A city of half a million people located in the Peel region of the GTA, Brampton is as multicultural as they come. People who would normally fall into the visible minority category are in fact in the majority here, Sikhism is one of the dominant religions, and it is demographically one of the youngest cities in Canada. The core of Brampton houses the headquarters of some of the country's biggest companies, including Loblaws, Chrysler, Rogers, Coca-Cola and Canadian Tire. The Chrysler manufacturing plant located here is one of the biggest employers in Canada. These companies and the residents of Brampton enjoy easy access to the international airport, Toronto Pearson, located just outside the city's borders in Mississauga.
Diversity is the keyword for Brampton. The majority of residents are married couples with children, and parents often work right within Brampton's borders at one of the many huge companies located here, or commute into the city of Toronto at the southeast corner of Brampton. The median age is just 33.7, so the population is relatively young.
Young professionals who've found work in one of Brampton's big business centres, or are seeking opportunities in the tech, communications or manufacturing industries, or one of the multitudes of businesses that serve these sectors. Couples with or without children will feel comfortable amid other families just like them.
Not-so-perfect for: Folks who value a small-town atmosphere. Brampton is a big city with plenty of big-box shopping and traffic to boot. That aside, recent reports of "white flight" have unveiled a certain crack in the cultural mosaic that makes up Brampton's population, with the number of white people dwindling year after year, meanwhile the population overall grew 20% from 2006 to 2011.
Cultural pride is in its prime here. The annual Carabram Festival held each summer celebrates the city's multicultural nature and makes an effort to display the colours and traditions of ethnic groups outside of the South Asian majority of Brampton. Recent development has brought an influx of big-box shopping to the city, while the downtown core retains a little of the heritage charm from the city's early years. At the heart of downtown is the Rose Theatre on Main Street, which hosts live shows of all types and is surrounded by great restaurants and destinations for arts aficionados. Foodies of Brampton are in their glory – the multicultural nature of the city has graced residents with an endless palette of flavours from across the globe. A city comprised mainly of twenty- and thirty-somethings has to offer at least a decent nightlife, and Brampton has a few after-dark hotspots, including the pubs near the transit line on Kennedy, Queen and Advance, and a handful of nightclubs, the most popular being Throne on Advance.
For a big city, Brampton is the lowest-priced housing markets in the Greater Toronto Area. With so many single-detached homes available and tons of new construction still underway to create new communities, the city's housing prices for prospective buyers remain nearly $100,000 below the GTA average.
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto-area towns and regions Brampton is 43% lower than GTA average
Single-family detached houses of all types, including heritage structures and new construction
As opposed to most communities around the GTA, most households in Brampton have 4-5 people living in them. Many Brampton families have grandparents living in the home, or have more than one family under one roof.
Gage Park is a great destination for families in Brampton. Located just in front of city hall, the park has a big fountain in its centre and hosts live music in the summer, and has a skating trail in the winter. Rose Theatre is another centre of life for residents who like to catch excellent live performances and concerts right in Brampton's downtown. Recreation in Brampton in top notch, with plenty of community centres, gyms and other fitness services in full supply around the city. Then there's the Brampton Sports Centre, which has since been renamed the Powerade Centre, seating 5,000 and is the home of the Brampton Beast hockey team, the A's basketball team and the Excelsiors of the lacrosse league, as well as concerts throughout the year. The city has 85 public and private schools for kids of all ages under two school boards, but is one of the cities with the fewest libraries per capita, with just one such institution per 80,000 residents. Brampton is also home to Sheridan College, which focuses on business education, as well as Algoma University.
Originally developed as a planned "satellite" community by a commercial developer, the former town has now been incorporated into Brampton and is home to Bramalea City Centre, a large shopping mall. The area has a few high- rise apartments mixed with detached homes and is the site of several large manufacturing plants and Chingacousy Park's petting zoo and mini-golf.
This new community in Brampton's northeast started its boom in the early '90s and hasn't stopped since. There are a handful of executive homes on huge lots. There's also a golf course in the neighbourhood.
Churchville began as a hub for industry in the mid-1800s and still retains a few protected heritage houses from that period. Parts of this southwest neighbourhood retain the rural feel that once categorized it, but recent redevelopment has paved over many natural areas to make way for nicely designed brick-faced houses and townhomes.
The community that shares its name (and is home to) one of Toronto's biggest remaining green spaces was once a tiny village east of Brampton. A few new developments are popping up in Claireville, but it's mostly known for the Claireville Conservation Area, Claireville Ranch and Riverstone Golf and Country Club.
Credit Valley is a newer area of Brampton being built for the city's upper and upper-middle class. Huge manors are in no short supply here.
Brampton's commercial heart also has some great residential areas with heritage buildings and new construction. Boutique shops, bakeries and restaurants make their homes here next to Gage Park, City Hall, the Rose Theatre, the Peel Art Gallery, the GO Transit station and the city's weekly Farmer's Market.
The west part of the city makes up the Fletcher's area, which includes Fletcher's Meadow and the Greek Village. The neighbourhood is growing so quickly, the local high school, built in 2005, already can't support its catchment area and was forced to change its boundaries. Homes here have been built over the last 20 years or so, and most are detached single-family houses – although a few condos and apartments have begun to appear.
Named after the Heart Lake Conservation Area, which surrounds a swimmable lake, a number of new developments have sprung up, offering buyers and renters nice views over the natural green space. There are detached homes, townhouses and condos.
Geared to residents as a transit village, Mount Pleasant is the home of the GO station by the same name, giving easy access to Toronto, Guelph and Kitchener. Its development plan is for mixed-use construction, lending an urban feel to the community. Housing here is mainly condos geared to the young generation of Bramptonians. The neighbourhood has a central square with a pond and fountain, a community centre, library, a few schools and cafes.
Called a historic community, Snelgrove actually has a mix of older homes as well as newer builds. The rail line once ran through this area, but residents nowadays enjoy the proximity of Highway 410, which connects at Hurontario Street and delivers commuters to Mississauga and the Expressway that runs through the entire GTA.