Earning a high ranking in terms of its pedestrian-friendliness as far as big cities go, and growing at a massive pace thanks to its proximity to Toronto, Mississauga is a city of big business and big parties – some have compared the feel of the city to Las Vegas. It's part of the Peel region lying in the west side of the GTA and is home to more than 730,000 residents. The city is bordered to the south by Lake Ontario, to the east by Etobicoke Creek, and at its core has an impressive skyline, punctuated by the warped shapes of the Absolute World Condo Towers at 50 and 56 storeys, creating a sort of "second downtown" for Toronto. The north corner of the city is home to Toronto Pearson International Airport – a major employer for the city, but nothing compared to the big company headquarters in downtown Mississauga, which include Citibank, Royal Bank of Canada and TD, Magellan, HP, Microsoft, Honeywell Aerospace and Walmart.
A younger population than many GTA communities, partly due to opportunities at Mississauga's many big employers, as well as convenient connections to Toronto on public transit. Families with children are in no short supply, either. In general, though, the population of Mississauga is rather average of the GTA norm in terms of its income and ethnic diversity.
Singles and young couples who work in Toronto or in Mississauga itself, as well as students attending the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus. For those who love the convenience of condo living, this city is your best bet, with several units available now and about 30,000 more planned in the next decade and a half.
Seniors and small-towners. A quiet life is very difficult to come by in Mississauga, what with its towering condo towers, skyscraper office buildings and always-on downtown. Large areas of undisturbed natural space are virtually non-existent, leaving residents with city-managed parks for outdoor recreation. That said, pockets of the city still deliver that quaint lifestyle, like Port Credit and Streetsville Village.
A burgeoning arts scene is taking shape in Mississauga, driven by the city's art gallery's recent initiatives to branch out into locations in the city's many neighbourhoods – all this, fuelled by demand for the population which is developing a growing taste to see its multicultural aspects blossom. On the other hand, Mississaugs has its fast-paced, after-dark elements too, which includes packed nighclubs, posh lounges, street racing and the odd all-night rave. The city's partygoers are well-dressed, young and energetic, like the city itself. But during the day, the city's waterfront areas act as gathering spots for those who like to stroll past charming shops and look out over the lake, take out the bikes or walk the dog. Golfers can tee off at four courses in the city, or head to nearby Oakville which has plenty more. The biggest public festivals of the year, such as Canada Day, Ribfest and the New Year's Eve party, plus Muslimfest, Viet Summerfest and Fiesta Ng Kalayaan happen at Celebration Square, out front of City Hall. But everyone's favourite festival is Carassauga, which celebrates Mississauga's cultural diversity. There's also the Bread and Honey Festival in Streetsville and Buskerfest in Port Credit.
About five years ago, the last remaining undeveloped greenbelt in Mississauga was developed into residential housing. Rapid growth is quickly changing the housing market in the city, which plans to focus on building high-rise condos in already-dense neighbourhoods rather than densifying communities that are targeted towards families wanting detached houses with yards. Rent remains low on average, but areas like Square One host the highest monthly rates, with executive condos boasting water views commanding over $2,000 for a one-bedroom.
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto-area towns and regions
Mississauga is 14% lower than GTA average
Condominiums in high- and mid-rise buildings.
There is almost no end to the places residents of Mississauga can hang out on evenings and weekends, beginning with Playdium, which has a go-kart track, mini-golf, laser tag and limitless games. There's even a roller-skating track in town. The city has some great parks, including Lake Aquitane, which is surrounded by a nice walking trail, the Japanese-inspired Kariya Park, Rattray Marsh Conservation Area and the Lakefront Promenade. The Hershey Centre is a sports and entertainment temple, hosting hockey and live music events, and across the street is the Hershey SportZone, which has an indoor soccer field, basketball court and gym. Residents' cravings for fashion are quenched at Square One Shopping Centre and the Dixie Outlet Mall, as well as at the independent boutique shops of Port Credit and Streetsville. On the weekends, yoga studios and gyms are packed with singles and families take the kids to the Square One Farmer's Market, to the park or to Playdium's mini-golf and go-kart track.
As one of Mississauga's oldest neighbourhoods, Applewood is not only home to the best school in the region, Tomken Road Middle School, it's also quieter than nearby communities thanks to its lack of big-box stores. Applewood is at the junction of Bloor and Dixie in East Mississauga and is well suited to families with kids or empty nesters looking for a relaxed lifestyle. House prices and rents here are on the lower side, which is great if you like a little DIY project.
Endowed with a healthy number of Catholic and public schools, Churchill Meadows is a new community that is well connected with other sections of Mississauga and the GTA. Homes here are new and some rents are a bit pricey, although the townhouses offer a more affordable option. Great schools in the neighbourhood attract families with kids.
