Arrival of the Railway 1856
The Grand Trunk Railway was the first railway to build tracks through Brampton and built Brampton’s first train station in 1856. The present station was built in 1907.
The railway helped Brampton grow because the railway made it easier to ship goods from Brampton. Passengers could arrive in Toronto within two hours instead of two days by road.
Canadian National Railway acquired Grand Trunk Railway in 1923 and still owns the track from Bramalea GO Station to Georgetown. GO Train started using the rails in 1974.
Arrival of Electricity 1886
In 1885 James Hutton installed a generator at his woolen mill on the banks of the Credit River in Huttonville. A year later a line was installed from Huttonville to downtown Brampton to power streetlights. In 1911 Brampton started receiving electricity from Niagara Falls through Hydro-Electric Commission.
A merger between PowerStream, Enersource and Horizon has been named Alectra Utilities. Alectra will become the second largest municipally owned electric utility company in North America serving customers in Peel, York, Hamilton, St. Catharines and Simcoe County.
On February 1, 2017 the merger will become official. The Hydro One Brampton purchase will be finalized on February 27, 2017.
Peel Memorial Hospital 1925
Peel Memorial Hospital started humbly from a farmhouse during the late 1800’s.
Before the First World War The Women’s Institute was raising funds for a hospital in Brampton. The project was put on hold during World War I and renewed once the war was over. It was decided a hospital would be an appropriate memorial to the men who had fought in Europe after World War I.
Peel Memorial Hospital was built on the William Elliot Estate and became a hospital in February 1925. The hospital quickly became overcrowded and additions were made every decade.
Peel Memorial Hospital closed October 2007 and services were transferred to Brampton Civic Hospital at Bovaird and Bramalea.
Demolition started February 2012 and construction for the new health care centre commenced June 2014. A fire during March 2015 caused a set-back to construction.
The new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness is opening February 8, 2017. It is a day use facility with many uses, including some day surgery and diagnostic tests.
Etobicoke Creek Flood Control Channel 1952
Etobicoke Creek Flood, March 1948, Ron Russell
Brampton was built in the floodplain of the Etobicoke River (now named creek). Flooding was a routine part of life in Brampton. Lives were lost and property damaged over the years as the creek wound its’ passage through the heart of Brampton.
After a particularly bad flood in March 1948, a plan was formed to divert the course of the creek. In 1950 Armstrong Brothers Construction started building the flood control channel and completed the diversion in 1952 at a cost of $250,000, two years before the area was hit by Hurricane Hazel in October 1954.
Developers late 1950’s
Eldomar Heights and Peel Village 1965, Mike Briant
Rice Development Corporation (formerly Rice Brothers): built Eldomar Heights during the late fifties including the Brampton Mall at Nanwood and Main Street South in 1960. Brampton Mall was the first mall in Brampton.
Peel Village Developments Limited: Peel Village was a similar idea as Bramalea but on a smaller scale and planned about the same time as Bramalea. Peel Village was unique in that Brampton Hydro began installing underground cables in Peel Village in 1960, while the cables were still overhead service in Bramalea. Rogers also installed underground cables for cable TV, possibly the first area Rogers did so.
Map of Bramalea by Saul Svirplys
Bramalea Limited: in 1958 Bramalea believed they could build the first satellite city within ten to twenty years, but the task took over forty years. Plans were included for residential, commercial and industrial areas so that employment for residents would be nearby as would all the amenities for a modern lifestyle.
Plans included Bramalea City Centre and Chinguacousy Civic Centre.
Change of Water source 1966
Until 1966 the Town of Brampton relied on five artesian wells for water. The planners of 1955 did not predict how fast Brampton would grow and by early 1966 the town was facing a potential water crisis.
Fearing there would be no water for the Town of Brampton during the summer of 1966, negotiations were made with neighbouring municipalities and by May 1966 a 24” pipe started bringing Lake Ontario water to Brampton via Streetsville. At about the same time the Town of Brampton joined the newly formed South Peel Drinking Water System, which still supplies Brampton with water from two water treatment plants in Mississauga.
