This is undoubtedly Mississauga's best kept secret. We discovered this Marsh at the mouth of the Credit River by a stroke of good luck in November 2006.
The Marsh is located in the southwest of Mississauga over Lake Ontario. The best way to reach there is to take QEW / 403 South at Hurontario and drive up to Lakeshore Boulevard. Turn towards west on the Boulevard. This Boulevard itself is worth window shopping. There are many Lakeside parks and cycling tracks. Turn left at Bexhill Road and drive till you reach the gates of the park.
As soon as we found out about the marsh in late fall, we decided to visit it to see what is it all about and if we would like to visit it in spring and summer.
Answer: Yes, this conservation area is awesome, right in our backyard, in the middle of densely populated region.
When we visited the Marsh, we found it to be drying, leaves had long fallen from the trees, no wildlife except squirrels busy searching for nuts, and visitors walking their dogs. However, the books on this conservation area suggest it attracts many birds, has many trees growing in it and is home to many types of flowers starting from spring and lasting till fall.
The boardwalks, many kms long, are well maintained and are raised enough to get beautiful views and pictures.
Fishing and cycling are not allowed in the area.
Humber Nurseries Butterfly Conservatory was the First prize winner of the 1998 Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence.
We had heard about the nurseries and the butterfly conservatory, but we were actually interested in the conservatory at Niagara Falls. This one in eastern most part of under-development Brampton came as a major surprise.
The gate price is only $3.00 per person. It is a small conservatory of 4,500 square feets. The butterflies that we observed were: Tiger Swallowtail, the Red-Spotted Purple, the hite Admiral, the Viceroy, the Pipevine Swallowtail and Spicebush Swallowtail. The Conservatory has its own hatchery too.
One has to be very careful walking on the pathways, because of some odd reason, butterflies like to sit on them a lot.
Outside of the Conservatory, Humber Nurseries have many plants and garden accessories to buy. It has also got a garden pool section from where one can buy all kinds of popular garden pool fish.
From the Terra Cotta Restaurant, we drove east to take Mississauga Road. Driving North, we entered Belfountain, a historic hamlet (population about 400) in the Caledon Hills.
The homes on Mississauga Road itself look beautiful in mid and late spring with all kinds of Daffodils and Tulips in blossom. At the main intersection, we found antique shops on our left, which offered good items to buy, and a small restaurant on the northwest corner, which is a Mecca for motorcyclists during late spring, summer and early fall.
We hiked on the extensive hiking trails snaking around the village, which is also a popular spot of fishing. Of the latter activity, we heard from a resident, but never went for it ourselves.
In 1910, the White Mountain Spring Water Company, which was later known as Canada Dry, used to bottle spring water here. This water was eventually used for making ginger ale.
There is a general store, which is operating for over 100 years now, a small icecream parlor (see picture # 1) and a small pub.
Driving or cycling along Credit River is quite picturesque. Credit River starts at Orangeville, flows all the way South through Caledon Hills, Brampton, and Mississauga before falling in Lake Ontario.
Although there are other parks all along the Credit River, we have focused on Meadowvale Conservation Park in Mississauga and more importantly on Churchville, a small residential community in Brampton just north of Mississauga.
A stroll or bicycling across this small community can be most rewarding. Specially one can have a good view upstream and downstream of the River standing on the bridge. We took the photograph of Canada Geese landing on the river from the bridge.
Lakefront Promenade Park is one of the largest waterfront developments in Ontario with more than 40 hectares (104 acres) of public parkland for outdoor recreation.
It is a place to head for to get away from the busy life of the city. There are regular concerts in the park during summers. The park has protected harbor for two marina facilities and colorful sail boats also head out for the lake. There is a playgound area that features a water splash pad and play apparatus shaped like a 60 foot ship. There are boardwalks, picnic areas, and walking and cycling paths. Besides, you will be rewarded with beautiful distant views of Toronto highrises. The park is very busy in summers, but not annoyingly so.
The creek gets many feathered friends all the year round looking for you to feed them. See the picture.
There is no entrance and parking fee.
From King Street in Terra Cotta, we headed east and reached Mississauga Road. Heading north we drove till Old Base Line Road and then turned east again to reach Cheltenham Badlands. This heritage site is very popular with the tourists.
The rolling hills of the red clay predominant in this area provide a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. Of particular interest is the outcrop of Queenston shale that has been badly eroded, creating a small but impressive "badland" like those of southern Alberta and Dakotas. The badland may have developed when the land was cleared. The overlying topsoil washed away, exposing the clay, which then succumbed to the forces of erosion.
It has to be noted that this land is privately owned and should be visited with utmost care and respect.
We traveled northwards on Winston Churchill Road and followed direction to Terra Cotta (population 250). The village was once known as Salmonville, because of the abundance of the fish crowding the Credit River at this place.
The surroundings of Terra Cotta are such that you would definitely like to visit it every now and then. Since our first visit in March 2006, we have been here many times. The country roads are used by bicyclists and motorcyclists. One has to be careful in driving.
A good thing to do is to take break from driving, have a cup of tea / coffee at Terra Cotta Restaurant (see the tip), and wander through the arts and crafts and antique galleries dotted throughout the valley.
Many cities of the world have different kinds of festivals. Since Mississauga is very multi-ethnic, it has its very own Festival of Cultures that is held in the 3rd or 4th weekend of May every year. People from many countries showcase their cultural activities, handicrafts and food. The pavilions are located in different parts of the city and each of them has so many activities going on that one has to be selective in which ones to visit.
We visited the pavilions of Turkey, Italy and Canada in May 2006 (see pictures in the travelogue) and the pavilions of India, Egypt, Philippines, Cyprus, Arab world, south-east Asia and Africa (see pictures in travelogues).
