Why we’re called Mississauga

In 1967, residents of Toronto Township overwhelmingly voted in favour of re-naming their new town ‘Mississauga’. There are many different interpretations of how this word came to exist with the most likely that it is an Ojibwa word meaning ‘river of many mouths’.

The City of Mississauga wishes to thank and acknowledge the Anishinaabe peoples who came to be known as the Mississaugas of the Credit for our name.

A landslide victory

In 1965, the Township of Toronto applied to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to incorporate as a town and needed a new name; the ‘City of Toronto’ incorporated in 1834 and the duplication of names was already confusing. With the goal of uniting the villages and communities within its borders, the Township Council asked residents to send in suggestions for a new name.

As many as 889 different names were suggested, with ‘Mississauga’ being the most popular, probably due to the introduction of ‘The Mississauga News’, a local paper started by history buff, Kenneth Armstrong, that same year.

A sub-committee was established to narrow down the list and put two choices on the ballot for the 1967 election. Initially, the sub-committee were opposed to having ‘Mississauga’ on the ballot, wanting a name that looked to the future instead of the past, but had to give in due to overwhelming public support.

When the ballots were counted, ‘Mississauga’ was the overwhelming winner with 11,796 votes, Sheridan coming in second with 4,311 votes.

More than 200 years of friendship

To celebrate and christen the new City, the 1968 New Year’s Eve ceremony took place in Cooksville Square outside City Hall, with Chief George King of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation in attendance.

In July 1968, Mayor Robert Speck visited the Mississaugas of the New Credit in Hagersville to present them with a grant to recognize the historical connection and friendly relations between the Mississaugas and the new town.

Later, in 2005, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the City of Mississauga and Heritage Mississauga participated in a ceremony to mark 200 years of friendship.

In June 2021, to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, stencils from the Moccasin Identifier Project were painted at Celebration Square.

Head of the Lake Purchase

The City of Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest municipality, is located on the Traditional Territory and Treaty Lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

This land was purchased from the Mississauga people by the British crown in 1806 in a legal agreement known as the ‘Treaty 14’, or the ‘Head of the Lake Purchase’, for the equivalent of only ten shillings.

The purchase made way for non-Indigenous people to settle the area in the early 19th century, and their increased presence made it impossible for the Mississaugas to access the hunting and harvesting lands and waters that they were promised would be shared.

The City of Mississauga is invested in building strong relationships with Indigenous communities that have treaties, land use areas or assertions within the boundaries of the City.

Visit the official websites of the Indigenous communities we work with:

The following Indigenous organizations are important partners for the City of Mississauga. We’re proud to collaborate on Indigenous policy matters, City programming and operations.

​Visit the official websites of the Indigenous organizations we work with: