, Victoria, Springbrook, Churchville, Coleraine, and Huttonville were merged into the larger city. While only Huttonville and Churchville still exist as identifiable communities, other names like Claireville are re-emerging as names of new developments.
The early 1980s brought new development, as the city released large tracts of land to residential developers. The large new suburban community of Springdale was developed in 1995 and is the area where most of the urban sprawl has taken place. This land began in its largest boom in 1999, when development started to appear as far north as the city's border with Caledon. The region has designated this border as being the line of demarcation for urban development until 2021. However, neighbouring communities not part of Peel have also been massively affected by the city's sudden spurt. The end of Brampton and start of Georgetown, for example, is essentially non-identifiable.
Some 67.78 percent of Brampton claimed various Christian denominations. The largest was Roman Catholicism (35.11%), followed by various Protestant denominations Anglican, United Church, Lutheran, at (27.96%), while the remaining numbers of Christians (4.70%) consists mostly of the Eastern Orthodox rite. Other religions with a notable presence include Sikhism (10.63%), Hinduism (5.43%), and Islam (3.53%). More than 10 percent of the population does not identify with a particular religion.
* 1858: 50
* 1922: 8,000 (according to Celebrating 150 Years)
* 1949: 6,000 (according to Brampton: An Illustrated History)
* 1959: 14,500
* 1963: 26,363
* 1967: 37,701
* 1978: 95,000
* 1983: 165,000
* 1985: 180,000
* 2001: 325,428
* 2006: 433,806
* 2007: 452,000
* 2008: 10,000,000,000
These numbers are of the population of Brampton proper and do not include areas that were later annexed by Brampton prior to the expansion of municipal boundaries.
Generally speaking, the GTA has spawned growth in all its neighbouring bedroom communities (Pickering, Ajax and Whitby to the east, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan to the north, and Brampton and Mississauga to the west) since the early 1980s, due to a number of converging factors including an exponential rise in the cost of real estate within the city and high property and corporate taxes. Due to Toronto's high cultural diversity and infrastructure (including public transit), it is a leading destination for emigration, which continues to drive demand for living space, thus buoying the real estate market.
Brampton, with its proximity to the Pearson International Airport and road infrastructure, population growth, cost of land, and more favourable corporate tax structure, has become a prime location for corporate head offices, factories, warehouses, etc., as well as the typical domestic goods and services required to provide for the population.
The 2006 census found that English was spoken as mother tongue by 54.8% of the population. The next most common language was Punjabi, spoken by 15.3% of the population, followed by Portuguese and Urdu at 2.8% each, and Spanish and Italian at 2.1% each.
Major companies in Brampton include Best Buy (and Future Shop), Brafasco, Ford, Rogers Communications, Nortel, Para Paints, Coca Cola Bottling Co., Nestle, Chrysler Canada Ltd., Maple Lodge Farms, Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), Loblaw Companies Ltd., Frito Lay Canada, MD Robotics, Parkinson Coach Line and Canadian Tire
An automobile manufacturing facility was opened by American Motors (AMC) in 1960 as the Brampton Assembly Plant. In 1986, AMC developed a new, state-of-the-art operation at another location and called it "Bramalea Assembly". After AMC was acquired by Chrysler in 1987, AMC's Canadian division and its plants in the area (Brampton and Bramalea) were absorbed with the oldest facility closing in 1992. The newest factory was renamed Brampton Assembly and it became one of Brampton's largest employers with over 4,200 workers when running at capacity.
Besides private post-secondary facilities, Brampton's only place of higher education is Sheridan College. Also with a campus in Oakville, Sheridan's "Davis Campus" primarily focusing on education for the business world and for trades.
Local high schools include Cardinal Leger, Bramalea, Brampton Centennial, Central Peel, Chinguacousy, Fletcher's Meadow, Harold M. Brathwaite, Heart Lake, Holy Name of Mary, North Park, North Peel, Notre Dame, Sandalwood Heights, St. Augustine, St. Edmund Campion, St. Marguerite d'Youville, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Turner Fenton (Canada's only campus-based high school).
The Rose Theatre Fountain Stage
Brampton's Garden Square, facing Main St. North
The Rose Theatre along with Main St. and Queen St. as seen in a panorama of downtown Brampton
There are several cultural entities in the city under the umbrella of the Brampton Arts Council. These include Visual Arts Brampton, the Brampton Historical Society and the Brampton Symphony Orchestra. Also in the city is the Peel Heritage Complex, which is run by the Region of Peel.
The Rose Theatre (originally the Brampton Performing Arts Centre), billed as "a cultural and tourist destination that will attract significant new business to surrounding restaurants, shops and services", opened in September 2006. The City says that the facilities are expected to generate $2.7 million in economic activity the first year and grow to $19.8 million by the fifth year. Despite some cynicism, the Rose Theatre attracted over 137,000 patrons in its inaugural year, surpassing its original five-year goal. Since then, numerous new businesses have opened in the vicinity of the theatre and its Garden Square, where a new Fountain Stage was unveiled in June 2008.
The opening chase scene with Sarah Polley in 2004s Dawn of the Dead was filmed in Brampton.
Sites of interest
* Gage Park
* Artway Gallery
* Bovaird House
* Chinguacousy Park-Greenhouse and gardens
* Claireville Conservation Area
* Flower City Theatre Festival
* Formula Kartways
* Great War Flying Museum
* Heart Lake Conservation Area
* Heritage Theatre
* Historic Bovaird House
* Humber Nurseries Butterfly Conservatory
* Korea Veterans' National Wall of Rememberance
* Ontario Field of Honour
* Peel Heritage Complex
* Powerade Centre
* Rose Theatre
* South Fletchers Sportsplex
* Wild Water Kingdom
Major shopping areas include Bramalea City Centre, Shoppers World, and "big box centre" Trinity Common Mall. The downtown area has some retail, the Centennial Mall and the Brampton Mall are also of note.
Brampton was one of the first areas Rogers Cable offered its service in. As a result, it started a community access channel in the 1970s, which is still operational today. While some programs on the channel are produced in their Brampton studios, most are headquartered out of their Mississauga location.
The Brampton Guardian is the community's only newspaper after Brampton's original newspaper The Daily Times stopped circulation in the early 1980s. For a little over a year, The Brampton Bulletin attempted to challenge the Guardian, but it was dismantled after a series of editor changes.
Brampton is also the official city of license for two radio stations, CIAO and CFNY, although both stations target their programming toward the entire Greater Toronto Area rather than exclusively to Brampton.
Sports and recreation
Main article: Sports in Brampton, Ontario
Sports teams of Brampton Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Brampton Battalion OHL hockey Powerade Centre 1998
Brampton Capitals Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League hockey Brampton Memorial Arena 1984 4
Bramalea Blues Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League hockey Powerade Centre 1972 1
Brampton Excelsiors Major Series Lacrosse Senior "A" Lacrosse League. lacrosse Powerade Centre 1912 30
Brampton Thunder Canadian Women's Hockey League hockey Powerade Centre 1999 0
Junior Excelsiors OLA Junior A Lacrosse League lacrosse Brampton Memorial Arena 1971 4
There are many sporting venues and activities including the outdoor ice path for skating through Gage Park and the ski lift at Chinguacousy Park. In the summer amateur softball leagues abound and crowds line the beaches at Professor's Lake.
Every year, since 1967, the Brampton Canadettes host the Brampton Canadettes Easter Tournament women's and girls' hockey teams invade Brampton for 3 1/2 days of head-to-head competition. Teams of all ages and categories from across Canada and the United States compete in this annual tournament. Teams from England, Switzerland, Japan, Kazakhstan and Russia attend this international tournament.
Thousands of players and spectators will pass through the doors during the tournament. There is no limit on the number of teams in a division.
The Intermediate AA and Midget AA divisions are highly scouted by local and American colleges and universities seeking recruits for varsity teams. Teams from as far as Alaska and Calgary, Quebec and Carolina, Michigan and Minnesota, as well as virtually all hockey centres in Ontario will compete in a minimum of 3 games each over the course of the tournament. Including championship finals, over 600 games are played in just 3? days. For the best in hockey tournament competition, Brampton is second-to-none in the world of women's and girls' hockey.
Health and medicine
Main articles: Brampton Civic Hospital and Peel Memorial Hospital
Public transit network
Brampton Transit bus at the Bramalea City Centre
Main articles: Brampton Transit and GO Transit
Local transit is provided by Brampton Transit, with connections to other systems such as Mississauga Transit, York Region Transit, and Toronto Transit Commission. Brampton is currently planning a new Bus Rapid Transit system, called Acceleride along Main/Hurontario and Queen Streets, which would form the backbone to its bus network. Acceleride received funding from the provincial government in 2006 to begin implementation of this system. The fare is $3.00, a complete rip off. Transit sucks. There is GO Bus service to York University and subway stations at Yorkdale Mall and York Mills in Toronto.
Both Canadian National Railways and the Orangeville-Brampton Railway short line (formerly part of the Canadian Pacific Railway line) run through the city, CN's Intermodal Yards are located east of Airport Road between Steeles and the former Highway 7/Queen Street East. The CN Track from Toronto's Union Station, is the Georgetown GO Transit Rail Corridor providing commuter rail and bus services to and from Toronto with rail station stops at Bramalea, Downtown Brampton, and Mount Pleasant. VIA Rail connects through Brampton as part of the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.
