A city that wishes to remain as far from being like Toronto as possible. Mississauga has been operating without any debt or tax increases for many years due to the tough love and guidance of the world's wrinkliest mayor, Hazel McCallion.

Mississauga is located on Lake Ontario approximately 40km west of Toronto. The city boasts golf courses, shopping malls and 19th century museums as its main attractions but most of its buildings were constructed by corporate developers within the last decade, making Mississauga one hell of a pastel place.

Overview

Mississauga, Canada's sixth largest city, is situated just west of Toronto. Though some would say it exists in the shadow of its much larger neighbour, it has much to offer and is in a class by itself. It has a population of just over 600 000, has been recognized as Canada's safest city and is home to several record-breakers, including Canada's longest serving mayor and Ontario's largest mall.

History

The city is named for the Mississaugas, an aboriginal tribe that had migrated to what is now Mississauga from the Lake Huron area. The Mississaugas are believed to have been the first group met by European explorers after their arrival in the area. They were not the only group in the area, however; Iroquois and Algonquin tribes lived in the surrounding area as well. The Mississaugas had rid the area of the Iroquois by the beginning of the 1700s and thus became the area's dominant tribe.

The 'settling' of Mississauga began in the early 19th century when the government of York (which is today Toronto) made the First Purchase -- they bought nearly 34 000 hectares of the Mississaugas' land for a thousand pounds. They made the Second Purchase fifteen years later, buying the small piece of land that the Mississaugas had retained for themselves. This left the tribe with a small area of land; they were "relocated" to the Grand River Valley over twenty years after that.

By 1820, sixteen small settlements or communities had developed in the Mississauga area. They remained individual communities (more or less) until 1968, when all but two of them (Port Credit and Streetsville) merged to form the town of Mississauga. The holdout communities merged with the town in 1974, forming the City of Mississauga. The city was divided into nine wards, each of which are served by a city councillor.

Perhaps the most well-documented part of Mississauga's (recent) history is the train derailment that occured in 1979. The train was carrying explosives and explosive chemicals. This posed a grave danger to the citizens of Mississauga, and over 200 000 people were evacuated.

Services

Mississauga's transit system is connected to the Toronto Transit Commission and Oakville Transit. The city is also home to Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Square One, two performance-size arenas, a concert hall, art galleries, and quite possibly the most oddly-shaped city hall in North America. The heart of Mississauga is its city centre, which includes its city hall/civic centre, Square One, a large bus terminal, a number of coporate offices and the Living Arts Centre.

Mississauga does not have its own university, though one of the University of Toronto's intercity campuses are there. Sheridan College and Humber College are nearby, though not within the city's limits.

Mississauga has a hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League (the Mississauga IceDogs) and a football team in the Ontario Varsity Football League (the Mississauga Warriors).

Mississauga's twin city is Kariya, Japan.

Government

Mississauga is part of the Region of Peel, though several city officials (including Mayor Hazel McCallion) have been pushing for the city's separation from it. The city is divided into nine wards which are serviced by councillors. The city council consists of the nine councillors and the mayor.

Hazel McCallion has been Mississauga's mayor since it became a city in 1974. Prior to this she was mayor of Streetsville. She has won every municipal election, the last few of which with more than 90% of the popular vote. She doesn't even campaign anymore. She seems to be doing a lot of things right, though -- Mississauga is debt-free and there haven't really been any tax increases of which to speak. An overwhelming majority of the population also loves and respects this woman.

McCallion has always defended Mississauga's independence from Toronto, and campaigns frequently for increased funding for Canada's cities. She is believed to have good relationships with Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto mayor David Miller -- which is more than can allegedly be said for their predecessors.


Resources:
City of Mississauga http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/discover/whattoseeanddo 18 June 2004
Mississauga, Ontario http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississauga 18 June 2004

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