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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario
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Mississauga is a city in the Canadian province of Ontario and a suburb of Toronto. It is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario in the Regional Municipality of Peel, bordering Toronto. With a population of 721,599 as of the 2016 census, Mississauga is the sixth-most populous municipality in Canada, third-most in Ontario, and second-most in the Greater Toronto Area.[1][3] It is also one of the most populous suburbs in the world outside of Asia.[citation needed]

The growth of Mississauga is attributed to its proximity to Toronto.[4] During the latter half of the 20th century, the city attracted a multicultural population and built up a thriving central business district.[5][6] It is home to Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest airport, as well as the headquarters of many Canadian and multinational corporations. Residents of the city are often referred to as Mississaugans.


History[edit]

At the time of the arrival of the Europeans in the 1600s, both Iroquoian- and Algonquian-speaking peoples already lived in the Credit River Valley area. One of the First Nations groups the French traders found around the Credit River area were the Algonquian Mississaugas, a tribe originally from the Georgian Bay area. The name "Mississauga" comes from the Anishinaabe word Misi-zaagiing, meaning "[Those at the] Great River-mouth." By 1700 the Mississaugas had driven away the Iroquois, yet during the Beaver Wars they played a neutral or post-emptive role.[7]

Toronto Township, consisting of most of present-day Mississauga, was formed on 2 August 1805 when officials from York (what is now the City of Toronto) purchased 84,000 acres (340 km²) of land from the Mississaugas. In January 2010, the Mississaugas and the federal government settled a land claim, in which the band of aboriginal people received $145,000,000, as just compensation for their land and lost income.[8]

The original villages (and some later incorporated towns) settled included: LakeviewClarksonCooksville, Dixie, Erindale (called Springfield until 1890), Lorne ParkPort Credit, Sheridan and Summerville. This region would become known as Toronto Township. Part of northeast Mississauga, including the Airport lands and Malton were part of Toronto Gore Township.[9]

After the land was surveyed, the Crown gave much of it in the form of land grants to United Empire Loyalists who emigrated from the Thirteen Colonies during and after the American Revolution, as well as loyalists from New Brunswick. A group of settlers from New York City arrived in the 1830s. The government wanted to compensate the Loyalists for property lost in the colonies and encourage development of what was considered frontier. In 1820, the government purchased additional land from the Mississaugas. Additional settlements were established, including: Barbertown, Britannia, Burnhamthorpe, Derry West, ElmbankMaltonMeadowvale Village, Mount Charles, and Streetsville. European-Canadian growth led to the eventual displacement of the Mississaugas. In 1847, the government relocated them to a reserve in the Grand River Valley, near present-day Hagersville.[10][11] Pre-confederation, the Township of Toronto was formed as a local government; settlements within were not legal villages until much later. Except for small villages, some gristmills and brickworks served by railway lines, most of present-day Mississauga was agricultural land, including fruit orchards, through much of the 19th and first half of the 20th century.[7][12]

In the 1920s, cottages were constructed along the shores of Lake Ontario as weekend getaway houses for city dwellers.

17 years later in 1937, 1,410.8 acres of land was sold to build the Malton Airport (later known as the Pearson Airport). It became Canada's busiest airport which also put the end to the community of Elmbank.[13]

The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway, one of the first controlled access highways in the world, opened from Highway 27 to Highway 10 in Port Credit, in 1935 and later expanded to Hamilton and Niagara in 1939. The first prototypical suburban developments occurred around the same time, in the area south of the Dixie Road/QEW interchange. Development in general moved north and west from there over time and around established communities. Large-scale developments, such as Erin Mills and Meadowvale sprang up in the 1968 and 1969 respectively.

