It’s been an eventful year for Brampton. From university announcements to new restaurants and entertainment facilities, there’s no shortage of things that happened this year to make Brampton a better place to live, work and play. Here are 10 of those awesome things.

1. A Brampton Dance Company went viral

Jade’s Hip Hop Academy is no stranger to the spotlight, having danced on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and lots of other stages in the past. In October 2017 one of the company’s dance troupes went viral after a soca dance number at a Toronto Raptors halftime show. The multiple videos circulating the internet of the performance accumulated millions of views.

2. Someone built a giant Iron Man in his front yard

Bramptonian Nick Desjardin builds an epic display in his front yard every year around Halloween. In 2016 it was a life-sized dragon, and 2017 brought a massive Iron Man sculpture that brought in visitors from far and wide.

3. Brampton’s first youth shelter opened

It was long overdue, but in January 2017 Brampton’s first youth shelter for people, age 16 to 24 opened up. The Region of Peel took over the 7 & 7 Motel at Queen Street and Goreway Drive and transformed it into a 30-bed shelter. Before the shelter was open, homeless youth in Brampton often traveled to Mississauga’s youth shelter, Our Place, to vie for one of their 14 emergency beds. The new shelter was at capacity just days after it opened, signaling just how much of a need there was in the community.

Brampton youth shelter

4. Ryerson applied to open a campus in Brampton

The official process of finding a university partner for Brampton kicked off in March of 2017. Not long after that, it was revealed Ryerson and Sheridan were partnering to put forward a bid and it was, in fact, the only bid on the table — to absolutely no one’s disappointment of course. While Ryerson and Sheridan haven’t yet been announced by the Ministry of Education as the winning bid, plans are well underway and an announcement should come any day now.

5. A Brampton business owner scored big on Dragons’ Den

Earlier this year Smiles on Wheels, a Brampton-based mobile dental hygiene business scored big on Dragon’s Den. The episode was officially filmed in 2016 and aired in February of 2017. Balbir Sohi, the founder of the business walked away with a $240,000 deal with Jim Treliving for 25 per cent of her business.

6. A new Costco opened

For years Brampton has lived with only one Costco — much to the dismay of regulars to the retail giant. But people on the east side of the city breathed a sigh of relief when the Costco on Highway 7 opened. While it technically has a Vaughan address, we’re are still claiming it as ours since it sits close enough to be convenient for many Bramptonians.

7. Chinguacousy Library got a huge revamp

Gone are the days of green library cards, and stuffy spaces. Chinguacousy Library got a huge revamp this year and has become one of the coolest places to hang and get down to work. The space is now open concept, with lots of desks and quiet nooks to work in. It also has comfortable seating and workspaces for collaborating with others, as well as a computer lab, laptops to use, a recording studio, 3D printer, vinyl printer and more — all free and accessible to those with a Brampton library card.

8. The city’s first rock climbing gym opened

Lots of fun spaces have been popping in Brampton lately, including the city’s first rock climbing gym. Toprock Climbing opened in the Dixie and Orenda area back in March 2017 and has become a go-to spot for climbers at all levels of expertise.

9. Brampton got a new connection to the subway

With the new extension of the Yonge-University line now open, Bramptonians now have another connection to the subway via Vaughan Metropolitan Centre using the 501 Zum bus. To top it off, PRESTO is finally rolling out sales to local Shoppers Drug Mart locations, so you’ll have even more places to reload your card.

10. Wild Water Kingdom reopened as Wet ‘N’ Wild

Wild Water Kingdom closed in 2014 after money troubles and the park was left unused for a couple of years. in 2015 the park was purchased and revamped, adding a cool $30 million in improvements. It re-opened in the summer of 2017 looking better than it’s looked since, well, ever. Under new ownership and a new name, the park has a bunch of new amenities and rides.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

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