2015’s Most Talked About Stories in Mississauga
Published December 29, 2015 at 11:33 pm
As 2016 looms on the horizon, we should all pause and reflect on the year that has quickly — much too quickly — passed us by. 2015 wasn’t a time of dramatic or unprecedented change, but it would be hard to argue that the city remained exactly the same as it was the year before.
We lost all of our highly-anticipated Target locations.
We gained buildings, many of them condos.
We welcomed new stores and restaurants and said goodbye to some old (and not-so-old) ones.
We went 12 whole months (15, actually) without Hazel McCallion as our leader. For the first time in many of our lifetimes, our beloved matriarch is no longer holding the reins of the city. Some are happy about that, some are sad. Most know it was inevitable.
We’re set to welcome fully funded trains and tackle the revitalization of our oldest neighbourhoods. We’re fighting over mosques and abandoning Tory red for Liberal blue (federally, anyways). We’re watching our most iconic mall grow to become even more upscale and chic. We’re welcoming new and exciting sporting leagues.
A lot happened this year in Mississauga, but here are the top five stories you liked, shared and weighed in on the most.
Let us know what big stories you’ll remember 2015 for in the comments!
5) Raptors 905
Over the past few years, the Toronto sports market has been reinvigorated by the welcome success of the Raptors and Blue Jays. While people from Mississauga typically cheer for the teams that represent their close eastern neighbour, there’s always been a thirst for another (and possibly more local) team to get behind. Enter Raptors 905, a brand new NBA Development League team that kicked off its inaugural season in Mississauga in November. We actually sat down with John Wiggins, the director of team operations, to learn a little more about the league and his optimism and excitement was palpable. The team’s launch was great news for local sports fans who have always wanted a hometown team to support. Here’s hoping for a great 2016 for Sauga’s boys.
4) Mississauga Lives Without Hazel
While our iconic former mayor is still kicking (and appearing at various city events), she is, for the first time in a very long time, no longer our mayor. McCallion finished her final term in 2014 and passed the torch — quite purposefully — onto current mayor Bonnie Crombie, a candidate that she endorsed in the eleventh hour and catapulted into the mayoral chambers. While Crombie was elected in 2014, 2015 was her first full year as mayor and, so far, her tenure has been smooth (minus the expected clashes with some residents and their representatives) and scandal-free. While she’s followed heavily in McCallion’s footsteps, the mayor is slowly carving out her own identity by embracing more progressive politics (such as opposing carding).
3) Mississauga Goes Red
In the 2015 federal election, Canada went red, red, red for youthful leader Justin Trudeau and his newly reinvigorated Liberal Party. Before the October election, Sauga’s former mayor Hazel McCallion endorsed the new Prime Minister and his party, even going so far as to appear in a commercial decrying Conservative assertions that Liberal policies would hurt seniors. Voters in all of Mississauga’s six ridings sent Liberal candidates to the House of Commons, which was a huge change from the 2011 federal election. Whether it was Trudeau’s freshness, Harper overstaying his welcome or Hurricane Hazel’s endorsement, Mississauga helped hoist the Liberals into power.
2) Meadowvale Sees Epic Battle for Mosque Construction
This was a big one. Back in September, Mississauga City Council approved an application to build a hotly debated Islamic Centre in Meadowvale. The much-contested application had been pending a whopping 13 years, with opponents citing traffic, parking and aesthetic concerns. While the September powwow centered on infrastructure, the broader implications of the angry, tearful resistance to the centre were profound. A former mayoral candidate named Kevin Johnston led the resistance, distributing inflammatory flyers that warned of everything from traffic disruptions to “another Canadian cultural hole.” The debate — and it’s still ongoing, though the mosque has been given the go-ahead — has been robust (to say the least). While some say it’s all about parking, others say Islamophobia is at the root of the most fulsome and open opposition. We’ll see how the conversation progresses (or regresses) in 2016.
1) Provincial Government Agrees to Fund Mississauga’s Portion of the LRT
This was huge news for a city in desperate need of traffic relief. Although the merits of the proposed north/south route have been hotly debated, Metrolinx’s Hurontario-Main LRT project has procured the necessary funding and is scheduled to be completed within the next six years or so. While the train won’t be operational tomorrow, it’s going to have a profound — and, ideally, positive — impact on the city and the communities in which it’s being built. We sat down with Ward 7 Councillor Nando Iannicca in late November to talk about the project and its implications for residents, businesses and the city in general. Like it or not, the train is coming and 2015 was the year the dream became a hard reality.
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