The township settlements of Lakeview, Cooksville, Lorne Park, Clarkson, Erindale, Sheridan, Dixie, Meadowvale Village, and Malton were amalgamated by a somewhat unpopular provincial decree in 1968 to form the Town of Mississauga. At the time, both Port Credit and Streetsville were left out and remained as separate entities. A 1965 call for public input on naming the town received thousands of letters offering hundreds of different suggestions.[14] The town name was chosen by plebiscite over "Sheridan". Political will, as well as a belief that a larger city would be a hegemony in Peel County, kept Port Credit and Streetsville as independent island towns encircled by the Town of Mississauga. In 1974, both were annexed by Mississauga when it reincorporated as a city. That year, the sprawling Square One Shopping Centre opened, which has since expanded many times.[15]

On 10 November 1979, a 106-car freight train derailed on the CP rail line while carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals just north of the intersection of Mavis Road and Dundas Street. One of the tank cars carrying propane exploded, and since other tank cars were carrying chlorine, the decision was made to evacuate nearby residents. With the possibility of a deadly cloud of chlorine gas spreading through Mississauga, 218,000 people were evacuated.[16]

Residents were allowed to return home, once the site was deemed safe. At the time, it was the largest peacetime evacuation in North American history. Due to the speed and efficiency in which it was conducted, many cities later studied and modelled their own emergency plans after Mississauga's. For many years afterwards, the name "Mississauga" was, to Canadians, associated with a major rail disaster.[19]

North American telephone customers placing calls to Mississauga (and other post-1970 Ontario cities) may not recognise the charge details on their billings. The area's incumbent local exchange carrierBell Canada, continues to split the city into five historical rate centres–Clarkson, Cooksville, Malton, Port Credit, and Streetsville. However, they are combined as a single Mississauga listing in the phone book. Touch-Tone telephones were first introduced at Malton, the first in Canada, on 15 June 1964.[20]

On 1 January 2010, Mississauga bought land from the Town of Milton and expanded its border by 400 acres (1.6 km2) to Hwy. 407 affecting 25 residents.[21]

 

Geography[edit]

 
Overview map of Mississauga, including neighbourhoods, land use patterns, and transport corridors.
 

Mississauga covers 288.42 square kilometres (111.36 sq mi) of land,[22] fronting 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) of shoreline on Lake Ontario.

Mississauga is bounded by Oakville and Milton to the west/southwest, Brampton to the north, Toronto to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south/south-east. Halton Hills borders Mississauga's north-west corner. With the exception of the southeast border with Toronto (Etobicoke Creek), Mississauga shares a land border with all previously mentioned municipalities.

Two major river valleys feed into the lake. The Credit River is by far the longest with the heaviest flow, it divides the western side of Mississauga from the central/eastern portions and enters the lake at the Port Credit harbour. The indented, mostly forested valley was inhabited by first nation peoples long before European exploration of the area. The valley is protected and maintained by the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVCA).[23]

Etobicoke Creek forms part of the eastern border of Mississauga with the city of Toronto. North of there it passes through the western limits of Pearson Airport. There have been two aviation accidents, in 1978 and 2005 where aircraft overshot the runway and slid into the Etobicoke creek banks. In 1954, heavy flooding resulted in some homes along the riverbank being swept into the lake after heavy rains from Hurricane Hazel. Since that storm, houses are no longer constructed along the floodplain. The creek and its tributaries are administered by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).[24]

Most land in Mississauga drains to either of the two main river systems, with the exception of the smaller Mary Fix and Cooksville Creeks which run roughly through the center of Mississauga entering the lake near Port Credit. Some small streams and reservoirs are part of the Sixteen Mile Creek system in the far north-west corner of the city, but these drain toward the lake in neighbouring Milton and Oakville.

The shoreline of former Glacial Lake Iroquois roughly follows the Dundas Street alignment, although it is not noticeable in some places but is more prominent in others, such as the site of the former brickyard (Shoreline Dr. near Mavis Rd.), the ancient shoreline promenteau affords a clear view of downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario on clear days. The land in Mississauga in ranges from a maximum elevation of 214 m (699 ft) ASL in the far western corner, near the Hwy. 407/401 junction, to a minimum elevation at the Lake Ontario shore of 76 m (249 ft) ASL.

Apart from the embankments of Credit River valley, it tributaries and the Iroquois shoreline, the only noticeable hills in Mississauga are actually part of the former Britannia Landfill, now a golf course on Terry Fox Way.

