Mississauga is a city in Southern Ontario located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, and in the western part of the Greater Toronto Area. With an estimated population of 734,000, it is Canada's sixth-most populous municipality and has almost doubled in population in each of the last two decades. Mississauga's growth reached a peak between the census years of 1986-1991, with the largest population growth in Canada (89,500). Sustained population growth has continued since, but at a somewhat slower pace. Mississauga is now the third most populous city on the Great Lakes, surpassing the cities proper of Detroit, Milwaukee and Cleveland over the last two decades.
Developed as a suburb of Toronto, Mississauga's growth is attributed to its proximity to that city, However, Mississauga's extensive corporate and industrial employment opportunities differentiate it from suburban bedroom communities. The city has also been trying to create a distinctive image for itself over the past few years. It held an international architectural design competition in 2006 for a 56-storey condominium tower, to be called Absolute World, that is intended to be a landmark for the city. The city is debt-free and has not borrowed money since 1978. Mississauga has been the beneficiary of federal infrastructure funding but may have to borrow money to build new capital projects in 2012.
With five major freeways passing through the city, Mississauga offers quick access to major markets in Canada, in addition to large markets in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest, is located in the city. Mississauga has one of the largest corporate/financial districts in Canada with major international companies having their Canadian headquarters located in the region including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, PepsiCo, General Electric, Siemens, Fujitsu, Walmart Canada , World Vision Canada and Intuit Canada among many other Fortune 500 companies. Square One Shopping Centre, the second-largest shopping mall of Greater Toronto Area, is also situated in Mississauga. Residents of the city are called Mississaugans.