Mississauga (), incorporated in 1974, is a city located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, Ontario, and part of the Greater Toronto Area. With a population of 668,549 as of the 2006 census, it is Canada's sixth-most populous municipality, and has almost doubled in population in each of the last two decades. It had the largest population growth in Canada (89,500) between the census years of 1986-1991. Another 80,994 were added between 1991-1996; an increase of 17.5%. From the 1996-2001 censuses, Mississauga gained a further 68,543 residents; an increase of 12.6%. From 2001 to 2006 the population continued to increase 9.1%. As a suburb, Mississauga's growth is attributed to its proximity to Toronto.
Mississauga has been trying to create a distinctive image for itself over the past few years. An international architectural design competition was held in 2006 for a 50-story condominium tower that is intended to be a landmark for the city named Absolute World. The city is debt-free and has not borrowed money since 1978. With five major highways passing through the city, Mississauga offers access to major destinations in Canada and the United States. In addition, most of Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest, is located in the city. Residents of the city are called Mississaugans. Mississauga also boasts one of the largest corporate/financial districts in Canada with major international companies having their Canadian headquarters located in the region including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Pepsico, General Electric, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Fujitsu and Wal Mart, among many other Fortune 500 companies.
Toronto Township was formed on August 2, 1805 when officials from York (what is now Toronto) purchased 84,000 acres (340 km²) of land from the Mississaugas for 1,000 pounds and in 1806 the area was opened for settlement. Toronto township is not to be confused with the present-day City of Toronto, as no part of the former township boundaries overlap with the Toronto of today. The various communities settled include: Lakeview, Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erindale (called Springfield until 1890), Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, Streetsville, Meadowvale and Summerville. This region would become known as Toronto Township. Part of northeast Mississauga, including the Airport lands and Malton were part of Gore Township.
After the land was surveyed, much of it was given by the Crown in the form of land grants to United Empire Loyalists who emigrated from the thirteen colonies during and after the American Revolution, some first went to New Brunswick before arriving in Mississauga. More than a dozen small communities grew in this area, most of which were located near natural resources, waterways for industry and fishing, and routes leading into York.
In 1820, a second purchase was made and additional settlements established including: Barbertown, Britannia, Burnhamthorpe, Derry West, Elmbank, Malton, Meadowvale Village, Mount Charles, and Streetsville. This led to the eventual displacement of the Mississaugas and, in 1847, they were relocated to a reserve in the Grand River Valley near present-day Hagersville. In 1873, in light of the continued growth seen in this area much as a result of the many railway lines passing through the township which spurred on industry, the Toronto Township Council was formed to oversee the affairs of the various villages that were unincorporated at that time. The Council's responsibilities included road maintenance, the establishment of a police force, and mail delivery service. Except for small villages, some grist mills and brickworks served by rail lines, most of present-day Mississauga was agricultural land, including fruit growing orchards through much of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Toronto residents would travel to the township to pick fruits and garden vegetables.
Cottages were constructed along Lake Ontario in the 1920s as weekend getaway houses for weary city dwellers.
Malton Airport opened in 1937, which would become Canada's busiest, Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The Queen Elizabeth Way highway, one of the first controlled access highways in the world opened from Highway 27 to Highway 10 , Port Credit, in 1935 and later Hamilton and Niagara in 1939. The first prototypical suburban developments occurred around the same time, in the area of the Dixie Road and the QEW. Development in general moved north and west from there over time and around established towns. Large scale developments such as in Meadowvale and Erin Mills sprung up in the 1960s and 70s.
With the exception of Port Credit and Streetsville, 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. 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 its original size.
On November 10, 1979, a 106-car freight train derailed while carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals just north of the intersection of Mavis Road and Dundas in Mississauga. The resulting fire was allowed to burn itself out, but a ruptured chlorine tank was the main cause for concern. With the possibility of a deadly cloud of chlorine gas spreading through suburban Mississauga, 218,000 people were evacuated. Within a few days Mississauga was practically a ghost town. Later when the mess had been cleared and the danger neutralized residents were allowed to return to their homes. 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.
North American telephone customers placing calls to Mississauga (and other post 1970 Ontario cities) may not recognize the charge details on their billings, as Bell Canada continues to use the former community names, rather than "Mississauga", to identify exchanges in the city: Clarkson, Cooksville, Malton, Port Credit, Streetsville.
Mississauga has had only three mayors in its history. Dr. Martin Dobkin was the city's first mayor in 1974. He was then followed by Ron A. Searle. Searle was defeated by then-city councillor and former mayor of Streetsville, Hazel McCallion. McCallion is regarded as a force in provincial politics and often referred to as Hurricane Hazel, comparing her political force to the devastating 1954 storm that struck the Toronto area. McCallion has won or been acclaimed in every mayoral election since 1978, and in recent years has not even campaigned. She was recently re-elected for her eleventh term in November 2006 winning 91% of the votes. McCallion is the nation's longest serving mayor and was runner-up in World Mayor 2005.