This year we visited new pavilions of Latin American Countries, Brazil. Ukrain, Pakistan, Thailand, and Indonesia. This group of countries showcased their music and dances that ranged from the mystique and elegance of south Asia to energy of Europe to rythemic climax of Brazilian samba beats (see the pictures).
India’s pavilion is always well attended as usual with lots of shopping kiosks, good Indian food and a performance of dances from its different states. We had some shopping of clothes done here.
Egyptian pavilion always brings in enchanting show of belly dancers.
We enjoyed a showcase of Philippine's culture through folksongs and dances from various regions of that country featuring "Pista sa Nayon".
We had our dinner at the International pavilion, after we had shopped some more. Our stay at this pavilion lasted for more than 8 hours on Saturday and Sunday with performances from a North African ensemble showing some dances from the Arab world that put many people on their feet, singers and fashion show from Pakistan, a demostration of Kung Fu by a Chinese Master on the soft rocking music, drum beating performance from Togo, musical and Karate performance from Vietnam and many others.
Like every other festival, this one also came to an end. With the entire contingent (see pictures in the travelogues) on stage, the host appreciated all the participants and the audience.
All in all, a super-mega-successful event.
Mississauga is a City of garden, picnic and trails parks. We have visited many of them. One will never be disappointed to visit any of these great parks.
Kariya Park for example lies in the heart of Mississauga, near SquareOne and the City Centre. The park was officially opened in July 1992, honouring the eleventh anniversary of twin-city relationship with Kariya, Japan. Mississauga parks website has to say this on the park: "A colony of Kariya's official city flower, the beautiful lavender-hued Iris laevigata or rabbit-ear iris, is one of the first sights greeting visitors as they enter via the gatehouse on Kariya Drive. Behind its low walls, Kariya Park will offer future generations a gentle refuge from the outside in the age-old Japanese garden style."
Meadowvale Conservation Area. on the other hand, is a large park in northern side of the city along the credit river. It has sprawling fields where children are seen playing soccer, cricket, baseball, etc. A hike along the river can be most rewarding.
Jack Darling Park is a great waterfront picnic park that can get very busy during summers. A path along the lake takes you to the neighboring Ratray Marsh.
In Rhododendron Gardens through the generous donations and efforts of Dr. Joseph Brueckner, hundreds of his rhododendrons are planted in the gardens which can be found blooming from mid May to mid June.
Some other notable parks are:
J.C. Saddington Park
Lakefront Promenade Park (covered in my tips)
Mississauga Valley Park
Richard's Memorial Park
Streetsville Memorial Park
Three main activities that children and we enjoy here are go carting, mini-golf and Blue Jays Baseball dome.
When our family friends from the UAE and Oshawa, and our partners of many adventures in Oman and the UAE, visited us in May 2008, we headed off to the Playdium. It was quite crowded on Saturday as it turned out to be the only sunny day of the week.
Go Carts were the major activity for the 3 boys in the entourage. The price was quite reasonable at $20 for 8 laps. However, Thursdays and Tuesdays are much cheaper.
The gaming hall was heavily populated and noisy as usual.
Overall, it turned out to be a terrfic trip.
We have enjoyed every bit of Port Credit - hiking on Lakeshore Road window shopping, walking our dog, shopping at Farmers Market, dining in its restaurants, staying in Waterside Inn, sailing, visiting many of its festivals, so on and so forth.
Located at the foot of Mississauga and on the doorstep of Canada's largest city of Toronto, Port Credit is a small town with big charm. Alive with festivals and events, food and entertainment and a gorgeous marina, Port Credit offers an abundance of fun and excitement. On foot or by boat, day or night, Port Credit is a destination unlike any other.
As my son and daughter went to the breeders' booths a nice lady asked them whether they would be interested in getting photographed with her huge Leonbergers. The dogs looked intimidating, but were the most friendly souls out there. With Camera in my hand, I was taking pictures of my children and husband with different breeds.
So if England has Crufts and New York has Westminster, we have The Purina National®, a charity event for the Canadian Kennel Club Foundation.
It is Canada's most prestigious dog show, with top international judges on hand as hundreds of purebreds from around the world compete for their share of honour and prize money. It is perfect for dog enthusiasts and families looking for some March Break fun.
In this Purinal National event More than a thousand dogs had gathered at the beginning weekend of the March Break to put on a show for excited spectators.
Every year we have a festival here where you can visit the different pavilions of different nations.
Usually this takes place at the end of May.
Come sample the foods, see the dancing and generally have a great time! This year the countries that will have pavlions are:
Africa, Armenia, Canada, Caribbean, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, India, Italy, Jamaica, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Pakistan,Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Scotland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.
There is a fee to enter the pavilions.. advance tickets are $8.00 and at the door $10.00, children under 12 are free accompanied by an adult. But this one time fee will get you into all the pavilions for the entire weekend.
This beautiful is just a small piece of the recreation area that borders Lake Ontario through most of MIssissauga. It is well loved, well used, and well maintained. We wandered over with only a vague idea of it's location and facilities ... and were quite pleased!
The grounds are green and clean. There wasn't paved access from the lot, but once you make it over the grass, there are paved walkways that seem to follow the entire length of the park. A great thing for those who's mobility is on wheels. There were little creek like overflow areas, trees, and birdsong that followed us along our walk. Picnic tables were easy to find and not at all wobbly :)
I'm glad I harrassed my companions into this little journey down the road ... this was the highlight of my few days in town!
Come visit the "Villiage by the Lake" and see where I live. Port Credit is a part of Mississauga and basically we are south of the QEW to Lakeshore Road and from Dixie Road to the otherside of Mississauga Road.
Every year we have a great festival, with rides, music, and a lot of stuff for the kids to do!
This usuallly runs the Canada day long weekend.