Top 6 Things to Do When You Visit Mississauga

July 5, 2024 / By jacquelinedavis

As we gear up to throw down for the first ever Jackalope, Ontario edition, our friends and partners at the City of Mississauga gave us the goods on what to do when visiting the vibrant community located 20 minutes from Pearson International Airport, and 30 minutes from downtown Toronto.

What locals have always known, and what travelers have discovered, is that there is more to Mississauga than meets the eye. Founded in 1805 as Toronto Townships and incorporated as a city in 1974, there are 24 neighborhoods in Mississauga and a culturally-diverse population over 700,000. That’s bigger, population-wise, than Vancouver, Boston, DC, and Detroit. The city’s cultural offerings include galleries, museums, and the largest multicultural festival in Canada, representing over 25 countries. At one time mainly an industrial port, in the past decade Mississauga has made enormous efforts to rehabilitate and revitalize the lakeshore and now boasts some of the most pristine beaches in the Greater Toronto Area, notably at Jack Darling Memorial Park, and St. Lawrence Park in Port Credit. Not only is this a lovely place to live, it is an awesome place to visit, with a welcoming atmosphere, and exciting leisure options for shoppers, foodies, and cultural and recreational enthusiasts.

A few things to add to your list when planning your visit!

1. Attend Jackalope FEST

First things first! Jackalope Mississauga takes place July 12 to 14 in the heart of the city centre at Celebration Square and Square One. Free to the public, the three-day multi-action sports event promises to captivate competitors, fans, and curious spectators with non-stop displays of super-human athletic performance and adrenaline-pumped fun, set to urban beats. On the heels of Jackalope VB, 2024, another insane display of the best in action sport, Jackalope Mississauga will feature open competitions in vert, street, bmx, and bouldering, with thousands in cash prizes, the CDS National Championships with break dancers from across Canada competing, bmx and moto demos, base jumping, and more. Guest athletes include some of the top pros in each discipline, including 14-time X Games medalist Mitchie Brusco who will host a 2-hour vert jam. This event of speed, skill, precision, stoke, and big air is something unlike anything the City of Mississauga has ever seen before. It will blow your mind, and take your breath away.

2. Shop, & Relax at Square One

Square One, the second largest shopping centre in Canada, is a world-class retail destination that has defined the community for over five decades. With 2,200,000 square feet of retail space, Square One offers both luxury brands and beloved favorites to the millions of shoppers who enjoy the modernized facility every year. Not only a retail destination, recreation options at Square One – after a day of adrenaline fuelled-entertainment – include The Rec Room, a state-of-the-art gaming facility with infinite options of play from video games to axe throwing to bowling, or, you can catch a flick at the multi-screen Cineplex for a more low key evening. A meal at The Food District is an elevated experience in a space inspired by vintage food emporiums, with a vast array of local, handmade options on offer.

3. Go Skate at CJ’s

About 4 km, or just a few minutes drive from Celebration Square, is CJ’s, the world’s largest indoor, not-for-profit, climate-controlled skatepark. Opened in 2008, the 28,000 square ft facility features a 12’ vert ramp, foam pit, numerous mini ramps, and a street-style course. CJ’s caters to all skill levels, offers ample terrain, comprehensive lessons tailored to different proficiency levels, and a supportive environment for progression. CJ’s is also a national skateboard development centre for street and park, recognised by Canada Skateboard, and a division of the Canadian Skateboard Park & School Association, promoting inclusivity and youth engagement in skateboarding. Don’t forget to visit their skate shop, which offers an impressive inventory, at reasonable prices.

4. Go Climb at Up The Bloc

Up The Bloc, the region’s go-to spot for indoor climbing and bouldering since opening in 2017, is Jackalope’s co-host in Canada’s biggest bouldering competition, which includes a $5,000 cash purse. Up The Bloc offers weekly resents, World-Cup inspired boulders, a Kilter Board, a MoonBoard, and a 6-lane Campus Board, not to mention great tunes, Wifi, and air-conditioning. The atmosphere here is high on stoke, and backed by a mission to provide a thoroughly-crafted experience for climbers at every level. A drop-in session runs for $24, and the facility is located about 7km from Celebration Square and the Jackalope site.

5. Taste the World

As a third generation kid from the GTA, one of the best things about growing up here was the variety of foods we had to sample from many different cultures. We thought it was a local’s secret that the best ethnic cuisine was in Toronto’s surrounding neighborhoods, cities, and boroughs. It’s not a secret. Mississauga has over 2,000 restaurants, offering delicious, authentic eats, representing more than 150 different countries, and foodies come from all over to sample hidden gems.

6. Appreciate Nature

Mississauga is home to 481 parks and woodlands, nearly 100 km of traversable trails, and 13 km of Lake Ontario waterfront. There are skateparks, picnic areas, gardens, beaches, and boardwalks to explore, both within the city’s centre and on its outskirts. Port Credit, in the south-central part of the city, a one time shipping port, now Mississauga’s ‘Village on the Lake,’ has many scenic walkways and trails. Just minutes from Square One and the Jackalope site is the beautiful Kariya Park, Japanese-inspired paths lined with cherry and magnolia trees, and named for Mississauga’s sister city, it is reminiscent of the botanical gardens in our home city of Montreal.

This is just a small sampling of the myriad activities available in Mississauga and surrounding environs to satisfy all tastes. If you can’t fit everything in this trip, there is always Jackalope, Mississauga 2025!

For more information visit – https://www.visitmississauga.ca/50-things/