The History of Bronte Creek Provincial Park
Carved out of the Queenston Shale bedrock by glaciers approximately 14,000 years ago, the Bronte Creek sits at the bottom of a beautiful valley and has dominated human usage of the area for centuries. Archeological remains indicate that people may have been using the area as early as 5000 BCE. In the past several centuries the land within the park has been used by both the Mississauga First Nations tribe and European settlers who began farming the area in the mid-1800's. The creek provided opportunities for logging, sawmills, gristmills and farming. The surrounding land at the top of the valley proved perfect for farming and many of the farms specialized in small fruits such as apples, strawberries and pears. As settlement continued along the shore of Lake Ontario and expanded out from Toronto, farming gave way to industrializition and denser settlement.
Established in 1972 in order to preserve the natural features of the creek valley and the history of local agricultural practices, Bronte Creek Provincial Park opened it's gates to the public in 1975 and since then average visitation has risen to over 350,000 visitors per year. The park now consists of a day-use area seperated by the valley from the campground and features over 10km of multi-purpose trails, 11 picnic shelters,the historical Spruce Lane Farm, the Nature Centre, the Children's Playbarn, a 1.8 acre pool, an Olympic-size skating rink and a working farm. The park has over 684 hectares (1690 acres) of a wide variety of habitats such as upland forests, old pastures, tall grass meadows, farmland and wetlands.
Educational programs are offered at Spruce Lane Farmhouse and the Nature Centre. Both centres are also open at various times of the year for general visitors. The Children's Playbarn at Parking Lot C is a long-standing favourite of our younger park visitors and both the surrounding farm and Spruce Lane farm feature a variety of farm animals.