On this day, newspapers in Brampton celebrated the completion of an iconic river diversion project


Published July 3, 2024 at 2:25 pm

Archive celebrates diversion project

In a recent post from the Peel Regional Archives, local historians revealed that on this day in 1952, the regional newspaper The Conservator celebrated the completion of the Etobicoke River diversion in Brampton over 70 years ago.

The July 3, 1952 issue, has a front page that reads in big bold letters “Flood Control Final,” celebrating the long-awaited completion of the diversion project.

Further details throughout the issue point to changes happening in Brampton now that the project has been finished, as the first story on page three is titled “What will we do for rescue stories now that they’ve tamed the creek?”, indicating The Conservator’s dismay of no longer having daring river rescue articles readily available to print. 

Additional breadcrumbs dotted throughout also point out how local industrialists assisted with the diversion project — as on nearly every page — there are advertisements for companies who supplied either lumber, concrete or plumbing to help redirect the river. 

After a series of articles celebrating the diversion efforts conclude, a dense section referencing what Brampton looked like in the decades before the project took center stage. Specifically, in this case, a gallery of images showing flooded streets, businesses and households. 

Brampton flood archive

One featured image included in the past issue of The Conservator shows a fully flooded downtown Brampton with the caption “This was Brampton, 1948, not Venice.” The paper then closes with a special thank you from the Merchants of Brampton’s Business section thanking all the hard-working individuals who made the river diversion possible. 

So next time area residents head out for a sunny afternoon in Brampton’s downtown core, they should feel lucky it is done with a pair of sunglasses, instead of a snorkel. 

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