The Skydome was almost built in Mississauga

Published June 5, 2022 at 12:46 pm

Did you know that the Skydome (now the Rogers Centre) was going to be built in Mississauga?

Development and population growth in the Greater Toronto Area during the 1950s and 1960s convinced many that the area required a large stadium to host sporting events and concerts.


Starting in the late 1950s various proposals were put forward to build such a stadium somewhere in Metropolitan Toronto, including one jutting out into Lake Ontario (1959), one in the Don Valley (1965), and one at the Downsview Airport (1971). None of these received government support and were never built.

The demand for a stadium did not lessen, so in 1983 Ontario Premier Bill Davis decided to open a competition to design a stadium to be built somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area.

Thirteen bids were presented, including submissions from Exhibition Place, Woodbine Racetrack, York University, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Downsview, and the City of Mississauga.


L-R: Regional Chair Frank Bean, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, and Brampton Mayor Ken Whillans with the Trillium Dome model, August 1986 (Brampton Times fonds, PAMA)

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion appointed developer Harold Shipp to head Mississauga’s bid. He chose the lands in between Hurontario Street and Highway 410.

Unlike the other submissions, Shipp’s dome required no public funds because a ring of commercial and residential development around the dome would fund the entire project.

Trillium Dome site model, August 1983 (Brampton Times fonds, PAMA)

Mississauga firm DAF Indal designed a retractable roof, dubbed, “Star Dome.” and it would have had

The site would include hotels, condos, office towers, a convention centre, restaurants, theatres, and recreation facilities for residents. The property would also include parking for 18,000, a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line that would stop under the stadium, and a bus repair and storage facility.

The Trillium Dome bid was ultimately rejected in favor of Downsview, with that project eventually relocating to its current location next to the CN Tower in downtown Toronto.

The SkyDome opened in 1989.


This content is courtesy of 
Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA)

The images in this photo story are in the collection of the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives, at 9 Wellington Street East in downtown Brampton. Copyrights belong to their respective owners.

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