It is possible that the development of Bramalea as a completely planned new city may have inspired a handful of large-scale planned neighbourhoods in Peel Region over the years. These projects were typically smaller than Bramalea in size, and were not designed as self-sufficient cities, but they were certainly promoted as planned developments that offered a variety of housing types and amenities. Here is a brief sampling of a few of them. I will re-visit each in subsequent posts examining how they compare to Bramalea.
Peel Village was begun in Brampton in the 1960s and would have competed with Bramalea for buyers. Even some of their marketing tactics were the same, such as offering helicopter rides to see the development (see Southgate Village). The built similar detached house designs to those in Bramalea and later included semi-detached and townhouses.
I am curious to hear if some of my readers have stories about why their family chose Bramalea over Peel Village during the 1960s.
I wonder whatever happened to the model?
The Villages of Heart Lake
The Villages of Heart Lake was begun in Brampton during the 1970s. This neighbourhood had 12 builders involved at one point, each offering an astounding variety of house designs – similar to the A-Section in Bramalea. The development was at a much smaller scale than Bramalea, and was not built as a city, but it is interesting as a planned community with so many builders working together on a project.
I only have a handful of floor plans from this development, but if any of my readers have any please let me know! Also, I would love to hear any stories about why families chose Bramalea over The Villages of Heart Lake in the 1970s, or if any families moved from one to the other.
The Toronto Star, September 9, 1978
Built due north of Bramalea, Springdale was begun in the 1990s and also had an impressive line-up of builders. They offered a variety of housing layouts – including some innovative housing types such as houses with rental suites, interlots, and a new concept for quatroplexes. Instead of letter sections like in Bramalea, when Springdale was first built they had themed neighbourhoods like the “mountain theme” where all of the streets have names related to mountains.
I was still young when it was begun, but I had a passion for house design so I dragged my parents to the model home show more than once!
The two Mississauga developments below are perhaps the closest in terms of scale and vision to Bramalea as they were designed to include both housing and industrial/business parks.
Erin Mills New Town was created by the same people involved in the development of Don Mills (considered by many to be the original self-sufficient city built in Canada, begun in the early 1950s). I bought an original copy of the 1969 master plan for Erin Mills (it cost me an “arm and a leg” and is massive). Inside, it reveals that the original design for Erin Mills was to have areas with “innovative housing” such as cluster housing and courtyard housing. Some innovative housing pockets were built, but in later years the area was developed in a way that looked like any other suburban landscape.
I wonder if anyone still has a copy of the Erin Mills movie?
Not to be confused with the more recent Old Meadowvale Village development, Meadowvale New Town was started in the 1970s and designed as a cohesive community with places to live and work. The original vision was to have a more urban landscape “downtown” near the Meadowvale Town Centre and Lake Aquitaine. Tall buildings and townhouse complexes were built in the area, but not at as high a density as originally planned. Interestingly, some of less-expensive houses and rental units were built with spectacular views of Lake Aquitaine.
When first built, Meadowvale also had strict restrictive covenants dictating any changes that could (or could not) be made to a house, and even what type of activities could take place at the houses – “an insurance policy against visual pollution”.
I would love to hear any stories about why families chose Bramalea over some of the other developments being built in Peel Region and/or if families left Bramalea for one of these…and why.