Meadowvale Conservation Area Mississauga
Meadowvale Conservation Area is a large park in Mississauga, Ontario. It is a family-friendly, big, public park located in the northwest area of the city.
This Mississauga park is situated in a ravine setting that hugs the shorelines of the Credit River. There are also plenty of open green spaces that are popular for sports, picnics and BBQ.
Some of the most popular activities at Meadowvale Park include:
- walking and hiking
- cross-country skiing
Meadowvale Conservation Area has earned its reputation as one of the best parks in Mississauga.
It’s a top attraction for nearby residents, but is also worth a trip for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Why Parks Matter
Parks are often taken for granted in urban areas like Mississauga, but they play a critical role in our lives. They provide a much-needed escape from the pressures of the urban environment that we live in.
Here’s why parks like Meadowvale are so important for our well-being:
Reducing the Negative Effects of Air Pollution
Parks act as a natural filter for the air we breathe, absorbing pollutants and reducing the levels of harmful chemicals in the environment. Not only that, but they also help cool the city and mitigate the effects of climate change by providing shade and reducing the urban heat island effect.
Opportunities for Physical Activity and Recreation
Parks provide a range of facilities for people of all ages, from playgrounds and sports fields to walking paths and picnic areas. This not only helps maintain good health but also provides a much-needed escape from the urban environment, reducing stress levels and improving mental health.
Promoting Community Engagement and Social Interaction
Parks serve as a gathering place for residents to come together, share experiences, and build relationships. This helps foster a sense of community, build social capital, and promote social cohesion.
Protecting Biodiversity and Wildlife
Conservation areas such as Meadowvale often provide essential habitats for a range of plant and animal species. These spaces serve as important refuges for wildlife in urban areas, helping to mitigate the effects of habitat loss and degradation.
To sum it up, the Meadowvale Conservation Area is a great resource for us all, and it provides people with a valuable connection to nature.
Where is Meadowvale Conservation Area?
As shown in the map above, Meadowvale Conservation Area is located in the extreme northwest corner of Mississauga. It’s north of Highway 401, and is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Toronto.
Municipal address for the Meadowvale Conservation Area is 1081 Old Derry Road, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5N 6R4.
The nearest main intersection is Derry Road and Mavis Road.
The park is easily reachable by car, and is perhaps a little more difficult to reach by public transit. There are buses along Derry Road and Mavis Road, but you should check schedules before heading out.
The nearest commuter rail and bus station is the Meadowvale GO Station on the Milton Line.
The Meadowvale Conservation Area is also the site of the administrative offices of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority.
History of the Park
The Meadowvale Conservation Area has a rich history that is inextricably linked to the history of what we today call Meadowvale Village. There are areas of the park that were historically important in the past.
In the 1800’s various types of mills were big business along the Credit River. There were sawmills, carding mills (for wool), and grist mills (for grinding wheat into flour). There were many early entrepreneurs who tried their hand with these early industries.
Francis Silverthorn, son of one of the Township’s first pioneers, arrived in Meadowvale in the 1840’s. He built a dam on the river and built a large sawmill. Silverthorn expanded his complex in 1845, constructing a grist (flour) mill on the site as well.
The grist mill suffered a fire in 1853, and it, along with 10,000 bushels of wheat, burned to the ground.
Undeterred, and with new financial backing from the Bank of Upper Canada, Silverthorn rebuilt the mill.
Following the Crimean war the wheat market collapsed in 1860. The firm of Gooderham and Worts eventually took over the mill operation.
After Gooderham and Worts departure in 1880, the grist mill stayed in use until the 1950’s. It was demolished by 1954.
There are still remnants of the grist mill at the southern end of the park.
Toronto Guelph Radial Railway
Did you know there was once an electric powered streetcar that ran from St. Clair Ave. & Keele St. in Toronto, all the way to Guelph? It ran westward along Dundas St., making stops at Islington, Dixie, and Cooksville, after which if veered north to Streetsville, and then on to Meadowvale. From Meadowvale it proceeded further north to a place called Eldorado Park in Brampton, near where Lionhead Golf Club is today. Then it finally proceeded westwards to Georgetown and Guelph.
