5 Myths about Mississauga
So, some of you are mad at us.
A few days ago, we ran a tongue in cheek article about the reasons you shouldn't look yonder to Milton to start life anew. A lot of you didn't take it well because you love your sprawling subdivisions and low-rise condos.
In the interest of defending our humble mass of sprawling subdivisions and low-rise (and high-rise) condos, we're going to share five reasons why we're really not that bad. You don't have to leave Sauga if you don't want to.
I mean, if you do want to leave, you can. We won't judge you. We know you want a big backyard and Springridge Farms (I got two chandeliers, two canvas paintings, a tapas set and an amazing wine jug and glasses set there). But if you want to stay because work, friends and family are here, you can.
Myth 1: It's Too Expensive to Live Here
The GTA is expensive in general and the closer you are to Toronto, the costlier your accommodations will be (with some neighbourhood-dependent exceptions). While there was a time you could buy property in Milton for significantly less than Mississauga, the prices have somewhat evened out. The mass exodus to Milton resulted in a population boom and more demand for housing. When there's more demand, prices increase. The new Viva low-rise condos in Milton start at 189k -- an attractive price. That said, that price is a minimum starting point for a small unit. If you want more square footage and upgrades, the price will creep into the low to mid-200,000s. I bought a City Centre condo for $220,000 last year (and in a relatively new building, no less). While you'll save on housing in Milton, you might get hit harder by transportation costs. While Milton is right off of the 401, it's not close to the Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton or even Hamilton or Burlington downtown cores. Not really. You'll spend more time commuting (unless you're lucky enough to work locally) and possibly pay higher car insurance premiums as a result. You'll also spend more on gas in a city where a car is even more necessary than in Mississauga, Oakville or Brampton. All that said, you will save money if you're looking for a house-house (town, semi or detached) in Milton. You just won't be saving as much as you would have five years ago.
Myth 2: It's Dangerous
It's not. There's crime everywhere in the world and even the smallest and quaintest towns have to deal with the occasional theft, assault or murder. While all violent crime is unfortunate, Mississauga is one of the safest cities in Canada. According to a study based on 2012 crime rates, Mississauga actually has the lowest overall crime rate among comparable metropolitan cities. You can check out the study here. A low crime rate doesn't mean a non-existent one and break-ins, muggings and assaults can and do happen. An interesting trend across Canada is the belief -- defied by cold, hard starts -- that crime is increasing. This probably has more to do with 24-hour news and wide reporting of incidents that do occur. If you hear about it more, you think it's happening more. So while it's good to take precautions anywhere, remember that Sauga remains a fine and safe place to live and work.
Myth 3: It's a Barren Big Box Wasteland
While this idea tends to come more from our eastern neighbours, there's a persistent belief that the Mississauga food and retail scene is devoid of indie gems. While it could always use more, it's not true that we're a mass of Wal-Marts and East Side Mario's restos. In fact, I'd put our ethnic food scene up against almost anyone else's (within reason, of course, I'm not going to argue that we have better Indian food than Delhi or superior dim sum to Hong Kong). We don't necessarily have the destination restos that other major cities have (like TO's Splendido or Scaramouche), but our food scene is full of indie joints serving Asian, South American, African and North American cuisine. We do boast an intersection where you can walk from a pho resto to a shawarma place to a Hakka Chinese joint in under 10 minutes. There's something special and uniquely urbane about that.
Myth 4: We're...Exporting Gangs?
This isn't a widespread myth; by any means (at least we don't think it is?). One of the most interesting type of comments on our much-maligned Milton story came from a posters who claimed that people from Mississauga were moving to Milton and "terrorizing the town with drugs, gangs and violence." There's no proof that Mississauga is run by or being terrorized by gangs, let alone exporting them to satellite cities hence myth #2. Both Mississauga and Milton are incredibly safe.
Myth 5: There are Too Many Condos
Nonsense. I grew up in Erin Mills in the Winston Churchill and 403 area and there was nothing -- literally northing -- to do around my house. Fortunately, I grew up in the 90s and helicopter parents (which I did have, to an extent) hadn't yet reached peak pedophile panic, so I was able to go on long bike rides outside of my matchy-matchy subdivision. Condos breathe urban life into a city, welcoming large swaths of people and necessitating the construction of cafes, bars, restos and shops (or Things To Do). City Centre is slowly becoming more vibrant and walkable, facilitating more social interaction and giving small businesses more opportunities to grow. Also, condos are more affordable, so young professionals and new Canadians can stay in the city and contribute to its overall vibe and aesthetic. Long live condos and their high maintenance fees (at least you'll never have to shovel a driveway).
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