Brampton is a Canadian city in Southern Ontario, Canada. It is a suburban city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the seat of Peel Region. At the 2011 census, Brampton's population was 523,911.
Brampton was incorporated as a village in 1853, taking its name from the rural town of Brampton, in Cumbria, England. The city was once known as The Flower Town of Canada, a title based on its large greenhouse industry. Today, Brampton's major economic sectors include advanced manufacturing, retail administration and logistics, information and communication technologies, food and beverage, life sciences and business services.
The early 1980s brought new residential development, as Brampton released large tracts of land to developers. In 1995 the large new suburban community of Springdale was developed, contributing to what people consider urban sprawl. This area had its largest boom in 1999, when development started to appear as far north as the city's border with Caledon. The region has designated this border as the line of demarcation for urban development until 2021. Neighbouring communities not part of Peel Region have also been dramatically affected by the city's sudden spurt. The end of Brampton and start of Georgetown, for example, has no identifiable boundary.
In the early 1980s, Cineplex Odeon closed the Capitol Theatre in Brampton. The City bought the facility in 1981 under the leadership of councillor Diane Sutter. It adapted the former vaudeville venue and movie house as a performing arts theatre, to be used also as a live music venue. It was renamed the Heritage Theatre. Renovations and maintenance were expensive. In 1983, Toronto consultants Woods Gordon reported to the City that, rather than continue "pouring money" into the Heritage, they should construct a new 750-seat facility with up-to-date features. This recommendation was adopted, and the city designated the 2005/06 as the Heritage Theatre's "grand finale" season. The city funded construction of the new Rose Theatre, which opened in September 2006.
Carabram was founded in 1984, the result of volunteers from different ethnic communities wanting to organise a festival celebrating diversity and cross-cultural friendship. The name was loosely related to Toronto's Caravan Festival of Cultures. Carabram's first event featured Italian, Scots, Ukrainian, and West Indian pavilions. By 2003, the fair had 18 pavilions attracting 45,000 visitors. The national government of Canada had an anchor pavilion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and for Carabram's 25th Anniversary in 2009.
Responding to a growing multi-cultural population, the Peel Board of Education introduced evening English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at high schools. Originally taught by volunteers, the classes eventually were scheduled as daytime courses taught by paid instructors. In the 1980s, the public and Catholic board expanded its languages programs, offering night classes in 23 languages. These were introduced due to requests by parents, who wanted their children to learn their ancestral languages and heritage. Brampton has a very large South Asian population, which is expected to grow at a high rate.
In the early 1990s, Mayor Ken Whillans gained approval and funding for construction of a new city hall in Brampton's downtown. The facility was designed by local architects and constructed by Inzola Construction. Whillians did not get to see the opening of the new hall because of his death in August of that same year. With the return of city government to downtown Brampton, politicians and businesses allied to revitalize the core.
Changes continue to reflect the growth of the city. In 1992 the City purchased the Brampton Fair Grounds, to be used for other development. The Agricultural Society relocated in 1997 outside the boundaries of the city to Heart Lake and Old School roads. In 1997 the Health Services Restructuring Commission (HSRC) decided to amalgamate Georgetown and District Memorial Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital, and Peel Memorial Hospital as the William Osler Health Centre. It became what is now the province's 6th-largest hospital corporation.
Brampton's 2003 Sesquicentennial celebrations boosted community spirit, reviving the tradition of a summer parade (with 100 floats), and creating other initiatives. To commemorate the town's history, the city under Mayor Fennell reintroduced floral projects to the community. These have included more plantings around town, the revival in 2005 of the city Parade, and participation in the Canada Communities in Bloom project.
With a population of 523,911, Brampton is the third-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area, and the ninth-largest city in Canada. With the median age at 33.7, it is the youngest community in the GTA.
Due to a number of converging factors in Toronto, including an exponential rise in the cost of real estate, and high property and corporate taxes, it is an increasingly expensive place to live. Brampton has attracted residents and businesses due to its proximity to the Pearson International Airport and road infrastructure, population growth, cost of land, and more favourable corporate tax structure. It is becoming a prime location for corporate head offices, factories, warehouses, etc., as well as the typical domestic goods and services required to provide for the population.