Mississauga for Dummies
November 19, 2008 6:45 PM   Subscribe

I just got a job offer I'd be insane to turn down. However, it means moving from here in Montreal, Quebec to Mississauga, Ontario. Like, in a couple weeks. What should I know about Mississauga before I go there to rent a furnished room and start my new job?

The office location is near the 407 autoroute, and I can see on a map there's industrial zoned property around the 407/10 turnpike, so I assume it's there. I get told the exact address on Friday when I accept the offer. Caveat: I do not own a car, and probably won't be able to afford one for my first year.
posted by Mozai to Travel & Transportation around Mississauga, ON (12 answers total)
I grew up in that area. I lived there for more than 20 years. It's a bedroom community. Lots of suburbs where people who work in the city of Toronto go to sleep at night.

Having visited Montreal a handful of times I think it will come as a shock to you. There is a downtown Brampton (Mississauga's neighbour, and actually I think 407/10 is right on the border if not in Brampton) but there is no downtown Mississauga to speak of.

Living Mississauga affords reasonable access to Toronto but I would consider a car a necessity.

Municipal services are great, shopping is good and there's reasonable access to culture. I'm an engineering student so perhaps my cultural standards are low.

I lived at the 407/10 intersection (not to be confused with the nearby 407/410 intersection, which is also home to an industrial property) for the summer. I was there for summer work but it's an area that has all the amenities you need.

Feel free to MeFi mail me if you have any specific questions about the area.
posted by KevCed at 6:59 PM on November 19, 2008

I want to add that both Brampton and Mississauga have decent bus service (public transit) and they overlap and link to the Toronto Transit system (including Toronto's subway system).

Driving is more convenient but it is not an absolute necessity, especially if you work in Mississauga.
posted by KevCed at 7:02 PM on November 19, 2008

407/10 is more like Brampton. Regardless living there or in Mississauga is very inconvenient without a car. It's all strip malls, industrial parks and suburbs. Rent is cheaper than in Toronto, though, so a car might be more affordable than you think.
posted by randomstriker at 7:05 PM on November 19, 2008

Mississauga Transit is all buses, no subways/Metro, and the city is sprawling enough that it can be a challenge getting around efficiently in off-peak hours.

Highway 10 is actually Hurontario, which puts you midway through the city on the east-west axis but very far north. It has decent bus service, with the 202 Express and 19 Definitely Not Express buses taking you south to Hurontario and Burnamthorpe, the City Centre that includes a huge mall called Square One and a massive bus terminal that includes buses that will take you to Toronto subway stations. Look for the Saturday, Sunday and weekday system maps here to get an idea of what getting around Mississauga and escaping to Toronto would be like.
posted by maudlin at 8:19 PM on November 19, 2008

I grew up in Mississauga, and I echo that it's a difficult city to get around in without a car.It's not really a city you can walk around in, unless you go to the smaller, village-y neighbourhoods (Streetsville, Port Credit). I feel like there's not much to do there besides shop (it's almost straight shot down 10 to Square One, one of the biggest malls in Canada). It will be VERY different than Montreal -- it's suburbia, for sure. Mississauga and to a certain extent Toronto are not as cosmopolitan as Montreal either. On the plus side, you'll be close to Toronto where there's lots going on in terms of culture (check out Torontoist.com) and there are easy ways to get there (GO train and/or TTC). I don't know the 407/10 intersection very well, but if you have any questions about Mississauga in general, mefi-mail me.
posted by pised at 8:26 PM on November 19, 2008

I grew up in Mississauga with a non-driving parent. It's restrictive, but not impossible to live car-free in certain areas (specifically if you live in the condo complexes near Square One). If you live near one of the major transit corridors you won't have significant problems getting to work, to Square One, or to Toronto, but other things such as getting to a reasonably-priced grocery store might be difficult.

The bus service is decent enough on weekdays, but getting around during non-peak hours, especially if you choose to live in a quieter (read: liveable) area of the city is an enormous hassle. Unlike Montreal and Toronto, there are no car-sharing services such as ZipCar here.

While Mississauga is a bland, overbuilt suburb, it's close enough to Toronto that you can spend most of your free time there. Toronto is pretty accessible by several Mississauga Transit routes that link to the TTC subway system, and GO Transit intercity rail and bus services take you straight from Mississauga city centre into downtown Toronto. Pised's suggestion of Torontoist.com as an events resource is great; another one is blogTO.
posted by thisjax at 8:50 PM on November 19, 2008

Get a car. Move to west-end Toronto (or Etobicoke I guess) and only go to Mississauga for work. Do not move to Mississauga if you can help it. The rents probably won't be that much cheaper in Mississauga anyway.

If you're really lucky you may be able to carpool with someone.

Seriously, the less contact you have with Mississauga the better your life will be.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:55 PM on November 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

One thing you should know it that the Greater Toronto Area is far more spread out than Montreal and it takes forever to get completely out of. If you love skiing or out-in-nature stuff where you don't want to hear 4 lanes of traffic in the distance, you should be mentally prepared.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:41 PM on November 19, 2008

I just want to echo what others have said; you will be in for serious culture shock moving from Montreal to Mississauga, so be prepared for it and accept that it will not be like living in Montreal. While it's not impossible to get around without a car, if there is any way you can get one it will make living there much, much, easier as it's generally not a place where you can get around on foot or even by bicycle. Your best bet would be to take "any portmanteau in a storm"'s advice and move to west end Toronto and commute to work. Commuting by car from west Toronto/Etobicoke would probably take about the same length of time as a commuting by bus from somewhere else in Mississauga/Brampton, and there are some great places to live in west Toronto. As someone who has moved (more than once) to a city that I hadn't even visited before, I would suggest trying to find a short term rental or sublet on craigslist so you can have a place to stay without committing to a year's lease. It will give you time to get settled into your new job and look for a more permanent apartment when you can actually look around in person and have a better idea which neighbourhood you'd like to live in.
posted by mizike at 9:48 PM on November 19, 2008

Congrats on the job! I work in Brampton and echo it is much easier with a car but the bus service is pretty good for a suburb. You should be able to get a furnished room with little difficulty. Almost everyone I know that owns a house in Mississauga/Brampton has a basement apartment they rent out. And yes, there will be a culture shock coming from Montreal but there are tonnes of neat things to do and interesting people from around the world to meet and Toronto is pretty close. Figure out what bus routes give you the easiest commute, rent a car for the first week and find a neighbourhood suits you and look for a long-term rental there. Personally, I would opt for a shorter commute so no West Toronto. You seem to assume it is at 410/10 (how odd that they haven't given you the address!) but there are business/industrial all along the 407 so it may be further East or West than you think. A walking distance neighbourhood to 410/10 intersection is South Fletchers in Brampton (Library, Superstore, Rec centre, Newf pub, Sheridan College). Post back with the intersection wen they give it to you and we can maybe help direct you a bit.
posted by saucysault at 4:30 AM on November 20, 2008

It seems a little odd that with an insanely good offer, they won't tell you exactly where until you accept. Even if it's a large company with several offices in the area, you'd think they know where you're being placed and have the courtesy to let you know before accepting, especially when you need to find housing and consider transportation. Just a thought, based on extremely little knowledge of your situation.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:47 AM on November 20, 2008

being KevCed's sister, i don't have much to add that wouldn't just echo his posts, but i will say that Mississauga is pretty boring if you're into arts/culture. its proximity to Toronto is its saving grace, as far as i'm concerned.

it is a nice, safe, welcoming suburb though, and you could do much worse.

good luck with the job!

(and i will repeat KevCed's offer for help - feel free to mail me if you need anything!)
posted by gursky at 6:58 PM on November 20, 2008

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