If you’re looking for fun things to do in Mississauga, you’re in luck! I lived in Mississauga for over a decade (and even now, I only live minutes away from Mississauga), so you’re going to get the best advice out there…from a local! After all, I’ve spent years exploring all that Mississauga has to offer.
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I’ll tell you about the best hidden gems in Mississauga that you might not have heard about before. Likewise, I’ll share the more popular places to visit in Mississauga, too. They’re popular for a reason! I’ll break it down into the best neighbourhoods to spend the day in Mississauga, the top attractions and activities, and my favourite restaurants, coffee shops, and more.
In this blog post, I’m going to share all kinds of fun things to do in Mississauga, including the best activities and attractions. I’ll show you:
- A great hotel to book in Mississauga
- Fun activities in Mississauga
- The best neighbourhoods and areas to visit
- Stunning gardens in Mississauga
- Awesome hiking trails and parks
- My favourite restaurants in Mississauga
- Top coffee shops/cafes
- Breweries in Mississauga, including one with an awesome beer garden
Where to Stay in Mississauga
For our staycation in Mississauga, we stayed at the Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale, a modern and comfortable hotel on the northwest side of the city. The rooms are clean and spacious, there’s complimentary Wi-Fi, and there are both indoor and outdoor pools. The indoor pool even has one of the region’s longest waterslides!
There’s an amazing promotion happening right now called “It Pays To Stay”. If you stay at any participating hotel for two nights or more in Mississauga, you’ll receive a $100 VISA prepaid gift card. With your VISA gift card, you can enjoy a delicious meal or two or check out some top attractions in Mississauga. All of the details are over at the Mississauga Tourism website.
Justin and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale. We loved staying in close proximity to Streetsville, and we weren’t too far from several other things to do in Mississauga that I mention in this article. After a fun day on the town, we had some drinks at Chop Steakhouse & Bar next to the hotel. Definitely have a drink or two on their wonderful patio!
Fun Things to Do in Mississauga, Ontario
Mississauga might be known as Toronto’s largest suburb or the home of Toronto Pearson International Airport, but it’s so much more than that. It might be near downtown Toronto, but there’s enough to see right here in Mississauga itself. There are vibrant neighbourhoods, beautiful art, fun attractions, and spectacular gardens and trails. Here are a few of the best things to do in Mississauga that you need to add to your list.
See Public Art and Street Art
There are a couple of places where you can view murals, street art and public art in Mississauga. First, if you walk around the back of the Mississauga City Hall building, you’ll come across the Sculpture Court City Centre Skatepark.
Sculpture Court has a massive wall featuring 10 murals by nine emerging artists and an artist mentor. These works are captivating, bright, and beautiful. It’s easy to combine a visit to the Art Gallery of Mississauga with the street art at the skatepark. The Art Gallery of Mississauga is located inside the Mississauga City Hall building, and the public art is right outside.
The Lakeview Village complex is another great place to view public art. Artscape Atelier is a social enterprise that works with developers to feature public art on construction hoarding. These murals might reflect the local heritage, generate a feeling of community, or showcase colorful and stunning art pieces that everyone can enjoy.
Artscape Atelier commissioned 19 works of art across 1600 feet of construction hoarding from 14 muralists, 2 visual artists, 1 painter, 1 sculpturist, and 1 poet. This initiative delivered $100,000 in paid work to these artists. Even though the works on this construction hoarding are temporary, Lakeview Village is committed to collaborating with Artscape for its future Discovery Centre and more.
Play Video Games at the Rec Room
The Rec Room is the premiere place to play video games in Mississauga! If you’re a fan of arcades, games and fun things to do with friends, an evening at the Rec Room is always a great idea. Justin and I love playing arcade games, so the Rec Room provides a fun evening out with games and perhaps a beverage or two.
Aside from a huge assortment of arcade games and redemption games, you can also try your hand at bowling and axe throwing. It’s really convenient to try every activity at the Rec Room. Add tokens to your wristband and tap it on any game that you’d like to play. You can also use the wristband to try axe throwing, bowling, pool, air hockey, ping pong and more.
