Can you imagine Brampton with free transit, a biodome, a massive central park, and a canal that runs through Bramalea?
After months of planning and engagement, those are just some of the ideas for Brampton renowned urban planner Larry Beasley revealed at city council on Monday night in a “historic” special meeting.
Council passed the motion to transform Brampton over the next 22 years in a unanimous 11-0 vote.
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A whopping 13,000 people were engaged in the planning vision for Canada’s ninth largest city (that’s Brampton!) for about six months, through social media, workshops, roundtables, community events, comment cards, the Bright Ideas platform online, and more.
Brampton is set to have a transformed downtown and uptown that make Brampton a “corporate hotspot and tourist destination.”
Five major town centres and three major growth areas are envisioned:
“The Brampton 2040 Vision is not a policy or plan,” read recent council documents.
“It is a conceptual document that reflects the principles of the community and the objectives of what we need to achieve to become an innovative and forward thinking suburb over the next 20 years and beyond.”
In a nearly 100-page document entitled Living the Mosaic which was officially presented on Monday, Beasley and his team break down how Brampton could look by 2040.
Here’s a look at Brampton’s future uptown:
A new sports centre, a solar field, a biodome, a festival area, a central park, and a cultural centre and art gallery are part of this vision for an uptown Brampton that’s also Brampton’s economic centre.
A retail high street, residential areas, a movie theatre, and a community centre could also fit into this uptown vision.
The document reads that uptown aims to have a “futurist image, expressive buildings and spaces, and a business buzz.”
It’s also part of a greater, greener vision for a Brampton that’s connected by trails and nature.
Here’s a look at Brampton’s future downtown:
It’s essentially a university-focused transit hub. According to the document, city planners aim to maintain the downtown core’s historic charm.
Preserved historic buildings, retail laneways, an arts precinct, and student housing are part of the plan.
A new hotel could also reside near City Hall, and a new farmers’ market could pop up near PAMA.
Here’s what Bramalea could look like:
Walkability, a distinctly urban vibe, with a town square, rooftop gardens, and even a canal are envisioned.
“Refreshed Bramalea is an updated ‘new town’ showpiece but still true to its mid-century image,” reads the document.
“This all starts with an innovative redevelopment scheme for the shopping centre site that reinforces its vital retail anchor but converts its surface parking lots into a fully realized heart for the whole community. Ideas include: infill with new residential and office towers; adding street-oriented retail; and having a vast green roof park over the main shopping centre.”
You might have noticed that Queen Street is renamed Queen’s Boulevard in the images – that’s no mistake.
Here’s a look at a possible future Queen’s Boulevard as part of a refreshed Bramalea:
Queen’s Boulevard aims to have a “hip ‘boulevard’ lifestyle for its lucky residents, workers and visitors.” It’ll be a dense area that’s fun and useful.
“Buildings will all adhere closely to the street with a continuous streetwall and activities spilling out on ample sidewalks – cafes, shopping, and amenities – with several lines of large trees and special lighting,” reads the document.
“It will be a transit spine – an actual streetcar will be very iconic. Most people will walk because the sidewalk will be the happening place. It will have public art, expressive architecture and various special features to instill a stylish character. It will showcase the latest trends in green city- building as a pilot project of the Institute for Sustainable Brampton.”
Ultimately, city planners have put together a vision of Brampton as a city that’s urban, green, and connected.
“It starts with a green park framework coalesced from the still-natural fragments that are so readily here linked by new green additions,” reads Living the Mosaic.
“This is a continuous network for green park respite, recreation, and to host ecological systems.”
“A network of diversified centres comes together in such a magnetic way that they draw thousands of jobs. These are places of enterprise but also the hip locations to work, live, learn and play. Recreation, attractions, services, and cool spots are at hand. They enjoy smart technology and sustainable infrastructure. A groundswell of people live close to work. They do not use their cars for the commuter trip. The people of Brampton mostly stay in the community now for their daily pleasures. A hierarchy has organically grown.”
The vision is something spectacular and unique for Brampton – it’s hard to imagine today’s Brampton looking like the 2040 vision.
An Arts Street, a Figure-8 Loop rapid transit line that links downtown and uptown, tree canopies on all of Brampton’s streets, and an enhanced cycling network are also among the plans for Brampton’s future.
Beasley highlighted the need for Brampton to express its diversity, and maintain and enhance its character-filled neighbourhoods that inspire a love for living in Brampton, as opposed to downtown Toronto.
Brampton’s Commissioner of Planning and Development Rob Elliot noted that this concept is of course still a first step for Brampton’s growth – there’s a lot of work to be done and progress to be made to get there.
Residents and councillors had mixed feelings about the vision in general, with some wondering if the vision is too utopic.
Most agreed that it will require a bold commitment from council to follow through on such bold plans from now until 20 years from now, and even beyond.
What do you think of these plans for Brampton’s future?