Today, the City of Toronto celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Scarborough Civic Centre. Opened on June 29, 1973, by Queen Elizabeth II, the Scarborough Civic Centre is considered an architectural marvel, designed by the renowned Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama.
The event recognized the centre’s legacy as the first planned town centre in North America, and was attended by Mayor Olivia Chow, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Councillors Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Nick Mantas (Scarborough-Agincourt), Paul Ainslie (Scarborough-Guildwood), Elder Cat Criger, Elder Chris Leonard, and Diarmuid Nash, partner at Moriyama Teshima Architects, with Esmond Lee, Scarborough-based artist, researcher and architect as the master of ceremonies. Staying true to Moriyama’s design philosophy of creating a tranquil gathering place, the civic centre’s 50th milestone year was marked with the introduction of a new Koi fish to the pond that was installed on the premises when the facility was opened.
A poem by Lillian Allen, Toronto Poet Laureate, written for the occasion, was presented by Kowmitha Satkunarajan – Director of Policy and Advocacy, Toronto Youth Cabinet, during the official ceremony. The full text of the poem is available on the City’s Festivals & Events webpage.
The celebration also featured musical performances by Scarborough’s Bitter and Broke, the Odin Quartet presented by Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and the Pan Fantasy Steelband. Attendees were also treated to family-friendly activities including The Arts Circle with Kseniya Tsoy presented by Scarborough Arts, sports programming hosted by the City’s Play Mobile initiative and an architectural tour of the iconic centre. The Scarborough sign was also placed onsite on Albert Campbell Square for the day.
Located in the heart of downtown Scarborough, the Scarborough Civic Centre was built under the leadership of the first mayor of the Borough of Scarborough, Albert Campbell. Its central location makes it a popular place for community-led events and significant City events such as Nuit Blanche. The civic centre also operates an outdoor skating rink annually and hosts the Scarborough Community Council meetings.
More information about the Scarborough Civic Centre’s history and importance as a local landmark are captured in a virtual exhibit that is available on the Toronto Archives web exhibits webpage.
“Over the past 50 years, the Scarborough Civic Centre has been at the heart of many memorable events that shaped the history of Scarborough and Toronto. Even today, it continues to deliver its purpose as a meeting place for all. As we mark this anniversary year, I look forward to seeing this space evolve as a destination for the community to come together and enjoy for many years to come.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“The Scarborough Civic Centre has been at the heart of Scarborough’s growth over the last 50 years. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate this beautifully-designed, purpose-driven building with residents, and recognize years of community involvement and democracy in action.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)
“The Scarborough Civic Centre holds a special place in the hearts of many residents, including myself. I am thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion that not only pays tribute to this iconic structure, but also celebrates the diversity and progressiveness of Scarborough’s vibrant community.”
– Councillor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre)
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