Brampton’s Etobicoke Creek: floods, concrete, and new public spaces

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Over at Spacing, I wrote about a recent Jane’s Walk that I led on Downtown Brampton and Etobicoke Creek.

Until a concrete diversion channel was built in the 1950s, Downtown Brampton would regularly flood as it was built right on top of the creek. The concrete diversion, fenced off and cut off from both the downtown core and the rest of the Etobicoke Creek ravine to the north and south, is an eyesore.

Happily, the City of Brampton is planning to revitalize the channel, which is nearing the end of its useful life and must be reconstructed. The proposed concept, pictured below, includes new public spaces and urban development.

Etobicoke Creek
Conceptual drawing of revitalized Etobicoke Creek 

Of course, during the walk, there was a discussion of the Hurontario-Main LRT, a subject I’ve written about here several times before. Some local councillors and one local advocacy group, Citizens for a Better Brampton, opposed the Main Street surface alignment, and want to push for an Etobicoke Creek route into Downtown Brampton. It would not only wreck a lovely ravine (where one can spot plenty of wildlife), but it would be located in a floodplain, and near the backyards of less-wealthy residents. There’s now a petition to nix that route. Of course, the cheapest and most logical route is along Main Street itself, but a dysfunctional and misguided Council continues to refuse to accept that fact.

It was a pleasure leading a Jane’s Walk, and I learned a lot myself from the conversations that we had along the way; a good Jane’s Walk is when local residents participate and share their knowledge. Leading a walk is a lot of fun, and something that’s quite easy to do. And it need not be on the “official” Jane’s Walk weekend (this year, it was May 6-8), but anytime of the year.

I’ll be leading another walk on Sunday June 12 at 3PM, in Bramalea, meeting at the civic centre across from the mall. Bramalea , billed as “Canada’s first satellite city” when planned and constructed starting in the early 1960s. There’s an interesting diversity of housing types, and an effort to build great greenspaces and linear parks, with a civic centre and shopping mall anchoring the large development.

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2 Responses to Brampton’s Etobicoke Creek: floods, concrete, and new public spaces

  1. sjschen says:

    Feels almost like the Kallang River project in Singapore, where the transformed a concrete lined canal to a river eco-system. http://worldlandscapearchitect.com/kallang-river-bishan-park-singapore-atelier-dreiseitl/#.V0UGSZ5VK1E

  2. alahush says:

    the project for the creek still looks too sanitised. the creek, even here in toronto, is fairly clean, abundant with fish, crustaceans, etc. heck, i even see people swimming in it. gta is blessed with a spring-water-fed body of water such as this. i would love for the future of that swath to look something like this: http://greatecology.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Restored-San-Luis-Obispo-Creek.jpg so kids can go tadpolling, trail-goers can soak their feet on a river beach, etc

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