A suburb of Toronto, Scarborough has a rich history dating from the late 1700s, when it was a group of small villages and farms. Branching out from its more urban centre, with large buildings and heavy traffic, are residential areas that provide greenspace and larger lots. The neighbourhood has three main water features, which include Highland Creek, Rouge River, and Lake Ontario (along its southern edge), which provide picturesque routes for hiking and biking. Residents of Scarborough have everything they need right in their own backyard, but the neighbourhood’s close proximity to Toronto’s downtown provides access to even more amenities.
Scarborough is located in the eastern part of Toronto, along Lake Ontario, and close to the communities of Markham and Pickering. The neighbourhood extends from Victoria Park Avenue in the west to Scarborough Pickering Townline (Highway 30) in the east, and from Steeles Avenue E in the north to Lake Ontario in the south. Although part of the large urban centre of Toronto, Scarborough has beautiful parks and lakefront areas that provide residents with numerous opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and forget they are in the city for a while. The neighbourhood is easy to get around in and offers plenty of amenities.
The Toronto Zoo is located in Scarborough and is a popular attraction for residents and tourists alike. It is one of the largest zoos in the world and has over 10 kilometres of walking trails. Over 500 species from around the world live at the zoo, including pandas, polar bears, gorillas, leopards, rhinos, tigers, lions, hippos, and giraffes, as well as birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The Waterside Theatre has daily animal shows and is free with admission, while Splash Island is a splash pad where kids can play and cool off in the summer months. The Scarborough Museum is located in Thomson Memorial Park and is one of 10 historic museums that the City of Toronto operates. The museum features exhibits and programming that provide information about the history of the area, such as immigration, settlement, lifestyle, sport, crafts, and industry.
For a great dining option, Smith Bros. Steakhouse Tavern on Warden Avenue is an award-winning establishment that features reasonably priced, quality steaks and seafood along with a variety of beer and wine in a friendly, modern atmosphere. The restaurant also takes bookings for events and private parties. The Roti Hut on Pitfield Road is a popular Caribbean restaurant offering bright, flavourful dishes in a simple but comfortable environment. The family-friendly venue serves generous portions perfect for sharing, and also provides catering for offsite events. For something sweet, D Spot Dessert Café & Bistro on Lebovic Avenue offers a variety of hot and cold beverages along with mouthwatering desserts like ice cream, cheesecake, brownies, lava cake, and pie. Light meals such as sandwiches and savoury crepes are also available at the sunny, spacious location.
Scarborough offers a mix of single-family detached homesand apartment buildings, as well as a few other dwelling types.The average price for single-detached homes in the area is $391,988, which is much lowerthan the average price for single-detachedhomes in Toronto overall($730,472). The population of Scarborough is 632,098, and this has been rising slightly for the past 15 years. Families make up 59% of the population here, 20% are couples, and 21% are single. The average annual income is $69,478, which is similar to the average annual income in the city as a whole, and 52% of residents are university or college educated.
Scarborough can sometimes experience air pollution from heavy traffic and industry in surrounding areas, and due to its proximity to downtown Toronto. Areas close to main roadways can experience noise issues.
Crime rates in Scarborough have remained fairly steady over the past several years and the neighbourhood is considered to be one of the safer in Toronto. The most common types of crime in the area are assault, breaking and entering (commercial and residential), and robbery.
The Toronto District School Board operates most schools in the neighbourhood, including Port Royal Public School, Fleming Public School, Kennedy Public School, Highland Creek Public School, Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute, Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute, and West High Collegiate Institute. The Toronto Catholic District School Board also operates schools in the neighbourhood, and private school options are also available. Scarborough is home to many post-secondary institutions, including CDI College, Centennial College, Canadian Business College, Evergreen College, Herzing College, Academy of Learning College, triOS College, Toronto Business College, and the University of Toronto.
Scarborough has numerous bus routes within walking distance of residences and businesses, many of which connect the neighbourhood to other areas of the city, including downtown. These bus routes also connect passengers to the city’s rapid transit subway lines, which provide efficient travel throughout Toronto. Two subway lines run through the neighbourhood: Line 2 Bloor-Danforth and Line 3 Scarborough.
Scarborough’s many parks provide an outdoor refuge for its city-dwelling residents. Morningside Park features numerous walking/biking trails, firepits, a picnic shelter, a playground, a splash pad, multiple picnic sites, restroom facilities, treed areas, and a creek that is travelled by salmon in the fall. Botany Hill Park is 2.5 hectares of greenspace near the East Highland Creek ravine and offers a playground, a children’s garden, outdoor tennis courts, and an off-leash dog park. Located near the mouth of the Highland Creek, East Point Park has walking/biking trails, softball diamonds, birdwatching opportunities, a pond, and restroom facilities. Colonel Danforth Park provides greenspace, treed areas, walking/biking trails, a pond, picnic sites, an off-leash dog area, and restroom facilities.
The L'Amoreaux Sports Complex offers residents ball diamonds, biking trails, picnic sites, playgrounds, multiple sports fields, restroom facilities, a multipurpose room, change rooms, and drinking fountains. L'Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre has a variety of programs and classes for children, youth, and adults in dance, art, yoga, cooking, golf, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and other activities. The centre’s facilities include a fitness/weight room, two multipurpose rooms, two kitchens, two lounge areas, a gymnasium, and a sauna. The Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre was built for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games and is now a public facility used for fitness and sports activities. The centre provides access to a climbing wall, a gymnasium, pools, a fitness centre, a dive pool and tower, dance studios, and an indoor track. A variety of sports, arts, and other programs and classes are offered at the centre.