Scarborough is the easternmost of the six former boroughs which formed Metro Toronto.
It includes all Toronto (area code +1-416) points east of Victoria Park Avenue, including the city's zoo as well as a stretch of Lake Ontario and Rouge River shoreline (as its southern and eastern borders, respectively).
As late as the 1950's, "Scarborough Township" was largely rural. A piece of road from Oshawa to the current "Highway 2A" in Scarborough's east end had been built as freeway by 1939, but until 1956 this traffic poured onto Scarborough surface streets such as Kingston Road (at the time, the main motel strip for traffic from the east) or Danforth Avenue on its way across the Don River into Toronto.
As the city grew, suburbs gradually sprawled north through Don Mills, east into Scarborough and westward through Etobicoke and across the county line to Mississauga, largely following the freeways and an east-west subway line first opened in 1966. Toronto surpassed Montréal in size sometime after 1976, becoming Canada's largest city. As the easternmost point still within the metro Toronto line, the city of Scarborough was unofficially nicknamed "Scarberia" through much of the 1980's. In the 1990s Agincourt, a neighbourhood in the northern portion of Scarborough, became Asiacourt - effectively a second or third Toronto Chinatown - to accommodate an influx of immigrants arriving from Hong Kong before its 1997 retrocession to communist China.
Since then, huge amounts of suburbia have sprawled northward into Markham and eastward into Durham as the city expanded. The six former Toronto boroughs, from Scarborough to Etobicoke, were annexed to the City of Toronto in 1998.
All Toronto-bound traffic from points eastward (such as Montréal) enters the city by road and rail through Scarborough.
The borough's major freeway is Ontario Highway 401, Canada's busiest highway. Twelve lanes of chaos are packed at peak hours with motorists from the eastern suburbs (such as Pickering and Oshawa in Durham) all flooding into the city at once.
The north-south Highway 404 / Don Valley Parkway does not enter Scarborough, but runs just west of it. Exiting the 404/DVP onto any of the eastbound cross streets, from Steeles Avenue south to the lakeshore, should take you across Victoria Park Avenue into Scarborough.
- Via Rail stops at the Guildwood GO Transit station on Kingston Road on its way into Toronto from Ottawa and Montréal.
- GO Transit offers regular commuter train and bus service to Toronto and throughout the GTA (from Oshawa to Hamilton or Niagara). Main train connections are at the Rouge Hill, Guildwood, Eglinton, and Scarborough stations. The Stouffville line offers limited rush hour service to and from downtown Toronto with stops at Milliken, Agincourt and Kennedy stations in Scarborough.
- Coach Canada / Megabus stops at Scarborough Centre (401 and McCowan) on their way into Toronto from Kingston and Montréal.
- The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) provides bus and subway service throughout Scarborough and all of Toronto. On the Bloor-Danforth subway line 2, all stops from Victoria Park Ave. east to Kennedy serve Scarborough; a light metro line (Scarborough RT - line 4) continues eastward from there to McCowan Avenue, primarily serving the Scarborough Centre mall. A little-used McCowan Station at the eastern end of the line provides city-owned commuter parking; the TTC also operates "park and ride" lots at the eastern end of the main subway line, +1 416-393-INFO (4636) for info.
- Durham Region Transit provides bus service to the Scarborough campus of U of T from Pickering (Ontario).
- 1 Rosetta McClain Gardens, 5 Glen Everest Rd (Bus 12 from Victoria Park Stn (subway line 2) to Kingston Rd & Glen Everest Rd). Formal gardens with rose gardens and a rock fountain surrounded by a pergola, with spectacular views of Lake Ontario from the top of Scarborough Bluffs
- 2 Scarborough Historical Museum, Thomson Memorial Park, 1007 Brimley Rd (Bus 21 from Kennedy Station on subway line 2). Scarborough Historical Museum has a small collection of rural 19th century buildings.
