Brampton park renamed in honour of the abolition of slavery
Published Monday, August 1, 2022 10:17AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 1, 2022 12:18PM EDT
Brampton’s Dixie 407 Sports Park has a new name, one that honours the abolition of slavery.
Located south of Highway 407 at Dixie Road, the 100-acre green space, which has both minor and major soccer pitches as well as cricket grounds, is now known as Emancipation Park.
The park’s new name sign is set to be unveiled sometime this month.
"We are proud to be hosting the first-ever Emancipation Day in Canada's only Emacipation Park, and just one of a few in North America," Dewitt Lee III, the founder of the organization ‘Emancipation Month’ and one of the main advocates for the park’s re-naming, told CP24 Monday morning.
"This is a very special space of healing. and community, and fellowship."
Lee along with several others is also hosting a soccer tournament Monday at the newly-renamed park.
Back on July 8, Brampton City Council unanimously passed a motion to rename Dixie 407 Sports Park as Emancipation Park.
“As the first Black woman elected to city council in the history of Brampton, I was proud to move the motion to create a recognition of Emancipation in October of 2019. The recent events that have elevated our understanding of anti-Black racism could not have been foreseen when I brought this initiative forward,” Coun. Charmaine Williams said in an Aug. 1 news release.
“However, I am so proud to say that Brampton is home to Emancipation Park. To the best of my knowledge it is the first Emancipation Park anywhere in Canada. I look forward to seeing more initiatives that increase our historical understanding of the roots of anti Black racism as we work to tear down the barriers that hold back human potential.”
Brampton City Council has also proclaimed Aug. 1 as Emancipation Day, and August as Emancipation Month in that city. Several online events will be held throughout the month to celebrate Brampton’s diversity and honour this important observance.
Virtual flag raisings will also be held today for Emancipation Day as well as on August 6 for Jamaican Independence Day, August 22 for Dominican Republic Restoration Day, and August 31 for Trinidad and Tobago Independence Day. All flag raising ceremonies can be viewed online here.
“Around the world, we are witnessing a historic moment in time. People of all backgrounds are coming together to collectively confront systemic anti-Black racism. Here in Brampton, honouring Emancipation Month and naming a City park Emancipation Park is a powerful way for us to acknowledge the past and reiterate that we stand with Brampton’s Black community,” Mayor Patrick Brown said.
In June 2020, City Council also approved a Black African and Caribbean Social, Cultural and Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit. Lead by Senior Advisor, Gwyneth Chapman, it aims to develop an action plan to eradicate systemic anti-Black racism in Brampton by uplifting the social, cultural, and economic position of that city’s Black community.
Community members can learn more and/or get involved by emailing
“Honouring Emancipation Month and renaming a part of Brampton Emancipation Park are significant steps forward for Brampton,” Chapman said.
“It is important for people to know the history and understand that we had slavery in Canada. Movements like the park renaming give me great confidence that we will make immense progress in Brampton.”