Once officially known as "The Flower Town of Canada" for its abundant floral beauty and thriving greenhouses (of which there used to be around 150 in operation), Brampton has since grown into an industrially diverse place, with strongholds in the realms of manufacturing, retail, information technology and life sciences. With 523,000 inhabitants, it's the ninth largest municipality in Canada.
2011 Census data shows its demographics as being about 33 percent white, 38 percent South Asian, 14 percent black, 3 percent Filipino and 2 percent Latin American, with many more nationalities making up smaller pockets of the population. Roughly 52 percent of Brampton residents speak English as a first language, followed by 18 percent for whom Punjabi is their native tongue.
Brampton has one public higher learning institution: Sheridan College, founded in 1967. For elementary and secondary education, the city has two school boards: one overseeing secular schools and one overseeing Catholic schools. Cultural touchpoints include the Rose Theater, the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives, and six libraries.
Among the town’s largest employers are Loblaw Companies Ltd., Rogers Communications Inc., Chrysler Canada Brampton Assembly Plant, Maple Lodge Farms, Canadian Tire Corp, Sellers, Coca-Cola, Gamma-Dynacare Medical Labs and Olymel LP.
The Brampton Guardian is the city’s sole newspaper, and it hosts two radio stations geared toward the greater Toronto area: CIAO and CFNY. Its sister cities are Miami Beach, Florida and Plano, Texas.