We played a game where you are guaranteed to win a toy every time (otherwise, we might never win) and we ended up scoring a few cute plushies. One of them was a free bonus toy that the claw retrieved for us after our game was over (score!).
Art Gallery of Mississauga
The Art Gallery of Mississauga is a small art gallery in downtown Mississauga, located inside the city hall building near Square One. Even though there are just a couple of rooms, it is free to visit. We couldn’t believe that it had taken us this long to visit as there were some really wonderful art pieces there.
The gallery has a permanent collection and rotating exhibits. There was a really intriguing work of sand art when we visited (that’s no longer there, unfortunately). The design was so colourful and beautiful, but sand art is meant to be temporary.
You can visit the art gallery from month to month and witness new pieces of art every time. There are works by local artists, Indigenous artists, as well as regional, national, and international artists. Next time you’re at Celebration Square or Square One, be sure to pop by the Civic Centre to visit the Art Gallery of Mississauga.
Awesome Areas of Mississauga to Visit
Mississauga is the largest city in the GTA with so many places to visit. You can spend many days in Mississauga and still not see and do everything. It’s best to plan your trip by neighbourhood to reduce travel time. My top recommendations of the best places to start are: Port Credit, Streetsville, and Mississauga City Centre (Celebration Square).
As a resident of Port Credit for nearly 10 years, I consider myself an expert on this little village within Mississauga. Port Credit is an amazing place to visit (and live!) for its annual festivals, its parks, and its downtown “Main Street feel” with restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops.
If you’re looking for what to see and do near the Port Credit lakeshore, you need to check out the parks and walking paths. Most people visit this area of Mississauga to check out the views of Lake Ontario and the Credit River. There are so many green spaces where you can go for a walk and soak up the pretty scenery.
The Port Credit lighthouse is the most iconic building in town and also the most photographed structure. However, it isn’t actually a historic site. Sadly, the original one separated from the mainland during a flood in 1908, and then it burned down years later. Fortunately, in 1991, a replica of the original lighthouse was built to serve as a reminder of Port Credit’s marine heritage.
Checking out the shops and the amazing restaurants is one of the best things to do in Port Credit. Go for a stroll and shop ’til you drop! Here’s my article with all of the best things to do in Port Credit, as written from the perspective of a local.
If you’re feeling the village vibes of Port Credit, I think you’ll really love Streetsville, too. It’s another really cute neighbourhood in Mississauga with shops, restaurants, coffee shops and pubs. Go for a stroll down the main street to check out the shops and grab something to eat.
We enjoyed some lunch at Meltwich (they have lots of vegan options!) for a quick bite, and then indulged in some cookies and coffee at Little Rose Cookie Co (more on them under the “coffee shops” portion of this blog post!
The Village of Streetsville website gives a complete listing of businesses and events. There’s a farmers market on Saturdays in the Streetsville Village Square (during the summer months). I loved the giant vibrant mural on the ground within the Streetsville Village Square, too.
Mississauga City Centre / Downtown Mississauga
I couldn’t write about Mississauga without mentioning downtown Mississauga, the Square One area, and Celebration Square. It’s truly the heart of Mississauga and there’s always something going on. Whether you’re visiting Mississauga as a couple or a family with kids, I highly recommend a trip to Celebration Square.
There are lots of local events to check out in Celebration Square like concerts, movie nights, yoga and free outdoor fitness classes, and public art. The Mi Casa, Your Casa art showcases a row of red frame houses with swings where you can feel like a kid again. Kids will love the big water fountain to run through in the summer, and there are rows of food trucks for a meal or a treat (hello, Beavertails!).
We also stumbled upon the cutest little garden at Celebration Square, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Garden. It’s a peaceful place where you can enjoy your lunch or have a little picnic. It’s probably the smallest park in Mississauga, too.
And of course, I couldn’t leave out Square One. Many people visit Mississauga simply to go to Square One (although I recommend seeing much more than that!). It’s the largest and most popular shopping mall in Mississauga. I highly recommend checking out the new Square One Food District for an elevated dining experience with delicious eats and coffee.
