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Mississauga, incorporated in 1974, is a city of over 704,000 residents (2006 census: 668,549)  Canada's sixth-most populous municipality, located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, Ontario, and part of the Greater Toronto Area. Mississauga 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 increased 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 seven 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.
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 traders found around the Credit River area was called the Mississaugas, a tribe originally from Lake Huron. By 1700 the Mississaugas had driven away the Iroquois.
Toronto Township was formed on August 2, 1805 when officials from York (what is now Toronto) purchased 84,000 acres (340 km?) 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: Cawthra, 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 to Hamilton and later 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 modeled 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.
In 2006, an international architectural design competition was held for a 50 storey condominium tower that is intended to be a 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.
Law/GovernmentMississauga City Hall seen from the south-east. The architecture is based on a "futuristic farm" (the clock tower is the windmill, the main building on the top-right corner is the farmhouse, the cylindrical council chamber is the silo, and the pentagonal building on the bottom right is the barn) Mississauga City Hall seen from the south-east. The architecture is based on a "futuristic farm" (the clock tower is the windmill, the main building on the top-right corner is the farmhouse, the cylindrical council chamber is the silo, and the pentagonal building on the bottom right is the barn)
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. McCallion is the nation's longest serving mayor and was runner-up in World Mayor 2005.
Mississauga's City Council is comprised of the mayor and 11 city councillors, each representing one of the city's eleven wards.
MayorsMartin L. Dobkin 1974 - 1976 Ron A. Searle 1976 - 1978 Hazel McCallion 1978 - Present
* Mississauga-Brampton South
* Mississauga East-Cooksville
* Mississauga South
Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC)Mississauga is also the home of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC), a group of motivated students aged 14-24 interested in bettering their city. It is the first, official, youth advisory committee in Canada. MYAC is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a huge BBQ gathering. MYAC members volunteer at numerous city-run activities, organize events such as Youth Week, and are examples of the best of youth in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. At monthly general meetings, MYAC is a forum to meet new people, learn about and discuss issues affecting young people, and receive opportunities to make a difference in the community. The current Chairperson is Sameer Mian, while Feroz Qayyum is the Vice-Chairperson.
GeographyMississauga covers 288.42 square kilometres (111.4 sq mi) of land, fronting 13 kilometres (8 mi) of shoreline on Lake Ontario.
Mississauga is bound by Oakville and Milton to the west, Brampton to the north, Toronto to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south. 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 previous 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 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 near 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 the 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 into the lake in neighbouring Oakville.
The post-glacial Iroquois Shoreline roughly follows the Dundas Street alignment, although it is not noticeable in some places but is in others, such as the old brickyard (Shoreline Dr. in Cooksville), the ancient shoreline drops below affording a clear view of downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario from above. 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.
ClimateThe climate of Mississauga is represented by an adjacent northwest Toronto weather station; Pearson International Airport. Localized conditions can vary; fog tends to be more common along the lakeshore and in the Credit River Valley at certain times of year, particularly the fall. The southwestern side of the city (Clarkson) can be much milder in winter than northern areas including the airport, while lakeshore areas particularly from Port Credit east through Lakeview are sometimes cooler on hot summer days and noticably cooler on sunny spring days. During snowfalls when temperatures hovver close to freezing, northern parts of the city, such as around Derry Road away from the warmer Lake Ontario, tend to get more snow than the southern parts, the reverse is true when a strong storm approaches from the south with temperatures below freezing. Such storms winter storms that come from the US Midwest of bring a volitile mix of snow with sleet and sometimes freezing rain. Summer thunderstorms are common, most are not severe but can occasionally bring violent winds. They usually come from the develop in the US Midwest (Michigan , Wisconsin) and travel along the 401 corridor, usually weakening upon entering Mississauga, with some exceptions. The last known tornado to cause significant damage touchdowned on July 7, 1985 when an F1 rated tornado struck an industrial park in the Meadowvale area, heavily damaging some buildings and some parked tractor trailers. A relatively strong tornado tore a path across Mississauga (then part of Toronto township) on June 24, 1923 cutting a swath from present-day Meadowvale to near Cooksville, killing 4 people and causing massive property damage in a time when most of Mississauga was rural farmland.
Financial DistrictMississauga has a small financial area called Meadowvale North Business Park. Although it is small, some very large and famous businesses have established office buildings there. Those companies include Microsoft Corporation, Siemens AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Maple Leaf Foods, Amgen Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, and more. It is sometimes complimented as one of Canada's most prestigious business park developments.
DemographicsMississauga is a quickly growing and multicultural city. Statistics Canada estimates that Mississauga now has 678,000 people, an increase of 150,000 from the previous decade and the population has roughly doubled in past twenty years.
