A Brief Overview of Mississauga
Mississauga is a suburb of Toronto and a city in its own right located in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is situated on the west shore of Lake Ontario and has a population of over 730,000. It is the sixth largest city in Canada in terms of population, and second largest in the Greater Toronto Area.
Over the years, the city’s proximity to Toronto has seen it grow greatly in terms of size and population, particularly during the second half of the 20th century when it became popular among immigrants and people of different cultures.
The city is home to the Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is Canada’s busiest airport, and it also houses many multinational and Canadian corporations’ headquarters.
History of Mississauga
One of the first groups of people to settle in the Mississauga area were French traders who frequently travelled the Credit River during the 1600s. They were soon followed by the Algonquian tribe who were lured from Georgia Bay by promises of work and trade.
In 1805 the Toronto Township, which comprised most of present-day Mississauga, was created by officials from the City of Toronto (at that time called York) when they purchased over 80,000 acres from the local Mississauga residents. Subsequently the Crown gave the new land to United Empire Loyalists who’d emigrated to the area during and after the American Revolution. More loyalists from New Brunswick and later in the 1830s a group of settlers from New York City also arrived and were given land.
During this time the vast majority of the area was taken up by agriculture, including fruit orchards and farms, with the exception of a few small villages, gristmills, and brickwork factories served by the railways.
During the 1920s Mississauga became a popular area for visiting city dwelling neighbours who built a series of cottages along the shoreline of Lake Ontario for use as weekend getaways.
In 1937, a large area of over 1,400 acres was set aside to build Malton Airport, as it was known at the time. Over the decades since, the airport has expanded further, changed its name to Pearson International Airport, and become the busiest airport in Canada.
In November 1979, a freight train carrying explosives and poisonous chemicals derailed north of the city with one of the cars carrying propane exploding and threatening to become a serious threat to life. Neighbouring parts of the city had to be evacuated and over 218,000 people were moved. At the time, the relocation was the largest peacetime evacuation to have happened in North American history.
Nowadays Mississauga covers an area of over 280 square kilometres along the Western shoreline of Lake Ontario.
It is bordered by Milton and Oakville to the west and south, Brampton in the north, Toronto in the east, and Lake Ontario to the south.
There are two major rivers travelling through the territory which end in the lake. The Credit River is the longest and divides the west side of Mississauga from the east. Etobicoke Creek is the other and borders the Eastern edge of the city.
The city covers elevations in the range of 76m by the shores of Lake Ontario to 214 m on the far western corner of the territory.
Mississauga’s climate is moderate with average daily high temperatures in July and August of 27°C (80°F). At their highest, summer temperatures will rise above 32°C with an average of nearly 16 days per year where temperatures reach above 30°C (86°F).
Winters, on the other hand, can be cold with temperatures frequently below freezing. The average temperature during January and February is −6°C (21°F) although is it known to fall as low as −15°C (5°F). Snow fall in Mississauga is light compared to other parts of Canada and Ontario, with an average of 108 centimetres each year.
Mississauga has long been a fast-growing city with a multicultural population. Statistics show that the city now has a population of over 734,000 people, which is an increase of 150,000 from a decade ago.
Due to the multi-cultural nature of the city’s residents, it is estimated that 52% of the population speak a language other than English, with 52.4% being of non-white heritage.
Things to do in Mississauga
There are a variety of interesting things to do in Mississauga, including:
Mississauga Celebration Square
Celebration Square is a free outdoor entertainment space, with things like splash pads taking up the space in the summer and skating rinks in the winter.
Free events constantly occur in the square with open air concerts and movies taking part on warmer evenings and expos and markets during colder months.
The Riverwood Conservancy is a 150-acre wood in the heart of Mississauga. This natural space is a great area to hike or go bird spotting. On top of this, things like astronomy nights and painting and sketching classes run by the Visual Arts Mississauga can be found amidst the foliage and local wildlife.
Small Arms Building
The small arms building is a former WWII munitions site that has been renovated and turned into a modern art space. It is filled with works created by local artists and schools.
It is designed to be an innovative “community living room” and garden space and as such is a great way to chill out whilst getting a good slice of Canadian culture and heritage.
Square One Mall
At over two million square feet, Square One Shopping Centre is one of the largest shopping malls in the world. It houses a huge array of shops from large-scale local department stores, such as Holt Renfrew, Simons and Can-Con Hudson’s, to international chains like Starbucks. It also houses an array of restaurants and food places like Red’s Wine Tavern and Tsujiri.