The History Of Our Professor’s Lake
Contributed by David Guptill
The land where Professor’s Lake sits today was originally a farm situated on Lot 10, 5th Concession East of Hurontario Street. As far back as 1918 the current lake area started being used as a sand and gravel pit. The pit was operated on and off over the years by several owners. By the mid 1950’s the site was running out of land from which to easily extract a reliable supply of sand and gravel.
By this time, it had produced roughly 20 million tonnes of sand and gravel that was used largely for road building and subdivision construction in the Northwest GTA area. After sitting idle for a number of years the site was again reopened as an aggregate processing facility, remaining active until 1970. During that period, much of the raw material used to supply the stone crushing operation was mined in Mono Mills near the intersections of Airport Rd. and Hwy 9 and trucked to the Brampton location for processing and stock piling. The large acreage of the site was an ideal location for holding inventory for eventual trucking to locations around the GTA.
In 1970 the operation was finally shut down and over the next several years the stone crushing plant and the giant conveyors were dismantled and relocated to other operations of then owner Standard Aggregates. Contrary to urban myths the quarry area did not suddenly flood leaving equipment stranded on the site. In fact, Standard Aggregates went to considerable efforts to rehabilitate the site to the highest standards of the day with the intention that it would eventually be turned into a residential and recreational area much like we see today. The rehabilitation was completed with such care that several years later in 1989 the site received the “Bronze Plaque Award” by the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. That plaque is mounted on a large boulder visible from the walkway next to the parking lot near the entrance to the current recreation center.
After the rehabilitation was completed in the mid 1970s the property was sold by Standard Aggregates. Over the next several years the property again changed hands several times and eventually was purchased by the real estate development company, Lehndorff Corporation, through it’s land development subsidiary Amex Developments. Amex, led by it’s President, Keith Stewart, soon began preparing the area for residential development. It was at this stage that the area acquired its current name. Lehndorff’s President, Hans Abromeit, had a PhD in Economics and was commonly referred to as Professor Abromeit by his staff and industry insiders. As a bit of an inside joke staff at Lehndorff and Amex often referred to the development project as the Professor’s lake, and that name eventually stuck. Interestingly, Keith Stewart was one of the first to purchase a lot on Professor’s Lake and build his home there, where he and his family lived until he passed away.
Several proposed plans for development were considered by the City of Brampton through the late 1970’s, ending with the current configuration of housing and city-owned-and-operated recreational facilities. The lake itself and the surrounding shoreline were sold to the City of Brampton, and in 1981 a new community facility, officially named Professor’s Lake Recreation Centre, was opened by the City. The walkway that goes around the lake was finished the following year.
Over the next few years the surrounding residential areas were developed and the non-shoreline lots were sold to some of the GTA’s better known home builders. Ideal Greenpark built on the southwest section of the lake while the northwest, north and northeast portions of the lands went to Lakeview Homes. Bramalea Ltd. built the homes that border the walkway that runs southwest of the current Recreation Center. Many of the individual building lots abutting the lake were sold to Lakeview Homes who built large homes on them in the early to mid eighties. The remaining prime building lots that abut the western edge of the lake were sold to individual purchasers who eventually built custom homes on the properties. The last house to be built on the lake was started in 1999 and completed a few years later.
In 2007 the Brampton Civic Hospital, which is just west of the lake, was opened, completing the development of the last major piece of land in the immediate area.
Photo from the Toronto Star, 1981