In the early 20th century, farming in rural Toronto Township gradually gave way to a new era of industrialization that has shaped to modern city we know today. As road and transportation links were improved, people became more mobile and flocked from the countryside to urban areas in search of good jobs and affordable housing.
The St. Lawrence Starch Company had initially provided just 25 jobs but had a lasting impact on the city as it supported the workforce throughout the depression of the 1930’s and produced corn based products that were used throughout Canada. The business closed its doors in the early 1990’s, after 100 years in operation. Although only the administration building remains today at the intersection of Lakeshore and Hurontario Street, the company is still fondly remembered by the people of Port Credit.
The corner of Mavis and Dundas was the site in 1912 of what became the Cooksville Brick and Tile Company, a major presence in the city until its demise in 1970. In 2001 the company and its employees were celebrated and remembered by the establishment of Brickyard Park on the site of the old company, and this landmark can be visited today.
As World War II dragged Canada into conflict, the women of the city contributed to the war effort by working at the Small Arms Plant in Lakeview. Their efforts were much appreciated by the government and the plant is often open to the public in late September as part of the Doors Open and Culture Days program run by the city.
Industrial growth really developed in the post war era fuelled by the continuous wave of immigrants, first from post war Europe and later from Africa and Asia. The 1950’s produced the A. V. Roe Aircraft Company in Malton which led to the development of the Avro Arrow, T.W. Hand Fireworks in Dixie, the Petro Canada Oil Refinery in Clarkson and the Lever Mushroom Farm in Lakeview, which all made significant contributions to the growth of the city.
Mississauga is also home to the renowned Sheridan Research Park, founded in 1965. The 340 acre park is currently devoted entirely to industrial research and development.
Explore the links in this section to learn about some of our early and signficant businesses and industries.