Mississauga is named after the Mississaugas First Nations people who were a branch of the Ojibwa that settled in this area, near the banks of the Credit River in the early 1700s. “Mississauga” is a First Nations word meaning “River of the North of Many Mouths”. Now Mississauga is the place of many neighbourhoods. Much of the credit for Mississauga’s growth goes to former mayor Hazel McCallion who served 36 years in office from 1978-2014. Known affectionately as Hurricane Hazel, Mississauga grew from a small collection of towns and villages to one of Canada’s largest cities under McCallion’s leadership.
Many people may be surprised to learn that Mississauga is Canada’s sixth largest city! It is also Canada’s fastest growing city with a population of 721,599 as of the 2016 Census. The biggest reason for Mississauga’s growth has been the Toronto Pearson International Airport – Canada’s largest and busiest airport – which is situated in the northeast part of Mississauga.
Mississauga’s close proximity to the airport and the City of Toronto has resulted in many corporations choosing to establish their head office here. The spinoff in jobs has dramatically helped to increase Mississauga’s population base. There are now more people commuting into Mississauga to work each day than there are commuting out. Quite a reversal for what was once a bedroom suburb of Toronto.
Mississauga is a very diverse and multicultural city comprised of a number of smaller neighbourhoods, each with their own distinct identity. By far the largest population base and the highest density in Mississauga is concentrated in the City Centre downtown core situated around Burnhamthorpe Road and Hurontario Street. Square One (the largest Shopping centre in eastern Canada) the Mississauga Civic Centre with its distinctive clock tower, the Living Arts Centre, and the massive Mississauga Central Library are all clustered in Mississauga’s City Centre downtown core.
Mississauga is also blessed with a magnificent waterfront on the shores of Lake Ontario. Add to that pristine conservation lands abutting the Credit River, two hospitals (Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre), the University Of Toronto’s sprawling Erindale College campus on Mississauga Road, and the Hershey Centre which hosts large sport and entertainment events and you have the nucleus of a great city.
Mississauga holds the distinction of being perennially ranked as one of Canada’s safest cities. This family friendly City has 11 community centres, highly-ranked schools, and over 480 parks, plus 23 major trail systems including a beautiful waterfront trail. The MiWay transit system offers a network of bus routes making it easy to get around the city by public transit. Mississauga is a diverse and vibrant city that is truly reflective of the Canadian mosaic. Mississauga has a cherished past and an exciting future.