The Cultural Hotspot shines a spotlight on arts, culture and community in Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods by celebrating, connecting and investing in areas outside the down town core – highlighting a different area each year.

Now in its fifth year, the 2018 Cultural Hotspot will illuminate centre/north Scarborough – a vibrant area bordered by Steeles Avenue to the north, Lawrence Avenue to the south, Victoria Park Avenue to the west and the Toronto border to the east.

The Cultural Hotspot:

  • Celebrates local culture, heritage, creativity, business and community with special events, festivals and art happenings, building community pride. Check out our Events Calendar for everything happening in the Hotspot.
  • Connects the Hotspot community, promotes new partnerships and shares this exciting area with all of Toronto through gatherings, events, outreach and media campaigns.
  • Grows creative capacity in the area with workshops, courses, youth employment and mentorship, and legacy projects like the Cultural Loops Guide.


City Councillors’ Cultural Hotspot Picks

“Toronto’s cultural diversity has established deep roots in Scarborough Centre. The Middle Eastern vibe of Lawrence Avenue East, the quiet splendour of the Japanese Sakura trees in Birkdale Ravine, the thriving Tamil, South Asian, and Caribbean businesses and restaurants, and the religious centres of all faiths blend with our traditional European rhythms to create a culturally vibrant, uniquely harmonious experience. All are welcome to visit, and enjoy the enchanting tastes, sights and sounds of our special community.”

“People from every single country in the world live in Scarborough! That means we have the best of everything – and everyone – right here in one spot: whether it’s food, dance, theatre, fashion or fun, it’s all right here in Scarborough. There’s a surprise in every strip mall and a world of flavour and spice just waiting for you, so whatever culture you want to explore, just come to Scarborough! Whether you want to play beach volleyball at the foot of the 100 metre high Scarborough bluffs, hike through Canada’s newest National Park in the Rouge Valley, listen to the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra or our Big Bands at our bi-weekly concert series, join 170,000 neighbours at Tamil Fest, tour our Chinese Cultural Centre, experience Taste of Lawrence, snack at a German bakery, or eat almost anywhere (Scarborough has been described as the Food Capital of the World!), Scarborough’s full of amazing people and events just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed by you, your family and friends!”

“Ward 39 is a microcosm of Canada. It is the home of one of the most ethnically diverse communities in Canada and it is also home to a living testament of our history – The Vimy Oaks. After the bloody, devastating battle for Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, a young soldier, Leslie Miller, picked up some acorns from the battlefield and brought them home after the war. He planted them on his farm, which he called “The Vimy Oaks Farm”, and watched them grow. Today, these majestic trees bear witness to the courage and sacrifice of the young Canadians who captured Vimy Ridge. These magnificent trees are a reflection of Canada and Ward 39 – they demonstrate our strength as a city and nation; pay tribute to those who have gone before; and, offer shelter to all. I invite everyone to visit The Vimy Oaks.”

“Cultural Hotspot activities will highlight North Scarborough which is home to people of many nationalities and diverse backgrounds. This is “Where The World Meets”. Authentic international cuisine, along with traditional and cultural celebrations, is easily found in our midst, including in the Sheppard East Village BIA, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto and other cultural venues. Rouge National Urban Park, Toronto Zoo and the abundance of city parks allows residents and visitors to enjoy nature throughout the year, one of which, Alexmuir Park has hosted the Shadowland Arts program for the past 2 years. The only street festival north of 401 in Scarborough is the fast-growing Tamil Fest. Come and Enjoy Hotspot Activities!”

“Scarborough-Rouge River, Ward 42, is one of the most culturally diverse areas in the country and home to many independent, dedicated, and talented artists. This year’s Cultural Hotspot will be a platform to highlight their resilience, strength and cultural calibre. We are excited to be able to showcase the vibrant Malvern community through a series of events and activities and to elevate awareness of the admirable ongoing work being done by RISE Edutainment, the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto and many others. We are also proud that Tamil Fest 2018, the largest festival of its kind in North America, will be part of the Cultural Hotspot this year. I look forward to continuing to support and share the vibrancy and richness of the arts in Scarborough with the rest of the city.”

“Ward 43 continues to flourish and increase its culture and arts footprint with beautiful local mural projects, live park performances and the Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival. Now in its 11th year, the festival has become one of the largest arts festival in south-eastern Ontario; taking place at Guild Park and Gardens, a beautiful waterfront sculpture park destination.

“Another area highlight is located in the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park neighbourhood. In 2017 local artists collaborated in painting two new apartment building murals, each one 14 storeys high! The beautiful paintings have brought vibrant colours to our high-rise communities and can be seen from many kilometres away.

“Eastern Scarborough residents and I are also proud to join the Healthy Living through Art’s program as they celebrate their 10th year of bringing art to young people and their families. For these and many more reasons I am proud to represent Ward 43 and look forward to attending the Cultural Hotspots events in 2018.”

“Get excited about Scarborough! I am lucky to live in and be the Councillor for Ward 44, Scarborough East. The Hotspot is a great opportunity to ignite enthusiasm and highlight creative talent in our wonderful ward. We are happy to host two well attended annual events to celebrate our community and natural heritage. To bring recognition to our beautiful waterfront and trail system we celebrate with the Port Union Waterfront Festival. This day of family-oriented fun has grown tremendously, over eleven years, and now attracts over 5,000 attendees. In the Highland Creek Village, the local community commemorates the rich history of the area with the annual Highland Creek Heritage Festival. This well-established event features a full day of local musical and artistic talents.”