In 2006, with the help of Project for Public Spaces, the city started hosting “My Mississauga” summer festivities at its Civic Square. Mississauga planned over 60 free events to bring more people to the city square. The square was transformed and included 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, Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Beachfest.
Civic Square has completed its restructuring project using federal stimulus money, which features a permanent stage, a larger ice rink (which also serves as a fountain and wading pool during the summer season), media screens, and a permanent restaurant. It has been officially reopened at June 22, 2011 and has since been renamed as Mississauga Celebration Square. More events have been added such as holding free outdoor live concerts, and live telecast of UEFA European Football Championship. The square also holds weekly programming such as fitness classes, amphitheatre performances and movie nights during the summer, children’s activities during spring and fall, and skate parties during the winter. The opening of the square has also allowed the city to hold its first annual New Years’ Eve celebration in 2011.
The upper and lower parts of the square used to be separated by a segment of City Centre Drive. However, pedestrian safety issues and commitment to building a vibrant downtown led the city council to permanently close this segment, uniting the upper and lower parts of the square.
In October 2012, the square had attracted its one millionth visitor.
The Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM) is a public, not-for-profit art gallery located in the Mississauga Civic Centre right on Celebration Square across from Square One Mall. The Gallery offers free admission and is open seven days a week.
Mississauga also boasts one of the largest shopping malls in Canada called Square One Shopping Centre, located at the City Centre. It has 350 retail stores and services and attracts 24 million annual visits. It is operating on most holidays (the exceptions being Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day), making it the only shopping mall in the city and one of the few in the Greater Toronto Area that do so. The mall is surrounded by several bars and restaurants, as well as the City Hall, the Central Library, and Playdium.
Another notable shopping mall in Mississauga is Erin Mills Town Centre, the second largest mall in the city. It is located at the western edge of the city, near Eglinton Avenue at Erin Mills Parkway. It is notable by its clock tower at its centre. This mall used to have a movie theatre, a mini-golf course, and a daycare centre, all of which were converted to retail space.
Located at the southeastern corner of the city is the Dixie Outlet Mall, which is Canada’s largest enclosed outlet mall. It opened in 1956, making it Mississauga’s first shopping mall, even though the city at that time was still known as Toronto Township. Many factory outlets of premium brands are located in this mall. As a supporter of Bullfrog Power, it operates using 100 percent renewable energy. A flea market, the Fantastic Flea Market, is Mississauga’s oldest flea market, which opened in 1976.
Both Erin Mills Town Centre and Dixie Outlet Mall are closed for most holidays, except for Civic Holiday.
Mississauga’s largest festivities such as Canada Day Celebration, Mississauga Rotary Ribfest, Tree Lighting Ceremony, and New Years’ Eve Bash generally occur in Celebration Square. The Canada Day celebration was attended by 130,000 people in 2012, the Ribfest has recorded 120,000 visitors in 2012, and the inaugural New Years’ Eve in 2011 has attracted 30,000 spectators.
One of the most anticipated events in the city is Carassauga. This is a festival of cultures that occurs annually during mid-May, it is the second largest cultural festival in Canada. During 2013 there were over 300,000 visits and 4,014 performances that took place. Carassauga attempts to display the different cultures around the world by setting up pavilions for countries around Mississauga. Visitors get free public transportation with their ticket to tour the city and explore the different pavilions. Various countries showcase their culture through food stalls, dance performances and small vendors. The event largely takes place in the Hershey Centre, where an outdoor stage is set up amidst many tiny pavilions. Other venues include the Tomken Twin Arena, the Canadian Coptic Centre and the Frank McKechnie Community Centre.
There are also culture-specific festivals held in Celebration Square, including Fiesta Ng Kalayaan for the Philippines, Viet Summerfest for Vietnam, Muslimfest for the city’s Muslim community, and Mosaic Festival, which is the largest South Asian multi-disciplinary arts festival in North America.
The village of Streetsville holds its annual Bread and Honey Festival every first weekend of June at Streetsville Memorial Park to commemorate the founding of the village of Streetsville. The festival has been incorporated in 1974, in response to amalgamation with the city of Mississauga. Activities include the Bread and Honey Race, which raises money for charities and local hospitals. It also has its own annual Canada Day celebrations, which are also held at Streetsville Memorial Park.
Another former town, Port Credit, Ontario holds multiple festivals throughout the year. During the summer, there are street performances on multiple venues scattered throughout the former town during Buskerfest. Also, the town holds a grand parade named “Paint the Town Red” during Canada Day. Finally, during August, the town holds the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, which includes concerts as well as family activities. During September, the Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle is being held to celebrate the town’s Blues and Jazz Festival, which includes musical performances from local blues and jazz artists.
