Statements and tributes
Members of City Council and City staff remember former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.
I am saddened to learn of the passing of Hazel McCallion, Mississauga’s longest serving Mayor and one of my dearest friends.
The City is heartbroken with this news. My thoughts are with Hazel’s family including her three children, Peter, Linda and Paul.
I have known Hazel for many years. To say she was my mentor was an understatement. She was the force that helped propel me and many other women across Canada and around the world into politics. She was our champion, our leader and our inspiration.
You never had to guess what Hazel was thinking. She spoke her mind, did her homework and expected the same from everyone she worked with. She demanded to be heard and she was. She had the respect and attention of political leaders from all levels of Canadian politics. She put Mississauga on the map. We are no longer the small city just west of Toronto, we are Mississauga, Canada’s seventh largest city and proud of it.
One of the most recognizable and iconic members of our community has passed away at the age of 101…Hazel McCallion.
It is a great loss to her family, friends and our community. Hazel dedicated the majority of her life to the community. Serving the City of Mississauga was her passion and she truly believed that her City deserved every opportunity to be given the best of the best. I had the honour and pleasure of calling her a dear friend. She will be missed and her legacy will live on.
Hazel McCallion dedicated her life to public service. She was a trailblazer for women in politics, and a voice for so many. Her leadership was critical for our city in times of crisis and in times of need. Her steady hand helped grow our city and welcome hundreds of thousands to their new homes. Her legacy will live on in this city for generations to come.
I am overcome with immense sadness with the passing of Hazel McCallion. She passed away peacefully shortly after 6:30 a.m. on January 29, 2023 at home with her family by her side. Hazel McCallion was 101 years old. My heart goes out to the McCallion family.
She was an icon, trailblazer, pacesetter, forerunner, pioneer and a tireless champion for building community, serving and helping others.
I am so fortunate to call Hazel not only a friend but a mentor. Hazel served as Mayor for the City of Mississauga for 36 years from November 1978 to November 2014. I am honoured and grateful to have served with her from 2010 to 2014.
A beacon of light and hope her amazing legacy is imprinted and woven not only into all our lives, our hearts, minds but also throughout Mississauga. Strong-willed and determined, she always fought for the best interests of Mississauga whether it was at the Council table, Queen’s Park or on Parliament Hill. Hazel inspired countless women to speak out and have their voices heard, to take the leap into politics and demand a seat at the decision-making table.
Thank you Hazel for empowering, inspiring, encouraging others to lead with passion and compassion, you will be missed dearly. My family and I will forever remember your leadership, work ethic but most of all your mentorship and friendship.
When I reflect on Hazel, two words come to mind: significance and leadership. I look back on my first interaction with former Mayor Hazel. At the time, in 1999, I was working for a small non-profit and I remember her attending one of our silent auctions: to have someone that important there was a significant moment.
There’s a quote that I always go by “never under estimate the significance of the insignificance” and it reminds me of Hazel.
Leadership is a powerful thing, we take it for granted that there are so many women in leadership. That is something that Hazel fought for and I’m reflecting on that today as a Black man. A little girl would see that 30 years ago and say I can do that because I see Hazel up there. What she has done for a generation of young girls, I hope to do for a generation of young Black boys. I want young people to see their reflection in me in the same way people saw their reflection in Hazel. That is leadership.
I was privileged to have served on City and Regional Council with Hazel for eight years and am indebted to her for the leadership she demonstrated and trailblazing she did as a woman in politics. Her straight-forward, honest, ‘call-it-as-it-is’ approach was respected by many across the political spectrum, including me. She will always be remembered for all the great things she did and the people she impacted not only in Mississauga and Peel Region, but across Ontario and throughout Canada.
My deepest condolences to the family. May your good memories provide comfort at this difficult time. As a City, we mourn and remember Hazel with you.
I am extremely saddened to hear of the passing of “Hurricane” Hazel McCallion, our City’s longest serving Mayor and a long time friend and political mentor of mine. I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to Hazel’s family, including her three children, Peter, Linda and Paul; her granddaughter, Erika; as well as her extended family and many, many friends.
I have had the honour of knowing Hazel for over four decades. I will miss her as a true public servant, and I am truly grateful for the many conversations we had and the guidance and wisdom she selflessly shared over the years. I was honoured to be a founding member of her Youth Advisory Committee when she formed it back in 1982 and continued to work with her on many City endeavours thereafter. She has also been instrumental in making me “do my homework” as Councillor in Ward 11.
Hazel will be especially missed by the Ward 11 community and we are proud of the legacy she leaves behind. Hazel has always had a special connection to the Village of Streetsville, as this is where she put down roots and settled with her husband, Sam McCallion, in 1951 to raise their three children. This is also where her remarkable political career began to take shape. She served our community on the Streetsville Planning Board beginning in 1964 and in 1968 became Deputy Reeve of Streetsville. She was appointed Reeve and then elected as Mayor of Streetsville in 1970, serving until December 1973.
Hazel was a true public servant and a “Mayor of the People”, who dedicated her life to tirelessly and selflessly serving our community and City. Hazel always put the people of Mississauga first and fought for our City’s best interests in all of her endeavours. As our dedicated Mayor for 36 years, Hazel boldly led the transformation of our City and used a common sense approach to help grow and shape Mississauga into the seventh‐largest city in Canada, with a strong economy, excellent public services, thriving multiculturalism, and superior quality of life.
Hazel has truly left an indelible mark on our community and our City and will be greatly missed by all who had the honour of knowing her and the people she faithfully served for so many years. Her legacy will remain with us and be an inspiration to all for many generations to come.
Hazel leaves a lasting legacy of strong leadership and governance. Her years at Mississauga City Hall will be remembered fondly by both staff and residents. Hazel’s reminder to ‘do your homework’ still resonates and has helped guide the City of Mississauga through years of financial stability and growth.