An historic Bramalea landmark gone forever?

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In 2005 when I was researching for my Master’s thesis, I decided to revisit a place from my childhood, and was shocked when I came upon an abandoned historic house in the heart of Bramalea. It was the white farmhouse on the east side of Dixie Road, just south of Crescent Hill Drive. It was tucked in at the end of a long driveway lined with majestic trees. On my visit it was boarded up and the foundation was crumbling. I took some photos of the house.

This particular house was significant to me as it my daycare as a child. I remember playing in the sandbox under the towering trees and waiting for my mother or father to come up the driveway when they were finished work. Perhaps it would be my mother coming back from teaching highschool in Malton, or perhaps my father had finished his shift as a police officer at the Bramalea police station.

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In the intervening years I battled cancer (and won!), and have learned to value all of life’s memories and experiences, as well as those yet to come. It has been years since I ventured back out to the house in the heart of Bramalea, but recently I was feeling nostalgic. On a virtual visit to Bramalea – via Google Street View and Bing Maps – I was shocked to see that the house is no longer there! Whatever happened to my beloved white farmhouse, so much a part of my childhood memories? Was it demolished, or was it moved? My hope is that it was somehow saved and moved, but I am doubtful. Looking at the air photo archives on Brampton Maps online, it appears that the house vanished between fall 2005 and spring 2006.

Below is an image from a 1959 article describing the house as a temporary project office when Bramalea was first begun – showing that it was an integral part of the birth of Bramalea. It stood as a regal edifice surveying the changes as a city was built out of fields. For years it was one of the few historic reminders of the agricultural past of the area and should have been valued. Today there is a void in the core of Crescent Hill Park – it can only be filled with the memories of those who remember the historic white farmhouse on Dixie Road.

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Toronto Daily Star, September 12, 1959

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Do you have any memories of the white farmhouse on Dixie Road? Do you know what happened to it? Please share in the comment box below.

Postscript: Thanks to my blog readers, I found out that it was the Crawford Farmhouse and (suspiciously?) burnt down in 2006 – a year after being listed as one of the Most Significant buildings on Brampton’s Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Resources http://www.brampton.ca/en/Arts-Culture-Tourism/heritage/Documents/H_HD_Inventory_Register.pdf

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9 thoughts on “An historic Bramalea landmark gone forever?

  1. Think I went to Nursery School here as a 5 & 6 year old. 1970/71. Funny, it seemed like the longest school bus ride back then, up Dixie from Birchbank P.S. Seemed to take forever. Not much was developed North of Hwy 7 then. Like you I lost track the house for many years. Mainly because I thought it was way farther north of where it was. I’m pretty sure I “found it” again in the mid- 80’s, when working for the City of Brampton Parks and Rec department. I think the house was being used then as a Parks Depot. I only visited the site a few times but that might be a place to look for what happened to the house. Good luck with the investigation. Look forward to hearing more about it.

  2. I know that a “former daycare” building was condemned in that area several years ago. Your timeline seems to fit my memory. I believe that rot and mould were the significant issues, and no one was willing to pay for remediation, hence the boarding up of the place.

  3. I believe the original daycare centre was in the basement of a private home on Birchbank owned by the Menzies (sp??) family. Their son attended BSS.
    Mrs. Menzies then moved the nursery/daycare to the farmhouse. I don’t know if she purchased the land or leased it. They family continued to live on Birchbank.

  4. Pingback: 100 Blog Posts! | bramaleablog

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