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Scarborough Centre

Ward 21

The Golden Mile
1900 Eglinton Avenue East
Look for the two heritage plaques on Eglinton Avenue East in front of the plaza. In the late 1940s, the Golden Mile of Industry stretched a mile along Eglinton Avenue. The General Engineering Company (GECo) built and ran a large munitions plant south of Eglinton Avenue. The Scarborough Township purchased 225 acres of land and 145 buildings on Eglinton Avenue (the former GECo site) from the government. The farmlands on Eglinton Avenue from Victoria Park Avenue eastwards were soon transformed into the Golden Mile industrial complex. To attract businesses during Canada’s post-war economic boom, the land was offered at inexpensive prices and low property taxes. Since then, the Golden Mile attracted a range of major companies, including Delco, Thermos, Frigidaire, and car manufacturers like General Motors and Volkswagen. In 1954, the Golden Mile Plaza opened at Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East, becoming the largest shopping centre in Canada. In 1959, the Golden Mile Plaza was even visited by Queen Elizabeth II. While the area was booming for a number of decades, many of these industries have moved out since the 1980s. Today, there are plans to redevelop the area into a residential and commercial centre.

Gatineau Hydro Corridor
East-West Path between Ashtonbee Reservoir and Wexford Park
Within the past decade, this trail has been the target of many natural restoration efforts from the City of Toronto, community environmental groups and local residents. Currently, it’s also a part of an ongoing project called the Meadoway, which is a partnership involving the City of Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. It will connect four ravines, 15 parks and over 30 neighbourhoods in Scarborough, enabling cyclists and pedestrians to travel through the park from the Don River East to Rouge National Urban Park. The area will soon be able to support a greater diversity of local wildlife and plant life as well as create recreational greenspace for local community members along the path.

Ashtonbee Reservoir Park
21 Ashtonbee Road
Ashtonbee Reservoir Park is a 9.2 hectare park located on top of Ashtonbee Reservoir, where the City of Toronto stores some of its water supply. Ashtonbee Park features numerous cricket pitches and multipurpose sport fields. The park is situated at the eastern end of the Gatineau Hydro Corridor. The connected Wexford Park has a large mature forest at the northern end, with surrounding recreation areas, including a children’s playground, shady lawns and two small softball diamonds.

Chapel of St. Jude
10 Howarth Avenue
Located in the graveyard on Howarth Avenue is the Chapel of St. Jude. Built in 1848, it is the oldest church building in Scarborough. The small church was built by local farmers and seated about 60 people. The plank walls were chiseled to look like stone and many of the beams still have the axe marks from the original construction. In the 1950s, a larger brick church was built on the east end of the property to accommodate the rapidly growing population of Wexford, but the original chapel still remains.

Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts
1176 Pharmacy Avenue
This school was officially opened to students in 1965 as Wexford Collegiate Institute by the Scarborough Board of Education. It was renamed Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in 2006 in recognition of its specialized arts programs. They are well known for their glee club, the Wexford Gleeks, who have had high-profile engagements including a feature on TVO’s Doc Studio, and accompanied a duet with astronaut Chris Hadfield (while he was on the International Space Station) and Ed Robertson (singer of the Barenaked Ladies). Their visual arts and theatre programs have ties to artists and arts organizations that work directly with the students in a professional setting. Famous alumni of Wexford Collegiate include artist Shary Boyle, portrait artist Todd D. Claydon, singer and songwriter Fefe Dobson and journalist Helen Mann, to name a few.

Wexford Heights Plaza
2086 Lawrence Avenue East
Though many strip malls can be found throughout Scarborough, this one is particularly noteworthy as it has been visited by Prime Ministers and Bollywood stars, and even served as the inspiration for a feature-length film. The Plaza houses numerous local businesses and was home to the legendary, recently-closed Wexford Restaurant, which operated here for over 60 years from 1958 until 2020, serving up an estimated 3 billion eggs, and 10 billion coffees. In 2016, the film “Wexford Plaza”, written and directed by Scarborough native Joyce Wong, opened to rave reviews from critics.

Jennifer Moyer & Tara Dorey Mural
2075 Lawrence Avenue East
This legacy mural depicts the people and activities of the Taste of Lawrence Festival, a celebration of international food, music, and culture.

