Mississauga Celebration Square
Mississauga Celebration Square is located in the heart of downtown Mississauga and considered one of the most unique outdoor event venues and public spaces in the Greater Toronto Area. The 6.6 acre public square has a capacity of 30,000 people and its inviting design features a permanent main stage, two 15’ x 28’ digital screens, a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, an expansive lawn, a 300-seat amphitheatre and a water fountain that transforms into Mississauga’s largest outdoor skating rink each winter.
Mississauga Celebration Square is home to annual festivals and events, contributing to the transformation of the neighbourhood and downtown into a vibrant, diverse and unique cultural node. With 30,000 residents within walking distance, Mississauga Celebration Square has been a catalyst for development and re-development including the expansion of Square One – one of the largest in Canada, the new Sheridan College Hazel McCallion campus, and the Central Library.
The program focus for Mississauga Celebration Square has been to include a variety of smaller, place-making events as well as large scale signature events like Canada Day and New Year’s Eve. These large events combine main stage entertainment, supported by the digital screens, with atmospheric entertainment to create memorable experiences for visitors. As the population in the City Centre continues to grow (projected downtown population for City Centre is 46,000 by 2031), Mississauga Celebration Square will continue to host a dynamic mix of interactive events – all for free.
Events and Festivals
Mississauga Celebration Square events and festivals showcase the arts, cultural diversity and talent Mississauga has to offer. In 2014, Mississauga Celebration Square was visited by more than 580,000 people, with visitors enjoying more than 55 events held over 143 days. From November to March, visitors can enjoy skating on the city’s largest outdoor rink, as well as celebrate at the annual holiday lighting and New Year’s Eve events. The summer season offers diverse programming, including weekly movie nights, fitness classes, concerts, a Canada Day Celebration, food truck rallies, and independently produced festivals that showcase Mississauga’s multiculturalism such as Ribfest, Irie Mississauga Festival, Mississauga Ukranian Festival, Bollywood Monster Mashup, Mosaic South Asian Heritage Festival, Mississauga ITALFEST and much more. International recording artists who have played the main stage include De La Soul, July Talk, Carly Rae Jepson, Down with Webster and Kardinal Offishall. Mississauga Celebration Square works with culture programming partners to engage local artists to create a well-rounded user experience that includes local musical talent, world art, culture, and sport with a spin.
Mississauga Celebration Square forms part of Mississauga’s City Centre precinct, a cultural landscape, which is listed on the City of Mississauga’s Heritage Register. Mississauga Celebration Square, City Hall, Central Library and the Living Arts Centre comprise the civic campus. City Hall was developed as a result of an international competition and designed by UK architect Edward Jones in association with Michael Kirkland and Project Planning, of Toronto. The project put Mississauga on the international cultural map.
Mississauga Celebration Square is at the centre of a development area; Downtown Mississauga occupies one percent of the Mississauga’s land area but is home to approximately 20,000 jobs and 30,000 residents. Approximately 15% of the total value of new construction value across Mississauga is constructed in the downtown and an average of two percent of the City’s annual capital budget is invested in the area. The Downtown Core consists of high density residential developments including the acclaimed Absolute/Marilyn Monroe buildings, office buildings, mixed use developments, parks, post-secondary institutional and cultural facilities. Mississauga’s Growth Management Strategy identifies the Downtown Core as the most intense growth area of concentrated development in the city. The Downtown population is expected grow by almost 57% in the next 25 years and see large increases in employment and housing in the surrounding area.
In the early 2000s, the City of Mississauga recognized that existing physical, mechanical and performance infrastructures on the City’s Civic Square were at life expectancy and needed to be revived. In 2010, Mississauga’s Civic Square underwent a $40 million dollar redevelopment as an Infrastructure Stimulus Fund (ISF) project. Canadian architectural firm CS&P Architects focused on the design principles of ‘placemaking’ (turning public spaces into vital community places) to upgrade amenities to support a wide range of events and festivals, all while providing daily attractions for visitors to enjoy. The innovative design won the 2011 Mississauga Urban Design Awards’ Award of Excellence.