The five wells were abandoned shortly after Brampton started receiving Lake Ontario water. With a constant source of water, the population of Brampton increased dramatically.
Sheridan College 1967
First Sheridan College Campus at Former Brampton High School 98 Church St. East, Bruno Zaoral
While Bill Davis was Minister of Education he helped establish community colleges in Ontario including the formation of Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1967. For the first few years Sheridan College operated from the former Brampton High School on Church Street East, before expanding with an Oakville Campus and Davis Campus in Brampton.
Sheridan College plans to gain university status by 2020.
City of Brampton 1974
January 1, 1974 is a very notable date for the City of Brampton, City of Mississauga, Town of Caledon and Regional Municipality of Peel.
On January 1, 1974 the Town of Brampton, Bramalea, a portion of Chinguacousy Township, Toronto Gore and maybe Albion became the Corporation of the City of Brampton.
The same day saw the formation of the Regional Municipality of Peel, City of Mississauga, Town of Caledon and Peel Police. New municipal governments were formed and new boundaries were created.
The population of Brampton increased dramatically and most of the new city was still rural, but plans for big changes were already being made.
Peel Police – 1974
Badges of Police Forces which formed Peel Police
Peel Police formed from the amalgamation of Brampton Police (1873-1974), Chinguacousy Police (1853-1974), Streetsville Police (1858-1974), Port Credit Police (1909 -1974) and Mississauga Police (formerly Toronto Township Police from 1944 until 1968).
Peel Regional Police is the second largest municipal police force in Ontario after Toronto Police and third largest municipal police force in Canada, after Toronto and Montreal.
Brampton Centennial Secondary School (BCSS) Shooting – May 28 1976
Even though talking about this tragic day was not encouraged at the time, this day has not been forgotten by many residents in Brampton.
It was the first shooting of this kind anywhere. A current student of the school came to school with two rifles and a plan. He killed one of his targets, killed another student, wounded over ten other students, some seriously, before taking his own life.
The events of the day prompted stricter gun control laws in Canada and present lockdown procedures were based on the events of that day.
On Saturday, May 27 this year (2017) at 9 a.m., a memorial will be unveiled at the front of BCSS near the bus area in conjunction with a 50th Anniversary/Reunion for anyone involved with BCSS and/or Brampton High School, which BCSS replaced.
Highway 410 — 1978
Planning for a bypass of downtown Brampton and commuter route for the rapidly growing communities of Brampton and Bramalea started in the late 1960’s. The first stage of 410 began in 1975 and was opened to traffic in November 1978. Although 410 was designated as a controlled access highway as early as 1972, the first stage was a two lane road with at grade intersections and travelled from 401 to Queen Street.
Highway 410 has been lengthened and widened in stages. The final phase that completed the length of 410 ending at Highway 10 in Caledon was opened to traffic in November 2009. It has taken thirty-one years to build the entire length of Highway 410.
Highway 410 is presently being widened from 401 to Queen Street and by two lanes in each direction. One lane will be a general purpose lane and one lane will be a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane. It is expected the present widening will be completed by 2018.
City Hall — December 1990
From 1874 until 1991 Brampton council held meetings at various locations in Brampton until the completion of Brampton City Hall in December 1990. Construction commenced 1989 and after the completion of City Hall in December 1990, city council and city administrative staff returned to Four Corners from Chinguacousy Civic Centre near Bramalea City Centre.
City Hall was designed by Robert J. Posliff, architect with Dunlop Farrow Architects and built by Inzola Construction Inc. It is a 180,000 square foot six story building occupied by administrative office space, a six story atrium, a clock tower and four level underground parking for 480 vehicles. Also contains council chambers. The estimate to build city hall was $16,000,000. Actual costs, depending upon your source, range from $27,200,000 to $32,000,000.