Ellesmere Skatepark
46 – 56 Canadian Road
This skatepark is located at the Ellesmere Community Centre with a mix of quarter pipes, ledges, banks, rails and more. The skatepark offers many opportunities for young people. It has an extensive skateboard summer camp, with report cards and certificates, and also has an active youth advisory council. Make sure to check out the colourful mural completed in 2018 as a Signature Project of the Cultural Hotspot in partnership with Art Starts. The mural was painted by six youth led by local mural artists Jacquie Comrie Garrido and LuvSumone (Moises Frank).

Parkway Mall
85 Ellesmere Road
This mall stands out with the sweeping space-age arch that can be found on the north side; it was a popular architectural feature of shopping centres in North America in the 1950s. The mall was built to service the surrounding neighbourhood, which quickly developed from rural farmland into a suburban neighbourhood after the Second World War. When the mall opened in 1958, its flagship store was the Grand Union grocery store. Today, the mall has smaller retail stores that focus on independent businesses and services for community members. Valued as a prime example of a Modernist building, the site was designated a Heritage Property in 2015. A plaque commemorates the history of the building inside the parking lot.

Terraview & Willowfield Gardens Parks
1625 Pharmacy Avenue & 97 Pachino Boulevard
These two adjacent parks were created as part of a regeneration plan for the nearby Don River. The soccer field at Terraview Park has an underground filtration system designed into it. New aquatic habitats were created as part of the plan with ponds in each park. Willowfield Pond in Willowfield Gardens Park was created with local schools in mind, as local students help with water quality and planting programs. The wetlands created by these two parks help filter out contaminants from the water as it flows back towards the Don River. The successful naturalization of these two parks led to them winning an award in 2002 from the Canadian Society of Landscaping Architects.

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Explore Scarborough Centre

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

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DON’T MISS
BigArtTO
December 2 – 5
6pm – 9pm
Scarborough Civic Centre (Skating rink)

Neighbourhood Stroll: Wexford/Maryvale

This stroll features some important Scarborough heritage sites like the Golden Mile, Parkway Mall, and Wexford Plaza, passes through some fantastic greenspace such as the Gatineau Hydro Corridor and Ashtonbee Reservoir Park, and highlights public art with the Jennifer Moyer and Tara Dorey mural and Ellesmere Skatepark. Plenty of outstanding local businesses can be found throughout the Wexford Heights BIA.

Main Streets: Lawrence Avenue East, Warden Avenue, Eglinton Avenue East and Ellesmere Road

Note: Some neighbourhood strolls may cross over into more than one ward.

  1. The Golden Mile
    1900 Eglinton Avenue East
    Look for the two heritage plaques on Eglinton Avenue East in front of the plaza. In the late 1940s, the Golden Mile of Industry stretched a mile along Eglinton Avenue. The General Engineering Company (GECo) built and ran a large munitions plant south of Eglinton Avenue. The Scarborough Township purchased 225 acres of land and 145 buildings on Eglinton Avenue (the former GECo site) from the government. The farmlands on Eglinton Avenue from Victoria Park Avenue eastwards were soon transformed into the Golden Mile industrial complex. To attract businesses during Canada’s post-war economic boom, the land was offered at inexpensive prices and low property taxes. Since then, the Golden Mile attracted a range of major companies, including Delco, Thermos, Frigidaire, and car manufacturers like General Motors and Volkswagen. In 1954, the Golden Mile Plaza opened at Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East, becoming the largest shopping centre in Canada. In 1959, the Golden Mile Plaza was even visited by Queen Elizabeth II. While the area was booming for a number of decades, many of these industries have moved out since the 1980s. Today, there are plans to redevelop the area into a residential and commercial centre.

  2. Gatineau Hydro Corridor
    East-West Path between Ashtonbee Reservoir and Wexford Park
    Within the past decade, this trail has been the target of many natural restoration efforts from the City of Toronto, community environmental groups and local residents. Currently, it’s also a part of an ongoing project called the Meadoway, which is a partnership involving the City of Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. It will connect four ravines, 15 parks and over 30 neighbourhoods in Scarborough, enabling cyclists and pedestrians to travel through the park from the Don River East to Rouge National Urban Park. The area will soon be able to support a greater diversity of local wildlife and plant life as well as create recreational greenspace for local community members along the path.

  3. Ashtonbee Reservoir Park
    21 Ashtonbee Road
    Ashtonbee Reservoir Park is a 9.2 hectare park located on top of Ashtonbee Reservoir, where the City of Toronto stores some of its water supply. Ashtonbee Park features numerous cricket pitches and multipurpose sport fields. The park is situated at the eastern end of the Gatineau Hydro Corridor. The connected Wexford Park has a large mature forest at the northern end, with surrounding recreation areas, including a children’s playground, shady lawns and two small softball diamonds.

