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March 10, 2014
Discover Scarborough as a cultural hotspot this May to October
From May to October, a new City of Toronto project will reveal and highlight the arts, events and communities in south Scarborough that make the area a cultural hotspot.

This City and partner-produced initiative will provide new insight about where culture thrives in Toronto by drawing attention to the diverse people and places in neighbourhoods around Lawrence Avenue south to the lake and Victoria Park Avenue east to Highland Creek.

"Scarborough has many lively, local cultural hotspots," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. "This project will introduce these venues to a wider audience and show people just how diverse and dynamic our community really is."

As the Cultural Hotspot project heats up, this vibrant area will be animated with visual art, performances, events, walks, talks and activities. Local businesses and restaurants will also be featured, along with the area's unique parkland and waterfront.

This project will help locals and visitors alike get to experience arts, culture, heritage and fantastic food. Featuring a series of signature projects, Cultural Hotspot will include art in storefronts, streetscape art, gateway murals, youth mentorship, local festivals and more.

Produced in collaboration with local arts, cultural and heritage organizations, community partners, local businesses, environmental groups, social agencies and other City divisions, this project builds on existing community strengths while developing cultural resources outside Toronto's downtown as recommended by the Creative Capital Gains Action Plan.

The Cultural Hotspot project will also aggregate information about the events, festivals, arts and culture, businesses, heritage and community entities that make these neighbourhoods destinations for residents and visitors. More information is available at, and

Below are some hotspots selected by City councillors representing the Cultural Hotspot area, which includes sections of Wards 35, 36, 37, 38, 43 and 44. Cultural Hotspot events will be announced this spring.

Councillor Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest):
"Ward 35 is becoming a hotspot for murals. Our latest two projects depicting the beauty of our history and people are located on Warden Avenue at Upton and Hollis Avenues. I was pleased to work with local arts organization Mural Routes to develop these incredible works of public art that inspire a sense of community pride."

Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest):
"Scarborough Arts is the largest active arts organization in Scarborough and is the hub in bridging partnerships between local artists and the communities in which they live. Over the past year Ward 36 has become a magnet for artistic talent with the addition of new murals that highlight the vibrancy of our ever changing community. Additionally, the annual bluffs photography contest aims to promote local photographers and showcase the beauty of the Scarborough Bluffs."

Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre):
"The cultural event of the year in Ward 37 is the Taste of Lawrence Festival. The event draws thousands of residents and visitors to Scarborough Centre each July for three days of live entertainment, ethnic foods, rides and games for the kids and an on-street bazaar. It is family fun at its best.”

Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38 Scarborough Centre):
"Scarborough Ribfest is one of Toronto’s biggest and most popular annual events. For the past 12 years, the Rotary Club of Scarborough has hosted this community event in Thomson Park during the August long weekend. Over 120,000 people attend this festival to enjoy delicious food, live music, carnival rides and games, and crafts for sale. Scarborough Ribfest has raised over $700,000 for local charities and continues to increase in popularity every year."

Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 43 Scarborough East):
"The cultural event of the year in Ward 43 is the Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival, held on the ground of the Guild Inn Park and Gardens which overlooks Lake Ontario. This event attracts thousands of residents and visitors to Scarborough East each July for two days of Artisan exhibits: painters, sculptors, fiber art, handmade jewellery, blown glass and specialty handmade crafts, live entertainment, great food, children's games and artist demonstrations. The Guild Inn Park and Gardens is truly a cultural hotspot in every way. Its beautiful gardens, view of Lake Ontario and onsite, year-round architectural artifacts all draw visitors to experience the site."

Councillor Ron Moeser (Ward 44 Scarborough East):
"In Ward 44, we are fortunate to enjoy two major community events to celebrate both our cultural and natural heritage. To bring recognition to our beautiful waterfront and trail system we celebrate with the Port Union Waterfront Festival. A family-oriented event that has grown tremendously over the last seven years and now attracts over 5,000 visitors for the one-day celebration. In the historic Highland Creek Village, the local community commemorates the rich heritage of the area with the annual Highland Creek Heritage Festival and Parade, now in its 29th year. This event includes the Biggest Little Parade in Toronto and features a day-long tribute to local musical and artistic talents."

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

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Shane Gerard
Strategic Communications



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