Wondering what to do in Scarborough? Read on for a list of great things to do in Scarborough – the town named after Scarborough, England by Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.
Ten Things to do in Scarborough
Visiting the largest zoo in Canada and third largest zoo in the world – is always a wild and wonderful experience – whether you are 7 or 70. There are over 450 species of animals from all over the world including polar bears, rhinoceros, gorillas, reindeers, and pandas (on loan). The zoo also has a multitude of rides including camel rides, splash pads, and a discovery zoo for young visitors. More about the zoo.
Explore Scarborough’s Past
Learn about Scarborough’s past and how the community evolved by visiting Scarborough museum. The museum has historical buildings and a recreated 19th century garden set in Thomson Memorial Park, part of the 200 acre farm that was owned by David and Mary Thomson (1802). The museum holds plenty of community programs and exhibitions that tell the story of Scarborough, and Toronto. Admission is PWYC. More about the museum.
Beaches & more!
1. Enjoy a marvellous day out in the sun at the beach. Scarborough is home to 2 swimmable beaches. Bluffer’s Park beach located at the southern end of Brimley Road is blue flag certified with great nature trails. Rouge beach at Rouge beach park located along Toronto’s eastern border is another swimmable beach. Both beaches have change rooms and related amenities.
2. Scarborough is also home to world class aquatic facility built for PanAm games. Drop-in for a free family leisure swim (City of Toronto Drop in Swim) or enjoy the many recreational facilities (this requires membership) available at the TPASC.
3. Kidstown Water Park in Scarborough in the only water park run by City of Toronto for young children. Open from late June to early September, splashing around is always fun.
Explore Urban Wilderness
Explore one of the largest urban nature park in North America. Walk the many trails and explore unspoiled native ecosystems formed along the Rouge River. OR explore the Rouge marsh through canoeing – launch the canoe at the sand bar at the mouth of the Rouge River (underneath the rail bridge) and paddle along observing kingfishers and blue herons. Camp at Toronto’s only camping spot at Glen Rouge Campground (located at Toronto – Pickering border). In winter, snowshoe the trails and track the animal foot prints in the snow.
The East Point Park is designated a Toronto Bird Sanctuary due to the large numbers of migratory birds that use the park as a migratory stopover site. A series of formal and informal trails integrate the various ecological communities and guide visitors through the park.
Visit Guild Park
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along sculptural garden made up of remnants from Toronto’s architectural past. Watch free family movies under the stars, enjoy Scarborough’s Shakespeare in the Park at the outdoor Greek theatre and take part in walking tours. More about the park.
Enjoy hiking, biking or skateboarding along Scarborough’s scenic woods trails that takes you through ravines and paths that skirts Lake Ontario. Follow the trail along Highland creek from Morningside park to Lake Ontario, enjoying the myriad of native plants and birds that make the Highland creek Ravine home. You can enter the trail at any of the parks along the trail (Morning side Park, Colonel Danforth Park, Lower Highland Creek Park, or East point Park). The waterfront trail from East Point Park to Pickering border offers 4 kms of trail along continuous stunning views of Lake Ontario. Come winter, hill at Adams Park transforms into a delightful tobogganing location(enter from Lawson road gate).
Whether you gather round friends and enjoy BBQ in summer or go tobogganing in winter, there are multitude of opportunities to enjoy outdoors in Scarborough. Enjoy Canada Day fireworks at Milliken park. Watch Salmon run during autumn (late September/October) at Highland creek (from the trail along the Creek from Morningside Park to Colonel Danforth Park).
Visit the splendid Rosetta McClain Gardens
Treat your senses at one of Toronto’s best public gardens. Enjoy a walk along the lush gardens bursting with colours of the season. Rest a-while revelling in the fragrant air and enjoy picturesque views of Lake Ontario. More about the garden.
See the Bluffs that was the very reason for the naming of this part of the city as ‘Scarborough’ by Elizabeth Simcoe (the bluffs reminded her about the white cliffs of her Scarborough in England). The best place to see the bluffs is from Bluffer’s Park (take right (west) at the end of Brimley Road). The bluffs can be viewed from any of Scarborough parks located along Lake Ontario.
Be in Communion with Creativity!
Visit Scarborough art galleries that exhibits works by local artists! Explore bright and expressive art work by emerging artists at Bluffs Gallery. Appreciate classic visual art exhibits at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre. The Cedar Ridge Creative Centre also holds juried exhibitions of contemporary art.
Live Performances & Festivals
Watch the colourful junior Caribana Carnival at Neilson Park, participate in annual Heritage Day festival at Highland Creek Village and experience the richness of the cultural fabric that makes up our wonderful city at Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest.