Inspired by its soaring cliffs, it was Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of Upper Canada’s first Lt. Governor John Graves Simcoe, who named the area after Scarborough, an attractive seaside town in Yorkshire England. Scarborough Bluffs remain the most remarkable geographic feature of the riding.
Scarborough Southwest is a federal, provincial and municipal riding which stretches across the bottom edge of Scarborough from Victoria Park Ave. in the west to Markham Road and Eglinton Ave. in the east. It reaches from Eglinton Ave., in the north to Lake Ontario in the South.
Formerly known as Scarborough West it was traditionally thought of as a “swing” or “bellwether” riding which generally reflected voters’ moods and elected a candidate from the ultimate winning party.
The riding has come a long way since then. It’s grown and diversified in a way that would have astonished John Graves Simcoe.
It’s now a vibrant metropolitan area that embraces people from around the world. A multi-faith, multicultural hub within the Toronto mosaic, Scarborough Southwest celebrates its diversity with festivals such as the Grand Murugan Flag Hoisting Festival at Canada Kanthaswamy Temple on Birchmount Rd.
The beating heart of Scarborough Southwest, Variety Village reaches out with welcoming arms to the whole community.
A long-established charity, Variety Village lifts the hearts and spirits of families and young people no matter their ability or their circumstances and sends the message - all are welcome here.
This amazing facility offers fitness and wellness programs for everyone. Its ethos is inclusivity. There are specialized programs that provide services with no barriers and no obstacles.
It’s a safe place where everyone can join in the family friendly fun. Anyone can become a member and everyone can take part in the fitness and life skills program.
ROSETTA MCcCLAIN GARDENS
Come for the bird-watching; stay for the butterflies. Breathe in the heady scent of roses in full bloom. There’s a rock fountain surrounding a decorative pergola. This flower haven has spectacular views of Lake Ontario from the Scarborough Bluffs.
No Scarborough Southwest wedding is complete without a trip to these gardens for those special photographs.
The nine hectare garden was originally a farm, purchased at the turn of the 20th century by Thomas McDonald West. He and his wife divided the property among their four children - Rosetta was one of them.
Many of the landscape improvements were undertaken by her husband, Robert Watson McClain and her brother Joseph McDonald.
Rosetta McClain died in 1940 and in 1959 her husband donated the land to the city of Toronto as parkland in her memory.
In 1977, the land was given to the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and combined with other portions of the West property, eventually creating a 9 hectare park.
It’s operated by Toronto Parks Department and includes scent gardens, braille signs, textured paths and other features to make the gardens accessible to everyone.
BLUFFERS PARK & MARINA
Brimley Road sweeps south from Kingston Road and takes a slight bend. As is does so, a glorious vista unfolds ahead as you descend towards Lake Ontario.
This is Scarborough’s hidden treasure - an idyllic place to get away from the noise of the city and imagine you’re by the ocean.
Sailboats bob on the horizon, seagulls soar. It’s the kind of scenery that uniquely tells you you’re in Scarborough Southwest.
Follow the road down to the Marina and you’ll find float homes, where hardy souls live year-round aboard houses that are built on water.
Several boat clubs cater to sail boats, motor boats and dry sailors.
Stop by for a bite at the Bluffers restaurant, that overlooks the docks - or check out the more casual Dogfish downstairs.
On summer weekends, families enjoy Bluffers Park beach, where there’s always a cool breeze and a warm welcome.