Modern day winters in Brampton can be as beautiful as they are challenging. While few people love snow and winter, the city looks stunning during the holiday season and its chic downtown wears a soft coat of snow pretty well.
That said, it’s always fun to look at how the city looked years (many, many years) before we got to it.
As everyone is gearing up for the holidays, let’s take a look at Brampton’s Holiday and winter’s past in some archival photographs preserved at the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives.
All photos and text courtesy of Peel Art Gallery Museum and ArchivesIn 1947, jig-saw puzzles, clothing, and stuffed toys were prepared for less fortunate children by staff at The Conservator, a Peel newspaper based in Brampton. The newspaper ran their own Santa Fund, inspired by the Santa Claus Fund started by Toronto’s The Daily Star in 1906.
This young boy from Lorne Park in the 1930s is playing with his tin cars. Tin toys disappeared from store shelves during the Second World War when the metal was needed for defence efforts, and briefly became popular again after the war. Then the plastics came along and safety legislation.
A 1929 photograph of a dairy sled from the B.H. Bull and Sons Farm makes its way to the industrial area of Brampton around Royce Avenue. The Bull Farm and jersey milk operation was located on land that is now the Peel Village subdivision. The words ‘Credited Herd’ painted on the side identify the cattle as certified pure bred.
When a crossroads community first formed at Hurontario Street and 10 Side Road (Queen Street) in the mid-1800s, the river was a friend, allowing settlers easy access to water, fish and the power of the water’s current. But as the community grew around the river, and even over top of it, the flooding from winter thaws would wreak havoc. In this 1948 photo, community members help clear chunks of ice out the local laundry.
A popular technique before colour photography, this black and white photo was colourized by hand after it was developed.
A 1953 ice storm leveled these telephone lines, just outside of Brampton.
Staying on Queen Street East, looking from George Street in the 1940s, we see the changing uses of the downtown, including an automotive garage (now insurance offices), a catalogue store for Simpson’s department store, and the Brampton Conservator newspaper offices (now the location of Daily Times Square, City Hall).
Santa greeting residents who brought in canned goods in 1951 at Brampton’s Odeon Theatre on Main Street (now the Heritage Theatre). Donors received movie tickets in exchange for their donations.
Time to make a list for Santa! Before the era of indoor malls, including this time in 1948, the jolly old elf would set up at Blain’s Hardware on Main Street North. This location is now the restaurant, Carve on Lot 5.
The snow fell quickly on this day in 1940. This photo is looking down Queen Street East, at the southeast corner of Main Street. The Dominion Bank on the corner is still the site of the TD Canada Trust today.
The Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) is a place to engage and connect with culture and heritage. The photographs in this story are from the Region of Peel Archives, which collects, preserves, and makes accessible records charting the history of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.
Join us for our celebration of cultures & light this Winter Break, EXPLORE our new exhibitions including Kids on the Move and PLAY in the new PAMA Express Train.
For more information and hours for the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives, please visit www.pama.peelregion.ca
Editor’s note: a previous version of this article said “looking from George Street in the 1960s” above the seventh photo. We regret the error.