A painting of me


   17 March 2005, early morning

“I’m not trying to be reasonable,” I told Tyler and his friends. My meagre attempts to elevate the status of Scarborough in their minds fell on deaf ears. (Actually, since I was doing a pretty bad job at defending my favourite suburb it’s not fair to say say my words were falling on deafs ears.)

It’s hard to defend Scarborough because it is a bit lame when compared to downtown Toronto. Nevertheless I tried. I told them that one of the reasons I like Scarborough is because it’s so ethnically diverse. Tyler’s friend Heather asked if I simply meant there are less white people there. I told her no, I mean it’s more ethnically diverse. She’s probably right though. I think when I say a place is ethnically diverse, I totally mean there are just less white people. I didn’t bring that up last night though. It wouldn’t have helped my cause. I tried to explain how Scarborough had character, but that’s something that’s hard to quantify. I guess at the end of the day my Scarborough zealotry is irrational. The whole topic came up because I was making fun of stank-ass-Mississauga.

I met Tyler at Supermarket, a bar in Kensington Market, a bit past 11:00. As you can imagine, I’m quite tired today. Supermarket has a mod night on Wednesdays, and apparently it can get quite busy. At 11:00 the seats and booths were all taken, but the place was far from full. By 1:00 the place was much busier. The dance floor was full of people. The music was great. They played lots of motown and old soul music.

A couple sitting across from us were playing a game together. The girl would pull the top of her blouse forward, and thy guy she was with would try to spit ice cubes into the opening.



  1. You also said that Scarborough was “cosmopolitan”. That was your actual word choice.

  2. I wouldn’t say Scarborough is cosmopolitan, but over the last 20-25 years, it has been an major entry-point for new immigrants to Canada. This is largely due to the average cost of housing in Scarborough, but it does result in a truly unique experience for people like me who were born and raised here. Many of the residents have not been changed by life in Canada and hold their customs, language, cuisine, etc. more closely than immigrants who have been here longer. During my time in Scarborough, I have seen several large groups come and go, and the city feels very different when each wave reaches it’s peak.

    I should also point out that Scarborough is the bomb.

  3. Cosmopolitan :Having constituent elements from all over the world or from many different parts of the world.

    I think my folly was claiming it’s more cosmopolitan than downtown Toronto. Well. One of my follies anyway.

  4. I’m not sure what you can say definitively about Scarborough since it varies significantly over its fairly large area.

    I miss though all those large empty spaces though. They’re getting filled up with townhouses and condos.

  5. The reason I don’t think it’s cosmopolitan is because I thought there was an implicit comparison to other areas in Toronto. All areas in Toronto are cosmopolitan according to the textbook definition. Since I don’t think Scarborough is topping the list, I don’t consider ‘cosmopolitan’ to be the quality that makes it unique.

  6. I think your previous comment sums up what it is I like about Scarborough. I also miss the empty space. I wonder what the city will be like in 10 years. The area around the Towncentre has already changes so much in the past year or so.

  7. Yeah, the Town Centre area used to be pretty empty. There was also the space around Morningside and Finch which was totally empty. The area around Middlefield and Finch is really developed now too.

  8. Yeah, it’s weird watching the landscape change. Especially because it’s so different from urban sprawl where you watch your borders expand. Much of the new developments in Scarborough are just filling in empty plots of land that were surrounded by buildings 20 years earlier.

  9. So why exactly were you trying to convince people that Scarborough is so great?

  10. Because they were all of the opinion Scarborough was some sort of dangerous ghetto.

  11. it is a dangerous ghetto!

    i hate driving there late at night, and my parents always tell me off for doing it! 8o|

  12. Scarborough is where I feel the most safe. It’s not all a ghetto, esp. not where the Siv’s and I live around. We’re a friendly working class ethnic area. Very friendly.

    I’ve played that ice cube game so many times. Usually at Swiss Chalet, sometimes with little packs of cream for your coffee. I’m actually quite good at it, you don’t need to pull open a blouse, I’ve gotten 3 pointers in turtle necks before. It’s all about the arc. Girls get a kick out of it, we’ll my friends do at least. =)

  13. a. you are not a girl
    b. you’re not a middle eastern, slightly ethnic looking girl

    I know Ram doesn’t live in the ghettos, but in order for person A (i.e me) to get to person B’s (i.e Ram’s) house you have to go through the rest of Scarlom.

    I rest my case.

    But I mean, really, I live in the ghettos of North York, so I guess I shouldn’t really be complaining. Gun shots coming from the project houses down the road are always a great reassurance that you’re living in a safe neighbourhood. heh.

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