We’ve all heard of those epic ROM Friday Night Live parties downtown but did you know Brampton has its own selection of museums, archives and memorials? You can go back into family history (the way it was done before sites such as ancestry.com and 23andme.com emerged), get a glimpse at vintage airplanes, or delve into the past of the Region of Peel. Perhaps one day, there too, will be a local hotspot on a Friday night. Here are five museums to check out in Brampton:
Attention, aviation geeks: Canada’s only Great War flying aircraft museum boasts vintage airplanes, uniforms, memorabilia, and more.
Check out period aircraft and learn about First World War aviation history. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday and holidays, from Victoria Day weekend in May to Labour Day weekend in September.
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The hangar has crews on-site Tuesdays and Thursdays, performing maintenance and repairs year-round, where visitors are welcomed from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
The GWFM was founded in 1970 by a group of Brampton Flying Club members, all of whom were pilots (mostly private) and several airline pilots.
“We don’t know exactly why these gentlemen dedicated themselves to such a large and serious task except to say that they all absolutely loved aeroplanes,” reads information posted on its website.
The first aircraft was purchased from a well known amateur aircraft builder, Mr. Gogi Goguillot who lived in Langley, B.C. “This was a 0.85 scale British SE 5A. It was dismantled and shipped to us by truck,” reads a post. “We still fly this aircraft. It is very popular and is the first challenge for each new pilot as they come on-stream.”
Cost: Admission is by donation.
The re-opening of its art gallery this month kicked off Canada 150 celebrations at PAMA, with two fascinating exhibitions: The world of Palookaville with world-renowned graphic novelist Seth, and the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, which includes work by artists such as A.J. Casson, Barb Sutherland, Charles Comfort, Ann Balch and Carl Schaefer.
PAMA is a place to explore and learn about Peel Region’s culture and heritage. You’ll stroll through buildings of historical and architectural significance, such as the Peel County Courthouse (1867) which sat on a hill looking west towards Gage Park; it was used as a courthouse until 1967.
Did you know Peel County Jail (1867) is now one of PAMA’s buildings? Petty thieves, male and female, served time – two years or less – right here. “Sometimes homeless and sick people stayed in the jail because there was nowhere else for them to go,” reads information posted on PAMA’s site.
“The jail didn’t have electricity or running water when it opened. Prisoners slept on mattresses stuffed with straw. By the time the jail closed, improvements like lights, toilets and a television made prisoners’ lives easier.” In terms of operations, a governor ran the jail and hired guards, cooks and other staff. “For many years, the governor and his family lived in an apartment on the second floor, separated from the cell areas by a thick wall and door.”
There are even cooler stories to tell, but you’ll have to visit to find out! PAMA’s museum is open seven days a week.
Cost: General admission is $5 and children under age 5 are free. Click here for detailed rates and hours.
Parking: On-site, with metered parking on the street and city lots nearby at City Hall and John St.
It’s a Georgian-type brick farmhouse filled with furnishings from 1840 to 1910 and runs thanks to volunteers who give tours, organize fund-raising, and continue to furnish the house with antique items, and maintain the property via donations.
“The hallmark of Georgian architecture is symmetry and proportion; these characteristics are evident on both the exterior and interior of the home, where windows, fireplaces, and rooms are evenly matched to create a visual balance pleasing to the eye,” reads information posted online.
The Carriage House Craft Shop provides a wide variety of quality gift items and artwork handmade by local artisans. The Historic Bovaird House is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 4 pm. The operating season runs from mid-February to mid-December.
Cost: Admission by donation
Did you know 26,791 Canadians served in the Canadian Army Special Force during the Korean War (1950-1953) and 516 of them gave their lives? The Korea Veterans’ National Wall of Remembrance, a national memorial, commemorates Canadians who gave their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice. In addition, Meadowvale Cemetery’s veteran section is also home to the sculpture entitled Conflict. Beside the National Wall of Remembrance is the Ontario Field of Honour. It was created to ensure all veterans receive a dignified funeral and burial.
The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin & Halton Regiment), one of Canada’s oldest military units, goes back to the colonial days in the 1700’s when settlers first took up arms to defend their homes.
The official formation took place in Brampton on Sept. 14, 1866, according to its association’s website.
“The Regiment has served in nearly every engagement the Canadian Army has ever taken part in, from the Boer War, both World Wars, Korea, peacekeeping operations around the globe, humanitarian and disaster relief operations at home and around the globe, and most recently combat operations in Afghanistan,” reads information posted on its association’s site.
Through the display of unique artifacts and telling images, such as uniforms, weapons, musical instruments, maps, medals, and documents, the heroic adventures of the thousands of soldiers who have served in the Regiment are traced.
The Regimental Museum is run by volunteers and is open most Thursday afternoons. Visitors are asked to phone ahead to confirm it’s open.