- 3 Scarborough Bluffs (Bluffer's Park), 1 Brimley Rd S (Bus 12 from Kennedy Station on subway line 2 to Kingston Rd). Located on a 14 km stretch along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. The highest cliff is 65 m (213 ft) and the views of the waves crashing along the shore are beautiful. Definitely a must see and there are no entry fees. Warning for those walking in: There is a steep road down to Bluffer's Park.
- 4 Guild Park and Gardens (formerly known as Guildwood Park), 201 Guildwood Pkwy (Bus 116 from Kennedy Station on subway line 2 to the Guild Inn stop). The park has some beautiful gardens holding the pillars and facades of many elegant temple-like buildings that were unfortunately demolished to make way for glass and steel skyscrapers.
- Osterhout Log Cabin, Guild Park (at the edge of a wooded area on the western side of the park). Augustus Jones, who surveyed Scarborough, built this cabin in 1795. This is the oldest building in Scarborough, and the second oldest in Toronto after Scadding Cottage in Exhibition Place in the Harbourfront district.
- 5 Toronto Zoo, Meadowvale Rd (Bus 85B from Don Mills Stn (subway line 4) or bus 86A from Kennedy Stn (subway line 2); north of Hwy 401 exit at Meadowvale Rd), ☎ . Hours. Open daily except Christmas Day. Canada's premier zoo showcasing over 5,000 animals and 460 species, the Toronto Zoo is divided into seven zoogeographic regions (Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain) featuring both indoor and outdoor displays. It worth a visit in both the winter and summer months. Prices.
- Giant Panda Exhibit. On exhibit until late 2017. Pandas Er Shun and Da Mao are the current star attractions at the zoo. In October, 2015, Er Shun gave birth to 2 cubs, a male and a female, whom zoo visitors can see from March 12, 2016.
- White lions, African Savanna area. In September, 2015, 4-year-old lioness Makali gave birth to 4 rambunctious white lion cubs, on display since December, 2015. (The zoo will not guarantee a lion cub sighting in winter as they may retire inside depending on the temperature.)
- Gorilla Rainforest. The Gorilla Rainforest is the world’s largest indoor habitat for the western lowland gorilla, and one of the zoo's most popular pavilions.
- Rouge National Urban Park, Meadowvale Rd. A federal park full of nature and wildlife, featuring a sandy beach, forests & rolling hills where visitors can hike, swim, canoe & fish.
- 3 Thomson Memorial Park, 1005 Brimley Road (at Lawrence Avenue East; bus 21 to Britwell Ave), ☎ . Nature paths through wooded ravine along the West Highland Creek, ball diamond, multipurpose sports field, tennis courts, picnic areas, off-leash dog area, wading pool and playground.
- 4 Morningside Park Trail, Morningside Ave (Bus 116A,116C from Kennedy Stn (subway line 2); between Kingston Rd and Ellesmere Rd). Large park with a creek running through a forested area; trails, picnic areas, playgrounds & a splash pad.
- 5 Milliken Park, 5555 Steeles Ave E (Entrance at McCowan Rd; bus 53 from Finch Stn (subway line 1) or bus 129 from Scarborough Centre Stn (SRT line 3)). Beautiful park with pond, fountain, picnic site, WC, trails, wildlife.
- 1 Agincourt Mall, 3850 Sheppard Ave E (at Kennedy Rd; bus 85 from Don Mills Station; north of Hwy 401), ☎ . Suburban shopping mall.
- 2 Cedarbrae Mall, 3495 Lawrence Ave E (at Markham Rd; bus 54 from Eginton Stn or Lawrence East Stn; Hwy 401 southbound exit), ☎ . Suburban shopping mall.
- 3 Malvern Town Centre, 31 Tapscott Rd (at Neilson Rd; bus 131 from Kennedy Stn to Blackwell Ave), ☎ . Suburban shopping mall. Post office outlet within Mac's Convenience store.
