Scarborough, Ontario

From Academic Kids

Template:Canadian City

Scarborough is a part of the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was formerly a separate city, but has been part of the 'East District' since it was amalgamated with the old City of Toronto and four other municipalities in 1998. It retains its original name for most local residents, and is recognized by Canada Post as a municipality name and Statistics Canada as a census subdivision. Its borders are Victoria Park Ave. to the west, the Rouge River, the Little Rouge Creek and the Scarborough-Pickering Townline to the east, Steeles Ave. to the north, and Lake Ontario to the south.



In 2005, Census information revealed that Scarborough's population was 655,050, with a density of 3489.9/km2. A significant portion of Scarborough's population is composed of immigrants who have arrived in the last two decades. Chinese and South Asian residents make up about 40% of the visible minority population. African-Canadian residents make up 19% of the visible minority population, while Filipino residents account for 5%. The remaining visible minority groups are all below 2%.

The large immigrant population has created multicultural havens in various areas of Scarborough. Most notable among these is the heavy concentration of Chinese and South Asian shops and restaurants in the Agincourt neighbourhood (often referred in derogatory terms as "Asian-court"). Along certain strips like Kingston Rd., Eglinton Ave., and Lawrence Ave., all running through south-central Scarborough are a high concentration of jerk chicken, roti, and halal restaurants and shops reflecting their respective cultures. Scarborough also encompasses Malvern, Ontario which has a very high African-Canadian population.


Scarborough is one out of the two areas in Canada where visible minoirities outnumber Whites. The other area is Markham, a suburban city just north of Toronto. Racial Profile

  • 40.1% White
  • 17.8% Asian
  • 17.5% Chinese
  • 10.1% Black

Recent developments

A significant amount of building activity has spurred growth along the 401 corridor at the northern end of the Scarborough RT between McCowan and Scarborough Centre Stations. Several key highrise condominium projects have increased the residential density in the Town Centre. This has caused the twofold effect of increasing the apparent affluence of the once neglected neighbourhood and increasing the traffic congestion in the region.

Scarborough Town Centre, the suburb's biggest commercial and entertainment hub, has recently undergone massive renovations to transform it into a modern and competitive mall. Recent additions include satellite establishments like Jack Astor's, Milestones, Krispy Kreme, and Best Buy Electronics.


It was incorporated as a township in 1850[1] ( and included as part of Metropolitan Toronto when it was formed in 1953. It was incorporated as a borough within Metropolitan Toronto in 1963. It was then incorporated as a city within Metropolitan Toronto in 1983. It was amalgamated into the "megacity" in 1998, losing its separate legal identity.

It was named after Scarborough, England by Elizabeth Simcoe, the wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada. The bluffs along Scarborough's Lake Ontario shores reminded her of the limestone cliffs in Scarborough, England. In her diary, she wrote, "The [eastern] shore is extremely bold, and has the appearance of chalk cliffs, but I believe they are only white sand. They appeared so well that we talked of building a summer residence there and calling it Scarborough."[2] (

Much of the area of Scarborough was settled by suburban housing developments in the last third of the 20th century. Often considered a poor cousin to the more urbane Toronto, Scarborough residents have developed their own unique culture and sense of humour as evidenced by such native "Scarberians" as Mike Myers (Wayne's World, Austin Powers), Eric McCormack (Will and Grace), John Candy (Second City, SCTV) the musical group Barenaked Ladies, and pop teen princess Fefe Dobson. Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Truman Show) also lived in Scarborough during his teen years.

Scarborough is the home of Ontario's only elevated rapid transit line, the Scarborough RT. It is also home to the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC) and Centennial College.


Scarborough is home to an earthen cliff formation known as the Scarborough Bluffs. These can be found along the shore of Lake Ontario, stretching about 14 km, and reaching heights of more than 60 m in places. Erosion has been a problem along the Scarborough Bluffs. Some properties located near the brink have actually had to be abandoned, and some houses condemned, as the brink wears back away from the lake.

The Bluffs are part of a much larger formation known as the Iroquois Shoreline. Most of the rest of this formation is located somewhat further inland, and not right at the lakeshore as in Scarborough. The Iroquois Shoreline marks the extent of a prehistoric lake, Glacial Lake Iroquois, whose level was quite a bit higher than Lake Ontario's. It shrank in size at the close of the last ice age.

Scarborough is also notable for the Rouge River Valley, an area many parts of which are still in a wild state, mostly wooded. The Valley is home to a great variety of wildlife including deer, foxes, and the occasional coyote. In the mid-1990s, there were several unconfirmed sightings of a cougar in the Rouge Valley. One witness even produced a videotape purportedly showing it.

The Toronto Zoo is also located in the Rouge Valley.

Scarborough in the news

Omar Khadr

Scarborough is the birthplace of Omar Khadr, the juvenile Canadian citizen detained by the United States at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. He is the son of suspected al-Qaeda financier Ahmad Said Khadr.


Scarborough is reputed for the number, size, and frequency of its drug busts, which have been occurring mostly over the past decade. In 2004, 190 of the 320 marijuana grow operation busts took place in Scarborough. The north section of the district has become notorious for the number of grow houses in this area. [3] (

Canada's largest heroin bust occurred in Scarbourough in 2000. Canada's largest MDMA busts have all been in Scarborough. Ze Wai Wong, the ringleader of an MDMA and marijuana exportation scheme which supplied 1 out of every 7 ecstasy pills in the USA, was a resident of Scarborough.


Street gangs continue to be a problem in Scarborough, as gun-related violence has left some residents feeling unsafe in their communities.

Further reading

  • A History of Scarborough, Robert Bonis, 1968

External links


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