Last month, the largest development for central Mississauga was announced. Oxford Properties Group and Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo) stated that the Square One District is going to be transformed into the “largest mixed-use downtown development in Canada.”

According to the University of Delaware, mixed-use developments are “pedestrian-friendly developments that blend two or more residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and/or industrial uses.”

Oxford announced in a press release that they are going to be utilizing the parking lots around Square One to transform them into high-density living and working zones.

Eric Plesman, the executive vice-president of Oxford, said they are going to “turn under-utilized land into offices, apartments, and shops [that] will measure 1.67 million square kilometers.”

The first phase of construction, in partnership with The Daniel’s Corporation, will begin this summer. Two residential towers, 36 and 48 storeys respectively, will be built and over the next few decades will integrate more business blocks to tie into the Hurontario Light Rapid Transit (LRT) system.

The Medium spoke to some UTM students about their opinion on the matter.

Maria Chafe, a fourth-year majoring in English literature, was concerned about parking availability after the project begins.

“A lot of people in Mississauga drive to Square One to get their shopping and groceries done, and just to hang out,” said Chafe. “Where are we supposed to park our cars if they’re taking the parking lot and making condos out of it?”

She also gave her thoughts on the housing market situation. “It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the housing market in Mississauga, especially for young people. A lot of us will be moving out, buying or renting wherever we can. I’m excited to see if they’re going to make these options more affordable.”

Oxford spokesman, Daniel O’Donnell announced at a press conference that, “the population of Mississauga is going to double in 20 years, [so we] need to make renting a long-term option for families.”

Oxford and AIMCo also mentioned that with this major development the two residential towers will create 3,500 jobs, but the entire project of converting Square One into a mixed-use development will generate 35,000 jobs, offering careers in all subcategories for Ontarians. The project will also aim to occupy the towers with tenants around 2024.

One of the major goals for this project is to bring more connectivity to central Mississauga. By connecting the LRT to City Centre and making it more accessible for commuters to get to-and-from Square One, it allows for more revenue to enter the area.

Another major factor that was taken into consideration was the sustainability of the project. Daily Commercial News said, “the sustainability component is going to be achieved both in our approach to the construction but also the fact that we have the LRT and this multi-modal mobility hub.”

Caitlin Randria, a fourth-year majoring in sociology and education, was excited to hear about the sustainability aspect and the transit connectivity.

“I think this is a great way to encourage more citizens to choose lower-emission options of commuting around the city,” said Randria. “Reducing carbon emissions is a major issue in our generation, so it’s really reassuring to see that these major corporations are taking sustainability and the environment into consideration when designing these complexes.”

With the heart of Mississauga being a bustling and busy working environment, it is difficult to incorporate pedestrian and walking-friendly spaces. Oxford and AIMCo plan to change this by introducing The Strand, the area where they’re implementing the pedestrian-friendly and civic sector of the project.

In some parting words, Plesman said, “It will be a place where business, life, and leisure can come together as one.”

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