Do you remember the 1979 train derailment? November 10, 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the largest peacetime evacuation in Northern America at that time and has been dubbed by many as The Mississauga Miracle.
The City of Mississauga is commemorating the 40th anniversary with Mississauga Miracle: The Story of the 1979 Derailment – two exhibitions created in partnership with Heritage Mississauga and the Museums of Mississauga that will be on display at the Bradley Museum and The Grange this fall.
Mississauga Miracle Exhibition
The exhibition will feature local art, records and artifacts related to the train derailment. Artifacts from the Museums’ collections include:
- The pressure relief valve from the derailed tanker
- The final investigation report
- Images of the derailment from a variety of sources
- Items from the Heritage Mississauga and Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA)
- Commemorative items given to former Mayor Hazel McCallion or collected by residents
The exhibition will also feature a video compiled from 50 oral histories of the experiences of those involved. The interviews range from front-line firefighters to politicians and residents that were evacuated from their Mississauga homes.
1620 Orr Rd.
September 21 to November 17, 2019
Open: Thursday to Sunday
Noon to 4 p.m.
1921 Dundas Street West
October 29 to November 15, 2019
Open: Tuesday to Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mississauga Miracle: 40th Anniversary Event
Join the City and Heritage Mississauga for an anniversary open house at The Grange and experience the Mississauga Miracle exhibition. Refreshments will be available.
November 10, 2019
2 to 4 p.m.
1921 Dundas Street West
On November 10, 1979, a Canadian Pacific (CP) train lost one of its wheels, resulting in the derailment of 24 cars carrying six dangerous ingredients – propane, caustic soda, styrene, toluene, fibreglass insulation and chlorine. The flammable liquids and vapours caused a massive explosion with flames more than 1,500 metres high that could be seen over 100 kilometres away.
Evacuations began two hours after the explosion and continued until more than 240,000 Mississauga residents were evacuated. Many residents were unable to return home for one week. Although the fallout from the derailment was substantial – displaced people, closed highways, massive traffic jams and abandoned animals – there were no lives lost or serious injuries. What could have been a disaster of enormous proportions became The Mississauga Miracle.