Mississauga-Brampton History - Development in the 1900s

In 1860 Edward Dale established a flower nursery in Brampton, which was known as the "Flowertown of Canada," and was Brampton's largest employer. Clarkson was known as the "Strawberry Capital of Canada" and there were apple orchards around Cooksville and Dixie.

With the paving of the 40 mile long Lakeshore Highway between Toronto and Hamilton in 1915, and the 1917 resurfacing as the first concrete highway in Canada, Port Credit began a resurgence as a vacation destination for Torontonians.

In 1937, Port Credit built Canada's first cloverleaf interchange at Middle Road & Highway 10. In 1939, the Queen Elizabeth Way between Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Falls was opened, becoming Canada's longest 4-lane divided highway, which took traffic off the overburdened Lakshore Highway and Dundas Street (Hihgway 27).

In 1937, Malton was selected for an international airport, which led to wartime prosperity during the 1940s and a post-war aeronautics and avionics industry. This included the famous "Avro Arrow" fighter plane of the 1950s, that was scrapped by the Federal government under John Diefenbaker.

In the late 1940s and 1950s the automobile facilitated rapid urban growth around Toronto, and new subdivisions converted rich southern Ontarion farmland into acres of suburban homes. In the late 1950s Bramalea was a planned community of 50,000, built as "Canada's first satellite city" complete with shopping centres, parks, commercial business and industry. In 1948 Etobicoke Creek flood devastated Brampton, so the town undertook to straighten and reroute the Etobicoke Creek with a concrete diversion channel completed in 1951.

In 1962, The Lakeview Generating Station was the first 300,000-kilowatt thermal-electric plant in Canada, powered by coal. This provided much of the electrical power for suburban growth until the Pickering Nuclear Plant opened up east of Toronto. The plant was shut down in 2005, and the landmark 4 smokestacks were demolished in 2006.

In 1974 the Region of Peel was created, and Brampton and Mississauga became cities, joining together many communities under single municipal umbrellas. Large-scale and leading edge industries located in Brampton, and head offices began to flock to Mississauga, both benefiting from their abundance of development land and their proximity to Person International Airport. In the 1980s and 1990s large subdivisions continued to encroach on lands formerly used for farming. Mississauga now has 612,925 residents and Brampton has another 325,428 (both 2001 Census data). About half of these were born outside of Canada, giving these communities rich ethnic diversity.

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