Most Beautiful Gardens in Mississauga
If you’re a fan of flowers and green spaces, don’t miss these top gardens in Mississauga. They’re all free to visit and they are special in their own way. If you love gardens, here’s my blog post about the best gardens in Toronto and the GTA (all three of the following gardens made the cut!).
Kariya Park, Mississauga’s Japanese Garden
Kariya Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Mississauga. It is a peaceful Japanese garden that pays tribute to Kariya City in Japan, the twinned sister city to Mississauga. Kariya Garden is located centrally in the core of the city near Square One, the biggest shopping mall in the area.
One of the focal points of the park is the Pavilion, a Japanese-style building with two sections – one each representing both Mississauga and Kariya, with the Friendship Bell located in the middle. An inscription on the bell reads: “By welcoming the new century this bell is produced as a symbol of everlasting friendship between the City of Mississauga and the City of Kariya”.
Directly in front of the Pavilion is a large pond with a bridge crossing over it. There are many animals that live in the pond, including Canada Geese, ducks, fish, and even turtles! While we didn’t get to see any turtles, but we saw geese and ducks swimming around and resting on the rocks.
In the South Pond and Woodland area, you will see water cascading down the rocks into a small pond shaded by many large trees. You can continue walking down the path into a shady, wooded area which is incredibly green with woodland plants and ferns. This is a great place to go for a little walk, relax, and take in the beautiful scenery around you.
In the spring, it’s one of the best places to view the cherry blossoms. They typically bloom around the second weekend of May, though it could be earlier or later depending on the weather.
Kariya Park is open daily from 7:00am to 9:00pm, and there are places to park your car on the street (Kariya Drive). These spots are limited and there is a small parking fee, so you might be able to park at Square One Shopping Mall and walk over.
Riverwood Conservancy is a hidden gem in Mississauga, and it took me until last year to discover it! It’s a peaceful sanctuary where you’ll feel removed from the city, even though it’s within the heart of the city. Riverwood Conservancy is a 150 acre nature preserve with beautiful botanical gardens and trails to explore. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Mississauga for adults and children alike.
The MacEwan Terrace Garden is one of the prettiest places in Mississauga. It’s open all year long to the public, and it’s free to visit. There are over 7000 plants, including shrubs, trees, perennials, and ornamental grasses. Much of the gardening is done by volunteers, and you can even apply to help out if you’re interested.
There are also many hiking trails at Riverwood Conservancy, including trails within the park itself and connections to lengthier paths (the Culham Trail). Start your visit at Riverwood Conservancy checking out the beautiful gardens, and then hit the trails. You’ll walk between tall trees and across wetland boardwalks. It’s really quite pretty!
Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens
The Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens are just on the outer western edge of Port Credit, a little on the outskirts of the main downtown strip. Don’t let that deter you from visiting. It’s a quieter spot, but the scenery here is equally as beautiful as anywhere else (perhaps even more beautiful, depending on the time of year!).
This public garden is free to visit, and it is home to hundreds of flowering plants, like rhododendrons and azaleas. As the Rhododendrons start to bloom in June, this is the best time of year to check it out. It’s pretty all year long, but go in early to mid June if you can.
The Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens is home to one of Canada’s largest public collections of rhododendrons. Dr. Brueckner collected prized hybrid species of rhododendrons, and he donated 800 flowering plants from his personal collection. His rare rhododendrons appear in many gardens around the world, including England’s Exbury Gardens.
Best Trails in Mississauga
In addition to gardens, Mississauga has lots of beautiful natural spaces to explore. There are many fantastic hiking trails in Mississauga that will make you feel like you’re no longer in the city. For a complete list of hiking trails, check out this in-depth guide at Ontario Hiking. Here are a few of my favourite trails that are a great starting point for exploring the walking paths of Mississauga.
Rattray Marsh Conservation Area
Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is located just west of Port Credit, and it’s one of the most unique places to go for a hike in Mississauga. The trails aren’t terribly long, but it’s a great place to spend an hour or two and it is perfect for people of all ages.
