The Lakeview area’s past is one to be reflected upon, cherished and revered. Find out more about it’s rich history, from its early years to the modern day.
A diverse and eclectic history
From early native tribes to French and English settlements to Canada’s first airport and a weapons factory employing mostly women, the Lakeview area’s history is one to be reflected upon, cherished and revered.
With each shift in its composition, the Lakeview area continued to develop and change to reflect the needs of its community. The evolution of Lakeview is rich in history, charm and issues.
The early years and native history
At the time of the first historical contacts with Europeans in the 1600s, the Lakeview area was occupied by an alliance of Iroquois-speaking natives. Their territory included much of southern Ontario from the Niagara River to Windsor to Georgian Bay. The tribes included the Petun, (known as Tobacco) and the Hurons.
These Iroquois-speaking natives were allied to the French. The Six Nations Confederacy were independent, but were allied first to the Dutch and then to the English. These two Iroquois factions were antagonistic towards each other, which mirrored the antagonism of their European trading allies.
In the mid-1600s, the Six Nations Confederacy launched a multi-pronged attack on the northern confederacy and largely eliminated them politically. The Senecas, who were the most westerly-located group of the Six Nations, traditionally from around the Buffalo, New York area, occupied the area. This was around the north shore of Lake Ontario.
In response to this occupation, the Mississaugas tribe, allied to the Iroquois and the French, launched a coordinated invasion of Southern Ontario from their home territory at the north end of Lake Huron. They successfully drove out the Senecas. The Mississaugas was a large group that included the Cree, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Chippewa, Micmac and Algonquians.
Colonization and growth in the 1800s
The Mississauga Purchase was a land purchase treaty in 1806 between the Mississauga Indians and the British government. It included the Lakeview area. This opened up a vast new area for colonization. Soon after, Lakeshore Road and Dundas Road were created to facilitate the new wave of immigrants.
On Lakeshore Road, along each of the rivers, large creeks and cross roads, communities developed. They are today’s Burlington, Bronte, Oakville, Clarkson, Port Credit, Lakeview and Long Branch. During the 1840s, these areas virtually wiped out their forests and turned them into farms. In fact, many street names in Mississauga today carry the family names of these same farmers and land owners.
Evolution from farm to industry
The 1900s brought new challenges to the Lakeview area. At the beginning of the century the area was largely rural with small communities at various crossroads. With the advent of World War One, Lakeview began its shift from a rural economy to a military, industrial and finally a suburban one.
The first airport in Canada was located on the present day grounds of the old Lakeview Generating Station. It was here that pilots were trained for overseas aerial warfare. The Federal government had obtained a large tract of lakefront land in the eastern end of Lakeview that it used during the years for various military purposes including armaments manufacturing, weapons training and military barracks.
During World War Two, the Federal government operated a small arms factory. It produced huge quantities of weapons for use overseas. Given the fact that many of the men were off fighting the war, women were given opportunities to become highly skilled trade people.
The Lakeview area today consists of a largely suburban economy with light industrial along much of the prime lakefront land south of Lakeshore Road.
Lakeview Heritage photo gallery
The first airport in Canada was located in Lakeview as well as a small arms factory, armaments manufacturing, weapons training and military barracks and a rifle range. Photos courtesy of Heritage Mississauga. There is also a presentation on the Lakeview area’s arsenal lands.