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Encyclopedia > Mississauga
City of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Motto: Pride in our past, Faith in our future
Area: 288.42 sq. km.
 - Total (2001)
 - Cdn. Mun. Rank:
 - Density

Ranked 7th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5
43°36' N
79°39' W
Navdeep Singh Bains, Albina Guarnieri, Wajid Khan, Carolyn Parrish, Paul Szabo

Bob Delaney, Vic Dhillon, Peter Fonseca, Tim Peterson, Harinder Takhar

Mayor Hazel McCallion
Governing body Mississauga City Council
City of Mississauga (http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/home)

Mississauga (2001 population 612,925, with an estimated population of over 680,000 in 2004) is a city in Peel Regional Municipality, west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A part of the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga is Canada's sixth largest city. It is also, by some accounts, the largest suburb in both Canada and the United States. It was settled in 1805 and incorporated as a city in 1974. Mississauga is a sister city of Kariya, Japan.

With five major highways passing through the city, Mississauga offers fast and convenient access to major destinations in Canada and the United States. Mississauga has doubled in size in each of the last two decades. Mississauga 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% in the four year period.

Despite its size, Mississauga is a suburb of Toronto and the two cities' urban sprawls are indistinguishably linked. As Toronto has continued to grow economically, Mississauga has followed suit, building predominantly low-density tract housing and high rise condominiums to attract individuals tired of city life. At the same time, businesses saw the benefits of locating to Mississauga - low tax rates, proximity to a number of transportation routes (air, rail, road), proximity to Toronto, and an abundance of land (at least, at the time) - and it soon became desirable to locate there. The city is debt-free and has not borrowed money since 1978.



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 Missisaugas had driven away the Iroquois.

In 1805, government officials from York, as Toronto was then called, bought 340 kmē (84,000 acres) of the Mississauga Tract and in 1806 the area was opened for settlement. The various communities settled include: Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erindale, Port Credit, Sheridan, and Summerville. This region would become known as the Toronto Township.

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.

With the exception of Port Credit and Streetsville, all of these settlements joined together in 1968 to form the Town of Mississauga. In 1974, Mississauga incorporated as a City, this time including Port Credit and Streetsville.

For a more detailed history, see the entry for Toronto Township, Ontario.

On November 10, 1979, a 106 car freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals was derailed at 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 possiblity 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 and due to the speed and efficiency in which it was conducted many cities later studied and modeled their own emergency plans after Mississauga's.


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 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. McCallion has won or been acclaimed in every mayoral election since 1978, and in recent years has not even campaigned. She was most recently re-elected in November 2003. McCallion is the nation's longest serving mayor.

In recent years McCallion has been receiving critcism for contributing to urban sprawl in the GTA and for missing several opportunities to exercise measured growth. She herself has acknowledged the criticism and is now participating in several regional committees to share her mayoral experiences.

Mississauga's City Council is comprised of the mayor and nine City Councillors, each representing one of the city's nine wards.


Mississauga is bounded by Oakville, Ontario and Milton, Ontario to the west, Brampton, Ontario to the north, Toronto to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south. Halton Hills, Ontario borders Mississauga's north-west corner. The city is located at 43° 35' N, 79° 37' W.


Mississauga is home to more than 18,000 companies ranging from corporate head offices and industrial branch operations to corner store retail businesses. The Mississauga business community is facing certain issues at this time. With international competition, political and economic changes and rapidly advancing technology, companies require more adaptable and more highly skilled workers. Employers recognize the need to retrain the existing labour force and incorporate those who would like to work but have been limited so far due to low skill levels and other barriers.

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.

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.

Primary Employers


In 2002, Mississauga had a population of 624,000, up almost 100,000 from 1995. With just over 40% of the city's population having a language other than English as their mother tongue, the city is relatively diverse, which is, perhaps, owing to its proximity to Toronto. More than 30% of Mississauga's population speak more than one language.

First Language

From Statistics Canada 1996 Census Data:

  • 59% English
  • 4.4% Chinese
  • 4.2% Polish
  • 3.6% Italian
  • 3.6% Punjabi
  • 3.2% Portuguese
  • 1.9% Tagalog (Filipino)
  • 1.7% Spanish
  • 1.4% Arabic
  • 1.3% Serbian/Croatian
  • 1.3% French
  • 1% Urdu
  • 10.6% Other
  • 36.9% Multiple language responses


Mississauga is the home to the University of Toronto at Mississauga (Erindale College), one of three intercity campuses of the University of Toronto. UTM has an enrollment of approximately 8,000 students. It is growing rapidly, at a rate of about 1,000 students per year since 2002.


  • Trillium Health Centre (formerly Mississauga Hospital)
  • The Credit Valley Hospital

Sports Teams

Sports Leagues




The following stations broadcast directly out of Mississauga. For more area stations, visit Toronto television stations.

Notable Residents/Natives of Mississauga

Arts and Culture

  • Living Arts Centre, a showcase for the arts
  • Opera Mississauga
  • The Hershey Centre, the city's major sporting centre
  • Art Gallery of Mississauga, a free gallery in the Civic Centre showcasing local art
  • Benares Historic House
  • Bradley House Museum


  • Major highways include Highway 401 (the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway, connecting Windsor-Detroit to Quebec), Highway 403 (to Hamilton), Highway 407 (toll route across the north end of the city), Highway 410 (to Brampton), and the Queen Elizabeth Way (to Niagara Falls and Buffalo)
  • Mississauga is on three major railways, which lead into Toronto; the GO Transit commuter rail service provides service to Toronto's Union Station
  • The Greater Toronto Area's GO Transit service also provides an extensive intercity bus service, which connects Mississauga to downtown Toronto and neighbouring suburbs
  • The city's Mississauga Transit service provides relatively frequent bus service across the city, and connects to the TTC subway and GO Transit (a busway similar to Ottawa's Transitway is being planned)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in northeastern Mississauga (Malton) is a hub for Air Canada and provides flights to all regional, national, and international destinations.

See also

External links

North: Halton Hills, Brampton
West: Milton, Oakville Mississauga East: Toronto
South: Lake Ontario

  Results from FactBites:
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Mississauga travel guide - Wikitravel (556 words)
Mississauga [1] is a city southwesten Ontario, Canada.
The QEW links Mississauga with the Gardiner Expressway and downtown Toronto in the east, and connects with the 403 in the west.
Mississauga can also be reached from most areas in the Greater Toronto Area with GO Transit, which provides train service during rush hour, and bus service in off peak hours.
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