The wetlands at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area are very unique. They’re one of the last shingle bar marshes on Lake Ontario. In fact, it’s the last one on the western side of Lake Ontario between Toronto and Burlington. These protected grounds are home to a wide array of flora and fauna, including seabirds.
Rattray Marsh has meadows, beach, and swamps all in one area. Most of the trail is raised on an expansive series of boardwalks, so you won’t need to worry about getting muddy feet or disrupting this sensitive area. You can park at the nearby Jack Darling Park and walk into Rattray Marsh Conservation Area (and there’s a limited amount of street parking by the conservation area, too).
The Waterfront Trail
The Waterfront Trail is a massive trail that follows many of the Great Lakes in Ontario. It’s approximately 5000km in length and perfect for walking and biking. The Waterfront Trail meanders through several parks in Port Credit, including Lakefront Promenade Park, Adamson Estate, St. Lawrence Park, JJ Plaus Park and the Port Credit Marina, JC Saddington Park, and the Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens.
I recommend going for a bike ride on the Waterfront Trail. You can ride right through the southern side of Mississauga on the Waterfront Trail. It connects you to Oakville at the south and Etobicoke at the north. One of my favourite things to do in Mississauga is riding my bike. I’d head out from my apartment in Port Credit down to Lake Ontario and ride the paved paths of the Waterfront Trail. Going for a walk there is really fun, too!
Meadowvale Conservation Area
Meadowvale Conservation Area is a beautiful green space on the northern side of Mississauga. There are walking paths that follow the edge of the Credit River. There are also expansive greenspaces at Meadowvale Conservation Area that are perfect for a day with the family. You can go for a picnic or even play some sports.
Meadowvale Conservation Area is free to visit and the parking is free. I suggest walking down the main path and connecting with the Culham Trail. The trail continues from the Credit River and through a small forest. It’s a great alternative to some of the busier conservation areas, like Rattray Marsh.
Visiting Erindale Park is one of the most fun things to do in Mississauga. There are several trails that connect to Erindale Park: the Culham Trail, the UTM (University of Toronto Mississauga) Nature Trail, and the nearby Sawmill Creek Trail and Glen Erin Trail.
There’s lots of free parking at Erindale Park. You’ll find expansive green spaces and a toboggan hill in the winter. There’s a large area with picnic tables and grills, so it’s great for family gatherings. The park can get very busy in the summer months and the parking lot might fill up, so plan accordingly.
Best Vegan Food in Mississauga
One of the most fun things to do in Mississauga is…eat! There are so many fantastic restaurants in Mississauga with lots of offerings for vegetarians and vegans. If you follow a plant-based diet like I do, there’s a vegan meal waiting for you in dozens of establishments across the city. Here are a few of my favourites.
Zen Gardens has been one of our favourite restaurants for a long time, and I’d probably go there every day if I lived closer and my wallet allowed it. They specialize in delicious Chinese cuisine that’s mostly vegan (with only a couple of vegetarian meals that are clearly marked on the menu).
If you’re going for the first time, I suggest getting a lunch or dinner bento box. You get to choose your main course and it comes with purple rice, a refreshing salad, chik’n nuggets and a spring roll.
We usually tend to order an appetizer (the seitan is really good!), some dim sum, and a couple of main dishes like the Kung Po Soy Fritters. While it’s easy to stick to our favourite dishes, we’ve never tried anything there that we didn’t like. The menu is gigantic so you can try something different every time.
Veggie Flames is a 100% vegetarian, vegan-friendly restaurant near Toronto Pearson Airport that we only visited for the first time recently. We know that we’ll be back there as soon as possible because the food is so yummy.
Veggie Flames describes itself as a “blend of Western and cultural comfort food” (and by “cultural comfort food”, they mean Indian food!). The entire menu is vegan-friendly, Swaminarayan-friendly (no onion/garlic) and Jain-friendly (no root vegetables).