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%.
MediaMississauga is primarily served by media based in Toronto with markets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that cover most of the news in the GTA. However, Mississauga also has The Mississauga News, a regional newspaper that is printed/distributed three days a week, and the city also has two specialty radio stations: AM 1320 CJMR, a multilingual station, and FM 91.9 CFRE, the campus radio station of the University of Toronto at Mississauga.
The following national cable television stations also broadcast from Mississauga. For more area stations, visit Toronto television stations.
* Rogers Television, community channel
* The Shopping Channel, broadcasts nationally from Mississauga
* The Weather Network, broadcast nationally from Mississauga 1988-2005
* Bite TV, Canada's first interactive television station
AttractionsIn 2006, with the help of Projects for public spaces, the city made a slogan "My Mississauga; Celebrate summer at city centre" for the summer festivities planned. Mississauga planned over 60 free events to bring more people to the city square. The square was transformed and now includes 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, and Beachfest.
* Adamson Estate
* Benares House
* Bradley Museum
* Cawthra Estate
* Old Meadowvale Village
|There are over 481 parks and woodlands areas in Mississauga, including:
* Applewood Trail
* Burnhamthorpe Trail
* Cooksville Creek Trail
* Culham Trail
* Erindale Park Credit River
* Etobicoke Creek Trail
* Indian Road Trail
* Lake Wabukayne Trail
* Levi Creek Trail
* Lisgar Meadow Brook Trail
* Malton Loop
* Milgrove Trail
* Mississauga Meadow Trail
* Mississauga Valley Trail
* Oakridge Trail
* Rattray Marsh Conservation Area (Mississauga)
* Sawmill Valley Trail
* Sheridan Creek Trail
* Waterfront Trail
* Winston Churchill Trail
Sporting venues* The Hershey Centre, the city's major sporting centre
* The Iceland Arena
* Highway 401 (the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway, connecting Windsor to Quebec)
* Highway 403 (to Hamilton via the QEW in Oakville/Burlington)
* Highway 407 (toll route across the north end of the city)
* Highway 409 (providing access directly into Pearson Airport terminals from Toronto)
* Highway 410 (to Brampton)
* Queen Elizabeth Way (to Niagara Falls and Buffalo)
* Highway 427, straddling the Toronto-Mississauga Boundary, with access into Toronto Pearson International Airport.
RailMississauga is on three major railway lines (two owned by Canadian National Railway and one owned by Canadian Pacific Railway), which lead into and around Toronto. The GO Transit commuter rail service provides service into Toronto's Union Station along the Lakeshore West, Georgetown, and milton lines. VIA Rail service in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor is provided on both CN lines, although there are no stops in Mississauga.
Bus* The Greater Toronto Area's GO Transit service also provides an extensive intercity bus service, which connects Mississauga to downtown Toronto and neighbouring suburban hubs including academic institutions as McMaster University (in Hamilton), Sheridan College in Oakville, York University, Seneca College, Centennial College, University of Toronto at Scarborough all within Toronto, and Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario.
* The city's Mississauga Transit service provides relatively frequent bus service across the city, and connects to the Toronto Transit Commission's subway and GO Transit (a busway similar to Ottawa's transitway is being built). There are also connections to Oakville Transit, and Brampton Transit, with routes going beyond these borders. There are also plans for the construction of an LRT (similar to Calgary) along Hurontario Street ("Highway 10," the city's main street), and possibly on some other main thoroughfares with heavy volume but no definite dates have been set.
AirportToronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in northeastern Mississauga (Malton) is a hub for Air Canada and provides flights to regional, national, and international destinations.
EducationMississauga is the home to the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM/Erindale College), one of three intercity campuses of the University of Toronto. UTM has an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students. It is growing rapidly, at a rate of about 1,000 students per year since 2002.
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 many french immersion schools in multiple locations around the area. There is the outstanding 'arts education program' which is served by Queen Elizabeth Senior Public School and Cawthra Park Secondary School. A great program is the challenging 'International Business and Technology Program' presented by Allan A. Martin Senior Public School and Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School. Mississauga also sports the famous and highly demanding International Baccalaureate program at Saint Francis Xavier Secondary School and Glenforest Secondary School. Lastly, there is the unique Sci Tech Program offered at Tomken Road Middle School and Port Credit Secondary School.
Hospitals* Trillium Health Centre (formerly Mississauga Hospital)
* Credit Valley Hospital
Library* Mississauga Library System
Police* Peel Regional Police
* Ontario Provincial Police - Port Credit Detachment
Fire* Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services
Ambulance & Emergency Medical Services* Peel Regional Paramedic Services
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