Gage Park, Brampton
Gage Park in October 2009
|Operated by||City of Brampton|
|Open||Open all year|
|Parking||Nearby street parking, and parking garage beneath City Hall|
Gage Park is an urban park in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. It is Brampton's oldest municipal park, originally opened in 1903. The park offers floral gardens, a gazebo, large trees, a fountain, trails for rollerblading and jogging, a children's play area, a wading pool, and summer evening concerts. Ice skating on the temperature-controlled skating trail is a popular wintertime activity.
For many years, Brampton survived without a public park. Public celebrations and large gatherings were either held at the Fair Grounds on Elliott Street or on the Athletic Grounds at Rosalea Park, but both were considered by residents to be far from the centre of town and lacked the shade of trees. In 1902, the Town of Brampton purchased 2.4 acres (1 hectare) from the front lawn and gardens of "Alder Lea", the mansion of Kenneth Chisolm on Main St. South. That same year, Sir William J. Gage (owner of Gage Publishing, a publishing house specializing in school text books) purchased 3.25 acres (1.3 hectares), part of the Elliott estate that stood immediately to the north of Alderlea. He donated 1.7 acres (0.7 hectares) of the property to the town with the condition that it be available to the citizens as a public park and arboretum. Brampton residents generously supported the need for a park, and collected $1,054 so that extra land could be purchased to complete the area.
A park committee was appointed, consisting of members of the town council. Many trees were removed, gravelled walkways were prepared, all underbrush was removed and the land was levelled and seeded. W.J. Gage opened the park on Dominion Day (Canada Day), 1903. Over the following years, a bandstand was erected and the Horticultural Society volunteered to properly label all the trees for the information of the general public. In 1955, the Kinsmen’s Club of Brampton added a wading pool, and in 1971 Brampton received the Flower Fountain from Benson and Hedges Tobacco Company. The Rotary Club of Brampton’s long-standing support of the park has seen the realization of many projects including swings in 1946, and the skating trail and entranceway with digital signage in the 1990s.
Gage Park is located immediately south-west of the intersection of Main St. S. and Wellington St. West in the historic downtown of Brampton, south of Brampton's City Hall. Street parking is available nearby, in addition to frequently free underground parking beneath City Hall.
Ice skating on the temperature-controlled skating trail is a popular wintertime activity. Skating is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Skate rental and sharpening services are located at Shoe Clinic nearby.
The Veteran was carved in 2005 from the trunk of a dying red oak that had stood for over a century. It was created to mark the Year of the Veteran in Canada. Carved by artist Jim Menken, the statue was modelled in the image of Bill Bettridge, a decorated veteran of the Second World War and survivor of Operation Overlord (the D-Day landings in Normandy, France) that led to the end of the war. It stands in silent tribute to the many men and women of Brampton who served – and continue to serve – Canada in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping missions around the world.
- Facebook group for Gage Park