State funeral for former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion set for Feb 14

A state funeral will be held for Hazel McCallion on what would have been her 102nd birthday.

The funeral will take place at Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga on Valentine’s Day. 

The former Mississauga, Ont. mayor, nicknamed “Hurricane Hazel,” died on Sunday at 101 years old.

Her funeral service will be held on Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend, but seating will be limited. Attendees are advised to arrive an hour early.

Premier Doug Ford, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie will be in attendance.

Ticket information will soon be available at Paramount Fine Foods Centre.

There will also be a livestream of the funeral for those who are unable to attend in person.

Ahead of the service, McCallion will lie in repose at Mississauga City Hall. The public can visit the former mayor on Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Flags will be flown at half-mast across the province on Feb. 14.

In 1978, McCallion was elected mayor, a position she would hold for 36 years and transformed Mississauga from a largely rural community into a bustling metropolis.

Nicknamed by supporters as “Hurricane Hazel” due to her unique political style, she served 12 terms as the chief magistrate of Mississauga from 1978 to 2014.

She was born in Port Daniel, Que., on Feb. 14, 1921. Her family owned a fishing and canning company. McCallion attended business secretarial school in Quebec City and Montreal after high school.

She would face the worst disaster in Mississauga’s history a year later when a Canadian Pacific freight train containing hazardous chemicals derailed, caught fire and exploded.

More than 200,000 residents had to flee their homes due to the incident. McCallion’s handling of the disaster, which resulted in no deaths, was praised.

Under her leadership, McCallion used lower taxes in Mississauga to attract businesses from Toronto to help the city grow. Mississauga is now the third-largest city in Ontario and the seventh-largest in Canada, with a population of 717,961.

Its population in 1978 when McCallion was first elected was 280,852.

After retiring from politics, McCallion held several positions in different sectors, including at post-secondary institutions and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.

In 2022, McCallion was chosen by Ford to become the head of the Greenbelt Council.

In February 2021 she spoke with CP24 about how she wanted to be remembered “Well, [ I want to be] remembered for building a city. Not alone, [I had] great staff, great counselors, and I hope they remember me for the many facilities that we’ve provided in the city for people. Because my motto when I ran as mayor of Streetsville and mayor of Mississauga, I always said planning and development for [the] people,” she said at the time.

McCallion is survived by her three children.


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