PAMA - Art Gallery, Museum & Archives

PAMA has a rich history from the origins of the Peel County Courthouse, Jail, Office Building and Registry Office, to its recent expansion. These historical milestones are a testament to the heritage of Peel Region and PAMA's integral place within this history.

The Brampton Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives occupy four unique heritage buildings.

The historic Peel County Courthouse and County Jail were built in 1867, the Registry Office was built in 1980 and the County Office Building built in 1957. In 2010, the heritage buildings underwent extensive renovations and expansion to provide exhibition and program space.

The Courthouse is one of the most impressive buildings at PAMA. The Courthouse was built in 1867.  The building had two main functions. In the Courtroom, people came to trial. If guilty, they went to the Peel County Jail to serve time. In the Council Chambers, Peel County Council met to discuss local issues.

Men and women served time at the Peel County Jail for minor crimes like theft. The amount of time people spent in this jail was always less than two years. Sometimes homeless and sick people stayed in the jail because there was nowhere else for them to go.

The jail didn't have electricity or running water when it opened. Prisoners slept on mattresses stuffed with straw. By the time the jail closed, improvements like lights, toilets and a television made prisoners' lives easier.

A governor ran the jail and hired guards, cooks and other staff. For many years, the governor and his family lived in an apartment on the second floor, separated from the cell areas by a thick wall and door. The Peel County Jail is now the PAMA museum and much of the interior is changed. In the Jail Gallery, on the main floor, there are three cells. You can go into a cell, close the metal door, and imagine spending time in the tiny space. You can also learn more about the prisoners and the people who worked here.

In the Art Gallery, explore works from their Permanent Collection, changing exhibitions, and community projects. Watch for our sculpture unveiling on the grounds of PAMA in the fall, this year. The Art Gallery features permanent collection exhibitions, a works on paper gallery and temporary exhibitions.  The extensive collection of over 5,000 works includes works by local, national and international artists.

In the Museum discover the contributions of Peel immigrants and Aboriginal culture as part of The Peel Story. Enjoy their family-friendly Manning Square as well as their changing exhibitions in the Temporary Gallery.


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