Future Directions - Library, Recreation, Parks & Forestry, Fire and Emergency Services

Welcome to Future Directions 2014

Council Approves Future Directions 2014

This June, Council approved Future Directions 2014 - the Community Services Department's updated master plans for Library Services, Parks & Forestry, Recreation and Fire & Emergency Services.

Future Directions 2014 will guide the strategic direction of our service delivery to meet the needs of our growing and diverse community. The updated master plans address the City's capital requirements and provide a high level plan on how the City will deliver community services in the short (five years), medium (10 years) and long term (beyond 10 years).

Council will now consider the Future Directions 2014 recommendations as part of the City's Corporate Budget and Business Planning Process in a phased approach. The master plans and implementation plans ensure that the City continues to be proactive and innovative in planning and managing the facilities, programs and services that keep our residents healthy, active and engaged in our community today and in the future.

Thank you to the residents, community organizations and stakeholders who gave their input and feedback at meetings and online to the master plan and implementation plan recommendations.

See the links below for the final recommendations. You will find answers to the most common questions on the FAQ page.



Master Plan Downloads (Updated June 18, 2014)

Download Future Directions - Master Plan for Library
Download Future Directions - Master Plan for Recreation
Download Future Directions - Master Plan for Parks & Natural Areas
Download Future Directions - Master Plan for Fire & Emergency Services




*It is anticipated that the Final Report of Future Directions will be presented to Council in June 2014, following the Public Engagement.

Future Directions 2009

"Future Directions 2009", the master plan document for Recreation, Library and Parks & Natural Areas is an update of the 2004 Future Directions Master Plan which has delivered a number of actions that helped to create a more walkable and user-friendly city and has advanced the recreational, cultural, library and leisure opportunities for the residents of Mississauga.

Each master plan is a living document has a five year planning horizon with a 25 year outlook that is updated every five years to reflect the rapidly changing trends, facility, program and service needs of residents as well as respond to the future needs of the community.

Through Future Directions, infrastructure investment, program and service delivery priorities are aligned with the City's Strategic Plan and Official Plan, as well as other City strategy documents.










Relevant Reports and Studies

Making Mississauga a great place to live, work and play involves ongoing reports, studies, review and the evaluation of programs and services to make sure that all possible information is considered when budget, program and service decisions are made. The following studies will also inform the Future Directions 2014 review process:

