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June 2014

Cultural Hotspot Comes to South Scarborough! - Non-Fiction Reading List

June 13, 2014 | John P. | Comments (0)

Residents of south Scarborough may have heard of the City of Toronto’s inaugural Cultural Hotspot initiative in 2014, namely Hotspot East – south Scarborough, comprising the area “bordered by Lawrence Avenue East south to the lake, Victoria Park Avenue east to Highland Creek Village. This Hotspot is home to a diverse cultural scene, engaged community, growing economy, green spaces and unique local history.” The City of Toronto has produced a Program Guide called “This Spot is Hot: Culture, Creativity, Community: May-October 2014” that lists a variety of signature projects and other activities in which to get involved such as the Legacy Project (an online and in-print information collection to be developed that will provide access, exploration, and enjoyment opportunities in culture, art, business, and history for residents and visitors alike) and the Cultural Loops (South Scarborough has been subdivided into three (3) cultural loops to showcase local arts, culture, business, and history opportunities.).

Toronto Public Library is a community partner amongst many organizations of the Cultural Hotspot East initiative with 12 library branches located in the designated area. Albert Campbell District Branch, Cliffcrest and Taylor Memorial Neighbourhood Branches all fall within Loop 1. In Loop 2, one can find Cedarbrae District Branch (location of the Scarborough Historical Collection) as well as Bendale, Eglinton Square, Kennedy/Eglinton, and McGregor Park Neighbourhood Branches. Or, follow Loop 3 in southeastern Scarborough in which one can visit Guildwood, Highland Creek, Morningside and Port Union Neighbourhood Branches. Visit any one of these 12 library branch locations to pick up a free copy (Please note: while supplies last!) of the booklet “Toronto Public Library and the Cultural Hotspot East..: Library Guide Reading List”. The booklet includes a page called “Your Passport” on which you can get stamps from each of the 12 library branch locations. If you visit all 12 designated library branches to get “Your Passport” stamped 12 times, ask library staff for a ballot for a chance to win a gift basket. Enjoy exploring public library branches in the Cultural Hotspot East – south Scarborough area! Or, download the PDF (Portable Document Format) file version of the booklet here.


The booklet’s reading list includes a variety of titles available for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections. Here is the list of non-fiction titles subdivided by areas of interest:


Art & Architecture:

Celebrating Life: The Art of Doris McCarthy

William Moore and Stuart Reid, 1999

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection produced this exhibition catalogue in 1999, highlighting the work of Artist of Honour Doris McCarthy who also served as artist-in-residence in 2000. 


Doris McCarthy roughing it in the bush

Doris McCarthy: Roughing It in the Bush

Doris McCarthy, 2010

Enjoy viewing the exhibition catalogue of the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). 


Doris McCarthy ninety years wise

Doris McCarthy: Ninety Years Wise

Doris McCarthy, 2004

Written by the author at age 94, the now-late painter Doris McCarthy (1910-2010) focused on a recent summer (two years before) spent at her Georgian Bay cottage painting and connecting with friends. Photographs (including some of the artist’s work) complement the story of this memoir. 


Home Sweet Scarborough

Richard Schofield, 1996

The Scarborough Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC) presents architectural profiles of various historic buildings in Scarborough, including different churches and the Scarboro’ Centennial Memorial Library.


Signposts to Scarborough’s Rural Past:  A Photographic Journey

George W. J. Duncan, 1999

Read the story of Scarborough’s earliest building dating from the pioneer era, the log cabin located at 191 Guildwood Parkway, along with stories and photographs of other Scarborough landmarks. 


Those interested in Scarborough-based arts and architecture should also consider watching the following episodes from the Rogers Television program Structures, available for borrowing in DVD format, from Toronto Public Library collections:

Structures. 2006 Episode 8 (DVD)

The Scarborough Golf Club & Country Club. Cliffside Neighbourhood.

Rogers Television, 2006

Learn about historic sites in Cliffside neighbourhood and at the Scarborough Golf Club and Country Club.


Structures. 2009-2010 Episode 1 (DVD) 

Highland Creek

Rogers Television, 2010

Take a tour of Highland Creek neighbourhood in eastern Scarborough to appreciate its architecture, environment, and history.


Structures. 2009-2010 Episode 6 (DVD)

University of Toronto Scarborough Campus

Rogers Television, 2010

Learn about older and newer buildings at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. 


