Sister city

Kariya City logo

Mississauga has proudly called Kariya, Japan its sister city since 1981.

The sister city initiative began in the 1950s as a way to promote communication between cities around the world. The original goal was to reduce conflict between nations in the aftermath of World War II.

Having a sister city provides unique cultural and educational exchange opportunities for students, businesses and City staff. This partnership also enhances our City’s global reputation and trade. Over 100 Japanese companies now contribute to our local economy in Mississauga, more than any other city in Canada.

In July 1992, the City opened Kariya Park to honour our sister city partnership. The park features Japanese-style gardens, pavilion, cherry trees, rhododendrons, and several sculptures gifted to us by Kariya City.

In 2001, Kariya City opened Mississauga Park. The park features a miniature replica of Mississauga’s City Hall, a maple leaf structure, and a sculpture of a bear by Canadian artist John McEwen.

In 2021, Mississauga marked 40 years of friendship with Kariya, Japan. The anniversary was celebrated with a virtual event.

The virtual celebration was attended by several guests, including:

  • Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie
  • Kariya Mayor Takeshi Inagaki
  • Consul General of Japan in Toronto Sasayama Takuya
  • Ward 6 Mississauga Councillor and recipient of “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” award, Ron Starr
  • Former Mississauga Mayor, Hazel McCallion
  • Chairperson of Kariya City Council, Mr. Kohichi Toyama
  • Presidents of Mississauga and Kariya Friendship Associations

The celebration included a virtual gift exchange between the two cities as well as a musical performance by Mississauga artists Matt Zaddy and Heather Christine of River North.

In July 2016, Mississauga celebrated the 35th anniversary of its sister city partnership with Kariya, Japan. The 35th anniversary coincided with Mayor Yoshinori Takenaka’s visit to Mississauga.

During his four-day visit, Mayor Takenaka took part in various tours and dinners, a Mayors’ gift exchange ceremony and the Canada Day ceremony at Mississauga Celebration Square.

The Mayors’ gift exchange ceremony took place on June 30 in the Great Hall at Civic Centre. On behalf of the City, Mayor Crombie presented Mayor Takenaka with an Ojibway hand drum created by Canadian artist, Destiny Rae. In exchange, Mayor Takenaka gifted Mayor Crombie with a Japanese suit of armour.

The ceremony also featured a hand drum performance by Kim Wheatly of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Several honoured delegates and guests attended the ceremony, including:

  • Members of Mississauga City Council
  • Yutaka Suzuki, President of Kariya International Friendship Association
  • Hidefumi Maeda, Chair of Kariya City Council
  • Masahiko Niwa, Kariya City Liaison
  • Stephanie Meeuwse, President of Mississauga Friendship Association

Mayor Crombie and Mayor Takenaka stand next to their gifts

In 2011, the Mayors of Mississauga and Kariya, along with City representatives, gathered in Mississauga’s Kariya Park for a celebration of the 30th anniversary of their twinning as sister cities.

In honour of the anniversary, Mississauga presented a park bench representing friendship and goodwill, to be placed in Mississauga Park in Kariya. Kariya presented Mississauga with a beautiful mosaic, made of 6,750 photos from past delegations and events from the twinning which make a larger image of their Mando Festival.

View the 30th anniversary book

Mississauga celebrated the sister city 25th anniversary on July 7, 2006 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Great Hall at the Civic Centre. More than 65 guests joined the event from Japan, including Kariya Mayor Kunio Enami. Many of the honoured delegates and guests have been attending events commemorating this occasion since 1975.

Thank you to our 25th Anniversary event sponsors:

  • Canon
  • Denso Corporation
  • FedEx
  • Fujifilm
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Golder Associates
  • Hershey
  • Hitachi
  • Komatsu Canada Limited
  • Konica Minolta
  • Kyocera
  • Mary Kay
  • Mississauga Board of Trade
  • Monte Carlo Inn
  • NSK Ltd.
  • Ricoh
  • Smart (Daimler AG)
  • Subaru of Mississauga
  • The Mississauga News