In June 2011 the Civic Square reopened under a new name, Mississauga Celebration Square, and has seen tremendous growth in both the attendance and types of events, with an average of 12 new events per year and a 23% increase in attendance. Mississauga Celebration Square continues to grow and develop as part of the revitalization of the City Centre and Downtown core. The addition of a new Mississauga Transitway, and the future development of a Light Transit Rail which will run along Hurontario from Port Credit through downtown and up to Brampton will continue to see an investment in the surrounding area.
Mississauga Celebration Square was designed in accordance with AODA standards, making it fully accessible for everyone. Visitors heading to Mississauga Celebration Square can do so through different modes of transportation. Adjacent to Square One and Mississauga’s largest bus terminal, and surrounded by City trails, visitors can take the bus (including GO Transit and Mississauga Transitway), walk or bike to Mississauga Celebration Square. Underground parking is also available directly beneath Mississauga Celebration Square. Upon arrival, ample signage helps people navigate the site, including messaging on wayfinding signage and the two large digital screens. During large events, Mississauga Celebration Square houses an accessible viewing area with additional seating and shade.
Mississauga Celebration Square features amenities and events that are welcoming to all demographics. On non-event days, Mississauga Celebration Square is often seen filled with families enjoying the water fountain, expansive lawn, and outdoor reading room.
Events are programmed to target Mississauga’s diverse demographic:
• Children: Mississauga Celebration Square produces a summer kick off called Pep Rally, with entertainment and activities geared towards children. Past entertainment has included the PC Superdogs, kite shows and more.
• Youth: Mississauga Celebration Square brings in youth focused international recording artists to its Block Party, a concert produced in partnership with Mississauga Youth Connect. Past international recording artists include SHAD, Anjulie and Son Real.
• Adults: Mississauga Celebration Square is proud to produce SoundBites each August, featuring the AwesTRUCK Food Truck Awards with more than 25 food trucks, capping the event off with a high energy concert. Past performers include De La Soul and July Talk.
• Family: Weekly events throughout the summer season are programmed towards a family audience, including farmers markets, fitness classes and movie nights. Additionally, signature events such as Canada Day and Light Up the Square, as well as independently produced events, welcome families of all types.
Since its redevelopment in 2011, Mississauga Celebration Square has seen a 30% increase in event attendance, and continues to grow.
Mississauga Celebration Square is committed to building a community space that contributes to a vibrant public realm that is accessible to all while also contributing to the economic well-being of the surrounding area.
Mississauga Celebration Square has been fortunate to receive several awards, including:
• 2014 International Neighborhood Plaza Award : Healthy Cities for ALL
The designation recognizes the inspired redesign of a grand civic square that invites year-round celebration, relaxation and play, bringing the community together and reinforcing civic pride and identity.
• 2013 So(cial) Good Design Awards: Monsters Fitness Course
This project effectively promoted action in support of social change with originality, creativity and the use of sophisticated design concepts.
• 2013 MARCOM Gold Award: “Design/Print Design/Infographics” and “Promo Campaign/Integrated Marketing”
• 2011 Urban Design Award of Excellence
Positive comments and news articles about Mississauga Celebration Square:
“Food & Music have a role in building strong, vibrant communities. Well done, #MCSSoundBites @MCSEvents” – I4nguyen
“Thank you for creating celebration square, we have enjoyed concerts, New Years, Canada day, zumba, Rib Fest, Irie Fest, and just hanging out in the square enjoying the surroundings. A place for us to feel safe, and enjoy ourselves. You have created a wonderful oasis for Mississauga and the surrounding areas.” – Allyson
Globe and Mail: ‘Mississauga opens Celebration Square to ‘develop a citywide spirit‘
Toronto 4 Kids: ‘Mississauga Celebration Square Rink’
“Mississauga Celebration Square is a premier destination for Mississauga residents who can enjoy the location with free outdoor events, arts, culture, and heritage.”