Your vote matters campaign

Congratulations to our mayor-elect

Happy Canada Day to all Scarborough residents! 

SCRO congratulates mayor-elect Olivia Chow on her election as Toronto’s new mayor. This is a major responsibility at an important time in the evolution of Scarborough. We look forward to working with our new mayor to address the many issues facing Scarborough that we … and you … identified so eloquently in the election campaign, especially at the mayoral debate held at UTSC and hosted by a consortium of Scarborough-focused community groups. 

“Scarborough Votes” 

SCRO thanks Scarborough United Neighbourhoods and Scarborough Civic Action Network for promoting the importance of voting across Scarborough during this election, through the “Scarborough Votes” campaign. 

Scarborough has many needs and aspirations, which many of us expressed so thoughtfully and passionately during the campaign. But Scarborough hasn’t historically voted in the same proportion as other parts of the city. When that happens, Scarborough’s voice is diminished. 

As they say, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. If Scarborough doesn’t speak loudly and proudly on our own behalf, others will speak for us. The “Scarborough Votes” campaign is the first step toward improving the level of Scarborough engagement in the political process. 

SCRO is preparing a briefing note for our new mayor. 

Our new mayor will be preparing a work plan to guide her through this term of office. 

To help the new mayor with this, SCRO is preparing a Scarborough-focused briefing note for her, summarizing in a condensed form the key issues that we suggest be prioritized for Scarborough, based on the 500 comments and questions that came to us through the Scarborough debate registration process and from Scarborough’s community service and civil society organizations.

Scarborough is going to experience transformational change over the next thirty years, driven by population growth, pressures on employment lands, and gentrification. These changes needs to be managed and supported in a way that promotes livability, prosperity, and a complete community, where we can live, work, learn and play, right here in Scarborough. 

Scarborough issues should be prioritized in the mayor’s work plan. That will be easier to accomplish if the mayor comes to know Scarborough well. SCRO will strive to help our new mayor become better acquainted with Scarborough and our needs and aspirations. 

SCRO pushes back on employment land conversions in Scarborough. 

The City is presently addressing 29 developer-initiated requests to convert Scarborough employment lands into residential, to build more condo towers. Every ward in Scarborough is affected. There are many more such conversion requests across Toronto. 

While we all recognize the need for more housing (and we’re going to get lots of it), SCRO is concerned about maintaining a sense of balance as Scarborough is transformed over the next 30 years. Scarborough was originally developed as a bedroom community. Employment opportunities were limited. Hence why so many of our residents have long commutes into the city for work. 

As Scarborough’s avenues are redeveloped over the next 30 years, as gentrification continues to transform our neighbourhoods, and as hybrid work becomes for common for many, let’s manage this change in a way that creates complete communities. That includes jobs, including those jobs that can’t be done from home. We have many of them in Scarborough, in light manufacturing and logistics, that we don’t want to lose. We also have our own commercial hub in Scarborough Centre (the Consilium) that will soon have a subway connection, making it even more attractive for commercial purposes. Let’s take full advantage of this! 

The City is forecasting that Toronto will have 700,000 more residents over the next 30 years. Where will they all work if we bulldoze our employment lands?

Fortunately, City Planning staff share this view and are recommending that most of these applications be declined. Now it’s up to the Planning and Housing Committee and City Council to make the decision in July. SCRO will be there and we will be watching. 

The Scarborough Walk of Fame is back! 

In lighter news… 

SCRO is now planning the next Scarborough Walk of Fame Celebration Day, to take place in the spring of 2024, likely in April. We hope to firm the date up shortly. 

SWOF showcases and celebrates the best of Scarborough. We have so many talented, accomplished and, well, famous people … right here in Scarborough, who make a difference here at home and, in some cases, become ambassadors for Scarborough around the globe.

Scarborough Town Centre will be where it all happens. SCRO is pleased to be working with the senior staff at STC once again on this signature Scarborough event. 

I’ll have more to say about this next month, including the nominations process.

So, while we may have our challenges, good things are happening here in Scarborough! As we take a moment to celebrate Canada Day, let’s also take a moment to celebrate the place we call home. 


Larry Whatmore


Scarborough Community Renewal Organization

(416) 562-2101