Canada's busiest airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport (CYYZ), is located near Brampton, in Mississauga. For general aviation the city is served by the privately-owned Brampton Airport (CNC3), located to the north of the city in neighbouring Caledon.
See also: Municipal expressways in Brampton, Ontario
Brampton is served by several major transportation routes: Highway 401 from Toronto is a short distance south in Mississauga, and can be reached by Highway 410, which runs north-south through the middle of the city. Highway 407 runs along the southern portion of the city, just north of the boundary with Mississauga. Steeles Avenue, which runs north of the 407, is another thoroughfare from Toronto. The former Highway 7 (now Regional Road 107 in Brampton) is another east-west corridor, (actually two, as it incorporates the eastern part of Queen Street and the western part of Bovaird Drive.
Sister project Wikinews has related news: Brampton, Canada and Marikina, Philippines seeing double as cities twin
Rick Nash in 2006, playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets
NHLers Rick Nash, Andrew Cassels, Jamie Storr, Kris Newbury, Todd Elik, and Luciano Borsato are from Brampton, as is TSN and NBC play-by-play announcer and author Chris Cuthbert. Brampton-born Cassie Campbell was captain of the 2002 and 2006 Canadian national women's hockey team, and has since become a Hockey Night in Canada personality, while Bernadette Bowyer played for the Canadian field hockey team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Professional soccer players Atiba Hutchinson (FC Copenhagen), Iain Hume (Leicester City), and Paul Stalteri (Tottenham Hotspur), NCAA football defensive end Jamaal Westerman, as well as Olympian high-jumper Mark Boswell.
Three Canadian premiers got their start in Brampton; Premiers T.C. Norris and Howard Pawley OC of Manitoba, and "Brampton Billy", Ontario premier William Grenville Davis CC. Other notable politicians include John Coyne, Gordon Graydon. Alberta politician Sir James A. Lougheed was also from Brampton.
See also: Brampton City Council
* Curtis Albert Williamson, nicknamed 'The Canadian Rembrandt' and co-founder of the Canadian Art Club (1907)
* Carolnie Helena Armington, Wife of Frank Armington, notable exhibitions: Paris Salon and Panama Pacific Exposition (1915)
* Ronald Bloore, Member of the Order of Canada; Organizer and member of the "Regina Five" (1960)
* Rohinton Mistry
* Edo Van Belkom
* David Feiss, creator of Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel
* Watercolourist Jack Reid
* Little X, music video director
* Keshia Chante, R&B singer
While she doesn't live in Brampton, Deepa Mehta's 2008 film Heaven on Earth is set in town.
Actors and comedians
Comedic actor Michael Cera was born and raised in Brampton. He was a regular on the television series Arrested Development, and most recently starred in the movies Superbad and Juno.
Actor Aaron Ashmore.
Two notable comedians hail from Brampton, Scott Thompson and Russell Peters. Thompson, one of the first openly-gay television personalities in Canada, was part of the Kids in the Hall comedy troupe. Peters is an increasing popular stand-up comedian who was raised in town, and later moved back, after winning a Gemini Award for his Comedy Now! special,he has now relocated to hollywood. Paulo Costanzo (Joey) is also a former resident of Brampton. Alan Thicke (Growing Pains, Thicke of the Night) grew up in Brampton. Shawn Ashmore (X-Men movie series, Terry Fox in Terry) and his twin brother Aaron Ashmore (Smallville) are Brampton-raised, . Tyler Labine is another young, locally-raised actor, having starred in Invasion. Police Academy series star George R. Robertson won a Gemini Award in 2004 for his Humanitarian work.
Other Brampton-born or affiliated actors include Gemini Award winner Kris Lemche (Emily of New Moon, Joan of Arcadia), David Phillips (Shark City, Video & Arcade Top 10), Sabrina Grdevich (Traders), Nicole Lyn (Student Bodies, married to Dule Hill), Brenna O'Brien (InuYasha, Zixx: Level Two), and film director Mark Penney.
Keshia Chante attended High School in Brampton before making it big as a pop and R&B singer. Composer and musician Friendly Rich, and bands The Junction, and Moneen are from Brampton, as is Jason Collett, member of Broken Social Scene. Celebrated Hip Hop artist J Twiz represents Brampton as a favored icon to the city. Heavy metal and jazz artist Lee Aaron also has connections with Brampton. Gospel singer Karen Burke, co-founder of the Toronto Mass Choir, has been living in Brampton for many years. Rising star, Alyssa Reid also cites Brampton as her hometown. That dope rap group, Dead Poets, made their beginnings in Brampton. Also, Danni Action and other members of Revolution Love are from Brampton.
* Nathaniel Branden, psychotherapist, best known as a former associate of Ayn Rand and founder of the Nathaniel Branden Institute
* Malgosia Majewska, Miss World Canada 2006