By: Surjit Singh Flora
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Regional Councillor Martin Medeiros, Councillor Jeff Bowman, from Wards 3 & 4 held an important ceremony on Tuesday, September 14 to re-name the Fletcher’s Creek Sportsplex to the Susan Fennell Sportsplex, in honour of former Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell.
Mayor Patrick Brown said I am very excited for former Mayor Susan Fennell and her devotion to making the City of Brampton a better place for all to live, play and work. Susan Fennell served on Brampton City Council from 1988 to 2014. During this time, he added she was instrumental in bringing the South Fletcher’s Sportsplex to life.
And it was under her leadership, some of the City’s most iconic projects were completed, including The Rose Theatre, the Bob Callahan Flower City Seniors Centre and, Cassie Campbell Community Centre, Gore Meadows Community Centre and renovating modernizing Century Gardens Recreation Centre and Chinguacousy Park.
Also, Mayor Brown said that Susan played a lead role in the City of Brampton effort that secured $200 million in matching federal and provincial funding to make Brampton’s Züm Bus Rapid Transit program a reality and successfully advocated for discounted fares for seniors and veterans.
She also led the development of a first-of-its-kind planning framework for places of worship, helping develop Brampton as one of Canada’s most dynamic multi-faith communities.
She also championed heritage preservation, playing a personal role in saving Alderlea, The Kenneth Chisholm Mansion, from demolition. During her administration, more heritage buildings were designated than in the previous 25 years.
While Regional Councillor Martin Medeiros said, In 1988, Susan Fennell was elected to Brampton City Council for Ward 3. In 1991, and was elected to Peel Regional Council to represent Wards 3 and 4, the same wards I currently represent.
In addition to her legacy of building the iconic infrastructure projects, Brampton became debt-free and was assigned a Triple AAA Credit Rating during Susan Fennell’s tenure as Mayor.
While Mayor Susan served as the Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Infrastructure and Transportation Committee twice and was part of the Federal Big City Mayor’s Caucus, Brampton was also designated an Internationally Safe Community by the World Health Organization, one of only ten cities designated in North America. And in 2007, Brampton was also named a finalist in the World Leadership Forum for best led City in the category of town planning, he added.
Also, Councillor Martin said former Mayor Susan (who has an Honours Bachelor of Science in environmental science from the University of Toronto at Mississauga) established an environmental master plan and created the Environment Committee of Council that involved citizens academia the business community. The City of Brampton also developed master plans for transit and transportation and parks, culture, and recreation.
And City Councillor Jeff Bowman said, Susan’s many accomplishments as Mayor, she founded the National Women’s Hockey League, a precursor to the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, and served as the NWHL’s commissioner. She also founded the Brampton Thunder Women’s Hockey Team. Through the National Hockey League Championship Series, she provided an opportunity for world-class women’s hockey players to perform in a tournament setting before their hometown, including Cassie Campbell, Jayna Hefford and Vicky Sunohara – just to name a few.
It seems only fitting that a mayor who was so actively involved with the sport of women’s hockey should have a recreation centre named after her. Brampton City Council approved the Susan Fennell Sportsplex re-naming on September 30, 2020, he added.
When this Sportsplex originally opened in 1997, it offered a variety of registered and drop-in swimming, skating, sports and fitness programs, as well as child and youth programs.
Now, some 24 years later, Susan Fennell Sportsplex will become the first zero-carbon building in the City of Brampton as part of a plan to retrofit new and existing facilities so no carbon emissions are produced.
Because this project is still in the early stages, we don’t know precisely when the retrofit will be complete, but I look forward to inviting you back, Susan, for a grand opening ceremony when the Sportsplex is finished.
While Susan Fennell appreciated the great reward, it’s changing Fletcher’s Creek Sportsplex name to her name Susan Fennell Sportsplex. She also thanked Brampton City Council for apologizing for the “diminished public trust and reputational damage” caused by a long-running court case that ended earlier this year with a judgement in favor of the city.. dismissing all claims..”.