COVID-19: latest updates on the City's response and service impacts


Mississauga has numerous natural and man-made assets that any municipality would envy; however, many haven't been leveraged to their full potential. These hidden jewels need to be explored, celebrated and elevated, in order to contribute fully to the overall quality of life in Mississauga, and the identity of the city. Cultural diversity is yet another "jewel," whose richness can be better reflected in the cityscape of Mississauga.

Mississauga has built out to its urban edge. Much of the city is entering a period of second generation growth, where new development must be absorbed within the existing urban footprint. The timing is perfect - we have an opportunity, right now, to step back, assess what has occurred, prepare critical plans to ensure that future development fills in the gaps in the urban fabric, and implement a shared vision for the future.

We can only realize a shared vision for the future of Mississauga with the active support of our citizens. They showed their enthusiasm during the engagement process. We need to reflect their desire, and tap into their sense of community pride and involvement, to make the new vision for the city real.

The City of Mississauga has a reputation for prudent fiscal management. Yet as the city has been built out and priorities at the provincial and federal levels have shifted, we have entered a period of slower revenue growth (assessment revenue) and increasing costs (e.g. infrastructure, transit). As we plan our future, we must recognize these economic realities.

Mississauga emerged as a city when the car dominated city planning. The isolation and homogeneity of land uses (vast areas with a single use) poses a challenge. Today, it's time to evolve the urban form of the city. We need to be more heterogeneous, with a "critical mass" of density, and mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented places - healthy street environments where people can more easily walk, gather and cross paths.

The city is striving to create a sense of place - a strong, positive identity for each area and the city as a whole. Neighbourhoods need their own personality, a "heart." Great places - unique, welcoming, liveable, beautiful - contribute to an improved quality of life, engage the public realm, and reinforce a sense of community.

The proportion of older adults, recent immigrants and low income households is growing in Mississauga - all three cohorts are particularly sensitive to issues of affordability. We must focus on the ability to live affordably, especially with respect to the cost, availability and accessibility of housing and transportation.

Shifting demographics will demand that we create new types of places and spaces, offering more options for aging in place (friendly environments for older adults), and for attracting a younger population (vibrant business, recreation and education opportunities). Both realities demand more and better options for moving around Mississauga.

The city has successfully grown by attracting large corporate employers. But placemaking and wetitleh creation are also contingent on small-scaled and innovative businesses, creative industries, small high-tech firms, and local start-ups. Encouraging the presence of these types of businesses, and the spaces to accommodate them, will foster entrepreneurialism, more opportunities for Mississaugans, and a more diversified and sustainable economy.

Current land use patterns reinforce increasing car use; land use planning and how people move about must shift for Mississauga to become a sustainable city. The city needs to provide transportation titleernatives such as great public transit, and an urban form that supports mixed uses - a myriad of daily activities in proximity - and active modes of transportation

A city our size should have more than one university, and offer a broader range of post-secondary options. Too many youth feel they must leave home because of a lack of local educational opportunities. Fostering more educational options - perhaps with focused and unique areas of excellence - will draw and keep youth and talent in the city

As a major entry point and destination for immigration, the city has an extra-ordinary opportunity to celebrate the Canadian experience and help immigrants pursue their chosen professions. Such support would encourage foreign-trained workers to seek out the city and make it their home, enriching them and our community.

Immigration has been a key to Mississauga's growth. Yet this widespread cultural diversity hasn't translated into a rich urban environment, in architecture, services, or retail. Mississauga's diversity has the potential to express itself more prominently, to fundamentally change the experience of the city, and leverage our identity as a mature urban centre.

Mississauga has world-class assets with its 22 km Lake Ontario shoreline, the Credit River Valley, and other waterways. For many people, these are some of their favourite areas in the city. Yet not enough Mississaugans, let alone residents of the broader region, are fully aware of our great water resources. These need to be celebrated, elevated, and protected, to enhance recreational amenities and boost the identity of Mississauga.

For Mississauga to capitalize on a portion of the growth that's expected in the region, we need to provide the right infrastructure to accommodate growth, be intentional about where we direct growth, and develop the right framework to benefit from such growth.

Mississauga is firmly placed at the centre of the Golden Horseshoe - one of the largest and most economically influential city-regions in North America. This is the moment to capitalize on this geographic opportunity. The city can position itself to be, among others, a regional cultural, recreational, entrepreneurial, and educational centre.

The health of people and the health of the environment are inherently linked, and are a 21st century imperative. We need to think of both when reshaping our living environments. This relates to strategies that enable healthy lifestyles and that secure a clean, sustainable environment.

The geographic heart of the city, Mississauga's downtown, has developed rapidly as a civic, commercial and residential hub. Trans-formation is happening now, and needs to be shaped to achieve a desirable urban form and mix of uses, in keeping with other city-wide objectives.