The Expression of Interest (EOI) sought interested and experienced proponents for the redevelopment, revitalization of the Heritage Theatre Block.
Proposals were to include plans to retain historical attributes of the landmark and align with the City of Brampton’s Term of Council Priorities, Brampton 2040 Vision and the Integrated Downtown Plan.
The EOI sought submissions that include at least one of the following:
- Advancing Downtown Brampton’s Innovation District
- Supports Downtown Brampton as a hub for post-secondary learning
- Leverages the Tourism Development Streams outlined in the City of Brampton’s Tourism Strategy
- Supports higher order transportation modalities and the Anchor Mobility Hub Brampton Transit Projects and Initiatives
The Heritage Theatre Block is located at 70-86 Main Street North and consists of the historic Heritage Theatre and three adjoining mixed-use commercial and residential buildings, forming a contiguous block on approximately 0.3 acres of land. The block is located at the southeast corner Main Street North and Theatre Lane, which from the north signifies the arrival to Brampton’s historic Downtown and the Four Corners.
The Heritage Theatre, originally known as the Capitol Theatre, was built in 1922 and opened on February 28th, 1923. The theatre was used for the presentation of vaudeville acts and silent films. The opening of a commercial theatre in the heart of downtown Brampton was a major event that marked Brampton’s growth as a residential community. At the time, admission was 30 cents for adults and 15 cents for children.
In the 1920s, this two-storey building with seating for approximately 800 people was one of the largest theatres found outside major cities in North America. The vaudeville and silent film era came to an end in Brampton when the Odeon Corporation purchased the theatre in 1946. The original orchestra pit was removed, and new technical upgrades were made for the projection of “talking films”.
The theatre was purchased by the City of Brampton in 1981 from the Odeon Corporation. In late 1988, the City of Brampton and the Province of Ontario financed restoration of the theatre. It was renamed to The Heritage Theatre for the Performing Arts. Some of the notable performers at the Heritage Theatre would include Henry Youngman, Alan Thicke, the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, and Rita MacNeil. In 2005, with the construction of the Rose Theatre, the Heritage Theatre was retired as a performing arts venue and left unoccupied.
The City is currently investigating partnerships for restoration and adaptive reuse options to return the Heritage Theatre to the prominent Downtown landmark status that it once was.
*Archival images courtesy of Region of Peel Archives: Cecil Chinn fonds, Russell K. Cooper fonds, Charters family fonds, Cecil Henry fonds
To learn more about the City of Brampton's restoration and adaptive reuse plans for the Heritage Theatre, please contact: IDP@brampton.ca