General History: Scarborough & Scarborough Neighbourhoods:


Fact & Folklore: Highland Creek, Hillside, Port Union, West Hill

John P. Spilsbury, 1998 – available in eBook  format through


Take a look back at southeast Scarborough through settler families, general stores, transportation by stage coaches and railroads, churches and cemeteries, hotels and inns, a mechanics institute library, and the establishment of community associations such as the Centennial Community and Recreation Association (CCRA) in 1949. 


A history of Scarborough

A History of Scarborough

Robert R. Bonis, 1968 – Also available in eBook format


This groundbreaking book set the historical stage for the transformation of Scarborough and its component villages into a more industrialized, urban municipality following World War Two. Follow the life of pioneer families through recreational activities such as plowing matches, horseshoe throwing, and spelling bees through to the construction of Scarborough’s first high school in the early 1920s (now R.H. King Academy) to the development of community centres (such as Heron Park), the Scarborough General Hospital, the Scarborough Board of Education and the Scarborough Public Library Board in the mid-1950s. 


The History of the Guild Inn

Carol M. Lidgold, 2000

Read about the love story of Rosa and Spencer Clark and their dream to build an arts-based co-operative community through the Guild Inn. Follow brief biographies of various artists, and explore a guide to the sculpture garden. 


Memories of Scarborough a bicentennial celebration

Memories of Scarborough: A Bicentennial Celebration

City of Scarborough Public Library Board, 1997 – Also available in eBook format

Scarborough residents reflect upon yesteryear and the development of their lives and their communities over time. One essay explores the history of recreational chess clubs in Scarborough. 


The people of Scarborough a history

The People of Scarborough: A History

Barbara Myrvold, 1997 – Also available in eBook  format

This book tracks the people of Scarborough from the beginning – i.e. Aboriginal peoples before and after contact with Europeans – through to early European settlement (1796-1815), immigration and settlement (1815-1861), rural population decline (1861-1910), suburban development and population growth (1911-1945), suburban population explosion (1945-1971), and multicultural city (1971-1996) – with a focus on various ethnocultural groups, including their activities and organizations. 


Scarborough Then and Now

Richard Schofield, 1996

Track the development of Scarborough and its services from 1796 to 1996, including the board of education, the public library board, and parks and recreation. 


Natural History & Walking Tours:


Along the shore rediscovering Toronto's waterfront heritage

Along the Shore: Rediscovering Toronto’s Waterfront Heritage

Jane Fairburn, 2013 – also available in eBook  format

Follow the historical journey from past to present by focusing on specific areas of Toronto’s waterfront, namely from east to west: the Scarborough Bluffs, the Beach, the Island (i.e. Toronto Islands), and the Lakeshore (encompassing New Toronto, Mimico, Humber Bay, and Long Branch). Learn how residents in these communities of yesteryear relied upon the proximity of Lake Ontario for their survival, whereas the opportunities for recreation have increased in importance over time. 


The Rouge River Valley an urban wilderness

The Rouge River Valley: An Urban Wilderness

James Garratt, 1999 – also available in eBook  format

Environmentalist James Garratt offers the reader two decades of his ecological examination and personal observations on the Rouge River Valley, a wilderness occurring within an urban setting. The author looks at the diverse, natural habitat forced to deal with the specter of urban sprawl and continuing development. Contrast this with the more recent announcement of this area being turned into an urban-based national park. 


Stroll psychogeographic walking tours of Toronto

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto

Shawn Micallef, 2010 – also available in eBook  format

The senior editor of Spacing magazine includes Scarborough-based walking tours for Rouge Park, Kingston-Galloway and Guildwood Village, Scarborough City Centre and Bendale, and Dorset Park. 


Toronto's ravines walking the hidden country

Toronto’s Ravines: Walking the Hidden Country

Murray Seymour, 2000

The author introduces the reader to 34 ravine walks accessible by public transit within the City of Toronto. People in Scarborough can explore the eastern stretches of the Taylor-Massey Creek watershed in western Scarborough as well as the Highland Creek valley and the Rouge River area in southeastern Scarborough.

The Albert Campbell District Blog is an online resource and place where you can access information related to the Albert Campbell, Eglinton Square, McGregor Park, and Kennedy Eglinton branches. It will feature reading recommendations, information on new titles and resources in the branches, special events and programs, as well as other information of interest to you. We encourage you to make this blog an interactive space by replying and commenting on posts and by subscribing to the RSS feature which allows you to receive blog updates without having to search for them.