The new Civic Centre was a novel, modern structure, with its spacious corridors, cathedral height ceilings, open concept offices, and a modern new council chamber. Newspaper accounts were replete with futuristic descriptions of Moriyama’s design, calling the stark white building a “space age Taj Mahal,” “a big UFO,” and a “space station dropped into Scarborough.” Along with housing the municipal and Board of Education staff, the atrium provided a multi-purpose public space. For his design, Moriyama won the prestigious Vincent Massey Award in 1975.

Image depicts interior atrium of Scarborough Civic Centre
Scarborough Civic Centre interior
ca. 1998
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 200, Series 1465, File 97, Item 14
Image depicts empty Council Chamber
Council Chamber, Scarborough Civic Centre
May 19, 2004
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 219, Series 2311, File 1819, Item 22

Within months of opening, the Civic Centre and Albert Campbell Square became a popular gathering place for awards ceremonies, outdoor concerts, winter ice skating, art displays, charitable campaign launches, and events for children.

Image depicts people ice skating on outdoor rink
Skaters on ice rink in Albert Campbell Square
January 30, 1975
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 218, Series 1762, File 13, Item 11
Image depicts two Indigenous females in traditional costume
Indigenous ceremony at the Scarborough Civic Centre
February 1979
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 218, Series 1762, File 466, Item 3


The complex also hosted cultural festivals by various communities as Scarborough transformed into one of the most diverse municipalities in Canada. Now surrounded by additional buildings and linked to Toronto’s transit system, the Civic Centre remains a central and important place in our City’s east end.

Image depicts exterior of Scarborough Civic Centre at night, with illuminated Christmas Tree
Exterior of Scarborough Civic Centre after Christmas tree lighting
December 10, 2001
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 219, Series 2311, File 1394, Item 57


Other related Scarborough exhibits on our website, include:


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