The service was operated by a company called the Toronto Suburban Railway, and it opened in 1917. The line was not a success financially, and within a year of opening, it was turned over to the Canadian Northern Railway.
Then in 1923 it became part of the recently created Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC). The Toronto Guelph Radial Railway was closed for good in 1931.
The reason we mention this here is that there was a trestle for this railway that crossed the Credit River just beside the Silverthorn Mill. And although the trestle is long gone today, remnants of its foundations are still there for amateur historians to view.
Inside the Park
Meadowvale Conservation Area is one of about 500 parks administered by the City of Mississauga, and is one of two major parks in Meadowvale, the other being Lake Aquitaine Park.
It is open year round, although the best times to visit are definitely in the spring, summer, and fall. As with all parks in Mississauga, there is no fee for admission.
Walking Trails along the Credit River
The Credit River begins its journey in areas far north from the City of Mississauga. It flows southward through rural areas into Peel Region and Mississauga.
Eventually, it reaches the Port Credit harbour, and this is where it drains into Lake Ontario. The path of the river runs directly through the Meadowvale Conservation Area.
At Meadowvale Conservation Area in Mississauga, the river is located in a flood plain with lots of thick forest running along its banks. It can be a rapidly flowing stream when the snow melts in the spring, or a trickling brook during midsummer.
There are multiple walking, hiking, and biking trails in the park. Many of the trails run along, and across, the river.
One of the noted trails is the Culham Trail, which is an 13.2km long trail that follows the Credit River along its right bank. You can follow the Culham Trail to north of Derry Road, or southwards all the way to Dundas Street W.
There are paved and gravel walkways that take you in all directions amid the tall trees overhead. The paved portions of the trails are great for biking.
There are a few minor waterfalls along the river’s course, along with plenty of wildlife. The river has fish in it, and you will often see people fishing for steelhead trout and salmon.
There are plenty of ducks and geese to see here, during all times of the year. There are songbirds of every kind, and everything from hummingbirds to Great Blue Herons. It’s a great spot if you are into birding.
You will also see plenty of the usual small animals, including squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and maybe the occasional fox, skunk, or coyote. There are many reports of people seeing white-tailed deer in the park, although they are elusive. Early morning or early evening are probably the best times to spot the deer.
Meadowvale Conservation Area has benches scattered along the waterway where you can sit and soak in the beauty of the river views, and listen to the sounds of the water flowing.
Picnic, BBQ, and Playground Areas
Meadowvale Conservation Area Mississauga has many large open spaces and play areas. Here you will find:
- BBQ areas including firepits
- multiple picnic areas including some with covered pergolas
- open fields with plenty of room for soccer or other team sports
- lush walking and hiking trails that take you right to the river’s edge
The picnic areas are quite extensive, and this park is on many people’s list of best Mississauga picnic parks.
Plan Your Visit to 1081 Old Derry Road
The conservation area is open daily from 7:00am to 11:00pm (or until dusk in winter).
Meadowvale Conservation Area Parking
There are two separate parking lots with plenty of free parking once you enter the park.
Online reviews of the park are very positive, currently ranking 4.5 out of 5 on Google, with thousands of reviews posted. For many people in the northwest part of the city, this is their favourite Mississauga park.
There are free public washrooms at the park.
The park is dog-friendly! Dogs on a leash are permitted.
Entrance to the park is free.
Meadowvale Conservation Area Mississauga offers a variety of facilities for all ages, such as walking paths, hiking trails, bike trails, open green areas, and picnic and BBQ facilities.
The park’s ravine and river areas support diverse wildlife and wildfowl, promoting various plant and animal species.
With its excellent northwest location and full array of attractions, Meadowvale Conservation Area is a great option for people looking to enjoy the great outdoors.
We highly recommend Meadowvale Conservation Area as one of the best parks in Mississauga.
Next: Mississauga Valley Park
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