The outdoor patios are closed up and dismantled. Hiking trails are covered in rust-coloured leaves. Shoppers scurry from store to store at the outdoor Heartland Centre outlet mall, fighting the gusts of cold air. However, despite chilly Fall weather, there are still things to do in Mississauga to play tourist for a day or two.
Well-known for its feisty, long-reigning Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga is a city that grew of out of smaller towns such as Clarkson, Port Credit, Meadowvale and Streetsville joining together in 1976. Although suburban sprawl has blended the former town lines, the neighbourhood feeling is still evident as you drive through the city.
Located “next door” to cosmopolitan Toronto, Mississauga is a vibrant city with many green spaces, an exciting restaurant and nightlife scene, shopping centres and attractions. With so many things to do in Mississauga, it is increasingly becoming a place to visit outside of the busy Toronto downtown core.
Right by the main City Centre is Square One – one of the largest shopping malls in Canada, which opened in 1973. It offers over 360 retailers under one roof – from Canadian retailers to international brands. After a full day of shopping, pop into one of the many restaurants within the mall to replenish your energy or enjoy a delicious cocktail. An alternative is Erin Mills Town Centre – a smaller version of Square One – offering a more leisurely pace to your shopping experience.
Heartland Town Centre, with its many outdoor box stores, is also a popular destination offering a variety of stores, including jewelry and gift shops, to fashion and shoe stores.
Mississauga boasts many green spaces and trails that can offer hours of exploration, even in cooler Fall and Winter months. The 20 km Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario takes you through 22 parks, the colourful Port Credit, the historic Bradley House Museum and Rattray Marsh. For a walk in a quieter park, head to Erindale Park with it’s main path taking you for several kilometres alongside the Credit River. Other options for walking and hiking include Riverwood Conservancy and Cooksville Creek Trail located close to the City Centre.
For a brief zen moment, head to Kariya Park close to Square One (entrance off of Kariya Drive, at Burnhamthorpe), a Japanese-styled garden that offers quiet relaxation. During the fall period, this beautifully designed park still retains its charm with golden leaves and a still pond.
Drink and Dine
Over the past 20 years, Mississauga’s restaurant and bar scene has flourished. Places to dine in downtown Mississauga include Failte Irish Pub for a pint and pub food, Scaddabush for delicious Italian cuisine and Earls Restaurant at Square One for their great cocktail menu.
Head south of Square One along Hurontario Street until you reach Lake Ontario and the area known as Port Credit. Here you’ll find a great selection of restaurants, from fine dining, pubs, lounges and bars. This area is a great hot spot for nightlife, including Spice Lounge with a tapas menu and a special focus on finely crafted cocktails.
Opt for Snug Harbour for a quiet meal overlooking the Mouth of the Credit River and marina. For excellent pub cuisine and a relaxed atmosphere, head to Pumphouse Grill. For a livelier evening, head to Ten Restaurant and Wine Bar earlier in the evening and remain for drinks and live music performances at night. On weekends, the vibe at Ten Restaurant goes into a club feel with a DJ and dancing.
The Streetsville area of Mississauga offers a number of great venues for “pub hopping” – from Franklin House, Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub and The Cock and Pheasant – all which serve delicious pub foods, live music and provide an ideal scene for people watching from the bar.
Mississauga has a performing and visual arts scene that is constantly growing. For fine art, head to the Art Gallery of Mississauga, located inside the Mississauga Civic Centre on the ground floor. Many local artists contribute to exhibitions, which are always changing.
The nearby Living Arts Centre offers performing and digital arts programming including musical performances, comedy and local dance and music ensembles. Internationally-renowned performers often do special nights a the Living Arts Centre and tickets can be easily purchased on the Centre’s website.
Music lovers can also take in live music on Friday and Saturday nights while enjoying a pint at Failte, located in downtown Mississauga, or at Port Credit’s Roc’ n Docs, The Harp, and Brogue Inn, and Streetsville’s pubs.
Arcade and redemption game enthusiasts can find hours of fun at Playdium, an entertainment centre located by Square One. It offers hours of solo or group fun.
For lovers of modern architecture, check out the Civic Centre which is an example of Post Modern Canadian architecture and design. Finished in 1987, for many years it was the sole recognizable symbol of the city of Mississauga. The newest additions to the city’s growing architectural movement are two Absolute World condominium buildings. One is called the “Marilyn Monroe” building due to its curvy “figure”. Its partner building has been referred to as Joe, Arthur, John F or Robert building, referencing the real Marilyn Monroe’s many and supposed lovers.
Finally, for airplane enthusiasts can spend hours viewing planes touching down at the Toronto airport. It’s located on Mississauga lands and there are many areas surrounding it that offer a chance to view planes as they depart and land. A good spot to view flights is the Tim Horton’s coffee shop on Dixie Road at Mid Way Blvd (depends on the direction of the wind and how they planes land). Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the views.