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Might Brampton, Ontario be showing a vision of what a Canadian city could, or should, look and feel like in the twenty-first century? Brampton city council certainly thinks so, after it unanimously approved Brampton 2040 Vision, a plan to transform the city over the next two decades.

Brampton 2040 Vision

Free transit that loops around the whole city. One unified green network connecting every ravine and park. A vibrant, developed “Uptown”. A university-focused downtown. Jobs within communities. A sports arena. Trees everywhere, designated art hubs, and five new town centres: Heritage Heights, Trinity Commons, Bram West, Bram East, and Bramgo.

This is the future of Brampton.

Internationally-renowned urban planner Larry Beasley was hired last year to make Brampton ‘future-ready’. The result was Brampton 2040 Vision, subtitled ‘Living the Mosaic’ – a reference to the immigrant communities that currently make up more than half of the city’s population. About 11,000 Brampton residents contributed to the plan during community consultations over the past year.

“You won’t have to come to Toronto, you won’t have to go to Mississauga or anywhere else, it’ll be right there in Brampton for you,” stated Beasley in presenting his vision. “Brampton is going to be a great city.”

The ambitious plan contains a raft of practical changes to the city’s layout, amenities, with knock-on effects to the local economy and society.

Brampton 2040 Vision outlines seven aspirational vision statements. These together build the overarching promise that the people of Brampton will “live the mosaic”.

  • Vision 1: In 2040, Brampton will be a mosaic of sustainable urban places, sitting within an interconnected green park network, with its people as environmental stewards – targeting ‘one-planet’ living.
  • Vision 2: In 2040, Brampton will be a mosaic of vibrant centres with quality jobs, a rich range of activities, and integrated living.
  • Vision 3: In 2040, Brampton will be a mosaic of characterful and complete neighbourhoods.
  • Vision 4: In 2040, Brampton will be a mosaic of safe, integrated transportation choices and new modes, contributing to civic sustainability, and emphasizing walking, cycling, and transit.
  • Vision 5: In 2040, Brampton will be a rich mosaic of cultures and lifestyles, coexisting with social responsibility, respect, enjoyment, and justice.
  • Vision 6: In 2040, Brampton will be a mosaic of healthy citizens enjoying physical and mental wellness, fitness, and sports.
  • Vision 7: In 2040, Brampton will support a mosaic of artistic expression and production.

Mayor Linda Jeffrey believes that city council now has its “marching orders,” to a city sometimes known as the “flower city” (or the “city where cars were built”) into something different and new.

“We didn’t used to be cool,” Jeffrey said. “I think we’re going to be cool.”

At its heart, Brampton 2040 Vision will attempt to turn Brampton from an outlying commuter suburb of Toronto into a city in its own right, where people live, work, and play without needing to travel far. Brampton is already home to around 600,000 people, making it the ninth largest municipality in the whole of Canada, with more residents than Hamilton, Quebec City, or Halifax.

More than half of these residents are immigrants, making Brampton one of the most immigrant-heavy cities in Canada. Around 40 percent of the local immigrant population was born in India, with significant populations from Jamaica, Pakistan, the Philippines, Guyana, and Sri Lanka. If there’s one thing that all Brampton residents have noticed over recent years, it’s that the city has become increasingly diverse – much like the rest of the country, only more so. Visible minorities now account for 73 percent of Brampton’s population.

Immigrant populations in Brampton

Immigrant populations in Brampton
Source: Statistics Canada, census 2016 / Moving2Canada

How Brampton could look

City leaders, not to mention Brampton residents themselves, have big plans for the future. Judging by the impressive array of artist impressions and visuals, some of which can be seen below, planners envision a distinctly urban, walkable space, turning a bedroom community into a more vibrant, economically self-sustaining, and environmentally conscious city.

These visuals are for illustrative purposes only. All areas will be subject to a full planning/co-design program with citizens.

To view Brampton 2040 Vision in its entirety, visit this page.

Images courtesy of CIVITAS Studio – Urban Design and Planning / CIVITAS Architecture Inc

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