Celebration Square

Mississauga, Ontario

Celebration Square

Client: City of Mississauga
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Year: 2005-2007
Lead firm: Project for Public Spaces
Designers, collaborators: CS&P Architects, Janet Rosenberg & Studio
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This suburban downtown was reimagined and redeveloped to create a much more urban center for the city of Mississauga. The project involved over 1,500 residents and City staff from every department. The process not only transformed the civic heart of downtown, but also the way that many city departments worked, with the ultimate result that the downtown is entering a new era of livability, residential development, and entertaining destinations that bring people together.

The civic spaces that surrounded City Hall and the central library were vast paved spaces that had no real function and reinforced the fact that this downtown was not built as a people-friendly, walkable place. The success of the extensive publicity and public support for the process resulted in partnerships with Federal and Provincial governments, who ultimately invested $43 million in the construction of Celebration Square, which opened in 2011. The placemaking vision and space program helped to give the space purpose, and Celebration Square, now one of Canada’s most unique urban event spaces, offers more than 150 free event days and festivals throughout the year. It has helped to redefine the center of this suburban city as a more attractive urban place to live, and the transformation of the public realm has helped to drive downtown residential development for the last several years. In fact, downtown Mississauga is now one of the most active real estate markets in the country.

Several local heroes who worked at the City of Mississauga deserve credit for their passionate advocacy for public spaces, including one of our favorite placemaking allies, Gil Penalosa, who was a city employee at that time, years before he started 8 80 Cities!

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