The City Of Mississauga has gradually shed its suburban skin over the past decade, becoming a bonafide city standing on its own apart from Toronto. Skillfully combining urban living with suburban living as Mississauga does gets you the best of both worlds. Add to this the city’s considerably lower price of residential real estate compared to Toronto and you have the GTA’s best place to live.
Overview Of The City Of Mississauga
As of the last census in 2016 the City Of Mississauga had a population of 756,000. The city covers over 288 square kilometers of land with 13km of shoreline on Lake Ontario. Mississauga is bounded by Oakville and Milton to the west/southwest, Brampton to the north, Toronto to the east, Lake Ontario to the south/south-east, and Halton Hills to the north-west. The City of Mississauga has 23 neighborhoods: Applewood, Central Erin Mills, Churchill Meadows, City Centre, Credit Valley, Clarkson/Lorne Park, Cooksville, East Credit, Erin Mills, Erindale, Fairview, Hurontario, Lakeview, Lisgar, Malton, Meadowvale, Meadowvale Village, Mineola, Mississauga Valley, Port Credit, Rathwood, Sheridan, and Streetsville.
Mississauga has excellent access to all the major highways spanning the entire Toronto/GTA area.
Transportation & Accessibility In The City Of Mississauga
Downtown Mississauga is right beside Highway 403. That’s very important as the 403 gets you to the Highway 401-410 interchange in only 8 minutes. Additionally, Highways 407 and 427 are only 3 and 8 minutes respectively away from this interchange. The close proximity to Highway 427 is important because it connects to Pearson Airport and Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway. Lastly, the QEW highway is also only 10 minutes away from downtown Mississauga.
Nearby sections of three of these highways are also expanding and currently under construction. Highway 427 (Ontario’s 2nd busiest highway) is getting a 6.6KM extension into Vaughan, a widening to 8 lanes south of Highway 7, and a new HOV lane between Highways 409 and 407. Highway 401 is widening between Highway 410 and Hurontario. Lastly, there’s a new HOV lane on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) on the 20KM stretch between Trafalgar Road and Guelph Line in nearby Oakville and Burlington.
Located outside the northern end of Square One Shopping Centre, the Mississauga City Centre Transit Terminal is the City of Mississauga’s equivalent of Toronto’s Union Station. This terminal currently offers 22 bus routes from the Mississauga Transit and Brampton Transit systems. The Terminal is also Mississauga’s major hub for GO Transit, offering 28 GO express bus routes to downtown Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton, Guelph, North York, and Mississauga plus quick connectivity to several of GO Transit’s major rail lines.
But here’s the real game changer for the City Of Mississauga’s Transportation infrastructure: the upcoming Hurontario Light Rapid Transit (LRT) line with 19 stations currently under construction and to be completed in 2024.
This 18KM LRT line from Brampton to the Port Credit GO Transit station beside Lake Ontario truly indicates a paradigm shift is happening right now with Mississauga. Why? Because upon the Hurontario LRT’s completion Mississauga will have fully shed its skin of “glorified Toronto suburb” and will finally stand on its own as a true City. A rapid transit line is essential for Mississauga’s transition to the city to be complete – Toronto got its first one (the Yonge-University subway line) way back in 1954. So in the years to come Mississauga will be increasingly considered as a bonafide metropolis apart from Toronto in the same way we’ve always considered Hamilton as a separate city wholly distinct from Toronto.
Retail In The City Of Mississauga
The City Of Mississauga has a super rich diversity of retail shopping resources for all life’s needs.
The city is home to Square One Shopping Centre, Ontario’s 2nd largest shopping centre located in the Mississauga City Centre. Also known as the Exchange District it has 350+ retail stores spanning 2.2 million square feet and attracts 24 million visits annually. The mall and its surrounding area include many upscale bars and restaurants including Failte Irish Pub, Earl’s, Canyon Creek & Ruth’s Chris steakhouses, Jack Astors, Boston Pizza, Moxie’s, Scaddabush Italian Kitchen, plus the Food District fresh food market. Also nearby is Mississauga City Hall, the vast Mississauga Central Library, Playdium amusement centre, and much more.
