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Buying a condo in Scarborough

Nicknamed ‘Scarberia’ in the 1960s, city planners, government officials, and locals have all been working hard to erase this moniker ever since. The name is a combination of the words Scarborough and Siberia, and a trip to the bustling area today reveals that Scarborough has come a long way over the past 60 years.

Scarborough comprises the easternmost part of Toronto, just before Pickering begins. In fact, the easternmost boundary of the area is an aptly named street: the Scarborough Pickering Town Line. To the west, Scarborough extends as far as Victoria Park, and it reaches from Lake Ontario all the way up to Steeles Avenue East.

The official motto of Scarborough — “Home above the Bluffs” — paints an entirely different picture of the area than its outdated, unofficial nickname. What the motto refers to is perhaps the most impressive feature of the entire 188 square kilometres: the Scarborough Bluffs. To put it plainly, the Bluffs is an enormous cliff. At the top are neighbourhoods like Scarborough Village & Guildwood, as well as parks like the Cathedral Bluffs Park; along the bottom, visitors can find more parks, and sandy beaches that provide access to Lake Ontario.

In fact, it’s these cliffs that give Scarborough its name: the original Scarborough is a town on the eastern coast of England with comparable limestone bluffs. Yet this area just outside of downtown Toronto couldn’t resemble an English seaside town any less. Rather, it’s immediately apparent to anyone living in Scarborough condos for rent that the area is located in one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

A large proportion of Scarborough residents are either newcomers or 1st generation Canadians, with over 67 percent constituting some visible minority or another. Notably, the area is home to large South Asian and Chinese communities. Residents can visit the Agincourt neighbourhood to taste some truly authentic Chinese food, while some of the best Indian restaurants in the city are scattered throughout Scarborough.

Scarborough may be home to over 600,000 residents, however a large part of the area isn’t inhabited by humans at all. Rouge Park, a national urban park that covers 63 square kilometres, is also situated within the area. Highlights include wetlands, the Rouge River, and the Toronto Zoo. The zoo moved to Scarborough back in 1974, at which time it became the largest in the country.

In addition to the campsites and hiking trails in Rouge Park, there’s yet another way for Scarborough residents to spend some time outdoors. Scarborough condos for rent, wherever they may be located, are likely within close reach of a golf course. Private clubs like the Toronto Hunt Club allow residents to purchase memberships in exchange for perks, while those who plan to hit the green infrequently can visit the public course at Dentonia Park as they please.

Last but not least, some Scarborough condos for rent are conveniently located close to the waterfront. And while sunbathing on the beach is enough for some residents, others will want to really get out on the open water whenever possible. Thankfully a number of sailing and yacht clubs are set up in the area, including the Scarborough Bluffs Sailing Club and the Highland Yacht Club.

Condo Life in Scarborough

With 24 neighbourhoods spread throughout the area, it’s no surprise that Scarborough condos for rent come in a variety of forms. There are currently more than 250 buildings for prospective renters to choose from, and the increasing popularity of the area means more are likely to come in the future.

Those who want to live as close to the east end as possible can consider condos near Victoria Park Avenue, in neighbourhoods like Oakridge, Steeles, Clairlea & Golden Mile. Heather Court Condos at 40 Chichester Place is situated within close reach of the 401, while Summerside I Condo Townhomes and Summerside II Condo Townhomes are ideal for anyone in search of a townhouse, rather than a multi-residential tower.

For some, a stipulation when seeking out Scarborough condos for rent is having access to Lake Ontario. This group will quickly fall for the Fallingbrook Lofts, a 5-storey soft loft that’s just 15 minutes away from the waterfront on foot. Another great option is the Guildwood Townhomes, located just steps from South Marine Park.

As for prospective renters attracted to the area for its national urban park, homes in Rouge, Dean Park, and Brookside will certainly suffice. Residents living in Harmony North Townhomes and the Hedge End Road Condos, for example, can even walk over to the Toronto Zoo in just 20 minutes.

Transportation

Although it can seem quite far from the downtown core, Scarborough condos for rent aren’t out of the question for prospective buyers who prefer not to drive. Not one but two subway lines run through the area, the Bloor-Danforth line and the Scarborough line.

Currently, passengers heading into the heart of Scarborough can switch from the former to the latter at Kennedy Station, however plans are in the works to make this journey even more seamless. The Bloor-Danforth will eventually be extended, at which time the Scarborough line will be closed.

Another great option for residents who plan to commute from Scarborough to offices in the downtown core is to take GO Transit. Trains moving along the Lakeshore East line make stops at Rouge Hill, Guildwood, Eglinton, and Scarborough stations before making their way toward Union Station. The Stouffville line also comes in handy, with passengers able to catch trains at Agincourt, Kennedy, and Scarborough Stations.

The major highways that cut through the area also make life easier for residents living in Scarborough condos for rent. The 401 carries cars from east to west, connecting residents with North York as well as neighbouring cities and towns.

Scarborough Overview

The Locals: Outdoorsy types, newcomers, and everyone in between.

Code of Conduct: Camping out in Rouge Park isn’t necessary for residents who live nearby, but visiting every now and then is highly encouraged.

What You’ll Find: A national urban park, cliffside beaches, and a highly diverse demographic.

What You Won’t Find: The level of density that exists in the downtown core.

The Homes: There’s plenty of condos to go around, and even more are expected to appear in the near future.

Sealing the Deal: The soothing sound of the waves crashing against the Bluffs.