Mississauga's Core - The Square One Area!
The year is 1973, just one year before Mississauga officially becomes a city. In what seems like the middle of nowhere, there stands a building that will become a landmark for this metropolitan.
Fast-forward to 39 years later and you're now standing in a much larger, far more complex world. This, of course, is the Square One Shopping Centre, which is now considered one of the biggest malls in Canada. This site and the surrounding area have become what are known as the City Centre.
Located just south of highway 403, this neighborhood offers habitants and visitors an array of wonders and entertainment through a combination of residential, government and retail related commercial areas.
As I start yet another adventure in this grand municipality, I'm in awe of all the changes that have occurred in this historically rich entertainment district.
This is especially true from a residential standpoint. Where once bare land was, now lies a skyline that rivals Toronto and New York. This is mainly due to the ever-spectacular Monroe buildings, which grace the west side of this "downtown" metropolis.
Another building that has changed this landscape is the new Sheridan College - Hazel McCallion Campus, which officially opened its doors this past September. This is probably of no interest to most of you, unless you're looking to meet some new people. If that's the case, then by all means, grab your favorite book and coffee at the nearby Chapters and read outside the beautifully designed building.
If that's not your cup of tea, then fret not as Square One offers something for everyone and at anytime. This is good for any student, resident or visitor looking to be distracted.
If you decide to explore during the day, then the mall is the place to be. With over 360 stores and services offered, the mall is always an adventure on its own. It's a good place to meet up with friends, check out what's new and get some good food. Although, with the copious amounts of restaurants, lounges and pubs in the area, you're better to hold off your hunger 'til you're done shopping.
Whatever your taste may be, the City Centre can provide: from fine Indian cuisine at The Host, to the upscale yet casual West 50, which offers Canada's largest selections of draft beers.
If a lounge area is more your style, then be sure to check out Failte Irish Pub, which offers Mississauga's largest heated patio, and exciting weekly entertainment.
When first class is all you want, check out &Company Resto Bar, that serves contemporary classic by day and the eligible and elite by night. This unique space is fine dining at its best and at night turns into the hottest night spot.
If a casual night out or watching sports is your thing Boston Pizza Square One might be your choice. With their 103” Plasma TV (largest in Canada) you can’t go wrong!
If dining out is considered passe to some of you, or you're just tired of the same old crowd, and perhaps, like me, you enjoy a visual distraction, then Square One is where you want to be.
For the kid in all of us, there is my favorite playground: Playdium. This ultimate interactive adventure area offers a variety of arcade games, redemption games, batting cages, outdoor mini-golf and go-kart track. With so much to do, this wonderland is both fun and affordable - especially their Powerplay Wednesdays, where you can get four hours of unlimited play for only $22.
Another great visual distraction comes in the form of not one, but two movie theatre complexes. There is Empire Theatres, which is located inside Square One, and the more popular Coliseum Mississauga Cinemas, which offers guests the IMAX experience, which just so happens to be a Canadian invention as well.
When looking for a more cultural experience, the Living Arts Centre is where to find it. This impressive venue boasts such acts as Just For Laugh legends and shows with names from Dancing With the Stars, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. In fact, shows for these events start as early as April 14. Wanting to stay true to its community roots, LAC also offers theatre rentals and an impressive dining experience, which has something for the whole family. They even offer programs and educational seminars for the budding artist that lives in us all.
Beyond this, however, the Square One area also offers outdoor venues.
Most notably is the Mississauga Civic Centre. This 9,000-square metre outdoor feature, aptly named Celebration Square, offers the community a place to hang out while being entertained. Here in the heartland of the city, wanderers can celebrate occasions such as Canada Day, the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and New Year's Eve. With a reflection pool, which becomes an ice rink in the winter, and a giant projection screen, guests can be entertained while hanging out. It even offers an amphitheatre, which can be booked for a variety of musical and theatrical performances.
Kariya Park is located right in the core just on the Southside of Square One on Kariya Dr. This park is truly an oasis away from everything. Just stroll into the Japanese gates and you'll be transported to a serene Japanese garden encapsulated in a tranquil, harmonious atmosphere.
The business sector of the Square One area boasts 53,000 businesses, which employ over 440,000 people, including 59 of Canada's Fortune 500 offices. This is achieved with the help of organizations like the Mississauga Board of Trade, which represents approximately 1,500 businesses in Mississauga. If you are interested in learning more, be sure to find their offices near the southeast side of the mall.
With assets like this, it's no wonder that Mississauga has become Canada's sixth largest city. What makes this metropolis so unique though, is that all of these entertainment venues and experiences are within walking distance of one another. Mississauga and Square One is truly a big city offering with a small town feel.
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