Open Letter To Brampton Council: Think About The Future

The following is an open letter sent to Fight Gridlock from Andrew deGroot, a resident of Brampton — one who has been an incredible supporter and fact-finder for the LRT project, and it’s alignment on Main St. into downtown Brampton.

Attention: Mayor Linda Jeffrey & Members of council;

I know people believe they are protecting downtown by suggesting an alternate route around downtown Brampton but history tells us the exact opposite will happen. Prior to the 1940s, Jarvis Street was probably the most beautiful street in all of Toronto. The city’s first paved road was once the grandest tree-lined boulevard around, bracketed by the mansions of some of Toronto’s wealthiest movers and shakers.

In the 1940s the City of Toronto began working on a transit plan which included its first subway. Toronto debated whether to run the line up Jarvis or under the much narrower Yonge Street. Construction was approved in 1946 for the new Yonge Street line.

Meanwhile, the stately Jarvis boulevard was transformed to make way for the automobile. Jarvis Street was turned from a gorgeous historical thoroughfare into an urban highway, stretching from the waterfront up to Bloor. Cars on Jarvis, transit on Yonge.

Fast forward to the today. Yonge Street is the economic core of Toronto with cross streets King, Queen and Bloor all boasting their own rapid transit. Jarvis, on the other hand has fallen on hard times. Known for decades as the seediest street in Toronto, it is where you go to find drugs and prostitution. Only now, 70 years later is investment starting to turn this street around, though all of the homes are gone or being used for commercial purposes.

Meanwhile in Downtown Brampton, the comparisons are striking. Our quant southern entrance boasts similar large older homes as Jarvis, though almost all of the grand homes north of Wellington have been demolished or are rooming houses. Main Street is an urban highway shuttling people quickly from their jobs in Mississauga to their homes in northern Brampton or beyond our border. Downtown Brampton has the same drug and prostitution problem as Jarvis. Jarvis has Harvey’s and Brampton has the 7-Eleven.

The establishment of Toronto, trying to protect their streetscape and homesteads, voted against progress and transit along Jarvis with the obvious consequences to follow. Brampton’s establishment is voicing its strong opposition to the LRT through downtown Brampton.

We are at a crossroads in Brampton. We have the opportunity to build for our future or dwell on our past. Our tight grip on maintaining status quo will hinder process. Do we want Main Street to be the Jarvis of Brampton?

I encourage Brampton City Council to support this project without delay.


Andrew deGroot
Ward 1 resident

Images of Jarvis St., Toronto









Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 3.05.05 PM

Action Needed: Planning and Infrastructure Services Committee

Sorry for this last minute request. We’ve learned that all emails must arrive to the committee by tomorrow, Thursday June 18 at 9:00AM.

We need you to email to the committee and show your support for the Hurontario-Main LRT and specifically the Main Street alignment. The opposition to the Main Street alignment will be writing in.

Here’s how to contact the committee:

Subject Line: Correspondence for H10-1: Hurontario-Main Light Rail Transit Project Update

Your email will become part of the official record and document our support for the project, and for the Main Street alignment. Please try to include as much contact information as you feel comfortable (IE ward, neighbourhood, street, etc).

Even if you have written to all councillors/your councillor/the Mayor, we need you to write again to the committee. Please encourage your friends, neighbours and family to write in!

The next Planning and Infrastructure Services Committee in Brampton is happening on June 22, 2015, at 1pm*. Hurontario-Main Light Rail Transit Update is on the Agenda.

*We’ve heard a rumour that the meeting time might be changing. Will keep you posted!

This is an opportunity to have your voice heard, and to express your continued support for the Main St. alignment of the LRT in Brampton!

Not sure who to write to or what to say? Here are some steps to follow.

Prepare an Email

I’ve posted an abbreviated version of a letter I sent as an example if you feel you want one. When writing yours, consider how LRT will benefit you and/or your business with a Main St. alignment. If you need ideas for pros and cons to consider, Brampton staff have released a report.

The Planning and Infrastructure Services Committee is composed of all City and Regional Councillors. The Mayor is an ex-officio member of this committee (and all other committees established by City Council), and carries a vote while in attendance. Therefore, your email can be sent to every member of council. Also, send a copy to the City Clerks Office so that it’s on record to be received as correspondence.

Committee Chairs

City and Regional Councillors

Organize a Presentation

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to take time off work at the time of the committee meeting, you might consider organizing a 5 minute presentation to the committee. This presentation, called a delegation, is an opportunity to present your case in person. If this sounds like something you want to do, contact the City Clerks Office to request a delegation.

Fight Gridlock encourages everyone who supports the Main St. LRT surface alignment to contact the Committee. Let them know!

The province has commiteed funding for the Main St. alignment to downtown Brampton. Let’s get building!