By Perry Lefko
Mississauga received high praise by an award-winning writer as a suburb that thinks like a city in an opinion piece published in the Toronto Star.
Columnist Christopher Hume, a “National Newspaper Award” winner, said in a story on December 5 that Mississauga is the complete opposite of Toronto, which he defined as a city that thinks like a suburb.
As an example, Hume said where Toronto just opened its first city-owned mall, which he described as a “grimly familiar gaggle of shops” next to the Wilson subway station, he noted that Mississauga recently launched a study to look at the future intensification of six of the city’s shopping centres. He quoted Ed Sajecki, Mississauga planning and building commissioner, who said the city is playing “catch up” and that it is nowhere close to New York, London or Paris.
However, Hume noted that that Mississauga is relatively young compared to other major cities because it wasn’t incorporated until 1974, which, in civic terms, means it’s “too young to have learned to walk yet, let alone run.” On the other hand, Hume said Toronto, even after a couple of centuries, remains a “municipal Baby Huey, big but small.”
Hume said proactive is the optimal word to describe Mississauga’s new civic culture. He pointed to three projects that will be developed around the waterfront as part of the changing face of the city: taking vacant, empty sites such as the Imperial Oil land and turning them into communities from the ground up.
Hume covered urban affairs and architecture for the Star on a full-time basis for more than 30 years before retiring in April, 2016. He is currently working on several documentary projects and writing a book about the political history of 21st-century Toronto.
Photo: Christopher Hume, Toronto Star urban affairs, architecture columnist