Directories before 1960 are available on microfilm, found in the self-serve cabinets in the Microfilm Room at the back of the Research Hall. Directories from 1960 to 2001are available in hard copy on the shelves in the Research Hall.
Fire Insurance Maps
The Archives has fire insurance maps on microfilm for parts of Scarborough for 1950, 1956, 1959, and 1969. They are found in boxes titled "Goad's" or "Underwriters'" in the metal cabinets in the Microfilm Room at the back of the Research Hall.
Each set of maps begins with a key map and an index of street names. You can use either to find your area. A key to the symbols used in the maps is found on the bulletin board in the Microfilm Room at the back of the Research Hall.
To find maps showing Scarborough, look in the binder in the Research Hall labelled "Cartographic Collection," or use the Gencat database. Reference Desk staff can show you how to use the database. The Archives also has several atlases that may be useful. They are found in the section titled "Atlases" in the main area of the Research Hall.
The aerials cover the Scarborough area from 1947 to 1992. Each aerial shows a part of the city, not the entire city. Use the index maps for each year, available on the large tables by the lockers, to find the identification number of the aerial photograph(s) you wish to see. The identification number for a particular area changes from year to year up to 1983, so before 1983, you must look up each area separately for each year.
Starting in 1983, the identification numbers stay the same for each year. Once you have an identification number, you may then look at the aerials, which are arranged by year and identification number in the large map cabinets by the lockers.
When using the aerials, please wear the white cotton gloves provided, to protect the photographs from fingerprints.
The Archives holds published reports regarding Scarborough, including those on topics such as public transit, roads, Rouge Valley Park, and the construction of the Scarborough Civic Centre, as well as official plans. Look in the Research Hall Library in the "Government Reports" section under the category you are interested in, or search the Gencat database.
BooksThese general reference books on the history of Scarborough are available in the Archives Research Hall Library and are a good place to start your research:
R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant, 1952, Series 372, Sub-series 72, Item 2033
Robert A Bonis, ed., History of Scarborough
(Scarborough: Scarborough Public Library 1965 or 1968)
971.3541 B64 1965 or 1968
Ron Brown, Toronto's Lost Villages
(Toronto: Polar Bear Press 1997)
971.3541 B81 1997
Barbara Myrvold, The People of Scarborough:
A History (Don Mills: City of Scarborough Public Library Board 1997)
971.3541 M99 1997
Scarborough Historical Notes and Comments
(Scarborough: Scarborough Historical Society)
971.354 SC7 1988
Books on more specific Scarborough topics may be found by searching in the database Gencat. These topics might include places (such as The Guild), individual communities (such as Woburn and Agincourt), organizations, landmarks (such as the Scarborough Van Plant and the Scarborough Bluffs), and events.
To find photographs of Scarborough places and events, search on your research topic in the Gencat database.
Kingston Road looking south on Victoria Park, April 9, 1923, Series 71, Item 1991
For general information, see the information file titled "Scarborough." You may also find other information files about more specific topics, including places (such as the Scarborough Bluffs, the Toronto Zoo, and the Rouge River watershed), projects (such as the LRT), landmarks, or events.
For a list of information file titles, please consult Reference Desk staff. For a list of Scarborough mayors and other municipal information, please ask Reference Desk staff for the binder entitled "Scarborough Reference Highlights." One useful general source is a series of newspaper clippings files on various Scarborough subjects. To see a list of these subjects or to request these files, please consult Reference Desk staff.
Photographic highlights include the construction of the R.C. Harris water filtration plant (Series 162, Subseries 1 and RG 8, Subseries 76, 77, and 78), and views of the Scarborough Bluffs from 1900 to the 1920s (Fonds 1244 and Series 71). Highlights of other media include records of the Guild of All Arts and the Guild Inn (Fonds 19) and the Tommy Thompson Fonds (Fonds 46), which includes records about the Toronto Zoo.