The Life and Times of Being Scarborough

January 17, 2008 at 10:46 pm 6 comments

I was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. I currently live in Scarborough. In between I spent most of my adult life in various other parts of North America, so as an adult I’ve lived in Scarborough for probably not much more than two, or possibly three years. I moved back for personal and family reasons. Honestly, I don’t plan to stay in Scarborough for too long, and I know my future is to live in a (or various) different community.

When I was in high-school I had no love for Scarborough. Now that I’m in my 30’s I still don’t ‘love’ the place, but I do see it with different eyes. I see potential and promise. I also see the problems and the issues that this area has to deal with.

Scarborough is considered the bad area of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Those who don’t live here believe Scarborough is where the majority of crime in the GTA is committed or derived from. It’s supposed to be gang-infested and dangerous, in other words people don’t just visit Scarborough for something to do. Unless you have a reason to visit Scarborough, most people outside of the region don’t spend much time there.

On the contrary, a report came out over a year ago stating that Scarborough actually has a lower per capita crime rate than many other areas of the GTA. And yet the media and people who don’t live here continue to portray it as a place worse than hell, or something thereabouts.

The problem that I had with Scarborough, as a teenager, and if I’m going to be honest today as well, is that it has no heart and soul. Scarborough Town Centre, which is a huge, ugly mall, is considered to be the city center. Other than that there isn’t any central commercial region. When we used to go shopping, or just wanted to hang out somewhere, as a teen we would automatically head downtown, into the heart of Toronto. Other than malls there is no real attractive commercial district in the borough.

Since I’ve moved back, though, I have a better opinion of the area. Scarborough is, as it was when I was younger, densely multicultural. Most areas of Scarborough are a mish-mash of skin tone and verbal accent. Of course most of the GTA is like this, but I believe that Scarborough takes the situation one step further.

In my immediate neighbourhood I actually feel safer today than I did when in high-school.  In the mornings when I used to set off for school there would be crack dealers asking me if I wanted to buy some drugs and hookers plying their trade…at 8 a.m.  O.K, a drug addiction I can understand; you need your fix.   But hookers?  At that time of the morning?  Seriously!

What I think Scarborough needs is an event.  Something to make the locals proud and to interest people from other parts of the GTA, and even from further afield, to come to Scarborough to participate.  Some kind of one-of-a-kind festival, or celebration.  SOMETHING.

If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them.


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Politics. Scarborough’s Flag

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Referals « Canadian Fermentation  |  February 4, 2008 at 3:57 am

    […] One hit from a search engine I had today was from the term hookers in Scarborough, probably directing them to this post. […]

  • 2. paul greem  |  May 11, 2008 at 12:29 am

    I lived in scarborough between the ages of 7 to 24 and found it to be a emerging community. scarborough was a community where not-so-newly emigrated immigrants could realize their dreams of home ownership. although there may be matters to be addeessed today, the value of the experiences of those residents at that time can not be overstated. when evaluating the area, those concerned should consider its historical legacy to those who gained their introduction to the canadian dream and ask what if such a place had not existed. many of the residents of other, more celebrated communities have lived within scarborough city limits.

  • 3. C. Fraser  |  May 12, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your comment, and good points. You last sentence is interesting and says a lot. Why do Scarborough residents feel they need to move to more celebrated communities? There’s nothing inherent in Scarborough that entices people to stay here, unfortunately.

  • 4. Elizabeth  |  May 14, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I am one of those people that moved away from scarborough to a more up and coming area. My parents decided to move because the area where we were living was becoming increasingly dangerous and was not a very good environment to raise young children in.

    Interestingly enough we sold our house to a chinese couple who were trying to buy the canadian dream (they even wanted to buy our furniture).

  • 5. C. Fraser  |  May 15, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Elizabeth – Thanks for your comment. It’s true areas of Scarborough can be dangerous, and that is probably the main reason why people move away from Scarborough.

    I still don’t think it’s as bad as most people make out, though. What Scarborough really needs is an identity and a soul. Scarborough needs some community spirit to raise it up out of it’s torpor.

  • 6. Anonymous  |  July 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Scarborough has changed because of the influx of blacks, pakistanians, and asians PERIOD- its the governments fault for not checking up on their criminal behavior before allowing them the privilidges that they think is theirs,, give me a break…


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