In 2006, an international architectural design competition was held for a 50 storey condominium tower that is intended to be a recognizable landmark for the city. The winning design, named Absolute World, by Chinese architect Yansong Ma of the MAD firm, is a bold, curvaceous tower that was dubbed the "Marilyn Monroe" for its supposed sexiness, and has received plaudits from urban architecture critics such as Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star. The building is currently scheduled to be finished by 2010.
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 native peoples long before European exploration of the area. The valley is protected and maintained by the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVCA).
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 runaway 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 this floodplain. This creek and its tributaries are administered by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
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 post-glacial Iroquois Shoreline 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 old brickyard (Shoreline Dr. in Cooksville), the ancient shoreline drops below affording a clear view of downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario from above on clear days. The land in Mississauga in general slopes gradually downward from almost 190 metres (623 ft) ASL in some northern spots to lake level (76 m/249 ft ASL), a 110 metre (361 ft) difference over an averaged 15 kilometres (9 mi) distance.
Other than river valleys, the only noticeable hills in Mississauga are actually part of the former Brittinnia Landfill near Streetsvile
The city also has teams for box lacrosse (Mississauga Tomahawks of the OLA Junior A Lacrosse League), cricket (Mississauga Ramblers of the Toronto and District Cricket League, Mississauga Titans of the Etobicoke District Cricket League), Canadian football (Mississauga Warriors of the Ontario Varsity Football League), and Australian football (Mississauga Demons of the Ontario Australian Football League). Mississauga's rugby players are served by the Oakville Crusaders and Brampton Beavers.
Recreational clubs include the Mississauga Figure Skating Club, Mississauga Synchronized Swimming Association, North Mississauga Soccer Club, Mississauga Canoe Club, Don Rowing Club at Port Credit, and the Mississauga Aquatic Club. There are over 481 parks and woodlands areas in Mississauga.
The following national cable television stations also broadcast from Mississauga. For more area stations, visit Toronto television stations.
Mississauga is home to more than 18,000 companies ranging from corporate head offices and industrial branch operations to corner store retail businesses, and including 50 of Canada's Fortune 500. Approximately half or 9,000 of these businesses are in the manufacturing, product distribution or corporate sectors due to Mississauga's desirable location in southern Ontario, the Golden Horseshoe and Greater Toronto Area.
Mississauga has provided an ideal environment for small businesses. Many developers have built small multiple units which provide efficient and affordable accommodations for small companies. The economic stability of Mississauga is enhanced by thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. A large percentage of these employers have fewer than 50 employees.
An employment survey conducted in 1994 indicated that the greatest number of firms and of employees were active in the manufacturing/warehouse sectors followed by retail and wholesale sectors. There will be a shift in the employment base away from traditional manufacturing and towards: light assembly, warehouse distribution, and general services. The strong industries in Mississauga are: pharmaceuticals, electronics, computer, chemical and transportation parts and equipment industries. Heavy industry includes the Petro-Canada refinery and St. Lawrence Cement.
Mississauga demographics indicate that the labour market is experiencing some fairly dramatic changes. It is predicted that in the next ten years, 70% of the new Canadian work force will consist of women, racial minorities, and people with disabilities. It is also evident that the Mississauga labour force is aging as fewer young people are available to take entry level jobs and many present employees are struggling to adapt to the changing economic climate.
|Multiple Visible Minority||9,100||1.4|
|Other Visible Minority||5,715||0.9|
Slightly less than 45% of the population speaks a language other than English, reflecting a large immigrant population. 46.61% of the population was not born in Canada. 40.20% of the population are members of a visible minority (non-white). 21.29% 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.
Despite the plethora of cultures, Mississauga retains a Christian majority. The 2001 census indicates that 69.78% of the population adhere to Christianity, Catholics constituting 42.00%, while the remaining 27.78% adhere to various Protestant, and Orthodox Christian groups. The 2001 census indicates that there are Muslim: 6.83%, Hindu: 4.73%, Sikh: 3.82%, Buddhism, Judaism and others. Those non-professing a faith number 11.92%.
|English and French||1,020||0.15%|
|English and a non-official language||15,210||2.28%%|
|French and a non-official language||880||0.13%|
|English, French and a non-official language||320||0.05%|
The Mississauga Library System is a municipally owned network of 18 libraries.
Mississauga is served by the Peel District School Board and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. Together there are more than 150 schools in this city to fulfill the needs of its large youth population.
Mississauga also has many prominent programs which push students to show their full potential including: