Top 5 Complaints About Mississauga
It's never good to dwell on the negatives when there are so many positives to enjoy, but sometimes you see the 80th family doctor's office while walking through City Centre and you just have to vent your frustrations. This is a big city with ample space, a growing population and dense hubs of potential -- it deserves these five things.
5) A Missing Tunnel or Bridge
This first gripe is a small but significant one -- there is no bridge or tunnel connecting Square One to the Mississauga Transit terminal which is the biggest transit hub in the western GTA. A bridge or tunnel isn't a life or death necessity, (unless you are crossing that street to catch your bus that you are late for) but it's nice to provide commuters with some coverage and shelter from the brutal Canadian elements (such as inappropriately icy winds in late May). Even with that new expansion of Square One nothing was done.
4) Better Interconnectivity
We've written a lot about the need for subways and the pros and cons of the much-debated north-south LRT project, so we're aware that the city's public transportation needs an overhaul. That said, a lot of the transportation focus has been on connecting Mississauga to Toronto or other TO satellite cities (in the case of the LRT, Brampton). While those connections are crucial, it would be nice to see future train (or subway - one can dream!) transit connect the city's major hubs, such as Port Credit, City Centre, Streetsville and so on. Mississauga, being a vast suburb, suffers from a little layout schizophrenia. There are chic, walkable cities-within-the-city that are separated by metastasizing subdivisions crammed with three-level townhomes. Since we're a 'burb, the houses aren't going anywhere (nor should they), but it would be nice for forward thinking leaders at the municipal and provincial levels to start investing in quick, efficient and late-running inner-city train or subway transport to compliment the current bus system. Lofty? Sure. Possible? Why not?
3) More Cafes
There are few things better than unique cafes. A little hipster though they may be, urban chic cafes with extensive drink lists and elaborate concoctions provide a tasty Zen reprieve from the day-to-day grind and offer people a new place to socialize that is not the sidewalk in front of the Living Arts Drive Rabba. Cool cafes can open people's minds to new tastes and flavors, foster creativity among customers and employees, provide a comfy after-hours workspace and function as great places for social gatherings and first dates (or 200th ones). As is stands, Sauga only has the usual suspects -- Starbucks, Second Cup, Tim Horton's -- and a smattering of cooler, more food-centric coffee joints (Coffee Culture, Panera, etc). Indie places would add some much-needed colour to our growing food landscape.
2) More Nightlife
Nightlife in any driving city is a challenge because public transport tends to stop running early and no one wants to tempt revelers to drive home because the busses have stopped running and cab fare is formidable. That said, it would be nice for the city's more urban spaces -- City Centre, Streetsville and Port Credit -- to have a few more late-night options. Don't get me wrong -- the city is by no means bereft of nightlife. City Centre boasts Bier Markt, &Co and West 50 and every hub has a selection of cozy, long-standing pubs to choose from. That said, these places tend to fill to capacity on weekends because they're the few businesses catering to the late night crowd. The city needs more funky bars, dance-friendly clubs, late or all-night restos and chic or creative lounges.
1) Better Use of the Condo Retail Space
City Centre is full of cool new condos and it's safe to assume that these ever-growing high-rises are housing more and more people each year. There's a great opportunity for independent restaurateurs and retailers to make use of the neighbourhood's density by setting up shop on the ground floors of the condos, but they can't seem to get a foothold because most of this space is being filled by family practice clinics. Do you remember the time when all the moms at your T-Ball game were fretting about how they read that Ontarians were more likely to be struck by lightning than find a full-time family doctor? Well, those days are over because there are probably hundreds in City Centre alone. It's good that people have healthcare options, but this is not an aging retirement community in need of 50+ family practice clinics. Obviously, to quote a new-ish cultural icon, "the rent is too damn high." The city should work with developers to find a way to attract and sustain more small businesses in the ample and growing condo retail space.
What are your thoughts Mississauga?
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