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Mississauga (pronounced /ˌmɪsɪˈsɑːɡə/ ncorporated in 1974, is a city in Southern Ontario located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, and part of the Greater Toronto Area. With a population of nearly 800,000 it is Canada's sixth-most populous municipality, and has almost doubled in population in each of the last two decades. It had the largest population growth in Canada (89,500) between the census years of 1986-1991. Another 80,994 were added between 1991-1996; an increase of 17.5%. From the 1996-2001 censuses, Mississauga gained a further increase of 68,543 or 12.6%. Mississauga is now the fourth most populous incorporated municipality on the Great Lakes, surpassing both Milwaukee and Cleveland over the last decade. From 2001 to 2006 the population continued to increase 9.1%. As a suburb, Mississauga's growth is attributed to its proximity to Toronto.
Mississauga is home to foreign-born people who come from all corners of the world. In 2006, the top five countries of birth of recent immigrants there were India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the People's Republic of China and South Korea. This pattern of migration is reflected in the diversity of the communities in Mississauga. Mississauga has been trying to create a distinctive image for itself over the past few years. An international architectural design competition was held in 2006 for a 56-story condominium tower that is intended to be a landmark for the city named Absolute World. The city is debt-free and has not borrowed money since 1978. With five major highways passing through the city, Mississauga offers access to major destinations in Canada and the United States. In addition, most of Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest, is located in the city. Residents of the city are called Mississaugans. Mississauga also boasts one of the largest corporate/financial districts in Canada with major international companies having their Canadian headquarters located in the region including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Pepsico, General Electric, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Fujitsu and Wal-Mart Canada, among many other Fortune 500 companies.
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 traders found around the Credit River area was called the Mississaugas, a tribe originally from the Georgian Bay area. By 1700 the Mississaugas had driven away the Iroquois.
Toronto Township 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 for 1,000 pounds and in 1806 the area was opened for settlement. Toronto township is not to be confused with the present-day City of Toronto, as no part of the former township boundaries overlap with the Toronto of today. The various communities settled include: Lakeview, Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erindale (called Springfield until 1890), Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, Streetsville, Meadowvale 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, much of it was given by the Crown in the form of land grants to United Empire Loyalists who emigrated from the thirteen colonies during and after the American Revolution, some first went to New Brunswick before arriving in Mississauga. More than a dozen small communities grew in this area, most of which were located near natural resources, waterways for industry and fishing, and routes leading into York.
In 1820, a second purchase was made and additional settlements established including: Barbertown, Britannia, Burnhamthorpe, Derry West, Elmbank, Malton, Meadowvale Village, Mount Charles, and Streetsville. This led to the eventual displacement of the Mississaugas and, in 1847, they were relocated 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 grist mills and brickworks served by rail lines, most of present-day Mississauga was agricultural land, including fruit growing orchards through much of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Toronto residents would travel to the township to pick fruits and garden vegetables.
Mississauga Civic Centre seen from the south-east. Influenced by 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 pentagonal building on the bottom left is the barn)
Cottages were constructed along Lake Ontario in the 1920s as weekend getaway houses for weary city dwellers.
Malton Airport opened in 1937, which would become Canada's busiest, Toronto 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 Hamilton and Niagara in 1939. The first prototypical suburban developments occurred around the same time, in the area of the Dixie Road and the QEW. 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 sprung 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 its original size.
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 in Mississauga. The resulting fire was allowed to burn itself out, but a ruptured chlorine tank was the main cause for concern. With the possibility of a deadly cloud of chlorine gas spreading through suburban 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 former community names, rather than "Mississauga", to identify exchanges in the city: Clarkson, Cooksville, Malton, Port Credit, Streetsville.
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. She was recently re-elected for her eleventh term in November 2006 winning 91% of the votes. McCallion is the nation's longest serving mayor and was runner-up in World Mayor 2005.
In 2006, an international architectural design competition was held for a 50 storey condominium tower that is intended to be a recognizable landmark for the city. The winning design, named Absolute World, by Chinese architect Yansong Ma of the MAD firm, is a bold, curvaceous tower that was dubbed the "Marilyn Monroe" for its supposed sexiness, and has received plaudits from urban architecture critics such as Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star. The building, next to a second curved "pear shaped man" tower are currently scheduled to be finished by 2010. Mississauga experienced a hi-rise condominium boom from 2004 through 2008 greatly enhancing the prominence of its skyline.
January 1, 2010 Misssissauga bought land from the Town of Milton and expanded its border by 400 acres to hwy 407 affecting 25 residents 
Mississauga covers 288.42 square kilometres (111.4 sq mi) of land, fronting 13 kilometres (8 mi) of shoreline on Lake Ontario.
Mississauga is bounded by Oakville and Milton to the west/southwest, Brampton to the north, Toronto to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south/south-east. Halton Hills borders Mississauga's north-west corner. With the exception of the southeast border with Toronto (Etobicoke Creek), Mississauga shares a land border with all previous mentioned municipalities.
Two major river valleys feed into the lake. The Credit River is by far the longest with the heaviest flow, it divides the western side of Mississauga from the central/eastern portions and enters the lake at the Port Credit harbour. The indented, mostly forested valley was inhabited by first nation peoples long before European exploration of the area. The valley is protected and maintained by the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVCA).
