If you want to see Hazel McCallion resplendent in her sari, I've added a pic.


Lisa said...


I don't think the link is working...!

I love Hazel. Still, a good friend of mine, while he respects her greatly, has always sort of seen her as the godmother of strip malls and suburban blight. Basically, the anti-Jane Jacobs. Not certain that I agree with his analysis, but then I didn't grow up in Mississauga.

My grandmother however, who was born and raised in Quebec, moved to Toronto in her mid-thirties as a single mom with three kids in tow, and who spent the last 20 years of her semi-retired life in Mississauga was as big a fan as they come. This deeply working class woman always maintained that Hazel was the living example of why women are better politicians/managers than men. In her words: "Who knows better about budgeting limited resources than a woman!"

L-girl said...

It's working. Scroll down, the pic is at the end.

Mississuaga is certainly strip malls and for some that equals blight, but Hazel McCallion didn't plan and cause that. What she does is preside over it and keeps it running smoothly.

Of course, I'm new around here, but that's what it looks like to me.

Lisa said...

Oh, there it is! I didn't look hard enough.

I love that photo. Glee and strength. And a sari! Wonderful combination. And she's an 85 year old (deeply) Protestant woman!

As for her record: I know Mississauga about as well as you...less, in a sense, because I have never lived as close to it as you guys do.

Strip malls = blight was a bit of hyperbole. I didn't mean to be an uptight Torontonian about this. Still, strip malls and suburban sprawl are problematic in terms of personal safety issues, environmental issues, etc. etc. Well, you know the drill...

The extent to which Hazel influenced this, and whether good or bad decisions were made? I think the jury is out. I do know that some people think that she focused too much on attracting business and people at the expense of other claims. Some say that this was necessary and inevitible, and that it was Hazel McCallion that actually prevented Mississauga from becoming just another suburb, and kickstarted it into city status (ie: a functioning downtown, which is a good thing).

The fact that it wasn't amalgamated into Toronto (unlike Scarborough was), has always impressed me, and Mississauga has Hazel to thank for that.

But I seriously don't really know what the hell I'm talking about. Just food for thought...

James said...

Off topic:

Someone just sent me this article about the Bushification of Canadian politics:

As an American journalist visiting my wife’s relatives in Canada, I’ve always been struck by how ardently the country’s political discourse focused on substance – the budget, health care, schools, roads – with little of the cheap theatrics and angry divisiveness of U.S. politics and punditry.


But in my visit this past summer, I noticed that the tone of Canada suddenly had changed. There was a nastier edge to the commentary. There were not so subtle appeals to racism and xenophobia, references to Muslim neighborhoods in Quebec as “Quebecistan” and to Lebanese-Canadians as “Hezbocrats,” a play on the Muslim group Hezbollah.


Canada had its version of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News in the Asper brothers and their CanWest Global Communications Corp., which owns the National Post, the Montreal Gazette and nine other Canadian newspapers, 25 television outlets and two radio stations.

It was the Montreal Gazette and the National Post that trumpeted the phrase “Quebecistan” after demonstrators in Ottawa and Montreal protested Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon in summer 2006.

Lone Primate said...

I don't have a lot of kind things to say about Jane Jacobs. Suffice it to say I'm happier with the arrival of some immigrants from NYC than others. Some actually get the fact that Toronto's a different place, geographically, demographically, and economically, and act accordingly. Others never did.

So thank God for Hazel McCallion. I did grow up in Mississauga, and now I live in Toronto-proper, and the difference in terms of ease of getting around and accessing amenities is night and day. If my job were in the west end instead of the north, I'd be out of here like a shot. Mississauga grew at a time, and with a mayor, that enabled it to learn from the mistakes recently (contemporarily speaking) made in the suburbanization of Scarborough (principally neighbourhoods lacking local amenities and formed into quasi-paranoid, insular pockets). We've had decades of stable, sensible, pay-as-you-go growth in Mississauga that has seen it develop into a city verging and 3/4 of a million people alone with the facilities and industries to support the population now that development money is drying up. The city has broad streets on which you aren't allowed to block traffic by parking; the 403, 410, 401, 427, and the QEW to get good and services and labour in and out of the city in a timely fashion; the GO Train and Mississauga Transit; and mixed residential and light industry so that the option of living and working in the same area is possible in the same way it was before the advent of the automobile. I grew up in the city that proves it doesn't have to be either Pittsburgh or Punkydoodle's Corners. There's room for both.

