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Few people know the history behind the City of Brampton’s branding itself as the “Flower City”. In the 20th century, the Dale Estate was a company that dominated the floral industry of North America and Europe, earning worldwide fame for its prize winning autographed roses and international recognition for the small town of Brampton. With over 40 acres under glass, this family-run floral empire survived for over one hundred years despite personal tragedies, a flu pandemic, two world wars, and the Great Depression. It succumbed only to the crushing wheel of progress and the changing economy in the 1970s.
First time author Dale O’Hara has written a well researched account of the rise and fall of the company and the wider Brampton floral industry from its beginnings in 1863 to its eventual collapse. With over 130 stunning photographs, and accompanied by first hand accounts from former employees and family anecdotes, she has crafted the story of the Dale Estate, including tales of the tunnels, the great chimney, and the miles of greenhouses. The book meticulously details the business practices of the company that made it so prosperous, as well as giving the reader a glimpse into the early history of Brampton, once a village with a population of 500 and now a city of over 400,000.
The book has been funded through a grant by The City of Brampton and the Brampton Arts Council. Proceeds from the sale of the book go towards a Literary Endowment Fund to aid aspiring authors in getting published.
Acres of Glass was released at a book launch attended by over 350 people held at the Peel Heritage Complex Brampton, on September 13th, 2007.