Brampton is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. It is a suburban city that sits to the west of Toronto and today has a major economic sector. In the past, Brampton’s main industry was the greenhouse industry, pegging it as ‘The Flower Town of Canada’.
Today, Brampton is a thriving city, though it is not known as a tourist destination. Still, there is plenty to see and do in the city itself, as well as nearby, so it should not be overlooked.
Lets explore the best things to do in Brampton:
1. Visit a park
Brampton’s oldest park, Gage Park is open year-round and has been since 1903. The park is known for its circular walkway, that, in the winter, is turned into a skating rink.
Gage Park is a stunning park that features gazeboes, a fountain, large trees and floral gardens. In the summer, the wading pool and children’s play area are open, and it also hosts free evening concerts.
Skate along the trail in the winter, or jog, cycle or in-line skate along it throughout the rest of the year. If you didn’t bring ice skates with you, you can rent them onsite.
2. Look at planes
Great War Flying Museum is an aviation museum that makes and maintains replicas of World War I aircrafts. It is a not-for-profit museum, where members and volunteers are the ones that actually maintain the planes.
Fokker Dr.I, Nieuport 28, Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a and Sopwith 1½ Strutter are just a few of the replicas that can be seen at the museum. In addition to the aircrafts, the museum also houses a rare collection of period uniforms.
Also at the Great War Flying Museum is a collection of artefacts that tell the story of men involved in flying during World War I. There are also battle maps and rare instruments on display.
3. Gaze at stars
That is, stars on the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame. The walk of fame is located in Downtown Brampton next to the Rose Theatre.
The program recognises Bramptonians that have achieved great things in the entertainment world. Inductees include Actor Alan Thicke, vocalist Lee Aaron, artist Andy Denato, singer Keshia Chanté and comedian Russell Peters.
Red plaques with a star carved into them and the name of the inductee can be seen along the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame in Garden Square. There is a banner to mark the entrance to the walk.
4. Cool of at a waterpark
Wet’n’Wild Toronto is a water based entertainment centre that is located next to the Clairville Conservation Area. The 40 hectare water park opened in 1986, featuring two pools and a whopping 15 water slides.
One of the park’s key attractions is ‘The Big Tipper’, which is the world’s only Double Tipping Bucket attraction. There are also non-water activities at the theme park, including a zip line, a mini-golf course and a rock climbing wall.
Wet’n’Wild Toronto has also hosted numerous events, including concerts, music festivals and fitness training camps.
5. Go to an art gallery
Housed in a former government building, the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) is a gallery, a museum and an archives centre. It is quite a large centre, with each part being in a separate section.
The art gallery section is split into two areas; one for its permanent collection and one for exhibitions. There are over 4,000 works of art in the permanent collection, some of which were created by Bramptonians.
There are around 12,000 artefacts in the museum section of the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives that date from 4,000 BC to today. The archives section houses municipal documents for the entire Region of Peel.
6. Watch birds
A favourite amongst bird-watchers, the Claireville Conservation Area is home to dozens of bird species, including red-winged blackbird, blue jay, northern oriole and hairy woodpecker. Some of the birds migrate here, while others breed here.
The Claireville Conservation Area is a 343 hectare area that, in addition to being home to a plethora of birds, is also home to the rare white deer. These can sometimes be spotted while hiking along the area’s trails.
There is a camping ground that is great if you want to stay overnight. There is also a ranch that offers horseback riding.
7. Go to the beach
Yes, there is a beach in Brampton. Though it is a manmade beach that is situated on the east side of Professor’s Lake.
Professor’s Lake is a 26 hectare artificial lake that was created in 1973. Before that, it was a gravel pit and a quarry.
Today, the lake is used for recreational purposes, like fishing, windsurfing, sailing and canoeing. Its beach is a popular summer spot that is home to a dock and a recreation centre.
8. Wander around a historic house
The only historic house in Brampton that is open to the public is Bovaird House. This lovely home was built in 1852 by New York banker and farmer Mr. Peter Chisholm Sr.
In 1929, the house was bought by its namesake, Mr. James Bovaird, who used the property to breed world-class thoroughbred horses. Today it is operated by the city, who have opened it up to the public.
Wander around Bovaird House and see artefacts and furniture that date back to the 19th century. You can also wander around the grounds to see the 1850s milk house, as well as its lovely orchards and herb garden.
9. Shop till you drop
No shopaholic will be bored in Brampton, as there are numerous indoor shopping malls here. Of these, Bramalea City Centre is the biggest, which also happens to be the 7th largest mall in Canada.
Bramalea City Centre attracts over 16 million visitors each year! Shoppers World Brampton is another large mall that features over 190 shops.
The 79,000 square metre Trinity Common Mall is another must for any shopper, as it has shops that appeal to everyone.
10. Spend a day outdoors
The 169 hectare Heart Lake Conservation Area is known for its diverse ecosystem. Within it is Heart Lake, a wetland area, a spring creek and a large forest.
There are five trails in the area, which in total equal around 11 kilometres of hiking trails. There is also six aerial rope and seven zip-line courses.
The Heart Lake Conservation Area offers plenty of water-based activities, like canoeing, boating and fishing. There is also a heated outdoor swimming pool and 30 water-park activities.
11. Admire Canadian Landscapes
The Group of Seven is a group of Canadian artists that painted landscapes of Ontario between 1922 and 1930. A massive collection of their work is housed in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is located in Kleinberg, which is just to the northeast of Brampton. It is also the burial ground of six members of the Group of Seven.
In addition to housing the art of this famous group, the gallery also has an extensive collection of aboriginal art. There are also numerous paintings by Tom Thomson, who influenced the Group of Seven.
12. Visit a nearby village
Streetsville is to the southwest of Brampton in neighbouring Mississauga. It is a lovely area that has a small-village feel to it, giving it its nickname ‘The Village in the City’.
This charming area makes for a great day trip. It is a tight-knit community with some quaint local shops, bistros and parks.
Streetsville dates back to the 1800s and today some of its historic buildings are still standing. Tour around the area and visit the Timothy Street Home, Montreal House and Franklin House.
13. Explore badlands
The stunning Cheltenham Badlands are located outside of Brampton in Caledon. The small badlands were formed by soil erosion from poor farming practices in the 1930s.
The badlands feature eroded Queenston Shale, which has a beautiful grey and red colour. There are also some faint streaks of green running through it, making it truly beautiful.
The Cheltenham Badlands are part of the Niagara Escarpment; meaning it is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
14. Drink craft beer
Each year the nearby town of Georgetown hosts the Georgetown Craft Beer Festival. This yearly festival is held the third Saturday in September and runs all day.
The Georgetown Craft Beer Festival showcases craft beer from all over Ontario. It is a great chance to taste the best local beers of the province.
In addition to craft beer, the festival also has gourmet food trucks that dish out some great food to go with the large amount of beer that is flowing. There is also live music.
15. Play a round of golf
Brampton itself is not home to a golf course, but neighbouring Woodbridge is. Here, you will find The National Golf Club of Canada and the Woodbridge Golf & Country Club.
The National Golf Club of Canada is rated as one of the top 100 golf courses in the world. It has also been pegged as the number one course in Canada by SCOREGolf.
The Woodbridge Golf & Country Club features a 27-hole championship course, as well as housing seven tennis courts. There is also a modern clubhouse onsite that has a fantastic restaurant.