Residents fight to save busy Brampton library from move to ski chalet
Published April 10, 2023 at 12:55 pm
Brampton residents have launched a petition to keep the city’s largest and busiest library branch in its current location.
Chinguacousy Library Branch, currently in Bramalea Civic Centre, is slated to move after Brampton City Council voted to gift the centre and most of it’s land to Toronto Metropolitan University (previously Ryerson University) to make space for a new medical school campus. The city chose the location for its proximity to Brampton Civic Hospital and the Peel Memorial Centre, as well as its accessibility to municipal transportation, GO transit and highway systems.
The new School of Medicine could start accepting students as soon as 2025 and is set to receive 80 undergraduate seats and some 95 postgraduate positions.
The library is slated to move to the Chinguacousy Park Ski Chalet.
But the decision to move the popular library isn’t sitting well with residents who have launched a petition.
Nearly 350 people had signed the “Save Chinguacousy Branch Library-Let the community keep the existing branch!!” petition as of Monday (April 10) morning.
The library has been an invaluable resource and accessible community hub for the area, Krystina Ali writes in the petition.
The move comes “without any public consultation and just a few years after many updates and renovations to give citizens access to more programming and resources,” the petition reads.
“This is extremely frustrating and disheartening for the community; especially now that it has been disclosed that the library will be moved to a much smaller location that will not harbour the same resources the current Chinguacousy Branch has to offer,” the petition continues.
“The opening of the school while absolutely necessary is frustrating because just prior to the Pandemic there were plans to open the school in Downtown Brampton; these plans were scrapped due to lack of funds that our current Provincial government refused to give the city.”
Several people expressed concerns about the move.
“Closing a public library is bad medicine for Bramalea community,” one person wrote on the petition.
“I can’t believe Brampton City Council approved such an impulsive, thoughtless move!” another person wrote. “I don’t believe anyone: city staff, library board, taxpayers, residents, would have approved had they been consulted! This is not the way a democratic government makes its decisions.”
Both Jaipaul Massey-Singh, Brampton Library board chair, and Todd Kyle, CEO, Brampton Library have raised concerns about the move.
The library estimates the move could cost $500,000. On top of that they may be responsible for restoring the ski chalet when they eventually move out again. These expenses are not part of the library’s 2023 budget.
The ski chalet is also considerably smaller than the current location.
Massey-Singh and Kyle are scheduled to speak in a delegation to Brampton City Committee of Council on Wednesday (April 12). See the city website here, for more information.
To learn more about the petition, see it on Change.org here.
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Save Chinguacousy Branch #Library-Let the community keep the existing branch!! – Sign the Petition! https://t.co/yMPYBKXWbL via @CdnChange #publiclibrary #Brampton #bramalea
— Catherine Soplet (@Soplet) April 10, 2023