After attempting without success to find an appropriate development opportunity the City of Brampton has decided to demolish the iconic Heritage Theatre in downtown Brampton.

Council received the report recommending demolition on the morning of May 29, and approved it on the same day.

Demolition of the block, which includes neighbouring buildings which currently house the Downtown Brampton BIA and Beaux-Arts Brampton, will occur as early as December 31, 2020.

Once the block is demolished the city plans to use the spot as a temporary open space until a new plan is approved.

The citizen-led Brampton Heritage Board has been attempting to register the building as a “designated” heritage building since March 2016, and the report by the committee has been requested to be deferred by city staff at every meeting since then. It was most recently deferred at the Heritage Board meeting on May 28.

The city was supposed to have sold off the block in 2017 and restarted the process last year. Three submissions were received in March 2019 but one of them could not be evaluated and the other two didn’t pass the first phase of evaluation.

Due to the city’s non-disclosure proposal process, it’s unknown as to what the submissions were or why they failed.

Demolition and reconfiguration as a temporary public space will cost as much as $2 million. City staff will attempt to help the BIA and Beaux Arts relocated to a similar space elsewhere in Downtown Brampton.

In 2006, some improvements were done and a 2009 report by ERA Architects, well known for heritage and adaptive reuse work, recommended that the Heritage Theatre be retained in full or in part and that the building shouldn’t be demolished.

The 97-year old venue, originally a vaudeville and then a silent film theatre with an orchestra, has remained vacant since 2006 when the Rose Theatre opened.