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Canada's eighth largest and fastest growing city, Mississauga is located immediately west of Metropolitan Toronto. It is a thriving commercial and industrial centre, home to more than 560,000 residents and the hub of Southern Ontario's tourism industry.
With the "Second Purchase", on February 28, 1820, the Mississaugas ceded the remainder of their land. This area, referred to as Block D, excluded a 200-acre reserve on the northeast bank of the Credit River, about 1/4 mile north of Port Credit. The proceeds of any sale or surrender of lands in this Block were intended to go toward the provision of some buildings and some religious and educational instruction. Until this time, the Mississaugas had been a hunting and gathering people. By the 1820s, they adopted a more settled, agricultural lifestyle.
Where the Mississaugas lived prior to 1826 is not clear, for it was not until that year, after petitions from Rev. Peter Jones to government officials, that the Mississaugas built a village. It is also not clear why this village was located on the south bank of the River, rather than on the north, the location of the reserve they had retained. Numbering about 260 by this time, the Mississaugas petitioned frequently, between 1833 and 1847, for rights to land in Block D.
The village was renamed in 1836 in honour of its leading entrepreneur, Jacob Cook, who operated the first stagecoach mail service and operated local businesses. Located at the heart of Toronto Township, Cooksville had been the centre for civic, industrial, commercial, and educational interests for over a century. Mississauga's first municipal offices were located at the corner of Dundas and Hurontario Streets, as was the Central Library, the offices for the public and separate school boards and various Federal and Provincial ministries. In 1852, a major fire destroyed much of the village, and by 1873, when it was selected over Streetsville as the site of the new Town Hall, it was in need of an economic boost. Very little of pre-1940 Cooksville remains, except for the remnants of the old Cooksville Brick and Tile Yard which provided employment to hundreds of local people from 1912-1970.
One of the first settlers to Dixie, located east of Cooksville along Dundas Street, was Philip Cody, who arrived in 1806 and operated a tavern for many years. The village, which developed around a government-owned toll booth, was named in 1865 after Dr. Beaumont Dixie, a well-known local doctor. Dr. Dixie had donated money to the Union Chapel, a non-denominational Protestant place of worship which was central to the social and cultural life of the village. The home of Jane and Joseph Silverthorn, who arrived in 1807, survives as a local restaurant today. It is still called "Cherry Hill" after the family estate which once occupied most of what is now the Mississauga Valleys subdivision.
Benares - It has often been cited as the inspirational source behind the celebrated work of 1920s Canadian author Mazo de la Roche, whose Whiteoaks of Jalna series sold more than 11 million copies. This stately Georgian brick house, situated on six acres in Clarkson, was built by Captain James and Elizabeth Harris in 1857, and four succeeding generations of the Harris family lived in the 4,400 square-foot home until it was donated to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969.
The house remained empty for more than 20 years before the OHF undertook a public study and determined Benares should be preserved as a public museum. Following a two-year, $2 million project to restore the property to its 1918 form, the Benares Museum and Visitors Centre, at 1507 Clarkson Rd. N., opened in June, 1995. Larry Kavanagh, the OHF's manager of heritage properties, says the home was a treasure-trove of historical artifacts. "The photographs, the cubbyholes. Here, we had absolutely everything, right down to the children's toys. All of this together made it a wonderful opportunity".
An archeological dig at the property unearthed no fewer than 95,000 artifacts, which have been documented and returned to the house. Masonry, chimney, roofing and foundation repair was done with an eye toward preserving as much of the original materials as possible, and outbuildings such as the stable, dairy house, barn and potting shed were stabilized and preserved. A new 2,500 square-foot visitors' centre includes exhibits, a gift shop, an orientation room and a staff office. At the house, kids can play with reproduction antique toys, and on weekends visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie in the Summer Kitchen.
Cawthra-Elliot Estate - With its handsome Georgian-style manor buffered by a 36-acre forest, the Cawthra-Elliot Estate (1507 Cawthra Rd., southeast of the Queen Elizabeth Way) ranks as one of Mississauga's most prized historic sites. The Cawthra family's local history began in 1808, when Joseph Cawthra was granted 200 acres by the Crown.
The family built up a business and financial empire while retaining this Mississauga farmland, which was taken over by Grace Cawthra and Colonel Harry McIntyre Elliot after their marriage in 1921. The Georgian-style home and extensive gardens were built by Grace Elliot to reflect the 18th century origins of the Cawthras in Yorkshire, England. The main house is made of solid brick, with a stucco veneer and stone foundation.
Set back from the front facade, the east wing of the house was damaged in a fire in 1947 and has since been restored by the City of Mississauga. The site was purchased by the City in 1975, from the estate of Grace Cawthra Elliot, and holds a heritage designation for its architectural, historical and contextual significance. The Cawthra property is accessible to the public for passive use, while parts of the house are rented out for conferences and social occasions.
Present day Mississauga was once considered the Strawberry capital of Canada. Mississauga is home to the world's largest fishing tournament - The Great Salmon Hunt, held during July and August. The Credit River derived its name from the custom of allowing natives to trade on credit. At the turn of the century, residents from each side of the Credit River met at the river's mouth for a hockey game each Christmas, known as the Annual Christmas Shinny Game. The Lakeview Golf Club hosted the Canadian Open in 1923 and 1934.
When the University of Toronto Erindale Campus first opened, it had only 151 students registered. Today, there are over 6,500 full and part-time students enrolled at the campus. With its 19th century buildings, Meadowvale earned the distinction of becoming Ontario's first Heritage Conservation District in 1980. Mississauga has 200 naturalized sites, which take up 500 acres, for birds and wildlife to have a natural habitat.
It's a jungle out there - literally! The African Lion Safari, a reserve where lions, tigers, monkeys and giraffes roam freely while you stay safely within your car or bus, features a jungle playground as well as nature rides. North of Hamilton, in Cambridge, on Safari Road between Highways 6 and 8.
Discover how our forefathers lived in this authentic re-creation of a mid-1800's Ontario village. Black Creek Pioneer Village features a wooden waterwheel, a tiny church, a general store and printing office. Costumed guides further enhance the days-gone-by atmosphere. The village is located at Steeles Ave. and Jane St.
A renowned amusement park covering more than 121 hectares of space, Paramount's Canada's Wonderland offers a multitude of rides, shows, games, musical performers and restaurants. Take a stroll through themed areas like Hanna Barbera Land and International Street or enjoy the thrill of popular rides like The Bat and the SkyRider. The park is open daily from May until Labour Day, and on weekends through October. Wonderland is located on the east side of Highway 400 between Rutherford Rd. and Major Mackenzie Dr.
Open from March to November from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Features a 1.25 mile track with a bridge, a two-way over and under pass, banked turns and hills, with 50 single and dual passenger Go Karts for ages 10 and up. Centennial Park also offers Kiddy Karts for ages 5 through 9, plus a snack bar and picnic areas. Located at 575 Centennial Park Boulevard.
The world's tallest free-standing structure is not only the crown jewel of the Toronto skyline, but is one of the most exciting attractions around. The CN tower has many new features, including: SpaceDeck, Glass Floor, EcoDeck, Motion Simulator Theatre and a revolving restaurant with seating for 400. Located at 301 Front St.
Sometimes the weather can be depressing - so come out to Ontario's only indoor amusement park! Enjoy 8 full-sized rides, a children's play area and an arcade. Ask about group or birthday packages. Fantasy Fair is located at 500 Rexdale Blvd.