Mississauga flag Mississauga Logo
Mississauga is a Canadian city in Southern Ontario on the shores of Lake Ontario, located in the Regiona Municipality of Peel, in the western part of the Greater Toronto Area. The city has a population of 713,443 as of the Canada 2011 Census, and is Canada's sixth-most populous municipality
Developed as a suburb of Toronto, Mississauga's growth is attributed to its proximity to that city. It is the 37th largest suburb in the world by population, and the 4th largest in North America. The city is debt-free and has not borrowed money since 1978. Mississauga has been the beneficiary of federal infrastructure funding but may have to borrow money to build new capital projects in 2012. Residents of the city are called Mississaugans.
The city is placed fourth in 'large cities of the future' by fDi Magazine for North and South American cities. Mississauga was also rated as Canada's 11th best city to live in terms of prosperity according to MoneySense magazineToronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest airport is located in the city, and it is the location of several major corporate headquarters for Canada such as Walmart Canada and Target Canada.
Coat of arms
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 km˛) 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.
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.
Malton Airport opened in 1937, which would become Canada's busiest, Lester B. Pearson International Airport.
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.
Mississauga Civic Centre seen from the south-east. This design was supposed to reflect the influence of farmsteads which once occupied much of Mississauga, 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 building on the bottom left represents a 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. In October 2010, McCallion won her twelfth term in office with over 76% of the votes. McCallion is the nation's longest serving mayor and was runner-up in World Mayor 2005.