For a long time, Mississauga was considered little more than a satellite city of Toronto, made up of various bedroom communities. That reputation has been hard to shift, but “Sauga” is finally emerging as a metropolis in its own right.
It may be surprising to some to learn that Mississauga has a population of 721,599 according to the 2016 Census, making it Canada’s sixth largest city. It has also grown as a commercial hub in recent years, with close to 1,400 multinational firms invested in the city, including 72 Fortune 500 and 60 Fortune Global 500 head offices. The firms are primarily concentrated in the pharmaceutical, finance, IT, electronics and aerospace fields, employing more than 425,000 people.
Mississauga Condo Development On the Horizon
That’s how things stand today, but the city is evolving at a rapid pace. Mississauga real estate is enjoying major developments like the new medical research facility at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, and Rogers’ much-lauded M-City development in the pipeline.
New Build Growing Pains
Of course, change – especially rapid change – often comes with growing pains, and Mississauga is no different. Public transport is one area in particular where the city clearly lags behind; the Ontario government has committed to a new $1.3-billion LRT along Hurontario Street – the city’s main thoroughfare – but that isn’t expected to be in operation until at least 2022, which isn’t much use to residents struggling to get to work or school in 2017.
New Mississauga Transit Improvements
According to Branden Kameka, president of the Mississauga Real Estate Board, the municipal government is making some progress in this regard.
“Transit expansion plans for the city are in-sync with its growing population,” he says. “Effective May 7, Mi-way is offering new Sunday service on Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue, both of which are extremely busy routes.”
Traffic congestion has been a real problem for the city and a major bugbear of its residents for years now, so it’s a positive sign that the city transport agency, Mi-way, is addressing concerns with extra bus routes, says Kameka.
“The city is in the process of constructing a rapid transit bus system spanning most of the city from Winston Churchill Boulevard to the junctions of highway 401 & 427, and 10 of the 12 stations, including the Western Terminus, are now complete.”
New Projects in the Pipeline
Aside from transportation, the municipal government has also been busy on other projects, explains the MREB head, although the city budget is being stretched considerably.
“The city population is gaining rapidly, which is putting a strain on our hospitals, says Kameka. “A major project of replacing street lamps with energy efficiency lighting was recently completed. Plans are on the anvil to introduce food trucks for low income residents.”
A Surge of New Towers
The city is forecasted to have $40 to $45 billion in new construction investment – especially in Mississauga condos – over the next 15 years, but that stands against ongoing budget concerns within the local authority.
While the city increased its property tax by 5.9% this year, its budget has increased by 30% since 2011, according to a recent Toronto Star report. The report cited John Walmark, chair of the City of Mississauga’s citizen oversight committee, who called for an audit on the city’s finances in order to balance the books.
More positive for the area is the planned 10-tower, $1.5-billion downtown high-rise condominium project by Rogers Real Estate Development Limited. Dubbed M City, the development is a 15-acre, 4.3-million-square-foot project at the southwest corner of Burnhamthorpe Road and Confederation Parkway. The land in question was originally purchased by Rogers patriarch Ted Rogers in the 1960s, and will include the centerpiece, 60-storey M City building, which will be the tallest building in Mississauga upon completion. The ambitious project is expected to break ground later this year, but the entire 10-tower development may not be finished for another 15 years.