They serve pizza, burgers, gyros, lasagna and smoothies on the Western side of things. As for the Indian cuisine, you’ll find biryani, noodles, samosas, aloo tikki, golgappe, and more.
When Justin and I dined at Veggie Flames, we ordered the Dorito nuggets (sweet and spicy vegan nuggets with chips on top that were amazing!), the kalga burger (kalga is a mock chicken), and a vegan panzerotti. The panzerotti was huge! The portions are hearty and the food is ultra comforting.
Raw Aura is a long-standing restaurant in Port Credit, serving up 100% vegan and raw cuisine. Everything is made completely from scratch and there are lots of unique dishes transformed into raw specialties. There are appetizers, soups and salads, wraps, zoodles (zucchini noodles), and tantalizing desserts.
I highly recommend ordering a bowl of their miso soup as it’s full of flavour and perfect for chilly days. The zucchini noodle dishes are always a delight (try the lemon pepper alfredo or the pad Thai). Save room for dessert as they’re known for their rich, delicious sweet treats. Raw Aura is great even if you want to pop by for a smoothie or a glass of organic wine.
Nourish Moi offers healthy, wholesome food made from scratch. This restaurant is located in Port Credit (seriously, Port Credit has so many vegan and vegan-friendly spots!). They use organic and local ingredients, as well as natural sweeteners in their desserts.
The menu features lots of tasty meals like burgers, salads, bowls, sandwiches, smoothies and appetizers. There’s also an all day and everyday brunch with pancakes, avocado toast, French toast, waffles, and more.
Water Drop Teahouse
There’s a little known vegetarian teahouse in Mississauga where you can find fresh fruit tea and delicious vegan meals in a peaceful environment. It isn’t advertised at all and there’s no outdoor signage for it. The Water Drop Teahouse (formerly known as Lotus Teahouse) is a Buddhist temple Mississauga tea house, and it’s a delightful place to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.
Step inside the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto and you’ll find a quaint tea house that has quickly become one of my favorite lunch spots in the Toronto area. It’s perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and those who love incorporating plant-based meals into their lives.
The entire menu is vegetarian and most of the dishes are vegan. There are only one or two food items (one sandwich and the desserts) that are not vegan. All of the noodle and soup dishes are vegan. The temple serves mock meat items in many of its dishes, including tofu and seitan. We highly recommend ordering a pot of their fruit tea as it’s absolutely delicious.
Top Coffee Shops in Mississauga
As a massive coffee fan, I have visited just about every coffee shop in Mississauga. If you love coffee (or tea!) as much as I do, checking out these local cafes is one of the best things to do in Mississauga. I’ve created a list of my favourite Mississauga coffee shops, so be sure to check out that blog post for a full list. These are a few of the best cafes if you’re looking for where to start.
Halo Espresso Bar
Halo Espresso Bar is a fantastic coffee shop in Mississauga, near the intersection of Hurontario and Dundas Street West. It’s a bright and beautiful cafe with a spacious seating area, lush plants, and a colourful mural splashed across the back wall.
Halo Espresso Bar roasts their own coffee, and you can even see the coffee bean roasting machine at the back of the store. You can order a variety of espresso based beverages, like Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites.
Their espresso machine, a “La Marzocco”, is a top of the line piece of equipment that is hand crafted in Italy. They’ve got many kinds of plant-based milk, like soy, almond, coconut and oat. Not a coffee fan? There are eight different kinds of tea and cold pressed juices.
Archtop Cafe is my favourite coffee shop in Mississauga, and they’ve expanded to two locations in Port Credit. One is a cafe and vinyl shop, and the other is a larger coffee shop that’s also licensed. If you’re looking to grab a quick bevvie or do some record shopping, head to the Archtop Vinyl Cafe. If you’d like to stay for a while with some food or desserts (they have an expanded dessert display), head to Archtop Coffee Bar & Market.
Both coffee shops are down the street from one another in Port Credit on Lakeshore Road West. If you head to Archtop Vinyl Cafe, don’t miss going downstairs. There are even more records on the lower level of the shop.
