The ultimate 2021 “staycation” guide for Mississauga
Published July 29, 2021 at 7:59 pm
While the entire world has been–and continues to be–rocked by COVID-19, Mississauga has suffered through more lengthy restrictions than other comparable cities. In fact, the city–along with Brampton, Caledon and Toronto–existed in some form of lockdown from October 2020 to July 2021.
For nine months, Mississauga residents were barred from eating inside of restaurants, working out in gyms and seeing movies, plays or sporting events in public indoor spaces. Now, weeks into Step 3, residents can dine indoors (or out), get a professional haircut and shop inside a mall. The city has also reopened (or is in the process of reopening) its indoor arenas, swimming pools, libraries, fitness facilities and cultural centres.
Slowly but surely, the old Mississauga–the rapidly urbanizing community full of restaurants, bars, theatres, galleries, sports centres, hotels, spas and more–is reemerging from the shadow of a devastating, months-long crisis that deeply affected the local economy and untold numbers of residents.
Since COVID has made travelling more difficult, now is the perfect time to celebrate the city and partake in everything it has to offer.
So, without further adieu, here’s a look at everything Mississauga offers to make your summer staycation memorable.
The Glenerin Inn
It’s fun to spend a day exploring the city and it’s even more fun to spend a night (or two) away from home to truly feel like you’re on vacation. While Mississauga is home to a slew of comfortable hotels–particularly around the airport–it also boasts some unique boutique spots that you won’t find anywhere else.
Not interested in staying at a hotel? There are also some fun Airbnbs to consider!
While this picturesque hotel and spa–located in the city’s lush Sawmill Valley area–will not be open for overnight guests until mid-August, the Tudor-style estate is offering select treatments (manicures, pedicures, body treatments and massages, to name a few) at its locally famous spa. The hotel is also known for hosting elegant weddings and offers a plethora of dining options, including breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.
The Waterside Inn, a boutique hotel located in Mississauga’s popular (and walkable) Port Credit neighbourhood, offers a range of comfortable rooms and views of Lake Ontario. The hotel offers rooms for guests seeking longer-term stays, but it’s also perfect for guests seeking a night or two away from home.
The property’s Breakwater Restaurant, which has often been praised for its Sunday brunch, is not yet open for dining. That said, you can still book an in-room spa treatment at the hotel and that will surely make you feel like you’re living like a king (or queen).
If you want to enjoy a little getaway with your pet (even our furry family members could use a change of scenery), you can visit the relatively new Element by Westin Toronto Airport. The eco-friendly hotel, which just opened last year, offers an indoor pool, whirlpool and patio with BBQs (and yes, all are open).
The hotel can also send meal kits right to your room, so you can enjoy a unique culinary experience from the comfort of your suite.
While the Square One area is officially considered Mississauga’s downtown core, it doesn’t boast the largest concentration of hotels in the city. That said, people who want to stay close to the action can book a room at the newly opened Hyatt Place Toronto/Mississauga Centre. In fact, the 123-room hotel is the brand’s first hotel in Ontario.
The hotel offers a breakfast buffet (all-day dining is not yet available, as per the hotel’s website) and guests can book a time to swim or relax by the hotel pool or work out in the fitness centre.
If you love using Airbnb, you can book a stay at this “upscale, luxury modern home” in Port Credit. According to the listing, the home–which costs $5,300 over a two-night stay–boasts high ceilings, skylights and a ton of space. It also offers a private backyard with an outdoor dining area. The fact that it’s in Port Credit is also a plus, as you can walk to bars, restaurants, shops and more.
Bars and restaurants
In a city as big and diverse as Mississauga, it’s hard to narrow down the best spots to eat and drink. No matter what neighbourhood you’re in, you’re not far from a bar or restaurant and the sheer number of international dishes offered in the city’s many dining establishments is vast.
Here’s a look at some places to check out in some of the city’s best-known neighbourhoods:
If you’re looking for a place to eat in PC, the waterfront neighbourhood is your oyster. You can eat actual oysters at Snug Harbour (the patio is open and indoor dining is available during select hours), grab some tacos at El Jefe, drink an elevated cocktail (and maybe even take in some live music) at Door FiftyFive, enjoy some Italian fare at Posta Italbar Cucina or Papa Giuseppe’s, dive into some butter chicken at Indian Cuisine by the Lake, dig into some tapas or paella at Bar Catalina, grab a coffee and an old-school vinyl record at Archtop Cafe or a vegan treat at The Cold Pressery. Diners can also enjoy a truly unique Mexican-style brunch at Huevos Gourmet. The Port Credit area is also home to two breweries–Old Credit Brewing Company and Stonehooker Brewing Company. You can’t go hungry in this southern Mississauga neighbourhood.
Just west of Port Credit, the walkable neighbourhood of Clarkson offers a plethora of dining options for residents excited to sit down at a table, relax and eat somewhere that isn’t their kitchen (or let’s be honest, living room in front of the TV). If you go to Clarkson, you can enjoy the spacious, street-facing patio at Capra’s Kitchen, enjoy elegant dishes at Michael’s Back Door or Casalinga Ristorante, indulge in seafood and other dishes at Clarkson Mediterranean Bistro or sip some vino at Solstice Restaurant and Wine Bar.
Streetsville, the village in the city, is fun to explore on foot and is perfect for anyone looking to top off a day of shopping with a good meal. Some restaurants more than worth checking out include Mexican hotspots Border MX and El Mariachi Tacos and Churros, the stylish and popular Goodfellas, the casual and tasty burger joints that are Burger Factory and Burger Legend and the elegant and long-standing Saucy. Streetsville is also home to the lively Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub (which is open for indoor and outdoor dining), the unique Supermoon Japanese-Style Cheesecakes and the Tea Room at Robinson Bray House (which is currently offering both indoor and patio afternoon tea seatings).
If you plan on going to Square One (which is now open for indoor shopping), you can explore more than just the shopping centre. Mississauga’s fast-growing downtown neighbourhood is home to a slew of great food spots located in and outside of Square One, including The Food District (which includes The Pie Commission, La Carnita, Hale Coffee, Uncle Tetsu and more). Other restaurants in the area worth checking out include ramen hotspots Sansotei and Kinton, the elegant Alioli Ristorante, the lively Wave Bar & Lounge, the tasty and fun Gyu-Kaku Japnese BBQ, popular Vegan destination Fresh, the relatively new Tamarind Modern Indian Bistro and more.
You might find this hard to believe, but one of Mississauga’s oldest and most storied neighbourhoods is getting trendier by the day—and you probably want to visit it right now to take it in as it is. Cooksville, the neighbourhood anchored by the Dundas and Hurontario (5 & 10) intersection, offers a ton of memorable food spots, including independent cafe (Mississauga doesn’t have a ton of these just yet) Halo Espresso Bar, Latin American comfort food staple My Empanada, Colombian food destination Las Delicias, the newly-opened Mo Thai and more. The neighbourhood is also home to Orchard Family Restaurant, a diner that feels like a throwback to a bygone era.
Streetsville–photo by Wil Yeung
If you want to indulge in some impulse buying–and after the year we’ve all had, you deserve something nice and retailers could use your support–Mississauga offers a plethora of options. While the city is full of big-box stores, it also boasts a ton of independent retailers.
If you happen to be staycationing in the Port Credit area, you’ll find that a wide array of shops along Lakeshore and up various side streets and these shops offer almost everything: bridal wear, furniture, home decor, jewellery and accessories, clothing, pet supplies, sporting goods and more.
If you’re spending the day in Streetsville, you’ll also be able to walk to a number of quaint shops specializing in everything from children’s clothing to home decor to books.
The northern neighbourhood of Malton–which is close to Pearson Airport–also boasts a huge array of independent stores specializing in an array of goods. Stores in the Malton neighbourhood offer everything from cosmetics, clothing and gifts to home decor and electronics.
Activities and Events
Although it’s been a rainy summer, we’ve been able to enjoy some beautiful days and there is a lot of time left to enjoy not only the great outdoors, but some recently-reopened indoor facilities as well. Here’s a look at a mix of active and leisurely activities you can enjoy this summer and even into the fall:
If you want to use a city-run service, Mississauga has actually made that pretty easy by launching a #MySummerSauga website. If you want to keep active, you can schedule a round of golf, visit a park or playground, explore the city on your bicycle, go fishing in Lake Ontario or cool off in a public swimming pool.
If you want to spend as much time outdoors as possible, you can explore some of Mississauga biggest parks, including Jack Darling Memorial Park (which is located just along the waterfront), Paul Coffey Park (which is located in Malton), Riverwood (which is home to Visual Arts Mississauga and some impressive public art), the Meadowvale Conservation Area and Erindale Park (which is probably one of the city’s best-known green spaces). Rattray Marsh and Kariya Park are also worth checking out, as both are incredibly scenic and perfect for summer selfies.
Residents can also head to Celebration Square for a number of events this summer.
If you’re hoping to enjoy some arts and culture or leisurely activities this summer, the city has a lot to offer.
The Art Gallery of Mississauga, located inside the Civic Centre, has reopened and is hosting a brand new exhibit–Antidote by Noni Kaur. The exhibit consists of a “living art” piece made up of dyed coconut shavings. According to the AGM, Kaur’s work is geared towards imagery of the female body and the bright colours represent “fertility, energy, passion, sexuality and sustainability.”
The Bradley Museum is also hosting an exhibit called The Lengths We Go: Reflections on Hair from now until Sept. 5, 2021. According to the city, the exhibit explores how society, culture, and identity influence hair practices.
While this summer will be shorter on festivals than usual, some big events are still scheduled to take place during the warmer months, including Sugar Rush at Square One. Sugar Rush, billed as a “Candytropolis,” is an open-air theme park featuring 40,000 square feet of installations, art displays, live performances and interactions, all with a candy-coated theme.
Sugar Rush will kick off on August 6 and run until Sept. 6.
If you love to eat, you can partake in foods from diverse cultures at a series of outdoor dining events at Square One throughout the summer months. Night Market, which has been running since June, offers diners the opportunity to enjoy a broad range of foods from Canada and abroad with different themes spread out over the next few weeks.
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