Is it City Centre or Downtown Mississauga?


Published April 7, 2022 at 12:37 pm

Downtown Mississauga

A new promotional video has been released that sings the praises of Downtown Mississauga.

Produced by the City of Mississauga, the video promotes the downtown core as a place to live, work and learn by showing that the growing core provides high-rise living opportunities, workplaces and post-secondary education through Sheridan College.

But significantly, the video moves away from the historical term “City Centre” when describing the area around Square One and City Hall, and instead uses “Downtown.”

Is there a difference? It seems so.

While no official rebranding has taken place, Mayor Bonnie Crombie says “Downtown” is the term that is used most often at City Hall and it recognizes the current growth in the area that will see dozens of new structures in the years ahead.

The new term also provides a different feel and attitude, one that many didn’t think had existed until now.

Essentially, what the video is telling us is you don’t have to leave town to go downtown; it can be found right here.

To go along with the new vibe, the mayor points out that it’s not just about the concrete and steel. She says what is going into these shiny new buildings such as cafes, boutiques and galleries contributes to the atmosphere.

The traditional use of the term City Centre dates back to the late 1980s with the opening of the then-new City Hall in the Burnhamthorpe Rd./Hurontario St. area that signalled a grand physical re-birth of local government to make it the centre of the Mississauga universe.

With adjacent Square One already established, and with still room for development, the decision to make the area the city’s focal point was an easy one, though not without criticism.

For one, Mississauga’s “new” City Hall was not popular with the public. Many didn’t like the design, with some complaining that its barn-like shape was too rural looking for a city that was quickly becoming urban.

As well, others didn’t like that a “shopping mall” provided the basis of the centre of the city. Some longtime residents pointed out that Port Credit and the lakefront presented an already established natural downtown what with its history and infrastructure.

Still, the City Centre grew. The Living Arts Centre was added, as was the Central Library and the YMCA. Soon, movie theatres, restaurants and high-rises fell into the place: It had become the City Centre.

But in the new video, Crombie makes it clear that Downtown Mississauga is the place to be.

“I’m so excited about the transformation of our downtown,” the mayor states at the top the video. “We were once a suburb of the City of Toronto, but now when we say downtown we mean Downtown Mississauga.”

Wishful thinking aside, it appears the transformation has taken place.



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