On June 28, 2016 there was a home explosion at 4201 Hickory Dr. in Mississauga. This incident initially impacted nearly 800 homes in the Dixie Road and Rathburn Road East neighbourhood.
“First Responders arrived on the scene within minutes of the explosion and began the process of evacuating the immediate area, providing assistance and closing off access points in the neighbourhood,” said Mississauga Fire Chief Tim Beckett. “Twenty-four hours after the explosion, residents from 69 homes were still unable to return, as their homes required work to make them safe. For the next several weeks, Mississauga Fire, as the lead agency, worked to provide information and assistance to the community in the recovery process.”
Now one year later, 25 homes remain unoccupied and in various stages of reconstruction.
“This incident on Hickory Drive shook our entire community. Several residents suffered injuries that day and many were uprooted from their homes,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “The City remains involved in the recovery process working with homeowners to expedite building permits and providing grants for tax relief. At this point in the recovery process, we must rely on insurance companies to do their part to ensure these remaining homeowners get back into their homes.”
In March 2017, Ward 3 Councillor Chris Fonseca brought forward a motion to provide a grant to cover the City’s portion of property taxes for those residents displaced by the Hickory Drive explosion. Mayor Crombie and councillors further called on the regional and provincial governments, who also agreed to cover the remaining portions of the property tax collected.
“This was an extraordinary event that impacted residents living in the Hickory community. We know that recovery for these residents is exhausting and stressful,” said Ward 3 Councillor Chris Fonseca. “Staff from the City and its agencies did an excellent job of providing immediate, coordinated services to those people in their time of need in the first few days and over the weeks that followed. I also want to thank the many local businesses and organizations for their support and generosity following this incident. I continue to be committed to the residents and community in providing support and services from the City, Region and outside agencies to ensure their needs are met.”
City of Mississauga Response in the Recovery Process:
- The City has provided a total of $30,885 in tax relief and waived the 1.25 per cent late payment charges for displaced residents as well as the $15 tax appeal application fee
- The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) agreed to reassess all the properties impacted in the area of Hickory Dr and will be issuing Post Roll Assessment Notices for 2017 to reduce their assessment values
- Council passed a motion to provide a subsidy to offset stormwater changes for displaced residents
- The City expedited the process of obtaining building permits for residents impacted by the Hickory Drive explosion
- City staff continue to be in regular communication with residents still impacted
The City of Mississauga will conduct a media availability on the City’s response to the Hickory Drive incident on Tuesday, June 27, at 2:30 p.m. at the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre (1500 Gulleden Drive, Mississauga). Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Councillor Chris Fonseca and Fire Chief Tim Beckett will address the media at 2:30 p.m. followed by an opportunity for questions.