- 4 Morningside Crossing, 4218 Lawrence Ave E (at Morningside Ave; bus 54 from Eginton Stn or Lawrence East Stn). Suburban shopping mall.
- 5 Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Dr (TTC SRT line 4; Hwy 401 exit at McCowan Rd southbound), ☎ . 10AM-9PM wkdays, 9:30AM-7PM Sat, 11AM-6PM Sun. This large 2-level suburban mall offers big-box & brand-name shops & a cinema. Post office outlet within Shoppers Drugmart.
- 6 Woodside Square, 1571 Sandhurst Cir (at McCowan Rd & Finch Ave; bus 129 from Scarborough Town Centre station), ☎ . Suburban shopping mall with food court, bakeries, and supermarkets.
- Kennedy Avenue from Lawrence Avenue East to Ellesmere Avenue is a commercial district featuring dozens of independent furniture, electronic, houseware and computer businesses that all share some of the best deals the city has to offer, together with a couple of large electronic chains. It is often very congested on weekends by automobile, and many merchants lack adequate parking, but it is within walking distance of the Scarborough RT and there is bus service from the Kennedy subway station on the Danforth line. This is not really a destination for tourists, and it's quite a drive from the city centre, but if you're in the area, and want to do some discount shopping, there may be something here to suit your needs.
- 1 Ted's Restaurant, 404 Old Kingston Rd, ☎ . Old fashion diner in Highland Creek. A bit of a historical site. $10-25.
- 2 St. Andrews Fish and Chips, 1589 Ellesmere Rd, ☎ . Traditional 'fish and chips'. Also supply deep fried Mars bars.
- 3 King Georges Arms, 2501 Victoria Park Ave, ☎ . Known for having the best wings in Scarborough, King Georges Arms is also a pub and attraction for late night drinks. $11-25/person.
- 4 Real McCoy Burgers and Pizza, 1033 Markham Rd, ☎ . 10AM-1AM. This fast food restaurant with good pizza and burgers. It's a simple take-out restaurant with no seating environment and is open for late-night requirements. Closed on Sundays. Under $25.
- 1 Island View Nightclub, 3601 Lawrence Av E. (just east of Markham Rd), ☎ . This trendy bar is the perfect stop to start or end a night of dancing. Drinks are cheap, service is efficient and the dancefloor is big enough to sustain large crowds.
- 1 Holiday Inn Express, 50 Estate Dr (south of Hwy 401 exit at Markham Rd), ☎ . 3 star, with high-speed internet access, continental breakfast, fitness centre and business facilities.
- 2 Travelodge Toronto East, 20 Milner Business Court (north of Hwy 401 exit at Markham Rd), ☎ . All rooms feature swipe-card access, work desk, in-room coffee, voice mail, irons and ironing boards, in-room movies, and a 25 inch TV. Free wi fi access and an indoor pool.
- 3 Delta Toronto East, 2035 Kennedy Rd (north of Hwy 401 exit at Kennedy Rd), ☎ , fax: . Includes continental breakfast each morning, high speed wifi, cableTV with movies. 20,000² ft atrium houses a large swimming pool, saunas, whirlpool, exercise room and squash court.
High lake levels in 2017 have resulted in landslides along the Scarborough Bluffs. Thus, visitors are advised to stay away from top edge and lower base of the bluffs. Safe access to the water is provided at Bluffer's Park, Sylvan Park, Guild Park and Gardens, or East Point Park.
Free wifi hotspots in Scarborough are abundant, but as always, exercise caution when using public hotspots. Most restaurants also provide free wifi of their own, with passwords inside for customers.
- Markham has two attractive main streets.
|Routes through Scarborough|
|Etobicoke ← East End ←||W E||→ END|
|Entertainment and Financial Districts ← East End ←||W E||→ Pickering → Oshawa|
|Whitchurch-Stouffville ← Markham ←||N S||→ East End → Entertainment and Financial Districts|