So here's to Hazel... the anti-Jane Jacobs. And God bless her.

Lone Primate said...

The fact that it wasn't amalgamated into Toronto (unlike Scarborough was), has always impressed me, and Mississauga has Hazel to thank for that.

Well, she's great, but you really can't lay that at her doorstep. That's a function of the nature of how top-tier municipalities operate. To put it succinctly, Scarborough was in York County (and thus, later, Metro) with Toronto. Mississauga was not; it's in Peel Region (Peel County). To annex a municipality of the same or lesser rank within the same county or region is relatively easy. To annex one in a different county, though, affect boundaries, property rights, court and municipal records, the harmonization of bylaws and standards, and most of these going back beyond when Canada became a country. Within a county, the Ontario Municipal Board could make it happen. Between counties or regions, you're talking about legislation on the provincial level. So it's no small thing. There are occasional inter-county and interregional boundary adjustments, like in the 1970s when Scarborough annexed Port Union from Pickering and Mississagua annexed part of two of Halton's concessions, but even those are rare. I'm not personally aware of any instance of the wholesale transfer of an encorporated municipality (like Mississauga) from one county or region to another.

As far as Hazel McCallion goes where annexation's concerned, she actually fought such a battle and lost. In the early 70s, she was the Mayor of the Town of Streetsville. A bit earlier, in the 1960s, Streetsville was feeling constrained by tight boundaries and floating the idea of annexing parts of Toronto Township (which formed the bulk of what's now Mississauga), an idea with some street cred because a town municipally trumps a township. But after Toronto Township became the Town of Mississauga in 1968, and thus the peer of Streetsville municipally, it struck back by proposing the annexation of Streetsville (and Port Credit, which was also a separate town). Hazel McCallion fought that battle and lost, and in 1974 Streetsville became part of the new City of Mississauga. But in the spirit of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', she became a reeve of the new city and, not long afterwards, its mayor, and has been ever since. :)

L-girl said...

Someone just sent me this article about the Bushification of Canadian politics

Based on the examples, it seems more about the Foxification of the media than the Bushification of the politics.

L-girl said...

Lone Primate, I remember our long-ago argument we had about this. :)

I'm a huge fan of Jane Jacobs, but I don't think urban vs suburban is an either/or proposition. No one way of living is going to suit everyone. There will *always* be families who want to live a suburban life, and others who eschew that.

I'm an urbanite at heart, but there are many wonderful things about life in Mississauga. And as suburbs go, the population density is pretty high, which helps lessen the environmental impact.

As far as Hazel McCallion goes where annexation's concerned, she actually fought such a battle and lost.

I was about to say that. :) I don't know a lot about the history of Mississauga, but I know that Hazel McCallion fought against amalgamation, lost, and then took on the whole shebang.

James said...

Based on the examples, it seems more about the Foxification of the media than the Bushification of the politics.

True, but are the two really that separate? The Foxification of the US media has been all but directed from Republican Headquarters.

Of course, "Bushification" is inaccurate in that the process has been going on for decades -- it's only "Bushification" in that it managed to reach a zenith under Bush's watch. A lot of the techniques cited in the article were explicitly promoted by Gingrich in the 90s, for example.

L-girl said...

True, but are the two really that separate?

They're related, obviously. But I think they're very different things in relation to what this person sees happening in Canada. The reactionary media like the National Post and talk radio might be straight out of Fox News, but that doesn't mean Canada's politics are following suit. They might or might not be, but she or he didn't give examples of that.

Now I'm returning this thread to its original topic. :)

imark said...

Little anecdote/rumour for you L-girl re. Hazel

Next time your driving through Streetsville along Queen St. there is a stop light at Queen & Main St. just north of Thomas. This light was only installed after "Hurricane Hazel" withstood being struck by a truck.

L-girl said...

Hi imark! Your first comment - welcome! :)