I spent the majority of my life growing up in the wasteland suburbs of Mississauga. A massive, sprawling city with absolutely no distinguishing characteristics or any charm. Such was my adolescence.
The city is going through a major boom right now. It has changed drastically in the two years that I’ve been out of it, and the change wasn’t just more sprawl; a lot of it is centralized. Condo tower after condo tower is going up in the city centre, all of which are engulfing and overshadowing Mississauga’s iconic city centre. Soon, they too will be overshadowed by this massive thing.
While the now obscured civic centre might be the public face of Mississauga, the real icon, to me, always was Lakeview Generating Station. An old coal power station along the lake that, with its four massive smoke stacks, was visible from nearly anywhere in the city. Most of my school years were spent on a street almost directly north of it, so with the slope of the road, Lakeview was a daily (and prominent) site. For me it was the ultimate symbol of the city: giant, ugly, dirty, and unescapable.
On June 12th, the four smoke stacks will be demolished. I, for one, will miss them. Unfortunately, the demolition is on a Monday in the morning, so I won’t be able to see it firsthand. On the plus side, since they are so conspicuous I can see them from my apartment. Sort of. It won’t be an impressive show from this distance, but at least I’ll get one last look.