Clarkson-Lorne Park may have a hyphenated name, but its two sections are quite different. While Clarkson has older homes and bungalows that are great for families just starting out, Lorne Park's streets are lined with old-growth trees and regal old homes for people with money. Lots of trails and parks are located here, and the neighbourhood is right next to lovely Port Credit.
Cooksville is a lower-priced neighbourhood with lots of rentals, (about 50%) perfect for lower-income families and immigrants. There are lots of condos and apartments, as well a good number of detached and semi-detached houses as well. Situated just north of Mineola and just south of the Square One area, Cooksville residents are blessed with great location.
A number of affordable homes, mostly built in the 1970s, dominate the housing stock in Erin Mills, most of which have been well maintained and upgraded by long-term owners. Residents here love being close to the charming Erin Mills Town Centre and the Credit Valley Hospital. Sadly, students at the schools in and around Erin Mills don't score well at test time.
Well-known for the Credit Woodlands area with some of Mississauga's most expensive homes, Erindale is in southwest Mississauga and is home to the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus. The rest of the community is filled with 1970s bungalows and two-storeys, that, although they don't cost millions, are very pretty homes for people of all types. Students of the U of T will find lots of rental options here and an easy commute to class.
Fairvew, like Clarkson-Lorne Park, is one community with two personalities. Here, there are lots of older, inexpensive homes built in the 1960s with a high immigrant population, as well as older condos. Meanwhile, other parts of Fairview have brand-new homes and condos. It's close to Mississauga's City Centre, which is great for commuters who work there.
Hurontario is a diverse community, with low-rent apartments and pretty old detached houses, as well as lots of Mississauga's businesses posted up along Hurontario Street. Huntington Ridge has lots of older homes but is undergoing redevelopment. Kids in the community have access to some top-ranked schools as well as some lower-grade schools.
First-time buyers and renters with families are drawn to Lisgar, located in the northwest of Mississauga, close to Meadowvale and north of Churchill Meadows. It's a perfect place for people with young families to settle in, as well as for those with growing families looking to escape condo or apartment life. The local GO station makes commuting to downtown Toronto easy.
Home to the Woodbine Race Track, and for the younger set, Wild Water Kingdom waterpark, Malton residents head to Rexdale for the Woodbine Centre movie theatre to watch movies, as just some of the activities this community has to offer. About 36,000 people live here and homes are concentrated north of the airport, while the industrial land is to the south and west. Malton is also the home of Westwood Shopping Mall, and though it was once known to have high crime rates, this reputation is diminishing. Malton has a couple of parks, and the community is intersected by parkland surrounding Mimico Creek.
Meadowvale Village is one of the newest communities in Mississauga, while its neighbour Meadowvale is one of the oldest. Meadowvale Village has lots of heritage buildings, but its houses are new and quite large and pricey, with few rentals. Renters, however, should look at Meadowvale, which has great prices in older condo and apartment buildings, plus plenty of townhouses.
With beautiful older homes on large lots, Mineola has both large, executive homes and smaller bungalows. The neighbourhood is situated with Port Credit to the south, Lakeview to the east, Lorne Park to the west, and Cooksville to the north. With Kenollie Public School located here, Mineola is a community in demand with families who have younger kids.
Luxury condos, older bungalow-style homes and multi-million dollar properties are all available in pretty Port Credit, located along the lakeshore of Lake Ontario. Though it's not really Mississauga's financial district, it is certainly the city's entertainment district, with tons of boutique shops, excellent restaurants, theatre and nightlife. The neighbourhood has easy accessibility to Toronto and the attractive community of Mineola. Academically, kids in Port Credit test rather well, thanks to good schools, making the neighbourhood attractive to families with school-age kids, with an older crowd, and with all types of renters who have lots of options.
Rich, older families live in Rathwood's noble older homes on lovely lots. Homes here run the gamut, low, medium and high density areas. It is home to numerous community parks and the focal point in the district continues to be centred on Dixie Road and Burnhamthorpe Road East
Rockwood Village and Burnhamthorpe Village are historic and widely admired neighbourhoods in Mississauga. They are friendly and safe neighbourhoods that are perfect for raising a family.
Sheridan's homes date from the late 1960s into the 2000s and most are large, detached houses, with high-rise condominiums, semi-detached homes and townhouses throughout. Lots of families live here, enjoying access to nature trails and parks like Thornlodge Park, Springbank Meadows Park, Sheridan Park, Bruce Reynolds Park, Loyalist Creek Hollow, Sherwood Green and Dean Henderson Memorial Park.
Located on the west bank of the Credit River, Streetsville is also known as the Village in the City and is one of the GTA's most loved heritage neighbourhoods alongside Unionville and Thornhill, both in Markham. Many homes in Streetsville are older character homes and the shops in the village centre carry on that theme. The neighbour puts on a Bread and Honey Festival every year, and has an OHL hockey team and a couple of high-scoring schools.