Hazel McCallion stood on a platform alongside Mayor Bonnie Crombie and other dignitaries on a blistering hot Canada Day 2019 and declared Port Credit the “crown jewel” of Mississauga. It’s a statement that is sure to irk those who live in Streetsville or the city centre, perhaps even Clarkson or Erin Mills. Not because they dislike Port Credit, but because of the friendly rivalry that exists between Mississauga’s beautiful townships.
However it’s hard to argue that Port Credit isn’t the go-to destination for many during the summer months. With its jaw-dropping lakeshore, countless restaurants, buzzing night-life, iconic lighthouse, myriad independent businesses, and family-friendly feel, it’s not hard to see why. That said, one could argue that Port Credit is missing something.
That one thing that would take the area from “maybe it’s the best” to “it’s undeniably the best.” What is that thing? Well, to be honest, that’s kind of personal. And I don’t mean I don’t want to share it with you, I mean it’s based on the individual. What Port Credit needs to go to the next level most likely depends on what you’d want to see.
Personally, I’d be overjoyed if Port Credit was home to a movie theatre, or even an old-fashioned drive-in. Of course, Port Credit used to have a cinema and, for those who missed it, earlier this year we did a retrospective on that old theatre that once occupied The Crooked Cue’s spot, so be sure to check that out. However that was a very long time ago, so much so that most don’t even remember it.
Currently Mississauga has three cinemas; Square One Cineplex, Courtney Park Cineplex, and Burnamthorpe Cinestarz. Most would also include the Winston Churchill Cineplex as it straddles the border with Oakville. So that’s a decent amount of cinema’s, but they’re all equal distance from Port Credit. Square One, Courtney Park, and Burnamthorpe are all a 30-45 minute bus ride away, while Winston Churchill is two buses away.
Of course, this is a first world problem, but considering how popular and populated Port Credit is, it sure would make sense to have a movie theatre in the town or on the outskirts. Imagine summer in the area where families come to walk the piers, dine at a restaurant, over-indulge with ice cream, hit-up a few shops, then stop at the drive-in before heading home. Sounds like a perfect summer day to me.
Alas, that’s just one person’s personal preference. There are thousands of Mississauga natives who couldn’t care less about a movie theatre or a drive-in. So what would those people care to see? A few years ago there was talk of a Walmart coming to the area but there was enough push-back from locals to curb that idea; they wanted the area to continue to support independent businesses and it’s hard to argue with that. However a big, cheap department store does seem amiss in the area, especially since No Frills shut-down. The nearest grocery stores are Loblaws at Credit Landing, and Metro at the Lakeshore Plaza, with only a Rabba in between. That’s something certainly worth considering.
It’s also worth mentioning the influx of people that will be coming to Port Credit in the next few years – something we covered here. With the plethora of new developments in the area, there will be tens of thousands of new Port Credit residents in the next few years. So what could be done to accommodate those new people, or make the transition easier?
Obvious things like more bus routes are a must, new stores will come and go, and fresh restaurants will flourish, but what about a big entertainment complex like The Rec Room? That would bring a slew of entertainment to the area that it’s sorely lacking. Or what about a mini-mall? The area will certainly be big enough to accommodate a mall akin to Dixie or even something like the Heartland Town Centre. If there’s one glaring hole in Port Credit’s business scene, it’s that of clothing stores, fast food (minus pizza), and the kind of things you find in a mall. However that also brings us back to the issue of locals not wanting brand names and big business sullying the small-town feel of the area.
The fact of the matter is though, Port Credit will be a small-town no longer in the near future. The population of the area will likely be doubled in the next five years, meaning things are changing whether we want it or not. So adding some non-independent businesses wouldn’t be the end of the world, in fact it might be necessary to sustain the scale.
So what wold you like to see come to Port Credit? Not interested in a movie theatre, mall, supermarket, or an entertainment complex? We’d love to know what you want to see happen in the area. Things are changing, there’s no stopping that, but we can certainly play a part in how things change. So let your voice be heard!