Let me take you back. Way back to 1808 to be exact, when Clarkson’s first settlers arrived. Warren Clarkson, along with Thomas Merigold and Lewis Bradley, arrived from New Brunswick and settled in Clarkson, a.k.a. Merigold’s Point, a.k.a. Clarkson’s Corners. Once known as the “Strawberry Capital of Ontario,” the tiny settlement has evolved so much since then. Now, it’s become a thriving neighbourhood that is a wonderful mix of the working class and wealthy. Clarkson Village is also on the rise, becoming a place where people will stay and hang out a little while longer. With fresh new businesses popping up regularly, the Lakeshore stretch between Lorne Park Road and Southdown could likely rival Port Credit in the near future. So, like all the cool kids, why not hang out here before it becomes mainstream. Here is a specially curated list of the top 6 things to do in Clarkson, just for you. But shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone.
1. Satisfy your hunger
Sadly, my inner foodie is constantly hungry. I feel like most of my day is spent deciding what I’ll eat next. Clarkson is one of those neighbourhoods where you can find a great variety of flavours that will satisfy even the most demanding appetite.
Let’s start with the first meal of the day - looking for breakfast or brunch? Check out Kravingz, which has been generating a lot of buzz with their international take on breakfast since first opening their doors in December of 2015. If you’re feeling some pizza, why not go to the best? Mickey’s has some of the tastiest pies around, with their deep dish being their claim to fame. Actual fame. They were featured on an episode of Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here.
Want some exclusive fine dining? Michael’s Back Door is as exclusive as they come. Feel like you’re celebrity status and enter through the back door as the restaurant’s name implies. Casalinga or Solstice will fulfill your need for classy and modern Italian fare. Tu Casa is also a great spot for a refined palate and a special occasion. If your taste buds are feeling some more exotic flavours, Mango Rain is a popular staple with Clarkson locals and beyond. Finally, what’s a meal without dessert? Top off your belly with a sweet treat from Truscott Bakery. I challenge you to get just one pastry. Go ahead and try – I dare you.
2. Get a makeover
Apart from delicious food, Clarkson also has many places where you can look after number one – yourself! If you look good, you feel good right?
Your one stop shop for all things aesthetic is a mother/daughter-run operation – Trends Beauty Bar. Everything from hair extensions, Botox, fillers, eyelash extensions and more, they do it all. They will make you look and feel like a very large sum of money. Feeling stressed? Unwind with a massage at Relaxology Wellness or a yoga session at Power Yoga Canada.
3. Connect with nature
It’s nice to live in a thriving city like Mississauga but still be able to see some wildlife in their natural habitat. Clarkson has some great trails to explore. My personal favourite is Rattray Marsh. With a winding raised boardwalk that takes you through the marsh, you will be inundated with many photo ops. So many birds, deer, beaver, turtles, toads, snakes and small woodland creatures call the Marsh home. If you’re stealthy, you might be lucky enough to snap a selfie with a furry friend for your social media feed.
After all that animal watching, hopefully you’ve packed yourself a nice picnic so you can head to Jack Darling Memorial Park for some lakefront dining. They even have barbecues! Bring your dog to the leash free park and your kids to the playground (and not the other way around). I’ll bet you didn’t know the park also has two tennis courts. If that’s not enough fun, bring your bike or running shoes and explore the waterfront trail.
4. Annual Festivals & Events
Clarkson has put on some awesome festivals in the past that show this is a village that can party. Halloween Fun Fest turns the village into a spooky yet family friendly atmosphere every October. Check it out every year when local businesses hand out treats, and get your face painted or nurse a tummy ache from too much candy in the bouncy castle. When December rolls around, it isn’t Christmas in Clarkson without the annual tree lighting ceremony. Complete with Christmas caroling, musical performances and a visit from Old St. Nick. Also, I hear the hot chocolate is free, and who doesn’t like that? Check out the Clarkson BIA for more information on these events and more.
Coming up on May 1st, don’t forget to check out the Rebel 16 Kick Off, which is the start to an entire week of youth-led activities that are driven by creative expression. This festival was created by Mississauga youth and this is its second year running. Expect to be entertained through music, film, art culture and sport.
5. Drink and be merry!
Nothing ends off a fun-filled day quite like a nightcap. Want to get your drink on? Clarkson is home to many fabulous drinking establishments. Fionn Maccools is a great place to have some brews. They also host many weekly events ranging from live musical performances to karaoke.
Clarkson’s mainstay and probably where you will find most locals is the Clarkson Pump and Patio. Known for their fabulously unexpected patio, it’s a great place for a cold beer in the summer, and you can also enjoy the game on their many big screens. They’re running a great appetizer special right now called “Appy Hour” and their wings are very satisfying.
6. And the most famous Clarkson landmark you MUST visit is…
Scooter’s Roller Palace. If you grew up in Mississauga, this was the hottest place to be in your teen years. But, it’s not just for kids! Get in touch with your inner child and hit this place up for a night of music, laser lights and calorie burning. You can bring your own skates or rent them there. Who knows, you may even bump into Russell Peters or Drake, who have both visited the local roller rink.
For more on Clarkson’s history, check out the beautifully preserved historical homes - Bradley House, c.1830, The Anchorage, c.1839, or Benares, 1857 for more information. For all you Clarkson lovers out there, what are your favourite things to do in Clarkson?