Neighbourhoods/Areas[edit]

Mississauga has many different neighbourhoods including the incorporated townships. There are 22 neighbourhoods in Mississauga.[25]

 


 

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1971 172,352 —    
1976 250,017 +45.1%
1981 315,055 +26.0%
1986 374,005 +18.7%
1991 463,388 +23.9%
1996 544,382 +17.5%
2001 612,925 +12.6%
2006 668,549 +9.1%
2011 713,443 +6.7%
2016 721,599 +1.1%
Canada 2016 Census Population %
Ethnicity group White 302,375 42.3
South Asian 165,765 23.2
Chinese 54,090 7.6
Black 47,005 6.6
Filipino 36,570 5.1
Arab 36,200 5.1
Latin American 16,110 2.3
Southeast Asian 14,795 2.1
Multiple visible minority 13,370 1.9
Other visible minority 9,050 1.3
West Asian 7,910 1.1
Korean 6,095 0.9
Aboriginal 4,175 0.6
Japanese 1,965 0.3
Total population 715,475 100.0

Mississauga is a fast-growing and multicultural city.[37] Statistics Canada estimates that Mississauga now has 734,000 people,[38] an increase of 150,000 from the previous decade and the population has roughly doubled in the past twenty-five years. Also, the Regional Municipality of Peel estimates that as of 2016, the city of Mississauga had a population of 756,000,[39] based on the Canada 2006 Census which as of the Canada 2016 Census, is about 27,000 over expected. Mississauga is now the third most populous city on the Great Lakes; far smaller than Chicago and Toronto, but recently surpassing the cities proper of DetroitMilwaukee, and Cleveland.[40]

Canada 2016 Census Population %
Ethnic origin East Indian 110,220 15.4
Canadian 73,020 10.2
English 66,250 9.3
Chinese 64,965 9.1
Irish 49,115 6.9
Scottish 47,895 6.7
Italian 44,840 6.3
Polish 43,350 6.1
Filipino 39,755 5.6
Pakistani 35,660 5.0
Portuguese 34,035 4.8
German 26,305 3.7
French 23,895 3.3
Jamaican 23,820 3.3
Total population 715,475 100,0

About 52% of the population speaks a language other than English,[41] and 52.4% of the population are members of a visible minority (non-white or non-aboriginal). 18% of the population is under 14 years of age, compared to those of retirement age; 8.51%. The median (middle) age in Mississauga is 35.0.[42]

Christianity is the majority faith of the city. The 2011 census indicated that 59.9% of the population are adherents, with Catholics constituting 36.9%, while the remaining 23.0% belong to various ProtestantOrthodox Christian, and other Christian groups. Other practiced faiths were Islam (11.9%), Hinduism (7.0%) Sikhism (3.4%), Buddhism (2.2%), and Judaism (0.3%). Those who claimed no religious affiliation made up 14.9% of the population.[43]

Religions in Mississauga
Religion     Percent  
Christianity
59.9%
Other/None
14.9%
Islam
11.9%
Hinduism
7.0%
Sikhism
3.4%
Distribution of religions throughout Mississauga.

Languages[edit]

The 2011 census found that English was spoken as single mother tongue by 47.6% of the population. The next most common languages were Urdu (4.9%), Polish (4.1%), Punjabi (3.2%), Arabic (3.1%), Tagalog (2.8%), and Portuguese (2.5%).[44]

Mother tongue Population Percentage
English 338,280 47.6%
French 7,400 1.0%
Urdu 34,925 4.9%
Polish 29,065 4.1%
Punjabi 22,880 3.2%
Arabic 21,990 3.1%
Tagalog (Filipino) 19,920 2.8%
Portuguese 17,685 2.5%
Spanish 15,885 2.2%
Chinese, not otherwise specified 15,745 2.2%
Italian 14,210 2.0%
Cantonese 11,925 1.7%
Mandarin 11,335 1.6%
Tamil 10,230 1.4%
Vietnamese 9,835 1.4%
Hindi 9,250 1.3%
Gujarati 8,010 1.1%
Ukrainian 5,955 0.8%
Croatian 5,500 0.8%
Korean 5,300 0.7%
Mother tongue Population Percentage
Persian (Farsi) 5,245 0.7%
Russian 4,645 0.7%
Serbian 3,830 0.5%
German 3,705 0.5%
Bengali 3,305 0.5%
Romanian 3,075 0.4%
Greek 2,700 0.4%
Albanian 2,215 0.3%
Malayalam 2,145 0.3%
Hungarian 1,870 0.3%
Telugu 1,515 0.2%
Sinhala (Sinhalese) 1,310 0.2%
Macedonian 1,255 0.2%
Turkish 1,225 0.2%
Bosnian 1,130 0.2%
Bulgarian 1,120 0.2%
Malay 1,090 0.2%
Marathi 1,065 0.1%
Pashto 1,010 0.1%
Sindhi 1,000 0.1%
 

