What to See & Do in Scarborough?
Scarborough lies to the east of downtown Toronto, and was once a separate municipality. It is best know for its sandstone Scarborough Bluffs (who’s sand has swept westward by currents to settle & form the Toronto Islands), the Rouge River natural park system, and the Toronto Zoo. Scarborough is criss-cross by beautifully treed ravines and by streets with a range of multi-cultural shopping and dining options.
The name “Scarborough” is named for the community in North Yorkshire, England, because the wife of John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada’s first lieutenant governor, thought the bluffs looked like the limestone cliffs back home.
Both Toronto and Scarborough received large groups of immigrants from Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and China, as well as Jews from all over Eastern Europe. Following the Second World War, refugees from war-torn Europe, poor areas of Italy and Portugal, and Chinese fleeing the unrest there came to Toronto.
The Scarborough Town Centre was developed as the major commercial and entertainment hub east of Toronto’s Yonge Street and is located beside the Scarborough Civic Centre, Albert Campbell Square, and Consilium Place. Originally the city centre for the old City of Scarborough government, it now includes the Scarborough Walk of Fame honouring notable residents, past and current.
The gem of Scarborough is the Toronto Zoo, moved in 1974 from its original Riverdale location to the Rouge River valley, expanding its overall area from a cramped 3 hectares to a modern 300 hectares modern zoo where animals have space and settings duplicating their natural environments.
The natural treasures of the community are the Rouge River parklands, and the Scarborough Bluffs, sandstone cliffs that overlook Lake Ontario. The sand eroded from the Bluffs over the years has drifted west and collected to create the Toronto Islands.