Mississauga's Village on the Lake
The following is an excerpt from the Port Credit BIA website - "Port Credit's quaint village setting and harbour on Lake Ontario make it the perfect place to visit. Rich in history and quaintly picturesque, the Village of Port Credit has an array of shops, boutiques, restaurants, marina services and grocery stores all within walking distance."
"The following is a description of the Village of Port Credit based on our many visits."
by Festival Nomad "Scoop" Correspondent, Judi McWilliams
It is with many fond memories that I can write about the beautiful Ontario community of Port Credit. This is where I spent the majority of my childhood and where I “met up with” the Festival Nomad. Port Credit is located at the mouth of the Credit River on the north shore of Lake Ontario and is in the south central area of the City of Mississauga. Earliest references to Port Credit date back to 1757 where it was once a fishing port and the regional trading centre for grain. 1882 saw its lighthouse built and it served mariners until 1918. It was destroyed by fire in 1936. The village, itself, was planned in 1834 and was a “police village” in 1909. It didn't become a “town” until 1961.
I have lived through two interesting stories. The first occurred with the Texaco Oil Refinery (1932-1985) tank “blow-up”! Talk about "Déjà vu"! My memories of this are vague, although the massive amount of flames and billowing black clouds remain vivid. In my teenage years we lived in a high-rise condominium directly beside the train tracks. It was a Sunday evening and our family were just sitting down to my mother's famous “roast beef dinners”. The loud speakers from the fire trucks were bellowing out “leave immediately, get out now, evacuate now!”. My mother insisted that we finish our “dinner”, then we began to panic. More and more police and fire vehicles came by, insisting we leave the area and evacuate immediately. This second "interesting story"! The "great Port Credit train derailment" had just occurred and there was a major chemical spill. At that point we tried to collect our two cats. With bleeding arms (on all of us) and the two terrified cats had "completely disappeared" and could not be collected. We hastily left the condo in tears and without our cats! We did not think to “pack” anything. We had zero provisions! We had no idea that we would be “evacuated” for over 2 weeks! We were eventually compensated for clothing and general expenses but it was a great stain anyway. Fortunately the humane society were able to obtain access to our unit and “checked on the cats” to ensure their well being. The cats were okay, but sadly, my mothers (over 200) plants had all died. This happened not from lack of water but from the toxic odour that filled our unit.
On a lighter note, I spent many years enjoying all that the beautiful harbor, river and parks offered to Port Credit residents. We sailed out of the Port Credit Yacht Club for over 10 years, kayaked from the Mississauga Canoe Club, rowed with the Don Rowing Club, played organized baseball in Memorial Park, canoed up the Port Credit river to the Mississauga Golf course to collect golf balls from the river bed. (we sold them to the players for 25 cents each, A fortune at the time!), and we spent many wonderful winters cross country skiing on the river and skating on it till our hearts content.
In 1968 Port Credit amalgamated and became part of Mississauga. On its 10th anniversary Mayor Hazel McCallion, was presented with a “45 vinyl record”. On it was a song written about and dedicated to Mississauga by the famous country singer Tommy Hunter. Although I can’t play the record (no equipment) the tune is engrained in my mind. Recently the Festival Nomad and I visited the Mississauga Waterfront Festival held in Memorial Park located in the heart of Port Credit. “Port Credit” still hosts many wonderful festivals and events, including: the Mississauga Waterfront Festival (June), the In the Water Boat Show (August) and the Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz Festival (September). Port Credit is celebrating its 175 anniversary this year (2010) and Mayor Hazel McCallion is still an amazing asset to her "baby", Mississauga. If you ever get the chance to stop by Port Credit, you will not be disappointed.