The City of Mississauga has refreshed its Waterfront Parks Strategy, outlining a 25-year vision for City parks along Mississauga’s 22 kilometres (km) of waterfront along Lake Ontario. The strategy promotes the protection and enhancement of the City’s waterfront while providing public access along the water’s edge and opportunities for recreation, tourism and economic development. The proposed infrastructure improvements will maintain and strengthen the City’s historical connection to Lake Ontario.
“For decades, a large part of Mississauga’s waterfront was a hub for heavy industry with limited access for the public. Over the years we’ve worked to build parks and create public spaces for everyone to enjoy. Our work is only just beginning. This 25-year strategy aims to further reclaim our waterfront and ensure it remains accessible to residents for generations to come,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “People are drawn to the water and Mississauga is in the envious position of having 22 kilometres of shoreline. It’s important we not only protect this precious resource, but also promote it. We will do this by seamlessly connecting our existing and new parks with a continuous waterfront trail that connects to our neighbours, and ensuring that all future development prioritizes access to the water.”
The vision of the strategy is Life Thrives at the Water, which captures the spirit of how the waterfront influences the well-being of all the communities and ecosystem along the lake edge. The refresh builds on the 2008 strategy and addresses current planning trends and intensification along Mississauga’s waterfront. As well, the strategy supports the Cycling Master Plan by recommending the implementation of north/ south cycling connections to Lakeshore Road and beyond with paths linking to Toronto and Oakville, and the waterfront trail closer to the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Crombie added, “As a key commercial area for the City, Mississauga’s waterfront redevelopment will drive tourism, foster innovation, attract new business and boost economic growth. Our goal is to ensure our waterfront is a walkable, accessible, transit and cycling-friendly community where people can meet and connect and where businesses can prosper and thrive.”
The refreshed strategy builds upon the City’s successes along the waterfront and provides a planning framework to address:
· Climate change
· Intensification and brownfield development along the waterfront
· The desire to create an enlivened water’s edge with increased public access and water-based recreation (e.g. boating, paddling, fishing and swimming)
· Increased use of the waterfront by a diverse population in balance with natural heritage goals
· Tourism in balance with local community needs
“The strategy provides a comprehensive plan to preserve, protect and enhance the waterfront park system for present and future generations,” said Jodi Robillos, Director, Parks, Forestry and Environment. “Each waterfront park has its own character and provides a unique waterfront experience that includes different views of the lake, trail use, nature and heritage appreciation as well as special programs.”
The most significant changes for the 2019 refresh include new parkland, as well as a new large naturalized landscape created as part of the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area.
Robillos added, “The implementation and funding of initiatives for the strategy will be subject to approval through the annual budget and business planning process.”
The City’s Refreshed Waterfront Parks Strategy Plan is set to go to Council for final approval on February 5. For more information about the project, visit mississauga.ca/portal/residents/parks-waterfront-parks-strategy.