Welcome to Port Credit in Mississauga, Ontario. There are so many fun things to do in Port Credit. We experience this first hand on a daily basis because Justin and I live here! This is a true local’s guide to visiting Port Credit, a small village by the lake in Mississauga. We’re only a short drive away from Toronto. In fact, you can see downtown Toronto and the CN Tower from our local parks.
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Port Credit is a tourist area in Mississauga that’s centered around the Port Credit lakeshore and the Port Credit Marina. The main street that runs through town is Lakeshore Road (East and West) and this is where you’ll find many great restaurants, cafes, and pubs. Then, you can wander around many local parks and trails surrounding the Credit River to see some of the most beautiful spaces in the GTA.
Port Credit also hosts several festivals throughout the year, mostly in the summer months. On summer weekends, there’s always something happening in town, whether it’s a music/arts festival or an annual celebration. Without further ado, here are the best things to do in Port Credit that you’ll love.
Things to Do in Port Credit: Explore the Parks and Trails
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.
J.C. Saddington Park and the Waterfront Trail
One of the top parks in Port Credit is JC Saddington Park. It’s one of the best spots in Mississauga to gather with larger groups and big families. There are picnic facilities that can be reserved for up to 75 people.
However, I really enjoy strolling through JC Saddington Park on a regular basis. When I go for a walk close to home, I always end up wandering through this pretty park for its beautiful lakefront views. It’s also kind of neat, but you can see the CN Tower and the Toronto city skyline from JC Saddington Park.
The paved path at JC Saddington Park is the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, also part of The Great Trail. The Waterfront Trail winds through many Port Credit parks along Lake Ontario. It continues through the Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens, which I’ll talk about shortly.
Port Credit Memorial Park
Port Credit Memorial Park is a great place to visit for the whole family. You’ll find the Port Credit Library at the entrance of the park, followed by a loop path and a lovely gazebo. There’s also a playground, a skate park, and there’s almost always an ice cream truck there, too.
Many festivals and events take place in Port Credit Memorial Park, like the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, Mississauga VegFest, Southside Shuffle Jazz & Blues Festival, and Port Credit Busker Fest. For those of you who still play Pokemon Go, there are a ton of Pokestops at Port Credit Memorial Park!
This past winter, the Credit River was incredibly frozen. While this isn’t a usual occurrence, lots of people shoveled the snow off the ice to create skating rinks to play hockey. Justin and I walked out on the frozen Credit River all the way to the QEW highway overpass. We also saw lots of people cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the river. This is one of the top things to do in Port Credit in the winter, if the river freezes enough.
Brueckner Rhododendron Garden
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.
Port Credit Marina
The Port Credit Marina is right in the heart of town – you can’t miss it. You’ll see the Port Credit lighthouse and tons of boats docked in the harbour during the warmer seasons. Some highlights around the marina are JJ Plaus Park, Snug Harbour Restaurant, and the lighthouse itself.
JJ Plaus Park and Snug Harbour Restaurant
JJ Plaus Park is another Port Credit park with pretty views all around. There’s a small park and a pathway that leads right to the edge of the water. If you visit on a summer weekend, there’s a good chance that there will be playing guitar and singing along the path. Overall, there’s just a positive atmosphere and good vibes all around.
Snug Harbour is one of the most popular restaurants in Port Credit. It’s got the most scenic waterfront views out of any restaurant in the area as it’s the only restaurant right on Lake Ontario. You can enjoy the best views from the restaurant’s expansive patio. Unfortunately, there aren’t many vegan options on the menu as it’s primarily a seafood restaurant.
The lighthouse is the most photographed building in Mississauga, and it’s one of the best parks in Mississauga for spectacular scenery of the Credit River.
The Port Credit Lighthouse
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. This lighthouse is a replica of the original one from the 1800s. Sadly, the original one separated from the mainland during a flood in 1908.
Years after it shut down, the lighthouse completely burned down. Fortunately, in 1991, a replica of the original lighthouse was built to serve as a reminder of Port Credit’s marine heritage.
Shop and Dine in Port Credit
Checking out the shops and the amazing restaurants is one of the best things to do in Port Credit. I’m going to mostly focus on the awesome coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants in this article. There are also some really cute shops with unique gifts and clothes in town, too. Go for a stroll and shop ’til you drop!
Coffee Shops in Port Credit
While there are a few chain coffee shops in Port Credit, I prefer to check out the independently owned cafes. I love supporting small and locally owned businesses, plus their coffee is always better. Here are my favorite places to go for coffee in Port Credit. If you love coffee, you should also check out my guide to the best Mississauga coffee shops.
Archtop Cafe is my favorite coffee shop in Mississauga for a few reasons. First, I can easily walk to it from home as it’s practically down the street. Second, it’s a music cafe: a record store/coffee shop, which I absolutely adore. You can shop for vinyl and sip coffee at the same time. They’ve also got great vegan options for light meals and desserts.
Archtop has two locations on Lakeshore Road in Mississauga: their original location with the record shop, and a second spot down the street (where the old Second Cup used to be). Take your pick!
Back Road Coffee Roasters
Back Road Coffee Roasters is a hidden gem for those in the know. Well, you need to pay them a visit for some of the best coffee in Mississauga. This cafe is tucked around a back side street, but you’ll be able to easily find it once you enter it into Google maps.
