Mississauga ranks #1 in Canada for pandemic downtown recovery: report


Published May 26, 2023 at 11:48 am

mississauga work recovery
Photo via the City of Mississauga

While working from home has become popular, Mississauga ranks higher for downtown recovery than all other large cities in Canada including Toronto.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 was no longer a public health emergency of international concern. The virus is still circulating but most countries ended public health measures and lockdowns in 2022.

But many people have discovered a preference for working from home. A 2021 survey found 77 per cent of Canadians want the flexibility to work in the office and remotely after the pandemic ends.

However, it seems that many Mississauga workers are returning to the office and downtown activity is getting back to normal.

Mississauga ranks highest for downtown activity among Canada’s largest cities, and 14th among 62 of the largest cities across the United States and Canada, according to a report, Death of Downtown, from researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkeley.

mississauga work recovery

The researchers have been tracking economic recovery in the pandemic using mobile phone data to measure downtown activity patterns.

The most recent mobile phone data is compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Mississauga’s level of cell activity measured downtown between December 2022 and February 2023 was at 79 per cent of activity compared to pre-pandemic levels.

This puts Mississauga in 14th place of 62 Canadian and U.S. cities and ahead of all Canadian cities in the study.

mississauga work recovery

Toronto was 55th in the study with 47 per cent of cellphone activity downtown compared to pre-pandemic levels. Halifax, London, and Quebec were the next closest Canadian cities.

It’s important to note, however, that there are significant differences between cities. Mississauga’s downtown, for example, is newer than many cities in the study.

The study notes that “a distinct set of downtowns – typically older, denser downtowns reliant on professional or tech workers and located within large metros – continue to struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels.”

The city recovery rankings can be found here.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising