Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s busiest airport and the largest in North America (after John F. Kennedy International Airport) that serves international passengers, is actually situated in the city of Mississauga. It is for this reason that Mississauga is regarded by many as a gateway to Canada.
The name “Mississauga” is derived from the Anishinaabe word Misi-zaagiing, meaning [those at the] great river-mouth.
Mississauga is the first point of landing for many new immigrants in Canada. The city itself is a significant hub for first and second generation immigrants. Its population (721,599) has nearly doubled in size in the past two decades to become the sixth largest city in Canada today.
Although it is popularly known as a suburb of Toronto, Mississauga has pushed to develop its own distinct identity and look. The relative affordability of houses and its proximity to Toronto has made Mississauga an attractive spot for immigrants looking to settle and raise their families.
The Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Magazine recognized Mississauga as one of the Cities of the Future in 2013. It hosts the corporate headquarters of more than 60 Fortune 500 companies based in Canada.
Below are some of the immigration serving organizations based in Mississauga:
- ACCES Employment assists job seekers from diverse backgrounds who are facing barriers to employment in the Canadian job market. ACCES Employment provides employment services, linking employers to skilled people and building strong networks in collaboration with community partners.
- Afghan Women’s Organization provides settlement services to all newcomers, with a special focus on women, their families, refugees, and people who have experienced war and persecution. The AWO has welcomed newcomers from around the world, including Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa, assisting them in the first stages of their settlement process.
- Catholic Crosscultural Services is a charitable organization that assists in the settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees. Their Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) works with private sponsors across Canada to assist them in successfully sponsoring refugees through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.
- Chinese Association of Mississauga offers services and programs for residents, newcomers, and refugees living in the Greater Toronto and Mississauga area.
- Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Services Centre is a community organization that offers newcomer programs including newcomer settlement services, youth settlement, family reunification, translation assistance, etc.
- Indus Community Services guides new immigrants through a maze of employment, education, housing, health, citizenship, and financial issues. It also provides services in many South Asian languages.
- Malton Neighbourhood Services offers several free services for newcomers, in many languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil, Spanish, Italian, and more.
- Muslim Community Services is a diverse group of professionals dedicated to enhancing newcomer community engagement by offering a range of services and learning opportunities.
- Newcomer Centre of Peel (formerly Peel Adult Learning Centre) is a multi-service charitable non-profit organization that assists the entire newcomer family in achieving settlement and integration within the region of Peel.
- Peel Multicultural Council provides newcomers with all the assistance and resources they need to adapt to their surroundings and achieve their goals to become contributing members of their community.
- Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services provides a wide range of services and programs for newcomers to Canada, such as Newcomer Orientation & Citizenship Test Preparation, Settlement Counselling, Language Training, Internships and Mentorships, Career Exploration & Employment Assistance Program, and more.
- Punjabi Community Health Services is a not-for-profit, charitable, accredited health service provider organization that offers services for mental health and addictions, geriatric services, settlement services, and child, youth, and family services.
- Vietnamese Community Centre of Mississauga assists newcomers living in the region of Peel to apply for government services, legal, and financial assistance, non-profit housing, and settlement-related services.