Modern Mississauga presents Way Back Wednesdays - The history of Joseph Street (Mississauga Road South), Old Port Credit

Modern Mississauga and Heritage Mississauga have come together to present an ongoing series called “Way Back Wednesdays."
We’ll share information about the history of Mississauga here and answer your questions.
Today’s topic is the history of Joseph Street (Mississauga Road South), Old Port Credit

Chief Joseph Sawyer, portrait by Reverend James Spencer, 1846.jpg

In 1835, under the direction of Crown Surveyor Robert Lynn, a village plot on the west bank of the Credit River was laid out. The survey order, which is dated June 20, 1835, is plainly titled “Plan of the Survey of Port Credit, a village plot at the mouth of the Credit River”. The village plot already shows some lots being occupied, but nevertheless this is the first official reference to a place called “Port Credit”. However, use of the name “Port Credit” was not officially recognized until October 10, 1842, when the first post office was opened using the name of Port Credit under postmaster William Raines. The “Plan of the Extension of the Town Plot of Port Credit”, as it was titled by surveyor John Stoughton Dennis, was surveyed on the east side of the Credit River and dated to June 10, 1846. Interestingly, this survey plan included streets named Brook Street (now Stavebank Road), Helen Street (now Helene Street) and Huron Street (now Hurontario Street). We will discuss these names in another article.

But back to Robert Lynn’s 1835 survey. Three north-south roads were established and named Peter Street, John Street and Joseph Street. These streets were named after three of the principal chiefs of the indigenous Mississaugas, namely Reverend Peter Jones (1802-1856), his brother John Jones (1798-1847), and their uncle, Joseph Sawyer (1786-1863). There is a much more of a story here, but for another time. Joseph Street was renamed Mississauga Road South in 1975. We will look at the stories of Peter and John Jones in another article.

Robert Lynn Survey Plan - Port Credit - 1835.jpg

Joseph Sawyer, after whom Joseph Street was originally named, was also known as Chief Nawahjegezhegwabe (Sloping Sky). Born c1786 to Wahbanosay, a chief of the Mississaugas, a travelling Methodist Minister baptized young Nawahjegezhegwabe and named him “Joseph Sawyer”. He served as an ally of the British Crown during the War of 1812, and was present at the capture of Fort Detroit and at the battles of Queenston Heights (1812) and Lundy’s Lane (1814). After the War of 1812, he moved to the Credit River, and in 1829 was elected as a chief of the Mississaugas. He was one of the principal chiefs during discussions to relocate, which culminated in the relocation of the Mississauga from the Credit River to the New Credit Reserve in 1847. He died in 1863 at New Credit and is buried at the New Credit (Methodist) United Church.

If you’ve got a question about the history of our city, we want to hear from you.
Please send your questions to with “Way Back Wednesday” in the subject line.