Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie readily admits that her city was “built with a view to making land and gas affordable,” a concept that for years meant “four-bedroom homes and large boulevards” would take office workers to Toronto. for going.
But times are changing in Canada’s sixth-largest city and Crombie says Mississauga is now at a “transformative point” in its history as it “embraces the depth” and begins to build out instead.
Wherever you look these days, signs are visible.
Near the border with Toronto along Lake Ontario is the development of Lakeview Village, where a 177-acre site that was once occupied by a coal plant is expected to be transformed into a mixed-use community, eventually housing 8,000. New units will be added. , 200,000 square feet of retail area and a 20-acre “Innovation District,” which aims to become a center of technology and research.
Immediately to the west, construction is well underway on the 18-kilometre Hurontario LRT, which will provide high-order transit along Mississauga’s commercial backbone for the first time, connecting Port Credit to the south with Steels Avenue in Brampton.
And along the lake in Port Credit, three cranes tower high above another former industrial site that is also being redeveloped into a mixed-use community.
This one – called Brightwater – is taking shape on a 72-acre site that was once a Texaco refinery, but has been undeveloped since 1985 due to environmental concerns.
Once completed, the two new waterfront developments alone will bring about 27,000 new residents and thousands of jobs to the Mississauga waterfront, while helping transform a city Crombie admits is sometimes looked down upon by its neighbor to the east. .
But without the necessary ancillary investments in roads, public transport and other infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, that kind of density can cause headaches for local residents.
That’s why this upcoming provincial election is taking on more importance for Crombie and many Mississauga residents.
“I think the eyes of the world are on us with the amount of development and renewal happening in the city, so it is extremely important that we have a provincial partner who will continue to invest in cities and really meet the needs of municipalities. Understandably, Crombie told CP24.com during an interview last week. “Of course the road network in the southern part of the city is very worrying, so we need to support the GO train, the (Hurontario) LRT and bus rapid transit line.” It requires infrastructure investment which is planned to reduce traffic and gridlock. Exists today, don’t know when these developments will be fully formed… that’s what keeps me awake at night. How do I move people to the southern part of my city?
The decision to limit the scope of the Hurontario LRT remains controversial
Crombie said property taxes aren’t enough to “support the infrastructure needed” for all the development happening right now in Mississauga.
For this reason, she said it is important that the next provincial government commits to funding the necessary infrastructure. She also wants Queen’s Park to consider giving her suite of revenue tools to the city of more than 800,000 people, as it has done for Toronto.
Plus, she has other people’s laundry lists on hand for anyone who finds themselves in the premiere chair after June 2.
She wants the so-called downtown loop around the Square One shopping center that was removed from the Hurontario LRT amid rising costs – without it she says she fears a truly walkable city for Mississauga would be “unreliable.”
She also wants two-way service to be introduced on the Milton Go Line, pointing out that as a net importer of jobs, more people commute in Mississauga than it actually starts.
“That train picks up people in Milton and Mississauga and takes them to Toronto in the morning. I need to bring Millennials to work in Mississauga,” she said. “We have big pharmaceutical biotech companies that go to the GO train station in Meadowvale. and can see that the station and their staff have to drive to work because trains cannot pick them up in Toronto and bring them to their jobs.
That train is moving in the wrong direction. We need it to go all day, two-way. ,
The Tories took all six of the city’s seats in 2018.
When it comes to Ontario politics, Mississauga has long been a blast of sorts.
In 2018, the Tories defeated Liberal office-bearers in all of the city’s current ridings on their way to form a majority government.
But in the 15 years of liberal rule before that, the city was a bastion of sorts for grits.
In fact, you’d have to go back to Mike Harris’s government to find out when its rides last turned blue before 2018.
“Mississauga has always been quite forceful in saying that we are not a suburb. We are not a commuter town. We have, you know, some of the top Fortune 500 companies headquartered here in the city, but for some reason, we are still in Mississauga. Trying to crack that nut in terms of being a destination not only for smart business investments and those opportunities, but talent for it,” Trevor McPherson, who is the Mississauga Board of Trade’s president and CEO, said in the past. When asked his outlook on the upcoming election, Weeks told CP24.com. “We just need some thoughtful programs that address talent.”
Given the pace of development, Mississauga is entering a phase where “it can really come into its own,” McPherson said.
He wants to see the “cool factor” injected into Mississauga with cultural amenities as well as more walkable neighborhoods located near Jobs.
But he said that to truly take advantage of the ongoing development, government partners need to invest millions in infrastructure to support and grow the industries that already have a strong presence in Mississauga.
“That’s why we’re seeing things like wet lab space, which doesn’t move a lot in the media, but that becomes an issue when a company reaches a certain size in that area,” he said, noting Mississauga. Keeping up is the second largest life science sector in the county with approximately 25,000 jobs. “If they don’t have the facilities to do their research and develop their products, we risk losing them to our competing jurisdictions south of the border or anywhere else where those facilities exist. Others are emphasizing on private sector players and developers getting involved in supporting the life sciences sector because if there is one sector in Mississauga that is already positioned for growth, success, and high-paying jobs, it is. Certainly life is a science field.”
Will Hazel’s endorsement impress voters?
All three of the party’s leading leaders have spent a lot of time in Mississauga ahead of the June election, announcing everything from gas taxes to auto insurance rates.
The Tories are hoping they will get a boost in the city after longtime Mayor Hazel McCallion backed Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford, calling him a “People’s Premier”.
But at the same time, it is clear that some of the campaign platforms the party has historically relied on to court voters in the suburbs around Toronto may not have the same effect this time in Mississauga.
How all this happens on June 2, no one has any idea.
“We think investment in public transportation should replace the construction of superhighways like the 413,” said Crombie, dismissing a key aspect of Ford’s re-election campaign. “Let’s address gridlock where it exists today, instead of 2050. Let’s address gridlock in urban areas today.”
Mississauga at a Glance
Population – 828,000
What Happened in 2018 – The Tories turned the city from red to blue as they defeated the Liberal bearers in all five current ridings and took the new ride of Mississauga—Erin Mills.
Race to watch: mississauga-lakeshore – Progressive Conservative Rudy Cuzzato defeated Liberal cabinet minister Charles Sousa by seven points in 2018, but Riding has been represented by Liberal Sven Spengmann since 2015.
High Profile Candidates – Two cabinet ministers in the previous Ford government call the city home, including Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Nina Tangri (Mississauga-Streetsville) and Associate Minister of Digital Government Kalid Rashid (Mississaga East-Cooksville) .