Economy[edit]

Over 60 of the Fortune 500 companies base their Global or Canadian Head Offices in Mississauga. Some of the strongest industries are pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, electronics and computers, Aerospace, transportation parts and equipment industries.[45]

TD Bank also has Corporate IT development centres in the city along with Royal Bank of CanadaLaura Secord Chocolates is headquartered in the city, and Hewlett Packard's main Canada offices are also in Mississauga.[46] Air Georgian, a regional airline, is headquartered in Mississauga as well.[47] Regional airline Jazz operates a regional office in Mississauga and Kam Air has its North American office in Mississauga.[48][49] Mississauga is also an aircraft development hub with Canadian headquarters of Aerospace companies such as Magellan Aerospace and Honeywell Aerospace.[50] In addition Walmart Canada, Kellogg's Canada, Panasonic Canada, Esprida and NetSuite have their Canadian head offices in the city.[51][52]

Arts and culture[edit]

Mississauga has a vibrant arts community, promoted by the Mississauga Arts Council, which holds an annual awards ceremony, called the MARTYs, to celebrate the city's entertainers, artists, filmmakers, writers, and musicians.[53]

Mississauga's largest festivities such as Canada Day Celebration, Mississauga Rotary Ribfest, Tree Lighting Ceremony, and New Year's Eve Bash generally occur in Celebration Square. The Canada Day celebration was attended by 130,000 people in 2012, the Ribfest has recorded 120,000 visitors in 2012, and the inaugural New Year's Eve in 2011 has attracted 30,000 spectators.[54][55]

One of the most anticipated events in the city is Carassauga, a festival of cultures that occurs annually during mid-May. It is the second largest cultural festival in Canada. During 2013, 4014 performances took place and 300,000 people attended.[56] Carassauga attempts to display the different cultures around the world by setting up pavilions for countries around Mississauga. Visitors get free public transportation with their ticket to tour the city and explore the different pavilions. Various countries showcase their culture through food stalls, dance performances and small vendors. The event largely takes place in the Hershey Centre, where an outdoor stage is set up amidst many tiny pavilions. Other venues include the Tomken Twin Arena, the Canadian Coptic Centre and the Frank McKechnie Community Centre.

There are also culture-specific festivals held in Celebration Square, including Fiesta Ng Kalayaan for the Philippines, Viet Summerfest for Vietnam, Muslimfest for the city's Muslim community, and Mosaic Festival, which is the largest South Asian multi-disciplinary arts festival in North America.[57]

The village of Streetsville holds its annual Bread and Honey Festival every first weekend of June at Streetsville Memorial Park to commemorate the founding of the village of Streetsville. The festival has been incorporated in 1974, in response to amalgamation with the city of Mississauga.[58] Activities include the Bread and Honey Race, which raises money for charities and local hospitals.[59] It also has its own annual Canada Day celebrations, which are also held at Streetsville Memorial Park.

Another former town, Port Credit, Ontario holds multiple festivals throughout the year. During the summer, there are street performances on multiple venues scattered throughout the former town during Buskerfest. The town alsoholds a grand parade named "Paint the Town Red" during Canada Day. Finally, during August, the town holds the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, which includes concerts as well as family activities. During September, the Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle is being held to celebrate the town's Blues and Jazz Festival, which includes musical performances from local blues and jazz artists.[60][61][62]

The community of Malton, which contains a significant number of Sikhs, holds its annual Khalsa Day parade, marching between Sri Guru Singh Sabha (Malton Gurdwara) and Sikh Spiritual Centre (Rexdale Gurdwara Sahib) in Toronto. This parade is attended by 100,000 people. [63]