The community of Malton, which contains a significant number of Sikhs, holds its annual Khalsa Day parade, marching between Sri Guru Singh Sabha (Malton Gurdwara) and Sikh Spiritual Centre Gahib (Rexdale Gurdwara) in Toronto. This parade is attended by 100,000 people.
Mississauga has been the home of the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League since 2007, when the team moved from Toronto. It was previously home to the Mississauga Icedogs from 1999–2007, before they moved to St. Catharines and became the Niagara IceDogs. The Hershey Centre, the city’s main sports venue, was opened in 1999 for the arrival of the Icedogs, and is where the Steelheads currently play. Other hockey teams include the Mississauga Chiefs of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (who play at Iceland Mississauga), the Mississauga Chargers of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League (who play at Port Credit Arena), and the many teams in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, Mississauga Hockey League, and Mississauga Girls Hockey League that play in the city’s 13 arenas. In addition, there is a roller hockey team, the Mississauga Rattlers of the Great Lakes Inline Junior “A” Roller Hockey League.
Starting with the 2013-2014 season, Mississauga will also be represented in the National Basketball League of Canada, the only Canadian professional basketball league. Oshawa Power has been relocated to the city, and will be named Mississauga Power. Home games will be played at the Hershey Centre.
Mississauga 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), and Canadian football. The Mississauga Football League (MFL) is a youth football program that is for players aged 7–17, founded in 1971. The city also has other amateur football teams in Ontario leagues: the Mississauga Warriors of the Ontario Varsity Football League and the Mississauga Demons of the Ontario Australian Football League. Mississauga’s rugby players are now served by the Mississauga Blues at the youth level though many still play for the more established clubs in neighbouring cities.
Ringette is one of the affiliated youth groups that are allocated ice time by the City of Mississauga (Recreation and Parks Division, Community Services Department) on an allocated priority basis. The Ringette program is administered by the Mississauga Ringette Association.
Recreational clubs include the Mississauga Figure Skating Club, Mississauga Synchronized Swimming Association, North Mississauga Soccer Club, Mississauga Falcons Soccer Club, Mississauga Canoe Club, Mississauga Scrabble Club, Don Rowing Club at Port Credit, International Soccer Club Mississauga, and the Mississauga Aquatic Club. There are over 481 parks and woodlands areas in Mississauga. Mississauga is home to many indoor playgrounds including Playdium, Kids Time Family Fun Center, KidSports indoor playground, and Laser Quest Center. There are over 26 major indoor playgrounds in the city of Mississauga.
Over 60 of the Fortune 500 base their Global or Canadian Head Offices in Mississauga. Some of the strongest industries are pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, electronics and computers, transportation parts and equipment industries.
Citibank Canada, has 2 corporate IT development centres in Mississauga. TD Bank Financial, also has 3 Corporate IT development centres in Mississauga along with Royal Bank of Canada. Microsoft Canada is also located in Mississauga, and Laura Secord Chocolates is headquartered in Mississauga. Hewlett Packard’s main Canada offices are in Mississauga. Air Georgian, a regional airline, is headquartered in Mississauga.Air Canada Jazz operates a regional office in Mississauga. Kam Air has its North American office in Mississauga. In addition both Walmart Canada and Target Canada have their Canada head offices in Mississauga.
Mississauga is a fast-growing and multicultural city. Statistics Canada estimates that Mississauga now has 734,000 people, an increase of 150,000 from the previous decade and the population has roughly doubled in past twenty-five years. Mississauga is now the third most populous city on the Great Lakes; far smaller than Chicago and Toronto, but recently surpassing the cities proper of Detroit, Milwaukee, and Cleveland.
About 44% of the population speaks a language other than English, and 49% of the population are members of a visible minority (non-white or non-aboriginal). 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.
Christianity is the majority faith of the city. The 2011 census indicated that 59.9% of the population adhere to Christianity, with Catholics constituting 36.9%, while the remaining 23.0% adhere to various Protestant, Orthodox Christian, and other Christian groups. Other practiced faiths were Islam (11.9%), Hinduism (7.0%) Sikhism (3.4%), Buddhism (2.2%), and Judaism (0.3%). Those who claimed no religious affiliation made up 14.9% of the population.
The 2011 census found that English was spoken as single mother tongue by 47.6% of the population. The next most common languages were Urdu (4.9%), Polish (4.1%), Punjabi (3.2%), Arabic (3.1%), Tagalog (2.8%), and Portuguese (2.5%).
