Formed in 1974, Mississauga is now recognized as Canada’s 6th largest and fastest growing major city with a population of 729,000 residents representing cultures from around the world.
Mississauga Is Canada’s Gateway
Home to Toronto Pearson International, Canada’s largest airport servicing 32 million passengers on more than 70 airlines with non-stop service to 180 destinations in 60 countries around the globe. Mississauga is also within a day’s drive of North America’s richest markets with access to 164 million consumers.
Mississauga Is Safe
Recognized as the safest city in Canada 8 years in a row. Mississauga offers family-oriented sports, leisure & arts facilities with 11 community centres and a vibrant downtown city centre with major retail, office, entertainment and condo living.
Mississauga Is A Corporate Capital
With close to 55,000 registered businesses employing more than 425,000, Mississauga is home to 61 Fortune 500 Canadian or major divisional head offices and 50 Fortune Global 500 Canadian headquarters.
Mississauga Is Green
We have more than 480 parks & 23 major trail systems including part of a 485 mile (780 km) waterfront trail running from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border.
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 French traders found around the Credit River area were the Algonquian Mississaugas, a tribe originally from the Georgian Bay area. The name “Mississauga” comes from the Anishinaabe word Misi-zaagiing, meaning “[Those at the] Great River-mouth.” By 1700 the Mississaugas had driven away the Iroquois yet during the Beaver Wars they played a neutral or post-emptive role.
Toronto Township, consisting of most of present-day Mississauga, 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. In January 2010, the Mississaugas and the federal government settled a land claim, in which the band received $145,000,000, as more just compensation for their land and lost income.
The original villages (and some later towns) settled included: Lakeview, Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erindale (called Springfield until 1890), Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, 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, the Crown gave much of it in the form of land grants to United Empire Loyalists who emigrated from the Thirteen Colonies during and after the American Revolution, as well as loyalists from New Brunswick. A group of settlers from New York City arrived in the 1830s. The government wanted to compensate the Loyalists for property lost in the colonies and encourage development of what was considered frontier. In 1820, the government purchased additional land from the Mississaugas. Additional settlements were established, including: Barbertown, Britannia, Burnhamthorpe, Derry West, Elmbank, Malton, Meadowvale Village, Mount Charles, and Streetsville. European-Canadian growth led to the eventual displacement of the Mississaugas. In 1847, the government relocated them 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 gristmills and brickworks served by railway lines, most of present-day Mississauga was agricultural land, including fruit orchards, through much of the 19th and first half of the 20th century.
Cottages were constructed along Lake Ontario in the 1920s as weekend getaway houses for city dwellers.
Malton Airport opened in 1937, which would become Canada’s busiest, Lester B. Pearson International Airport.
The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway, one of the first controlled access highways in the world opened from Highway 27 to Highway 10, Port Credit, in 1935 and later to Hamilton and Niagara in 1939. The first prototypical suburban developments occurred around the same time, in the area south of the Dixie Road/QEW interchange. 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, sprang 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.
On November 10, 1979, a 106-car freight train derailed on the CP rail line while carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals just north of the intersection of Mavis Road and Dundas Street. One of the tank cars carrying propane exploded, and since other tank cars were carrying chlorine, the decision was made to evacuate nearby residents. With the possibility of a deadly cloud of chlorine gas spreading through 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 historic community exchanges: Clarkson, Cooksville, Malton, Port Credit, and Streetsville, rather than “Mississauga”; although they are combined as a single Mississauga listing in the phone book. Touch-Tone telephones were first introduced at Malton, the first in Canada, on June 15, 1964.
On January 1, 2010, Mississauga bought land from the Town of Milton and expanded its border by 400 acres (1.6 km2) to Hwy. 407 affecting 25 residents.