Both Archtop Cafes offer fair trade and freshly roasted coffee. They have a variety of espresso drinks with several plant-based milks. In addition, all of their soups are vegan, plus they have a vegan sandwich and a number of vegan salads. Check out Archtop Coffee Bar & Market for delicious cake slices, including a few vegan flavours.
Back Road Coffee Roasters
Back Road Coffee Roasters is one of the best cafes in Mississauga for those in the know. And now you know! This Mississauga coffee shop is a motor coffee shop that blends the owners interests in coffee and motorcycles. Even though they’re a little removed from the main streets in Port Credit, they’re one of the best coffee shops in Mississauga.
Just like you might take the back road on a motorcycle to enjoy the journey, Back Road Coffee Roasters takes their time to preserve the quality of their beans. Back Road Coffee Roasters ensures that their beans are a product of sustainable and ethical farming practices. They have delicious coffee blends and delightful single-origin coffees.
I ordered an iced Americano with oat milk on a hot day, and it did not disappoint. The coffee bar has new hours and stays open until 4pm from Tuesday to Saturday (closed on Sunday and Monday). Their online shop is open 24 hours a day, so you can enjoy their freshly roasted coffee beans from the comfort of your own home.
Little Rose Cookie Co
Craving a sweet treat with your coffee? Head directly to Little Rose Cookie Co in the village of Streetsville, within the heart of Mississauga. While they’re first and foremost known for their cookies, Little Rose Cookie Co is a cute cafe with lots of coffee beverages, too.
The bottom shelf in the photo above features all vegan cookies, including a chocolate chip cookie with an Oreo baked inside that I sampled (yum!). There are also sugar cookies, but the vegan ones tend to go fast. It’s also possible to order custom made cookies, too. I really enjoyed my iced Americano with oat milk as well. I can’t wait to return to Little Rose Cookie Co for some more delicious cookies and coffee.
Best Breweries in Mississauga
Mississauga has two excellent breweries and both are located in Port Credit. Stonehooker Brewery is a relatively new brewery in town, whereas Old Credit Brewing Company has been a mainstay for many years. Trying the local beer and frequenting a beer garden is one of the most fun things to do in Mississauga!
Stonehooker Brewing Company
Stonehooker Brewing Company uses high quality and fresh ingredients to create delicious brews. They offer traditional beer styles from Germany, England, and Belgium, as well as a variety of craft beer like IPAs, fruit beers, sours, and others.
They have their classics and seasonal beer on rotation. Typically, they have at least 10 different beers on tap, and you can purchase 18 different kinds of beer from their shop in bottles or cans. I love going to Stonehooker for their beer garden.
They have a large patio out front with many picnic tables. It’s dog-friendly, and they often have live music on weekends. There’s even a BBQ where you can order some food with your beer. The chef always makes sure that there’s a vegan option (usually a vegan burger and sometimes they even have vegan cheese!).
Old Credit Brewing Company
Old Credit Brewing Company is one of the first craft breweries in Ontario, locally owned and operated since 1994. They carefully brew their beer in a fire heated copper kettle, using Canadian malt and specialty hops from Europe. They triple filter their beer without pasteurizing or putting in additives.
As for their beer, they have three varieties that are crowd pleasures. There’s the amber ale, the pale pilsner, and the holiday honey. Old Credit Brewing Company doesn’t have a patio or anywhere to consume the beer. You can buy beer on site by the bottle or case. Also, you might find Old Credit Brewing’s beer on tap at some local Port Credit establishments.
More Fun Things to Do in Mississauga
Looking for even more suggestions for what to do in Mississauga? Here are even more that could make your list when you’re planning your Mississauga itinerary.
- Go to the Paramount Fine Foods Centre (formerly the Hershey Centre) to attend a Mississauga Steelheads hockey game or Raptors 905 game
- Go for a stroll at Lake Aquataine Park
- Retail therapy at Square One Shopping Centre or Erin Mills Town Centre
- Play an 18-hole miniature golf course at Ninth Line Family Golf
- Go back in time at the historic Bradley Museum