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Credit River
Credit River in Port Credit.jpg
The Credit River in Port Credit
Other name(s) Missinnihe
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Physical characteristics
Main source Niagara Escarpment
near Orangeville, Ontario and Caledon East, Ontario
400 m (1,300 ft)
River mouth Lake Ontario
Port Credit
74 m (243 ft)
Length 90 km (56 mi)
Discharge
  • Location:
    Erindale, Mississauga
  • Minimum rate:
    0.085 m3/s (3.0 cu ft/s)
  • Average rate:
    8.12 m3/s (287 cu ft/s)
  • Maximum rate:
    501 m3/s (17,700 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Basin size 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi)

The Credit River is a river in southern Ontario, which flows from headwaters above the Niagara Escarpment near Orangeville and Caledon East to empty into Lake Ontario at Port Credit, Mississauga. It drains an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi). The total length of the river and its tributary streams is over 1,500 kilometres (930 mi).

Credit River Ontario
The Credit River near Belfountain

Despite urbanization and associated problems with water quality on the lower section of this river, it provides spawning areas for Chinook salmon and rainbow trout. There is a fish ladder on the river at Streetsville. Much of the river can still be travelled by canoe or kayak. The headwaters of the Credit River is home to a native self-sustaining brook trout population and an introduced brown trout population.

Credit Valley Conservation, the local watershed management conservation authority, operates several Conservation Areas including Belfountain, Island Lake, and Terra Cotta.

Caledon Lake in Peel Region, GTA, Ontario, Canada
Caledon Lake lies in the Headwaters of Credit River

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park is located on the upper part of the river between Brampton and Orangeville, and is near the Bruce Trail.

Communities in the river's watershed include the following:

Naming

The river became known as Missinnihe (Eastern Ojibwa: "trusting creek") to the Mississaugas First Nation who met annually with white traders there. To the First Nations, the river was "held in reverential estimation as the favourite resort of their ancestors" and the band, which ranged from Long Point on Lake Erie to the Rouge River on Lake Ontario, became known as the Credit River Indians. Their descendants are today the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

The origins of the English name come from the time when French fur traders supplied goods to the native people in advance (on credit) against furs which would be delivered the following spring. It was known as the Rivière au Crédit. The trading post was set up at the mouth of the river, in Port Credit, in the early 18th century.

Watershed population and land use

As of the 2006 census, 750,000 people live in the watershed. Of those, 87 percent live in the lower third of the watershed. Population growth is approximately 3 percent per year. In 1999, 21 percent of the watershed was developed. By 2020, 40 percent of the watershed will be developed (based on approved development and the official plans of the municipalities).

Plants and animals

The Credit River is home to a wide range of wildlife. Some species are permanent or seasonal residents while others are sighted occasionally. This watershed is home to 1,330 plant species, 64 fish species (including many bait fish, pike, and brook trout), 41 mammal species, 5 turtle species, 8 snake species, 17 amphibian species, and 244 bird species.

Turtle species (5)

Snake species (8)

Amphibian species (17)

Bridges

List of major roadways crossing over the Credit in Peel Region:

  • Lakeshore Road - 4 lane steel box girder bridge
  • QEW - two span open spandrel deck arch bridges built in 1934 and widened 1960; maybe demolished and replaced pending review
  • Dundas Street West - two separate span steel box girder bridges
  • Burnhamthorpe Road West - two separate span concrete bridges
  • Ontario Highway 403 - 8 lane concrete girder overpass(es)
  • Eglinton Avenue West - two separate span concrete bridges
    • a lower small steel truss bridge for pedestrian trail visible from the north side
  • Bristol Road West - two lane concrete girder bridge
  • Britannia Road - 4 lane concrete overpass
  • Creditview Road - concrete overpass being widened with new span to accommodate 4 lanes
  • Ontario Highway 401 - 6 lane concrete girder overpasses
  • Old Derry Road West - two lane steel Warren truss bridge (c. 1930 and rehabilitated in 2005)
  • Derry Road - 6 lane concrete overpass
  • Ontario Highway 407 - two separate span 8 lane concrete girder overpasses
  • Steeles Avenue West - 4 lane concrete girder overpass
  • Creditview Road - single lane concrete bowstring bridge c. 1928
  • Mississauga Road - 4 lane concrete girder overpass near Queen Street in Brampton
  • Heritage Road - 2 lane concrete overpass
  • Ontario Highway 7 / Guelph Street - 2 lane overpass

Only the QEW spans and the Old Derry Road bridges have historic significance as the rest were basic bridges built since the mid 20th Century.

CP Rail and CN Rail have steel deck truss bridges crossing over the Credit River.

Sources

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Credit River Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.