Erin Mills Town Centre is Mississauga’s second largest mall. It’s located in the city’s west end and has 220 stores. Dixie Outlet Mall is located in the city’s southeast area and is Canada’s largest enclosed outlet mall.
Mississauga’s other malls and shopping districts include Heartland Town Centre, Rockwood Mall, South Common Centre, Sheridan Centre, and the massive Sherway Gardens just outside the city’s eastern border.
Employment In The City Of Mississauga
The City Of Mississauga offers an abundance of employment opportunities. 18,000 businesses have offices, stores, and manufacturing facilities in the city. Over 60 of the Fortune 500 companies have their global or Canadian corporate head office in the City of Mississauga. As a young city even from its early days Mississauga built the latest technology into its infrastructure,
systems and processes for keeping pace with the rise of digital technology in our society. For example, the city is home to the largest municipally owned fibre optic network in Canada with over 800KM of fibre connecting over 290 sites across the city.
Here are Mississauga’s 4 key business sectors:
1. Life Sciences – 470+ Businesses, 25,000 Employees
Mississauga is one of Canada’s leading cities for the life sciences industry. This is due in large part to the 32 university and college campuses within commuting distance offering 300+ life sciences related programs. Consequently, Mississauga’s life sciences talent pool has grown 25% in the past 10 years. These businesses account for $2.7B or 6.3% of the city’s real GDP.
2. Advanced Manufacturing – 1700 Businesses, 81,000 Employees
- Aerospace – Mississauga’s aerospace manufacturing sector is Canada’s largest both by total number of people employed and number of businesses
- Cleantech – Mississauga is home to a vibrant cleantech ecosystem including theNatural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Advanced Energy Centre, GreenCentre Canada, Pembina Institute, Xerox Research Centre of Canada, and many more.
- Automotive – Mississauga is home to 11 of the 100 largest automotive suppliers to North America. Mississauga contributes heavily to the GGHA area being the 2nd largest automotive industry region in North America.
- Food &Beverage – Mississauga is home to 16 Fortune 500 food and beverage companies
3. Financial Services – 615 Businesses, 33,000 Employees
4. Information & Communication Technology – 770 Businesses, 36,000 Employees
Recreation In The City Of Mississauga
The City Of Mississauga offers a wealth of different types of recreation, both indoor and outdoor. The city’s public resources include a total of 31 arenas, community centres, fitness centres, golf courses, and Indoor/Outdoor pools. Mississauga also offers an abundance of natural resources: 480 parks and woodlands with nearly 100KM of trails. The centerpiece is the 1500KM long Credit River nestled in the Credit Valley in the city’s west end. The river starts at the Niagara Escarpment and empties into Lake Ontario at the quaint village of Port Credit in South Mississauga.
Mississauga’s Paramount Fine Foods Centre (formerly the Hershey Centre) is the city’s main sporting venue. With a 7000 person capacity, it’s home to Mississauga’s junior league teams including the Raptors 905 of the NBA G League and the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. A stadium may be next for Mississauga – a feasibility study was approved by
Mississauga’s City Council in 2018.
Mississauga’s recreational clubs include the Mississauga Figure Skating Club, Mississauga Synchronized Swimming Association, Mississauga Canoe Club, Mississauga Scrabble Club, Don Rowing Club at Port Credit, International Soccer Club Mississauga, and the Mississauga Aquatic Club.
Mississauga is home to many indoor playgrounds including Playdium, Kids Time Family Fun Centre, KidSports indoor playground, and Laser Quest Centre. There are over 26 major indoor playgrounds in the city of Mississauga.
Education In The City Of Mississauga
The City Of Mississauga is home to several university and college satellite campuses plus a wealth of pre-secondary junior, middle and high schools.
Most notable is the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), the Western GTA satellite campus of the University of Toronto formerly known as Erindale College. UTM has about 13,200 students and continues growing rapidly, adding about 1000 new students each year since 2002. U of T Mississauga has 15 academic departments, 143 programs and 87 areas of study. UTM’s $35-million Innovation Complex opened in 2014 and houses the Institute for Management and Innovation, a new model for business education combining management studies with key industry sectors. UTM also offers regular rapid transit buses for students who also want to take courses at the downtown Toronto St. George campus as well.
