Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion will publish her memoirs this October. Hurricane Hazel: A Life with Purpose will be published by Harper Collins, just as the mayor steps down from her job after 36 years.
The 93-year-old, who before heading Mississauga’s council was mayor of Streetsville (now part of Mississauga) in 1970, said she hopes her story “will educate, entertain and inspire readers.”
McCallion will have a lot of stories to tell, including how she had been mayor for only a short period when the 1979 Mississauga train derailment occurred, requiring an evacuation of the city, and how the city has grown from a group of small towns separated by farm land to the sixth largest city by population in Canada.
The book will be co-written with writer Robert Brehl.
“(Hazel’s) story appeals to so many people on so many levels; whether it’s politics, business and hockey or issues like dealing with Alzheimer’s in the family, age discrimination or women’s issues,” Brehl said. “Hazel is the quintessential ‘been there, done that, doing that’ kind of person.”
McCallion, born Hazel Journeaux in Port Daniel on the Gaspe Coast of Quebec and educated in Quebec City and Montreal, began her career in Montreal with Canadian Kellogg, an engineering and contracting firm, and was transferred to Toronto in 1942 to help set up a local office.
She has been a fixture in politics since she became chair of the Streetsville Planning Board in 1967. She later became deputy reeve and then reeve of the town. She became mayor of Mississauga in 1978, four years after the city came into being in 1974.