Etobicoke Creek forms part of the eastern border of Mississauga with the city of Toronto. North of there it passes through the western limits of Pearson Airport. There have been two aviation accidents, in 1978 and 2005 where aircraft overshot the runaway and slid into the Etobicoke creek banks. In 1954, heavy flooding resulted in some homes along the riverbank being swept into the lake after heavy rains from Hurricane Hazel. Since that storm, houses are no longer constructed along this floodplain. This creek and its tributaries are administered by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
Most land in Mississauga drains to either of the two main river systems, with the exception of the smaller Mary Fix and Cooksville Creeks which run roughly through the center of Mississauga entering the lake near Port Credit. Some small streams and reservoirs are part of the Sixteen Mile Creek system in the far north-west corner of the city, but these drain toward the lake in neighbouring Milton and Oakville.
The shoreline of former Glacial Lake Iroquois roughly follows the Dundas Street alignment, although it is not noticeable in some places but is more prominent in others, such as the site of the former brickyard (Shoreline Dr. in Cooksville), the ancient shoreline drops below affording a clear view of downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario on clear days from the ridge. The land in Mississauga in general slopes gradually downward from almost 190 metres (623 ft) ASL in some northern spots to Lake Ontario(76 m/249 ft ASL), a 110 metre (361 ft) difference over an averaged 15 kilometres (9 mi) distance.
Apart from the Credit River valley and Iroquois shoreline, the only noticeable hills in Mississauga are actually part of the former Britannia Landfill near Streetsville and Centennial Park Ski Hill which is on the Toronto side of Etobicoke Creek.
The climate of Mississauga is officially represented by Pearson International Airport but conditions can differ depending on location: fog tends to be more common along the lakeshore and in the Credit River Valley at certain times of year, particularly during Autumn. The southwestern side of the city (Clarkson) is usually significantly milder in winter and also on summer nights than northern areas which include the airport, while lakeshore areas particularly from Port Credit east through Lakeview are cooler on hot summer days and it can be noticeably cooler on sunny spring days when there is a lake breeze.
During snowfalls when temperatures hover close to freezing, northern parts of the city, such as around Derry Road away from warmer Lake Ontario, tend to get more snow than the southern parts because of colder temperatures. The reverse occurs when a strong storm approaches from the south kicking up lake effect snow, bringing higher snowfall totals to south Mississauga and the lakeshore.
Summer thunderstorms are common, most are not severe but can occasionally bring violent winds. They usually develop in the US Midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin) and travel along the 401 corridor, and typically weaken upon entering Mississauga, with some exceptions. The last known tornado to cause significant damage touchdowned on July 7, 1985 when an F1 rated tornado struck an industrial park in the Meadowvale area, heavily damaging some buildings and some parked tractor trailers. A relatively strong tornado tore a path across Mississauga (then part of Toronto Township) on June 24, 1923 cutting a swath from present-day Meadowvale to near Cooksville, killing 4 people and causing massive property damage in a time when most of Mississauga was still rural farmland dotted with fruit orchards.
In 2006, with the help of Project for Public Spaces, the city made a slogan "My Mississauga; Celebrate summer at city centre" for the summer festivities planned. Mississauga planned over 60 free events to bring more people to the city square. The square was transformed and now includes 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, and Beachfest. Mississauga also boasts one of the largest shopping malls in Canada called Square One Shopping Centre, which is surrounded by many bars and restaurants, as well as City Hall, the Central Library, and Playdium.
Sports and recreation
Mississauga has been the home of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 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 St. Michael's Majors currently play. Other hockey teams include the Mississauga Chiefs of the Canadian Women's Hockey League (who play at Iceland Mississauga), the Mississauga Chargers (who play at Port Credit Arena) of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League, 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.
The city 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), Canadian football The Mississauga Football League ( MFL) is a youth football program that is for players aged 9-17, and was founded in 1971. (Mississauga Warriors of the Ontario Varsity Football League), and Australian football (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.
Recreational clubs include the Mississauga Figure Skating Club, Mississauga Synchronized Swimming Association, North Mississauga Soccer Club,North Mississauga Club, Mississauga Falcons Soccer Club Mississauga Canoe Club, Don Rowing Club at Port Credit, and the Mississauga Aquatic Club. There are over 481 parks and woodlands areas in Mississauga.
Mississauga is primarily served by media based in Toronto, with markets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that cover most of the news in the GTA. Examples of this being the majority of radio stations transmitting from the nearby CN Tower in Toronto. However, Mississauga also has The Mississauga News, a regional newspaper that is published three days a week in print and daily online. The city also has one specialty radio station: FM 91.9 CFRE, the campus radio station of the University of Toronto Mississauga broadcasting at very low power.
The following national cable television stations also broadcast from Mississauga. For more area stations, see Toronto television stations.
Over 60 of the Fortune 500 base their Global or Canadian Head Offices in Mississauga. Some of the strongest industries are pharmaceuticals, electronics and computers, transportation parts and equipment industries. Menu Foods, a cat and dog food manufacturer, is headquartered in the Streetsville area of 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.
Mississauga is the home to the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM/Erindale College), one of three intercity 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.
Sheridan College has announced the construction of a new $46 million dollar 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 150,000sq.ft. campus will be located on an 8.5 acre 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 and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. 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:
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).
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 the 407 to QEW. North of 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 are usually considered part of the network even though they are not within the city itself. Highway 407, though never entering Mississauga, runs just metres from the north and northwestern city limits. 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.