The Greater Toronto Area is home to nearly a quarter of Canada's population. It incorporates several towns and villages within its borders. In 1968 the City of Mississauga became part of the group. It has a population of over 600,000 and has Canada's sixth largest population. In the past twenty years it has been one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, almost doubling in size. Although seeming to be developing now as a suburb of Greater Toronto, it is more than just that, as it has a thriving industrial, corporate and financial identity of its own. It is probably most quickly identified by outsiders to the GTA as the home of Toronto Pearson International Airport. This is the busiest airport in Canada. It is estimated that more than 30 million passengers come and go to and from Toronto through this airport.
Mississauga also has the largest shopping mall in the Greater Toronto Area, the 'Square One Shopping Center'. Five of the larger freeways go through the area.
With Mississauga having the big airport within its boundaries, it is inevitable that this part of Toronto is almost the hub of taxicab and limo activity. It is estimated that about 360 taxicabs and 270 limousines service the needs of incoming passengers to Toronto. These are the permission holding taxes and limos who are allowed to pick up fares and passengers arriving at the airport. A number of limousines freely convey passengers in style and comfort to the airport to be dropped off with no permit necessary.
A look into the pre – 1600 background of Mississauga shows us that the area was originally owned by the Iroquois and Algonquin Mississaugas. By the 1700s the Missisaugas had drove the Iroquois out of the area. In the 1800s, the part of the area today known as Toronto was then a town known as 'York'. This settlement bought from the Mississauga people 340 sq kilometers to add to the settlement, and this new area was named 'Toronto Township'. Recently, in 2010 a land claim from the remaining Mississaugans rejected in a fairer deal of $ 145,000,000 in settlement.
In 1937 Malton Airport was opened and this later became Toronto Pearson International Airport. In 1968 a cluster of smaller villas became incorporated into the city and the area was renamed 'Mississauga'.
A great deal of the city's social and cultural activities has been centred in its civic square. A stage, sports facilities, skate park and chess, among many others, draws people to the area, with several weekly 'special days' providing a large variety of interests for all sectors of the population. An ice rink and media screens are among attractions still in the planning stage. The annual Carassauga cultural festival provides a fascinating outreach for visitors from the whole Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere that is not to be missed. It celebrates the uniqueness and colorful beauty of each of the many, many different cultures that make up Mississauga.