Downtown Bramalea – The Bramalea City Centre

Today we know it as the “Bramalea City Centre” but this core area is essentially “downtown” Bramalea. The area has changed over the years but it is interesting to look back on what the core of Bramalea was imagined to be. I will begin with a few articles on the development of downtown Bramalea, followed by some visual proposals of what the area was imagined to look like.

Canadian Builder July 1967Canadian Builder July 1967

Canadian Builder

Canadian Builder

Canadian Building November 1972

Canadian Building November 1972

I found a great photo online of the Civic Centre under construction. Here is a link to its location on GettyImages: Rub-A-Dub-Dub

 What downtown Bramalea might have looked like:

Below is an image from the 1958 master plan. This proposal for downtown Bramalea appears to have a park-like plaza with fountain and is very pedestrian-friendly.

1958 Master Plan

1958 Master Plan

The image below from 1959 also shows a pedestrian-friendly public square.


 The 1968 proposal also appears to have many trees and open space (although I am unsure if the open space represents parking lots or parkland). The lower part of the image looks like a public square – perhaps raised above the ground (?). Numerous tall buildings are pictured around the periphery of the area.

crop of downtown

Toronto Daily Star, March 9, 1968

Today, “downtown” Bramalea is characterized by a large super-regional mall surrounded by stores, office buildings, the civic centre, etc., and almost as much space taken up by parking lots (image below courtesy of Google Maps). There is very little green space except for some passive parkland on the periphery, nearby Chinguacousy Park, and the open space surrounding the residential towers in the K-Section, H-Section and the Lisa Street area.

Walking/bike paths lead weave their way throughout Bramalea, many unceremoniously ending at the parking lots surrounding the City Centre. It is not pedestrian-friendly as some of the early images had proposed. Instead, the automobile rules.

BCCWhat are your thoughts on downtown Bramalea today? Do you feel it is the perfect layout for the suburban lifestyle…or would you have preferred something more pedestrian-friendly as in the earlier proposals? Feel free to comment below!

4 thoughts on “Downtown Bramalea – The Bramalea City Centre

  1. Particularly interesting that the 1958 proposal even included residential, something that’s been missing in every iteration since. – Nick

  2. I remember my dad driving us out to see the new Hudson’s Bay store when it opened at BCC. He worked for The Bay so wanted to see it. We all thought they were crazy to build that huge shopping centre out in the middle of nowhere! It’s really sad that it is so car oriented. Those proposals looked pretty nice with outdoor space included.

  3. More green space and public squares would have been nice, especially since Bramalea was it’s own city. It would have carried that identity up to today for the many who don’t realize it was independent at one time.

    But with the takeover of Brampton and it’s poorly designed and cookie cutter suburban layout, I take pride that I live a short walk to Bramalea City Center as it’s the hub of the area and where the action is. It fits the suburban jungle that Bramalea is enmeshed with now, but stands out in the crowd at the same time.

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