If you’re looking for something fun and incredibly informative to do this weekend, you’re a Brampton enthusiast, or you’re curious about the city’s history and future, you’re in luck – a series of walking tours is set to hit Brampton this weekend.
Four free, guided Jane’s Walk tours are happening on Saturday May 5, Sunday May 6, and Monday May 7 as Brampton celebrates the international Jane’s Walk Festival, in honour and memory of urban activist Jane Jacobs.
“Jane’s Walks are walking conversations that give people the opportunity to share stories as they discover new aspects of their community,” reads a recent release from the city.
Or, as local historian and founder of After Dark Tours Steve Collie says, “the tours are for the people, by the people.”
- Last chance to check out Brampton’s Farmers’ Market
- Not spooked by the pandemic, haunted houses find ways around COVID-19
- Taste of Brampton returns for two weeks of delicious food and special offerings
The four walks range from an hour to two hours, varying in difficulty and each taking place in different areas of Brampton.
With Brampton’s 2040 planning vision in the works, the walks essentially take a look at Brampton then, now, and in the future.
1) Mount Pleasant Village
- Saturday May 5, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
- Meet at front entrance of Brampton Library, Mount Pleasant Village Square at 100 Commuter Drive
The Mount Pleasant Village walk is an hour long tour that will take you through the area’s history and heritage.
“Mount Pleasant Village is a transit-oriented urban village planned, designed and built following Jane Jacobs’ principles of walkable, mixed-use, complete communities,” reads the release.
“This tour will take a closer look at the area’s history and heritage, the community amenity hub, the mix of residential and commercial development, and other community building aspects.”
- Sunday May 6, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
- Meet at southeast corner of Dixie Road and Queen Street East (in front of Starbucks)
It’s no secret that Bramalea is an area of Brampton that’s packed with history – it was Canada’s first satellite city in the mid-1900s. Now, it’s home to hubs like Bramalea City Centre, mixed residential neighbourhoods that are devided into letter sections, and of course the Civic Centre. There are big plans for Bramalea, though.
“Brampton 2040 Vision proposes an update of Bramalea to carry on its profile as an innovator, especially when it comes to environmental sustainability and livability,” reads the statement.
“This tour will take a look back at Bramalea’s rich history, and talk about what a revitalization of the neighbourhood could look like.”
3) Downtown Brampton, Etobicoke Creek, Riverwalk
- Sunday May 6, 1-3 p.m.
- Meet at northwest corner of Main Street South and Wellington Street West, just south of City Hall (2 Wellington Street West)
You may or may not know that the Etobicoke Creek has played a huge role in Brampton’s history and development. In fact, the creek used to flood Brampton’s downtown core quite frequently. The worst flood happened in 1948, when the creek used to flow through downtown Brampton.
“The Etobicoke Creek has influenced the town of Brampton since people first came here in the 1820s,” Collie told inbrampton.com. “It would have attracted First Nations people to the area long before any settlers arrived.”
According to Collie, Brampton really grew around the creek, which bends its way throughout the community.
“In 1897 they put tunnels around the downtown area for the water to flow underneath. Any major storm or spring thaw and the town would flood, up above and beneath. It took over 100 years, but all levels of government agreed to a diversion channel. In 1952 it officially opened and saved Brampton from Hurricane Hazel in October 1954.”
“The channel did its job in 1952, but needs to be redone for the future as more water comes down the creek.”
Currently, a Riverwalk project is in the works to help with flood mitigation and to further develop the area that now sits around the creek.
This walk will be led by Collie himself, showcasing where the tunnels are located, where a piece of the old system is exposed on Main Street, and where the Riverwalk will go.
A note that this tour is a little more challenging, with stairs and steeper climbs.
4) Sheridan College and Uptown Brampton
- Monday May 7, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
- Meet at the “S” sculpture at the Sheridan College Davis Campus, at 7899 McLaughlin Road
There are big plans for the Sheridan College area, and there are plans to create an “Uptown Brampton” community by 2040! This walk isn’t happening this weekend – it’ll be the following Monday – but it’s a key piece in talking about Brampton’s future.
This two-hour walk will be led by world renowned urban visionary Larry Beasley. The city hired Beasley to help develop a vision for Brampton’s future.
The walk “will begin with a tour of Sheridan College’s District Energy project, followed by a walk through the area the Brampton 2040 Vision reimagines as ‘Uptown Brampton,'” reads the city’s statement.
Are you planning to attend any of the walks?
Cover photo courtesy of PAMA