Toronto’s largest suburb is transforming into a major city
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Mississauga is located directly west of Toronto and has long been its largest suburb. With a population of over 721,000 people, it is the sixth largest city in Canada and the third largest on the Great Lakes, after Chicago and Toronto. It is also a city in transition. While much of it still retains its suburban character, it is becoming more of an independent city in its own right, with a city center that boasts towering skyscrapers and neighborhoods with a distinctly urban feel.
Culture, History, and Business
Mississauga was founded in 1805 as Toronto Township, when officials from the nearby city of York (today’s Toronto) purchased a vast tract of land from the Mississauga tribe. The area was composed of a handful of rural villages, with lots given out to British Loyalists who had fled the American Revolutionary War. Mississauga remained largely farmland well into the 20th century and was a favorite rural retreat for wealthy Torontonians. The arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Way—one of North America’s first freeways—in the 1930s followed by Highway 401 in the 1950s led to a population boom that has only recently begun to slow.
Today, most Mississaugans commute to work in nearby Toronto, and the city is served by numerous transportation options as a result. However, Mississauga is developing an important economy in its own right, thanks largely to the presence of Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport. As a result, many of the world’s biggest companies have set up their Canadian head offices in Mississauga.
Real Estate Appeal
Mississauga’s rapid population growth has slowed in recent years as the last remaining bits of land within the city have been developed. However, demand for homes is still very high and property prices are rising rapidly. While Mississauga is no longer the bargain it once was, it still remains affordable compared to neighboring Toronto. That has resulted in many people who have been priced out of Toronto—which features some of the most expensive real estate in the world—looking for a place to live in Mississauga instead.
As a result, Mississauga has one of the healthiest housing markets in all of Canada. Its proximity to Toronto and Canada’s largest airport makes it an attractive destination for both residents and businesses. Furthermore, the number of housing options are diversifying. While most of the city boasts single-family detached homes that the suburbs are famous for, many new condominiums, especially around City Centre and the waterfront have been built in recent years.
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