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Gaze upon our historic architecture. Tread the very path walked upon by Bramptonians more than a century ago. Journey through time and experience Brampton’s past.
The City of Brampton has inherited a rich legacy of cultural heritage resources. Much of Brampton's heritage is linked to its historical roots as the “Flowertown of Canada” which has been revived and re-established under the City’s Flower City Strategy. Another important piece of Brampton's history is its past role as the capital or county seat of the former Peel County.
Use the Heritage Pass to check-in to five of the ten specified locations to be entered to win a Brampton Food Tour with Food, Drink, Travel Writer and host of Culinary Suburbia, Suresh Doss. Draw to be completed the week of September 7th, 2021.
Downtown Heritage Walking Tour
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The 1893 Collector’s Rolls note that Reverend Alfred Grandier lived in the residence with George and Martha Mercy; Reverend Grandier was a minister at St. Paul’s Methodist Church.
Alderlea's original owner was Kenneth Chisholm, one of Brampton's most important citizens. Chisholm was a member of the provincial legislature and owner of several successful businesses, among them a dry goods store and sandstone quarry at the forks of the Credit.
In 1944 the Royal Canadian Legion purchased Alderlea, knowing that they would need expanded facilities following the end of the Second World War. In 1947 the Legion expanded their facility by creating a large 2-storey addition to the house. In 2003 the City of Brampton purchased the house, and is currently developing plans to restore this Brampton landmark.
The rear wall is unusual because of its odd angle, which was built in this manner because it formed the back wall of the Etobicoke River bank. A door that was used to let water out of the building after any flooding also characterizes the rear wall; the door has since been bricked in.
The property also has historical or associative value as it reflects the work of Richard Blain, founder of Blain’s Hardware and a politician committed to public service in Brampton and Peel County. Blain’s Hardware, along with Harmsworth Paint and Wallpaper, are some of the City’s oldest stores. It is also believed that the building was home to Orange Hall and the Golden Star Lodge.
Overcrowded conditions continued in the old Central Public School well into the twentieth century and by 1916 the current Central Public School had opened its doors to students, although it was not in its completed form until the 1920s.
Ellis and Connery – a well-known Toronto architectural firm – conceived of the design for this Brampton school. The focal point of the building is a square headed main doorway framed by carved stone with an overhead transom, which compliments the series of six-foot high windows located on either side. The datestone cut into the lintel crowning the doorway is one of many Classical features used on the building to connote civic enterprise, regularity, and order.
The site and building continue to serve the Brampton public as a community centre. The Brampton School Board named several schools after Agnes Taylor, Ms Beatty, Ms Flemming and T.M. McHugh who were either teachers or principles at Central Public School, in recognition of their longstanding contributions to the community.
The Church is a rectangular building of red brick with contrasting buff brick buttresses and cut freestone caps. The main body is made up of five bays, each with a tall lancet window between the buttresses. The west end has a bell tower with a steeple. The west face of the tower contains the main door into the church surmounted by a tall pointed Gothic window. The chancel at the east end of the church was added in 1884 and at the east end of the chancel one can see the memorial window which was placed in the old church on Joseph Street in 1871 which was moved to the new church with the congregation in 1884.
The building was constructed in two phases beginning in late 1905. The first section originally consisted of a single one-storey building with a rather low street profile. The section facing Railroad Street served as the administrative offices, while the factory component ran down Mill Street North. The factory section features large 'Industrial' windows designed to let in generous amounts of sunlight and fresh air to the factory floor.
The second phase was built in 1914 and involved the construction of a second storey over the Railroad Street offices. This addition is strikingly decorated in comparison to what was built in 1905.
The property is part of a larger and significant industrial grouping that includes the former Hewetson Shoe factory just to the north, along with the CNR railway station and railway lines which runs in front of the Dominion Skate building. Collectively these elements form an important cultural landscape.
The property is associated with the emerging industrialization of Brampton at the turn of the last century. It is also associated with prominent individuals, including R.J. Copeland and A.E. Chatterson, inventors of the innovative loose-leaf ledger systems, which were manufactured in the Brampton plant. Copeland-Chatterson held patents on more than 170 office and record keeping products. Some 90 of these patents originated in Canada. The factory is also the first example of an outside manufacturing company establishing a branch plant into Brampton.
In 1902, the Town of Brampton purchased 2.4 acres from the grounds of the Chisholm estate, Alderlea. That same year William J. Gage purchased 3 ¼ acres, part of the Elliott estate that stood immediately to the north of Alderlea. He presented 1.7 acres of the property to be added to the proposed park. Brampton residents who generously supported the need for a park collected $1,054.00 so that extra land could be purchased to complete the area.
