5 Things Brampton Wishes It Had
Like any sprawling semi-urban space, Brampton has a lot to offer in terms of food, restaurants and activities. It's home to the stunning Rose Theatre, a sophisticated shopping mall (as well as other popular retail centres) and a plethora of tasty and diverse dining options.
All in all, it's a solid place to live, work and play.
All that said, each and every city (Brampton included) could benefit from a few more world-class attractions that please both locals and people outside the city.
We asked a few lifelong Bramptonites their opinions on what the city needs and here is what they told us.
5) A Year Round Farmer's Market
During the summer, Brampton boasts two popular farmer's markets—one downtown and one in Mount Pleasant Village. Sadly, Brampton (like every other southern Ontario city) has a long winter and would absolutely benefit from a covered, year-round farmer's market similar to Toronto's famed St. Lawrence Market for that reason. Year-round markets aren't just ideal when it comes to shopping for local and artisanal products, they can act as community hubs where people shop, learn, cook and play. Covered markets also make great tourist attractions, so they could bring non-local shoppers to the area to inspect the delicious wares.
4) Contact Festival
A Brampton native who is well-versed in the city's arts scene told us that Brampton would make a great home for the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. The festival showcases an engaging range of photo-based works by both Canadian and international artists and its presence in the city—even if temporary—would make Brampton a destination and hot spot for acclaimed and up and coming members of the arts community.
3) An Arts and Culture Centre
We all know that every city needs fundamentally important things such as adequate public transportation, affordable housing, a stable economy, a functional government and a safety net for vulnerable members of the community. While all of that is undeniably true, cities also thrive when they give people the tools to create. One reader said he would be interested in seeing Brampton adopt something like Toronto's Artscape, a not-for-profit organization that provides local artists with the means to create significant or meaningful pieces that benefit the overall community. Artscape provides spaces for galleries, living spaces for artists and their families and more. Although it all sounds very elitist and urbane, cities can be positively defined by their cultural footprint and it would be great to see Brampton grow its art scene.
2) More Cafes
There are few things better than unique cafes. A little hipster though they may be, urban chic cafes with extensive drink lists and elaborate concoctions provide a tasty Zen reprieve from the day-to-day grind and offer people a new place to socialize. Cool cafes can open people’s minds to new tastes and flavors, foster creativity among customers and employees, provide a comfy after-hours workspace and function as great places for social gatherings and first dates (or 200th ones). As is stands, Brampton has a few greant indie gems and the usual suspects — Starbucks, Second Cup, Tim Horton’s, etc. More indie places would add some much-needed colour to our growing food landscape.
1) A Signature Festival
Brampton has no shortage of festivals. The city is home to seasonal celebrations (Canada Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc) and a smattering of distinct events exclusive to the city. All that said, it would be great to see Brampton start a festival that’s uniquely its own—something people will travel to. At present, the festivals attract people from the geographic area. It needs something like Taste of the Danforth or the Beaches Jazz Festival, festivals that people journey miles to get to. Brampton is Canada’s ninth largest city and one of its most diverse. It could host a world class samosa or multi-cultural music festival that would truly generate buzz and excitement.