Back Road Coffee Roasters is a motor coffee shop that combines the owners’ interests in both coffee and motorcycles. You’ll be able to find lots of fantastic espresso bevvies, including lots of plant-based milk options.
Restaurants in Port Credit
Port Credit has so many amazing restaurants that it can be difficult to choose just one to visit. I’m fortunate enough to live here, so I’ve been able to try almost every restaurant in town. As I follow a vegan diet, I am fortunate that the vegan scene in Port Credit has improved over the years. It’s really easy to find vegan and vegetarian eats in Mississauga.
On weekends, you can also catch live music at many restaurants in Port Credit. Roc’n Docs has a rooftop patio and there’s live music several times a week. Door Fiftyfive and Shore Grill and Grotto are two other spots in town where you’ll be able to hear some local musical talent.
Papa Giuseppe’s is an Italian restaurant known for their stone oven pizzas. They’ve also got other classic Italian dishes, pasta, and even gelato. It’s the next best thing to dining in Italy!
The Crooked Cue
The Crooked Cue in Port Credit has a spacious restaurant downstairs and a bunch of pool tables upstairs! You can dine in the restaurant (or outdoors on the front patio) and then rent pool tables by the hour afterwards. We’ve enjoyed pints and played pool plenty of times here.
Indian Cuisine By The Lake
Indian Cuisine By The Lake is an awesome Indian restaurant in the middle of Port Credit. This is an authentic Indian restaurant with a casual relaxed dining atmosphere. They also happily cater to vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free diets.
Raw Aura is one of the first vegan restaurants in Mississauga, and it’s 100% plant-based, raw cuisine. Dining at a completely raw restaurant is a unique experience, and they get quite creative with the dishes.
I recommend dining here at least once! The atmosphere at Raw Aura is super cozy, and I like their tiny patio outdoors, too. They’ve got great raw desserts, too.
Nourishmoi is one of the newest vegan restaurants in Port Credit. You’ll find salads, bowls, sandwiches, burgers, and lots of other healthy options. They also have an all day breakfast, and the menu has loads of gluten-free options.
Green Press is a family owned and operated food bar and organic cold pressed juicery. They’ve got juice, smoothies, soups, salads, hot drinks, power bowls, wraps, breakfast jars, kombucha and healthy snacks.
Eva’s Original Chimneys
Eva’s Original Chimneys is famous for their chimney cake cones, just like the ones you’ll find in Hungary or the Czech Republic! There are several vegan flavors with plant-based ice cream.
The Port Credit location is also home to Guerilla Burger, Happy Taco, and Dished Pizza. Both Guerilla Burger and Happy Taco are 100% vegan, and Dished Pizza has vegan options.
Port Credit Breweries
In Port Credit, we are fortunate to have not one, but two breweries! There are two breweries (one on the west side of town and the other on the east side): Old Credit Brewing Company and Stonehooker Brewing Company.
Old Credit Brewing Company is one of Ontario’s first microbreweries, and they’ve been around since 1994. Their beer is delicious, and you can even buy it in these really big glass bottles. There isn’t any place to enjoy the beer on site, but you can pick it up and enjoy it at home.
Stonehooker Brewing Company is a newer craft brewery in town, and they’ve got several varieties – IPAs, lagers, stouts, sours – there’s something for everyone. Stonehooker has a great patio out back with lots of picnic tables and there’s even live music sometimes, too. You can bring their beer home or enjoy it on site.
Events and Festivals in Port Credit
Port Credit has many festivals and events throughout the year, although most of them occur during the summer months. The majority of the festivals take place in Port Credit Memorial Park, although some happen throughout the city streets and side streets. Definitely visit Port Credit during a special event if you can.
Mississauga Waterfront Festival
The Mississauga Waterfront Festival is a three-day event in June to celebrate the beginning of summer. There are live outdoor concerts, food trucks, entertainment, vendors, carnival rides, and family activities.
Paint the Town Red Festival
Paint the Town Red is a festival celebrating Canada Day on July 1st. There’s live music, events for the kids, food trucks, vendors, and fireworks at night.
Port Credit Busker Fest
At Port Credit Busker Fest, buskers travel from all over the world to perform, and most of them have very specific and unique talents. You can wander from busker to busker, stopping to check out their performance. You might see people performing crazy balancing acts, juggling chainsaws, or breathing fire.
Southside Shuffle Jazz and Blues Festival
Southside Shuffle Jazz and Blues Festival is a music celebration where you can hear talented artists perform across several stages. There are usually live performances at local restaurants and bars, too. It’s a huge music event in town an d not to be missed.
Mississauga Vegfest is obviously one of my favorite local festivals – it’s an all vegan event in Port Credit! There are tons of 100% vegan vendors inside the Port Credit Memorial Arena, mostly selling food and treats. Bring your appetite!
Port Credit Farmers Market
The Port Credit Farmers Market is a weekly event, every Saturday from June to October (8:00am to 1:00pm). It’s the best way to buy fresh produce directly from the farmer. There are also booths with other locally made products and a few with handmade products, too.
More Things to Do in Mississauga
Beyond Port Credit, there are lots of great things to do in Mississauga. Here are a few suggestions for the best things to do in Mississauga beyond Port Credit.