  4. Chapel of St. Jude
    10 Howarth Avenue
    Located in the graveyard on Howarth Avenue is the Chapel of St. Jude. Built in 1848, it is the oldest church building in Scarborough. The small church was built by local farmers and seated about 60 people. The plank walls were chiseled to look like stone and many of the beams still have the axe marks from the original construction. In the 1950s, a larger brick church was built on the east end of the property to accommodate the rapidly growing population of Wexford, but the original chapel still remains.

  5. Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts
    1176 Pharmacy Avenue
    This school was officially opened to students in 1965 as Wexford Collegiate Institute by the Scarborough Board of Education. It was renamed Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in 2006 in recognition of its specialized arts programs. They are well known for their glee club, the Wexford Gleeks, who have had high-profile engagements including a feature on TVO’s Doc Studio, and accompanied a duet with astronaut Chris Hadfield (while he was on the International Space Station) and Ed Robertson (singer of the Barenaked Ladies). Their visual arts and theatre programs have ties to artists and arts organizations that work directly with the students in a professional setting. Famous alumni of Wexford Collegiate include artist Shary Boyle, portrait artist Todd D. Claydon, singer and songwriter Fefe Dobson and journalist Helen Mann, to name a few.

  6. Wexford Heights Plaza
    2086 Lawrence Avenue East
    Though many strip malls can be found throughout Scarborough, this one is particularly noteworthy as it has been visited by Prime Ministers and Bollywood stars, and even served as the inspiration for a feature-length film. The Plaza houses numerous local businesses and was home to the legendary, recently-closed Wexford Restaurant, which operated here for over 60 years from 1958 until 2020, serving up an estimated 3 billion eggs, and 10 billion coffees. In 2016, the film “Wexford Plaza”, written and directed by Scarborough native Joyce Wong, opened to rave reviews from critics.

  7. Jennifer Moyer & Tara Dorey Mural
    2075 Lawrence Avenue East
    This legacy mural depicts the people and activities of the Taste of Lawrence Festival, a celebration of international food, music, and culture.

  8. Ellesmere Skatepark
    46 – 56 Canadian Road
    This skatepark is located at the Ellesmere Community Centre with a mix of quarter pipes, ledges, banks, rails and more. The skatepark offers many opportunities for young people. It has an extensive skateboard summer camp, with report cards and certificates, and also has an active youth advisory council. Make sure to check out the colourful mural completed in 2018 as a Signature Project of the Cultural Hotspot in partnership with Art Starts. The mural was painted by six youth led by local mural artists Jacquie Comrie Garrido and LuvSumone (Moises Frank).

  9. Parkway Mall
    85 Ellesmere Road
    This mall stands out with the sweeping space-age arch that can be found on the north side; it was a popular architectural feature of shopping centres in North America in the 1950s. The mall was built to service the surrounding neighbourhood, which quickly developed from rural farmland into a suburban neighbourhood after the Second World War. When the mall opened in 1958, its flagship store was the Grand Union grocery store. Today, the mall has smaller retail stores that focus on independent businesses and services for community members. Valued as a prime example of a Modernist building, the site was designated a Heritage Property in 2015. A plaque commemorates the history of the building inside the parking lot.

  10. Terraview & Willowfield Gardens Parks
    1625 Pharmacy Avenue & 97 Pachino Boulevard
    These two adjacent parks were created as part of a regeneration plan for the nearby Don River. The soccer field at Terraview Park has an underground filtration system designed into it. New aquatic habitats were created as part of the plan with ponds in each park. Willowfield Pond in Willowfield Gardens Park was created with local schools in mind, as local students help with water quality and planting programs. The wetlands created by these two parks help filter out contaminants from the water as it flows back towards the Don River. The successful naturalization of these two parks led to them winning an award in 2002 from the Canadian Society of Landscaping Architects.

Accessibility information: The Golden Mile plaques, Chapel of St. Jude, Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts, Wexford Heights Plaza, Jennifer Moyer and Tara Dorey mural, Parkway Mall (and plaque), and Ellesmere Skatepark can be viewed from the street. The Gatineau Hydro Corridor and Terraview and Willowfield Gardens Parks have paved paths throughout. Ashtonbee Reservoir Park is mostly grass.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.