Sheridan College opened the $46 million Hazel McCallion Campus in the Mississauga Exchange District in 2011. The 8.5 acre campus now has 5000 enrolled students and focuses on business education and various assimilation programs for new immigrants to Canada. A new 70,000 square foot student and athletics expansion is expected to be completed on the campus by Fall 2020.
Amongst its 150+ pre-secondary schools the City of Mississauga offers 4 types of schools through the following 4 boards:
- Peel District School Board – secular Anglophone public schools,
- Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board – Catholic Anglophone public schools
- The Conseil Scolaire Viamonde – secular Francophone schools
- Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud – Catholic Francophone schools.
For parents wanting to offer their children a specialized form of education many the City of Mississauga’s schools also offer such speciality education programs as follows:
- French Immersion – Applewood Heights Secondary School, Clarkson Secondary School and Streetsville Secondary School
- Extended French Program – St. Thomas More School, Lorne Park Secondary School, Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School and St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School
- Regional Arts Program – Queen Elizabeth Senior Public School, Cawthra Park Secondary School and Iona Catholic Secondary School
- International Business and Technology Program – Allan A. Martin Senior Public School and Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School
- International Baccalaureate Program – St. Francis Xavier Secondary School, Glenforest Secondary School, Bronte College and Erindale Secondary School.
- Sci Tech Program – Tomken Road Middle School and Port Credit Secondary School
- Regional Enhanced Program – Glenforest Secondary School, The Woodlands School and Lorne Park Secondary School.
- Regional Sports Program – Applewood Heights Secondary School
- International and Executive Leadership Academy – TL Kennedy Secondary School
Residential Real Estate In The City Of Mississauga
Prior to 2010 the City of Mississauga was more of a bedroom community consisting largely of detached and semi-detached houses. However, over the past 10 years prices for these homes have become increasingly unaffordable, thereby increasing demand for a more affordable type of real estate such as condos and townhomes.
In particular the skyline around the downtown Mississauga Exchange District area has changed dramatically since 2010 with many new condo buildings popping up since then including the landmark “Marilyn Monroe” shaped Absolute World condo buildings. With the abundant retail development that followed that condo boom plus the close proximity of key Mississauga buildings such as City Hall and the Central Library, the Mississauga City Centre has become the downtown core and epicenter of the City of Mississauga.
Master Planned Condo Communities In The City Of Mississauga
Unlike Toronto, in the past 20 years the City of Mississauga has had an abundant amount of undeveloped or underdeveloped land available suitable for new residential homes. Consequently, in recent years many developers have bought up and developed large parcels of land into what are known as Master Planned Condo Communities. These are different from
new subdivisions of detached houses because they’re mixed-use communities offering recreational space, retail stores, and sometimes office space. Basically these are all-inclusive communities offering all of life’s needs within a short walking distance of your home.
Notable master planned condo communities in the Mississauga City Centre area include:
Exchange District Condos – upcoming 4 tower project by Camrost Felcorp
M City Condos – upcoming 10 tower project developed by Urban Capital and Rogers Real Estate Development Limited
Daniels City Centre Condos – completed 23 acre condo development by developer Daniels Corp.
Condominiums at Square One District – upcoming 130 acre development also from Daniels and Oxford Properties
These condo communities are on the cutting edge of what Mississauga offers because they merge the best parts of suburban life (large tracts of land) with the best of urban life (amenities galore and abundant public transportation nearby). Many of these master planned condo communities are found in the downtown Mississauga area.
Exchange District Condos
Of all these upcoming master-planned condo projects my top recommendation is the Exchange District Condos. It will be located in the Mississauga City Centre and will span 1.8 million square feet of residential condominium, retail, office, and recreational space. The community will consist of 4 condo buildings (including a hotel) and 20,000 square feet of office and retail space.
You can learn about why this is a great place to both live in and invest in my article on the Exchange District Condos here.