Mississauga has a significant number of Jews, with active community classes, cultural activities and holiday celebrations.[64][65][66][67]

Attractions[edit]

Mississauga Celebration Square[edit]

In 2006, with the help of Project for Public Spaces,[68] the city started hosting "My Mississauga" summer festivities at its Civic Square.[69] Mississauga planned over 60 free events to bring more people to the city square. The square was transformed and included a movable stage, a snack bar, extra seating, and sports and gaming facilities (basketball nets, hockey arena, chess and checker boards) including a skate park. Some of the events included Senior's day on Tuesday, Family day on Wednesday, Vintage car Thursdays, with the main events being the Canada Day celebration, Rotary Ribfest, Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Beachfest.

Civic Square has completed its restructuring project using federal stimulus money, which features a permanent stage, a larger ice rink (which also serves as a fountain and wading pool during the summer season), media screens, and a permanent restaurant. It officially reopened at 22 June 2011 and has since been renamed as Mississauga Celebration Square. More events have been added such as holding free outdoor live concerts, and live telecast of UEFA European Football Championship. The square also holds weekly programming such as fitness classes, amphitheatre performances and movie nights during the summer, children's activities during spring and fall, and skate parties during the winter. The opening of the square has also allowed the city to hold its first annual New Year's Eve celebration in 2011.

The upper and lower parts of the square used to be separated by a segment of City Centre Drive. However, pedestrian safety issues and commitment to building a vibrant downtown led the city council to permanently close this segment, uniting the upper and lower parts of the square.[70]

In October 2012, the square had attracted its one millionth visitor.[71]

Art Gallery of Mississauga[edit]

The Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM) is a public, not-for-profit art gallery located in the Mississauga Civic Centre right on Celebration Square across from the Living Arts Centre and Square One Shopping Centre. AGM is sponsored by the City of Mississauga, Canada Council for the ArtsOntario Trillium Foundation and the Ontario Arts Council. The art gallery offers free admission and tours and is open everyday. AGM has over 500 copies and is working on creating a digital gallery led by gallery assistant Aaron Guravich.[72][73]

Shopping[edit]

Mississauga also boasts one of the largest shopping malls in Canada called Square One Shopping Centre, located at the City Centre. It has 350+ retail stores and services and attracts 24 million annual visits[74] and over $1 billion in annual retail sales[75]. It operates on most holidays (the exceptions being Good FridayEaster Sunday and Christmas Day), making it the only shopping mall in the city and one of the few in the Greater Toronto Area that do so.[76] The mall is surrounded by several bars and restaurants, as well as the City Hall, the Central Library, and Playdium.

Erin Mills Town Centre, the second largest mall in Mississauga. It is located at the western edge of the city, near Eglinton Avenue at Erin Mills Parkway.[77] The mall used to be notable by a clock tower placed in the center of the building. As its successor, the clock has been replaced with an iconic glass sphere (283 feet in circumference), as a part of the mall's $100 million redevelopment project.[78] The mall also used to have a movie theatre, a mini-golf course, and a daycare centre, all of which were converted to retail space.[79]

The 401 Dixie Automall is a new concept in car shopping and car ownership: the Greater Toronto Area's most complete, convenient, and exciting automotive destination. Test drive cars, talk to experienced sales people, or just look at modern cars in their showrooms. With dealers ranging from MazdaInfinitiNissanMitsubishiVolkswagen & more, this location will help those looking for a new or used car in the GTA.[80]

Located at the southeastern corner of the city is the Dixie Outlet Mall, which is Canada's largest enclosed outlet mall. It opened in 1956, making it Mississauga's first shopping mall, even though the city at that time was still known as Toronto Township, Ontario. Many factory outlets of premium brands are located in this mall.[81] As a supporter of Bullfrog Power, it operates using 100% renewable energy.[82] Heartland Town Centre is an unenclosed outlet mall with 180 stores and restaurants.[83] A flea market, the Fantastic Flea Market, is Mississauga's oldest flea market, which opened in 1976.

Erin Mills Town Centre and Dixie Outlet Mall are both closed for most holidays, except for Civic Holiday.[84]