A park committee consisting of members of the town council was appointed. Many trees were removed and gravelled walkways prepared. Furthermore, all underbrush was removed and the land was levelled and seeded. W.J. Gage opened the park on Dominion Day (Canada Day) 1903.
Over the following years a bandstand was erected and the Horticultural Society volunteered to properly label all the trees for the information of the general public. In 1955 the Kinsmen’s Club of Brampton added a wading pool and in 1971 Brampton received the Flower Fountain from Benson and Hedges Tobacco Company. Gage Park is a well-used park and a truly unique part of Brampton.
Although it is not known who designed the core of the church, Jesse Perry, a local bricklayer and stonemason who had also worked on St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, was the builder. Some documentation of the time indicates that Perry could have been the architect because the church was a simple rectangular form with a steeple and did not require special engineering; therefore, a seasoned mason could have constructed it from his own plans. The original structure was enlarged in 1870, 1887, 1924, and most recently in 1959/1960.
Many of Brampton’s important families are connected to the Grace United Church. Among them are: the Wrights, Armstrong’s, Coopers, Brydon’s, Bulls, Archdekin’s, and William Davis, the former Premier of Ontario.
Built in the Second Empire style, a rare architectural style in Brampton this solid structure is broken up by the many window openings, including dormers in the characteristic mansard roof. Part of the home’s beauty lay in its terraced lawns and bowling greens, which stretched down to what is now George Street. The main house, all of which is left of Haggertlea, still retains the basic architectural features of its original form.
The property also has historical value, as it is most commonly associated with Orton O.T. Walker, a long time Brampton citizen and businessman. He served the Brampton community as an optometrist on Main Street South for many years, and was the Master of the Masonic Lodge. In 1934 Walker enlisted in the First World War and served overseas. The home is also associated with the Dale family, as they owned it from the mid 1940s to the early 1960s.
In 1874, the first meeting of Brampton Town Council was held in this building. Council met here until the turn of the century when it relocated to the Heggie Block on Main Street South. The forty-foot hose tower was built in 1862 so that fire hoses could be hung to dry. The tower also held the fire bell. Just prior to the outbreak of the First World War the building became used exclusively as a fire hall.
The Park Royal is a rare example of the streamlined Art Moderne style, a major architectural movement stemming from the Art Deco style popular in the 1920s and 1930s. It is essentially ""one of a kind"" in Brampton in terms of style and form. The architect, Robert W. Hall, made every effort to ensure their building was "in vogue" and thoroughly "modern".
imposing landmark. Prominent inmates
included 1960s American radical Huey
Newton, and Peter Demeter, a wealthy
Toronto developer who was convicted of
murdering his wife after a high profile trial.
Three convicts were hanged in this jail.
and the courthouse, is a good example of a
late 19th century civic building. Alexander
and Congdom, a Streetsville architectural
firm, designed the building in 1890 and
it served as the registry office until 1959.
In 1967, the building was converted into
the Peel County Museum and Art Gallery.
Today it is a key component of the Peel Art
Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA)
This building has cultural heritage value on many levels: it displays the talents of its architects for designing a sanctuary and auditorium that, for more than 100 years, have provided a useful and beautiful facility, it reveals the skills of the Brampton tradesman who built this edifice, is a testament to the long standing contribution of Presbyterianism in the Brampton area, and it is an important Brampton landmark.
The GTR experienced an era of remarkable profitability at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, which led the company to rebuild many of their stations, including this one. This larger and grander structure represents the optimism of the company, as well as the aspirations of the local community. Rail connections in Brampton facilitated the existence of several commercial enterprises, including flower cultivation for widespread markets.
The station combines the wide-arched opening of the Romanesque Revival with certain details of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The general organization of the facades and the disposition of internal spaces adhere to a pattern that GTR stations followed at the time.
Brampton’s growth and prosperity are intrinsically linked to the development of the railway. The first railway era in Brampton coincided with the provisions of social institutions, the consolidation of church congregations, and the selection of Brampton as the county seat. During the second railway era, additional social and municipal infrastructure emerged, as did large-scale industry. Significant industries such as Haggert’s Foundry established themselves. Perhaps most indicative of the role of the railway is the cluster of warehouses and businesses around the station grounds. Many of the industrial buildings can still be found today, among them the Hewetson Shoe Factory and Dominion Skate building.
The Dominion Building was built to house Brampton’s post office and customs house. The street façade was constructed in heavily textured stone, a feature commonly associated with the style of architecture known as Romanesque Revival. The brick annex at the rear served as the Weights and Measures and Examining Warehouse. Originally a caretaker had an apartment in the topmost storey. Directly above the third storey windows you can see the Royal Arms carved in stone. The domed clock tower was added in 1914, and in later years the Police Department operated in this building.