City's Strategic Plan

Mississauga Older Adult Plan

Mississauga Youth Plan

Mississauga Culture Plan

Mississauga Sport Plan

Mississauga Sport Tourism Report

Living Green Master Plan

Cycling Plan

Downtown 21 Plan

Pricing Study

Future Directions 2009 Master Plans





Frequently Asked Questions

•  What is Future Directions 2014?
The Future Directions 2014 is a five-year refresh of the current Future Directions 2009 master planning document for recreation, parks and forestry areas and libraries.
•  Why is it important?
Mississauga is a City that is committed to building community infrastructure and delivering sustainable and fiscally responsible programs and services that enhance the quality of life for Mississauga residents. Community Services master plans are an important tool to helping make that happen. By preparing and reviewing key community master plan documents, the City will be able to be proactive and innovative in planning and managing its assets and service delivery. These are the programs and services that enhance the quality of life for Mississauga residents.
•  Why is the Community Services Department reviewing its master plans now?
The City's population is growing and becoming more diverse in age and culture. All segments of our community are becoming more involved and active requiring an investment in infrastructure, programs and service to meet their needs and expectations. The five-year review of our Community Services master plans will help the City be responsive to the changing needs and expectations of its residents. With these plans in place, the City will be able to anticipate program demand and meet resident needs in the future.
•  How can I participate in Future Directions 2014 and have a say in this master planning process?
Future Directions 2014 is your opportunity to have your say about how the City will manage library, recreation, parks and forestry to meet your community's needs. Learn about the proposed Future Directions 2014 master plans by going to our website. Provide your comments online or attend a public information session and share your comments with your neighbours and City staff. Public engagement sessions dates and times will be posted on the website mississauga.ca/futuredirections.
•  What will the City do with the input I provide?
Your comments from the meetings or posted online at mississauga.ca/futuredirections will be considered as part of the master plans review process.
•  What changes in the community need to be considered as part of the review of recreation services?
Since Future Directions 2009, Mississauga's population has changed and shifted culturally, economically and by age and ability. This transition is primarily due to more dense development and redevelopment in our established neighbourhoods which is placing new and non-traditional demands on our recreational services.
•  Are there other, more economical ways the City can deliver recreation services?
Community partnerships with organizations that provide services and programs to residents are a way to maximize mutual benefits. They help to achieve common goals as all organizations, including the City, continue to manage its financial and staff resources. Partnerships are also an opportunity to share expertise and provide a "holistic" healthy, active recreational experience for Mississauga residents.
•  How can we make better use of our existing facilities?
Recreation facilities are considered high profile, high traffic destinations and community hubs that residents tell us can be enhanced beyond offering existing recreation programs. Facilities should be designed with space that is flexible and not dedicated to specific programs to make providing and maintaining the space more efficient and cost effective. Stakeholders are also telling us that the City should continue co-locating related services such as libraries into community facilities. This would enable the City to consider the possibility of adding more community-related services such as health-care, social services and outlets for cultural activities to these community hub locations as appropriate.
•  How can we make sure that all residents have access to recreation services?
Mississauga is committed to fostering a welcoming, inclusive environment and will continue to build on the principle of respect for all users regardless of age, cultural background, ability, need, financial situation or sexual orientation. In addition to building and renovating facilities to high accessibility standards, the City will continue to ensure all residents have access to the programs and services that keep them healthy, active and engaged in their communities.
•  How can we improve library services delivery?
Residents tell us that library locations are well placed in our community. Research indicates that people are increasingly using libraries as meeting, reading and study space not just as a place to borrow items and use computers. Library space can be used more efficiently if it is more flexible and geared to senior, youth or other features that are community-specific to serve the growing and diverse needs of residents in the area.
•  How can new technologies impact library services?
Mississauga Library is committed to responding to its users' needs by providing information in all formats. Meeting future needs dominated by technology will require flexible environments and the ability to quickly respond to technology changes. This includes becoming a community resource for advice and training in using new technology as well as becoming "mobile" to provide even greater access to library services.
•  How can the Library use technology to better serve the community?
Technology has already influenced library service delivery and its collection in recent years. There will be a growing demand for ebooks and new ways to use technology in people-friendly places will continue to be explored. One idea is to redesign space to bring together people, information knowledge and technologies where residents will be able to access, use and share information in new and innovative ways. The emergence and dominance of mobile technologies will introduce a whole new opportunity for library service development. It will increase access and convenience for users.
•  How is the Library going to serve Mississauga's diverse community in the future?
There are a number of initiatives that currently provide services to Mississauga's community and more are being considered for the future. The Library offers a wide selection of books, magazines and digital material in a number of languages. More will be added to respond to community need and interest. As well, Library patrons will have access to the Library's entire collection, city-wide through any one of its Library locations.
•  What are the challenges of delivering park services in our city?
Our increasing population means that more people will be using the city's existing parks. This will impact both staffing and operational costs. The City also is challenged with balancing recreational use and natural environment conservation. Families are moving into our downtown areas and parks, play sites and active facilities are needed. In response, the City will need to develop new approaches and innovative ways to continue providing public parks, places and green spaces that meet the needs of our local communities. For facilities, the City will continue to consider opportunities for low impact development, green roofs and re-naturalization (allowing land to become more natural).
•  What are some of the solutions?
The City is committed to partnerships in support of community-driven initiatives to expand on the City-funded programs and services that build, maintain and protect our park and green spaces. Example partnerships include sharing sport fields and parks with school boards and community associations that promote environmental stewardship such as community planted and maintained gardens in City parks.
•  How does the City's cultural diversity influence parks service delivery?
Mississauga is one of the most culturally diverse communities in Canada. We understand that cultural groups have a preference for landscaped environment while the City is moving toward leaving parkland more natural in our urban environment to promote and protect plant and natural wildlife. Also, there is an increasing demand for alternative sports and a higher use of local parks for social activities and community events.
•  What other needs may be considered?
Mississauga is committed to making parks accessible to and enjoyed by all. It is a placed where seniors can interact, youth can continue to engage in organized sports, children can play in accessible playgrounds and residents can easily access pathways, gardens and facilities within our parkland. There are also opportunities to enhance the residents' experience by installing outdoor exercise equipment, shade, more benches, spray pads and entertainment space.
•  How do parks benefit the community?
Parks improve the quality of life, social well-being and health in communities which can lead to reductions in health spending. Other environmental benefits of green space include improved air quality, urban heat reduction, and protecting the area's wild and plant life. Parks also contribute to the City's economy through increased property values and activities such as tourism which also has spin off benefits in visitor spending.
•  What other issues are a challenge to delivering parks and forestry services in Mississauga?
Managing invasive insects and diseases in trees throughout the city will continue to be a challenge. These are a significant threat to the City's tree canopy and ultimately to residents' enjoyment of our parks and green spaces. There is also an opportunity to interconnect our park and trail system to encourage walking and cycling in a walkable and "connected" city.