Popular Mississauga park marks 60th year by being renamed to honour city builder


Published April 17, 2023 at 11:49 am

What was once Camilla Park, which opened in 1963, has been renamed Iggy Kaneff Park.

A popular park in the heart of the city is celebrating its 60th year by receiving a new name that pays homage to a prominent businessman, developer and philanthropist often credited with being one of the “builders of Mississauga.”

What opened in 1963 as Camilla Park, located on Camilla Rd. near Hurontario St. and the QEW, is now called Iggy Kaneff Park.

At this Wednesday’s (April 19) City of Mississauga council meeting, Mayor Bonnie Crombie and councillors will be joined by members of Kaneff’s family and the Consul General of Bulgaria to officially unveil a replica park sign that will be placed in the newly renamed greenspace.

In a report to council last year, senior City staff noted that they looked into various options after being directed by council in July 2020 to provide a list of potential naming opportunities to honour Kaneff, who had recently died at age 93.

Staff did so, and determined that Camilla Park was a suitable option to be renamed, the report says, noting that the “Kaneff Group of Companies developed a number of properties in close proximity to Camilla Park,” including a nearby apartment building.

According to estimates last year, the name change cost the City $5,000 for new signage and a plaque and another $5,000 to host a renaming ceremony.

In its report, City staff described Dr. Ignat “Iggy” Kaneff, who settled in Mississauga shortly after arriving from his native Bulgaria in 1951, as a city builder “who forever changed the face of Mississauga and left an indelible mark on our urban development and built form.”

Aerial photo shows the newly renamed Iggy Kaneff Park. (Photo: City of Mississauga)

The report continued, saying “…his story demonstrates that no matter where you come from, through hard work, dedication and a strong community spirit, everyone can succeed in Mississauga and in Canada.”

Kaneff was also closely associated with Mississauga Hospital over the decades. It was the recipient of his first major philanthropic donation back in 1955.

In fall 2021, the Kaneff family made a sizeable and unspecified donation in support of the future redevelopment and expansion of Mississauga Hospital, located just west of Camilla Park.

“Our father embodied the spirit of giving throughout his life,” daughter Kristina Kaneff said at the time. “Throughout his life, he shaped the skylines of both Mississauga and Brampton and supported numerous causes to ensure the success and well-being of others.”  

When Ignat Kaneff came to Canada more than 70 years ago, he had only five dollars in his pocket and almost no understanding of English. He worked in construction before starting his own company building houses for immigrants.  

In 1955, he made his first major philanthropic donation when he pledged against his future earnings to support the development of Mississauga’s first hospital.  

Kaneff received an Order of Ontario honour in 2010 and was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016.  

Iggy Kaneff

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