In the 1830s a crossroads hamlet began here. It was known as “Buffy’s Corners” after William Buffy’s Tavern located at the northeast corner of Queen and Main Streets.
John Elliott laid out a village plot and began selling lots in 1834. Between 1850 and 1884 Elliott, along with other landowners such as John Scott, George Wright and William Wilkinson, laid out plans of subdivision near this central point in town, launching the gradual urbanization of Brampton.
The establishment of the Haggert Foundry and Dale Estate Nurseries, as well as the introduction of the Grand Trunk Railway through Brampton in the mid 19th century, contributed to Brampton’s economic growth and prominence. In 1867 Brampton was chosen as the County Seat and soon large civic buildings and prominent homes were being erected.
The property also has historical or associative value because it was home to the J.W. Hewetson Shoe Company, a major employer in the City of Brampton for over sixty-five years. The company also had a strong connection with former Premier William Davis, who is regarded as one of Brampton’s most famous citizen’s. J.W. Hewetson was his maternal grandfather and Davis was named after him. As a child, William Davis lived with his parents and Hewetson grandparents in “The Castle”, the stately Gothic Revival style mansion on Church Street West.
Known as the Flower Town of Canada during the early 20th Century for its numerous flower-growing operations, Brampton was also a large shoe-manufacturing centre at this time. In addition to Hewetson’s, there were at least three other substantial shoe-manufacturing operations. For several decades, the shoe manufacturing industry was the largest employer in Brampton after flower growing. Today, however, with the demolition of the William Shoe Factory and the burning of the Haggert Block, the Hewetson Building is one of the last reminders of this industry in Brampton.
All of three of these buildings/additions are representative of the industrial architecture of their time, but subsequent renovations have changed the buildings’ character considerably. Windows and doors no longer feature the voussoirs, keystones or round-headed shape that once distinguished them, and the façade which once boasted a false-front giving the appearance of an extra half storey, has been changed considerably. A glass atrium and a passageway connecting the two buildings have also been added.
This home also has significant associative value as it is affiliated with the Hewetson family, namely Alfred Hewetson and his wife. Alfred Hewetson was a great visionary. He sought to integrate his social ideals into the operation of the Hewetson Shoe Company by turning the company into a cooperative where workers shared in the profits. Had it been achieved, this would have been a significant innovation in the business realm. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1928. His wife, Rosa, redirected her attention to helping artists and craftsmen suffering during the Great Depression. Together with her second husband Herbert Spencer Clark, she started the Guild of All Arts in 1932 and for the next 50 years they welcomed artists to their Scarborough Bluffs estate and collected Canadian and International contemporary art. The Guild hosted many famous guests and was used as a naval training base and military hospital during World War II. The estate was sold to the Province of Ontario and is currently maintained as a park. They also donated over 300 works from their art collection to the Ontario Heritage Foundation to ensure that their collection could be in the public domain for the enjoyment of future generations.
This important building was the work of architect William Hay (1818-1888), an internationally recognized architect working mostly in the Gothic Revival style. The Castle was one of Hay's first commissions after establishing his Toronto practice in 1853. He stayed in Toronto for the next ten years and designed St. Basil's Church, St. Michael's College, an extension to the first Parliament Buildings on Front Street, and Oaklands, the massive Avenue Road estate of Ontario's first Premier, John Sanfield Macdonald. Hay also designed the Halifax estate of brew master Alexander Keith, Keith Hall. Toward the end of his life, he restored St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, the seat of world Presbyterianism.
“The Castle” was built in 1853 for George Wright, a Brampton businessman and politician. The property is reminiscent of an English manor house - presumably designed as such, to imply that its occupants were both successful in business and tremendously influential. The massing of “The Castle” retains considerable heritage character despite the loss of a rear wing, distinctive side tower, belvedere, and the brick façade being covered by siding.
Subsequent property owners were even more prominent in both local and provincial affairs: John A. Thistle, George Williams, J.W. Hewetson and Grenville Davis. The Castle was also the childhood home of the Hon. William Grenville Davis, Premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985.
The house and grounds together form one the most important urban cultural landscapes in the City. It is extremely rare to see the grounds of any large Victorian estate survive virtually intact to the present day, in the core of any municipality. Hedgerows and groupings of mature conifers and deciduous species - some dating to the mid 19th century, form a tremendously important open green space in the core of the City.
The statue is modelled on Bill Bettridge, a decorated veteran of the Second World War and survivor of Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings in Normandy, France that lead to the end of the war. It stands in silent tribute to the many men and women of Brampton who served and continue to serve our nation in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping missions around the world so that we may live in freedom and peace.
The Veteran looks toward the Brampton Cenotaph, a reminder to all of Brampton’s citizens that we have a duty to honour the service, sacrifice, and memory of all veterans. Artist: Jim Menken"
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