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Mississauga, incorporated in 1968, is a city in Southern Ontario located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, and in the western part of the Greater Toronto Area. With a population of 668,549, it is Canada's sixth-most populous municipality,and has almost doubled in population in each of the last two decades. Mississauga's growth reached a peak between the census years of 1986-1991, with the largest population growth in Canada (89,500). Sustained population growth has continued since, but at a somewhat slower pace. Mississauga is now the fourth most populous city on the Great Lakes, surpassing both the cities proper of Milwaukee and Cleveland over the last decade.
Mississauga has had only three mayors in its history. Dr. Martin Dobkin was the city's first mayor in 1974. He was then followed by Ron A. Searle. Searle was defeated by then-city councillor and former mayor of Streetsville, Hazel McCallion. McCallion is regarded as a force in provincial politics and often referred to as Hurricane Hazel, comparing her political force to the devastating 1954 storm that struck the Toronto area. McCallion has won or been acclaimed in every mayoral election since 1978, and in recent years has not even campaigned. In October 2010, McCallion won her twelfth term in office with over 76% of the votes. McCallion is the nation's longest serving mayor and was runner-up in World Mayor 2005.
Mississauga is bounded by Oakville and Milton to the west/southwest, Brampton to the north, Toronto to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south/south-east. Halton Hills borders Mississauga's north-west corner. With the exception of the southeast border with Toronto (Etobicoke Creek), Mississauga shares a land border with all previous mentioned municipalities.
In 2006, with the help of Project for Public Spaces,the city started hosting "My Mississauga" summer festivities at its civic square. Mississauga planned over 60 free events to bring more people to the city square. The square was transformed and included a movable stage, a snack bar, extra seating, and sports and gaming facilities (basketball nets, hockey arena, chess and checker boards) including a skate park. Some of the events included Senior's day on Tuesday, Family day on Wednesday, Vintage car Thursdays, with the main events being the Canada Day celebration, Rotary Ribfest, and Beachfest. The civic square is currently being reconstructed using federal stimulus money and will feature a permanent stage, a larger ice rink, media screens, and a permanent restaurant. Mississauga also boasts one of the largest shopping malls in Canada called Square One Shopping Centre, which is surrounded by manybars and restaurants, as well as City Hall, the Central Library, and Playdium. Mississauga also hosts a cultural festival named Carassauga each year to celebrate the diverse population.
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