In my hometown of Brampton, suburban development has continued to erode the old country landscape that even up to about 20 years ago, made up most of the city’s land mass. The ever-creeping urban frontier of the GTA has finally hit a road with an ironic name, Countryside Drive.
Countryside Drive used to be known as part of 15th Sideroad, Chinguacousy Township, and 15th Sideroad, Toronto Gore Township. Chinguacousy Township, now a historical name that remains in some local landmarks, was eliminated in 1974 with the municipal restructuring that turned the County of Peel into the Peel Regional Municipality. Chinguacousy was split between Brampton and the new Town of Caledon, and Toronto Gore was joined with the Town of Brampton to create the City of Brampton.
Brampton, like most other towns and cities in Ontario that resulted in amalgamations of townships and villages, named all the remaining numbered lines and concessions in the 1980s. Second Line West of Hurontario Street became Chinguacousy Road. The name given to Countryside Drive at the time was probably appropriate – the nearest subdivisions were at least four kilometres away, and the road was a two-lane, only recently paved, country lane. But the urban frontier advanced, and Countryside Drive became a misnomer.
By 2005, the subdivisions of Springdale caught up. The transitional landscape created by the advancing bulldozers and work crews is rather strange and eerie – farmhouses and outbuildings are often still standing, but abandoned and left to fall apart, or boarded up. Ubiquitous white zoning proposal signs and survey markers are common. And not too far behind are bulldozers clearing land, excavators digging basements (leaving temporary hills of fill), and then road crews, carrying out the latest widening to convert the now over-burdened country lanes into four and six lane arterials.
Probably the most unintentionally ironic sign I found.
When surveying Chinguacousy Township, errors in the otherwise perfect land-parcelling caused jogs in the concessions half-way between the lines.
The advancing urban frontier from the four-lane Countryside Drive bridge over the new Highway 410 extension. The Brampton Civic Hospital is at the far left background.