Sheridan College Business education facility in downtown Mississauga
Mississauga is the home to the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM/Erindale College), one of two satellite campuses of the University of Toronto. UTM has an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students. It is growing at a rate of about 1,000 students per year since 2002, following a major expansion.
Sheridan College has announced the construction of a new $46 million facility that will open in Mississauga in 2011. The school will have two main concentrations: business education and programs to accelerate the movement of new Canadians into the workforce. The 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2). campus will be located on an 8.5-acre (34,000 m2) parcel of land in City Centre just north of the Living Arts Centre. The campus is expected to accommodate 1,700 students upon completion of phase one of construction in Fall 2011. Phase two of construction after 2011 is expected to increase capacity by 3,740 students to a combined total of 5,000; it will also include construction of a 10-level municipal parking garage.
Mississauga is served by the Peel District School Board, which operates the secular Anglophone public schools, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, which operates Catholic Anglophone public schools, the Conseil scolaire Viamonde, which operates secular Francophone schools, and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, which operates Catholic Francophone schools. 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:
French immersion schools in multiple locations across the city such as Applewood Heights Secondary School, Clarkson Secondary School and Streetsville Secondary School.
Extended French Program at St. Thomas More School, Green Glade Senior Public School, Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School and St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School
Regional Arts Program at Queen Elizabeth Senior Public School and Cawthra Park Secondary School and Iona Catholic Secondary School
International Business and Technology Program at Allan A. Martin Senior Public School and Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School
International Baccalaureate Program at St. Francis Xavier Secondary School and Glenforest Secondary School.
Sci Tech Program at Tomken Road Middle School and Port Credit Secondary School.
Regional Enhanced Program at The Woodlands School, Glenforest Secondary School, and Lorne Park Secondary School.
Regional Sports Program at Applewood Heights Secondary School.
The art program at St. Jude’s Academy
Holy Name of Mary College School is an independent Catholic school for girls Grades 5 to 12.
The city’s two main hospitals are Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre (formerly Mississauga Hospital). The health system and the administration for students in Mississauga was the property of the Peel District School Board Health Centre and the health support for citizens in Mississauga was the property of Peel Health Centre. The eastern part of Mississauga was the property of Pearson Health (Greater Toronto Area Health Department).
At 18 lanes wide, Highway 401 in Mississauga near Pearson International Airport is one of the widest and busiest freeways in the world.
Highway 401 (the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway, connecting Windsor to Quebec) passes through the city’s north end. The eastern part uses the collector/express lane system and feeds into Highway 403, the main freeway in the city, which runs through the City Centre and Erin Mills areas. The
Queen Elizabeth Way, the city’s first freeway, runs through the southern half of the city. These three freeways each run east-west, with the exception of the 403 from the 401 to Cawthra Road, and from the 407 to QEW. North of the 401, the collector lanes of the 403 become Highway 410, which goes to Brampton. Part of Highway 409 is within the city of Mississauga, and it provides access to Pearson Airport. Two other freeways run along or close to Mississauga’s municipal borders. Highway 407 runs metres from the northern city limits in a power transmission corridor and forms the
city’s boundary with Milton between highways 401 and 403. Highway 427 forms the Toronto-Mississauga boundary in the northeast, and is always within 2 kilometres of the boundary further south, with the exception of the area around Centennial Park.
Mississauga is on three major railway lines (one each owned by the Canadian National Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and Metrolinx). Although Via Rail trains on the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor pass through Mississauga, the city lacks a station; the nearest stations are located in the neighbouring cities of Brampton, Oakville, and Toronto. The only passenger rail service is provided by GO Transit, on the Lakeshore West, Georgetown, and Milton lines. However these lines mainly serve commuters going to and from Toronto’s Union Station.
There are plans for the construction of an LRT line along Hurontario Street stretching from Port Credit to the south to Downtown Brampton to the north. The project is currently undergoing environmental assessment and design phases. Light rail transit could possibly be built on some other main thoroughfares, namely Dundas Street and Lakeshore Road, but no definite dates have been set.
The city’s public transit service, MiWay (formerly Mississauga Transit), provides bus service across the city, and connects to the Toronto subway and RT, GO Transit, Oakville Transit, and Brampton Transit. MiWay offers two services: MiLocal for local travel, and MiExpress for express travel, stopping only at the terminals and the major stops.
A 12-station busway similar to Ottawa’s transitway is being built along Highway 403 from Winston Churchill Boulevard to Renforth Drive via the City Centre. This will provide faster service for passengers by cutting commuting times by as much as half. The first phase of the bus rapid transit project is expected to be completed by early 2013.
All information about Mississauga courtesy Wikipedia.