Interview with Mayor Hazel McCallion, City of Mississauga

Interview with City of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion about the growth of the retail sector and the need for logistics planning.
Property Biz Canada: The influx of retailers from the U.S. and the growth of homegrown Canadian retail and business is creating pressure on our infrastructure systems, particularly road and rail for transportation. Is Mississauga able to deal with this demand?
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion: Yes. Many large retailers have made the operational decision to locate head offices and key parts of their supply chain in Mississauga including: Target, Wal-Mart, Sobeys and the TJX companies – Winners, Home Sense, Marshalls.
Good transportation infrastructure and the efficient movement of people and goods are important to all businesses in our region. Mississauga is fortunate to have excellent road and rail connections to key markets in North America and global air connections through Toronto Pearson International Airport, located in Mississauga.
Mississauga is the only city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) serviced by seven major highways, Mississauga offers fast, convenient access to major destinations in Canada and the USA. (Highways include 401, 403, 409, 410, 427, QEW, 407).
The success of these companies shows that we are meeting current demand.
Property Biz Canada: How do you plan to accommodate such growth?
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion: The discussion on a co-ordinated regional approach to transit is taking place today. We are looking at new ways of funding public transit and transportation improvements. One way to move goods more efficient is to reduce the number of personal automobile trips on the road each day.
We have a choice of doing nothing and letting the gridlock grow every day, or to do something and help pick up the tab for it through new funding tools.
Mississauga has actively participated in the establishment of the Peel Goods Movement Task Force and the subsequent adoption of a new transportation strategy that aims to curb the impact of traffic congestions on the local economy. The task force consists of public and private sector agencies involved in transportation and logistics.
The City's economic development strategy underscores the desire to position Mississauga as a strategic national logistics hub by working with trade associations like the Supply Chain Sector Council, Supply Chain Logistics Canada.
Property Biz Canada: With the number of warehouse and logistics enterprises increasing, is this going to be accommodated within Mississauga, or has this hub in your city reached its capacity, particularly when it comes to real estate?
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion: Mississauga can accommodate more growth in the sector. We have more than 2,400 acres of employment land yet to be developed.
Close to 200 Mississauga companies in the truck transportation business have established facilities here because of the strategic location relative to Ontario's major highways. In addition there are close to 200 companies in the freight forwarding and customs brokering business.
We understand how the growth in electronic retail market is having an impact on the demand and development of industrial space.
Logistics and transportation companies are enablers for the distribution of goods today. Our development industry has been adjusting to changing times.
We are witnessing distribution centres being designed to meet the new needs of business today including more energy efficient spaces and even renovating or repurposing older, underutilized industrial buildings.

Industry Events