Bendale

Robert Matejka 'Come Unity' Mural
1163 Ellesmere Road
Looking over a parking lot facing Midland Avenue, this colourful mural was a group effort, designed by a team of youth artists with community input. Led by Robert Matejka and painted by youth artists Jordan Chretien, Maggie Chen, Johnny Yang, and Christian Joseph, 'Come Unity' portrays a passage of a gift from left to right, representing a difficult journey towards human rights. The journey by boat depicts people coming together to reach their destination, while the community is held together by five pillars representing youth. This mural was painted in 2009 as part of the Amnesty International Project Urban Canvas, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.

Birkdale Ravine
1297 Ellesmere Road
Located just off Ellesmere Road and stretching to the south is the Birkdale Ravine. The lush park features the Birkdale Community Centre, a playground and outdoor fitness equipment, as well as access to trails along the West Highland Creek. The ravine allows for opportunities to see local wildlife, and to view the cherry blossom trees planted in 2015 and 2016 as a gift from Sagamihara, Toronto's sister city in Japan. The ravine has also hosted the Birkdale Arts Festival, in partnership with other community organizations such as Scarborough Arts and Scarborough Museum to showcase the works of local Scarborough artists.

Thomson Memorial Park
1005 Brimley Road
Thomson Memorial Park is an expansive 41.8-hectare green space that follows the West Highland Creek and the accompanying wooded ravine. The park features a variety of amenities, including playgrounds, a picnic site and shelter, a firepit, an off-leash dog park, and a number of bike trails. Thomson Memorial Park is one of the city's accessible parks, featuring accessible washrooms, walkways, and parking lots, as well as being easily accessible via TTC. The park is named after the Thomson family, who were the first European settlers in what is now Scarborough. The park was also the site of an Iroquois settlement that was established between 700 and 1651. Excavations of the park have recovered artifacts including pottery fragments, stone tools, and food remains such as corn.

Scarborough Museum
Thomson Memorial Park, 1007 Brimley Road
Right in the heart of Thomson Memorial Park is Scarborough Museum, one of 10 historic sites and museums operated by the City of Toronto. The museum is situated on land that once belonged to David and Mary Thomson, and is comprised of four designated heritage buildings showcasing the history of the early Scarborough township: Cornell House, McCowan Log Cabin, Hough Carriage Works, and the Kennedy Gallery. Each of the heritage buildings is restored to educate visitors about Scarborough's past, as well as featuring a space for rotating exhibits in the gallery. The museum provides community outreach through school programs, special events, and opportunities for youth involvement through volunteer youth group programs.

Sean Martindale Mural
2920 Lawrence Avenue East
Note: Private property. Please view the mural from the sidewalk only. Located on the wall of Bendale Acres Long-term Care Residence this intergenerational project paired adults and youth with seniors. The mural boldly demonstrates the capacity and ability of people of all ages to contribute meaningfully and artistically to the streets of Toronto.

Toronto Public Library - Bendale Branch and Drew Mosely & Elicser Mural
1515 Danforth Road
Designed by artists Drew Mosely and Elicser, this mural is positioned in front of the Toronto Public Library's Bendale Branch and celebrates reading as a doorway to new adventures and ideas. The mural depicts readers of all backgrounds and ages immersed in their books and imaginations. This branch is the most recent location of the library once operated out of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, first founded by members of the church in 1834. Eventually, a small building was constructed to house the library in 1896, and opened as Scarboro's Centennial Memorial Library. The library ultimately moved to this location in 1961, after it was taken over by the Public Library Board of the Township of Scarborough.

Springfield Farmhouse
146 St Andrew's Road
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. Tucked away along St Andrew's Road, the Springfield Farmhouse was first constructed in 1840 by James A. Thomson, son of Andrew Thomson, who first patented the land in 1802. The bricks of the house were made from local clay, and it remains one of the oldest brick buildings in Scarborough. James named the house Springfield for the pure spring that flowed through his property into the creek, earning him the nickname Springfield Jimmy. The house is a designated heritage property, notable for its expansive verandah.

Frank Faubert Wood Lot
185 Borough Drive
This five-hectare park is located just south of the Scarborough Civic Centre. The Frank Faubert Wood Lot is a heavily forested green space featuring an off-leash dog park. The land that now makes up the park was once set aside as a wood lot by George Scott, a settler in early Scarborough who owned the land encompassing this area. The wood lot was left as an uncleared space so the trees could be used to provide additional firewood. The wood lot came under threat of redevelopment in the 1980s, and was saved to be used as a park. The park is named after Frank Faubert, Scarborough's last mayor before Scarborough was amalgamated into Toronto.

Carl Milles 'Hand of God' Sculpture
160 Borough Drive
The 'Hand of God' sculpture looks out over the Frank Faubert Wood Lot by the dog park, giving it the nickname Hand of God Park. The sculpture, depicting a man posing in an open hand, stands tall above the park on a steel pole. Installed in the park in 1975, 'Hand of God' was designed by Swedish artist Carl Milles, and is dedicated to Scarborough's former mayor Albert Campbell.

Scarborough Civic Centre
150 Borough Drive
Located in Albert Campbell Square along Borough Drive, the Scarborough Civic Centre stands out with its distinctive architecture. The centre was first opened in 1973, and was designed by architect Raymond Moriyama, also known for his work designing the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Moriyama's vision for the centre was that it would become a 'people place' for the community. Surrounding the centre are landscaped gardens, a waterfall and pool and outdoor ice rink and a variety of public artworks. The centre is home to the Scarborough Community Council, who represent the different wards of the area.

Toronto Public Library - Scarborough Civic Centre Branch
156 Borough Drive
The Scarborough Civic Centre Library is a new addition to the Scarborough Civic Centre and to the Toronto Public Library, and opened as the library's 100th branch. The building was the first significant addition to the civic centre when it first opened in 2015, and was designed by LGA Architectural Partners and Philip H. Carter. The library won the Design Excellence Award from the Ontario Association of Architects in 2016 and the Public Buildings in Context Award of Excellence from the Toronto Urban Design Awards in 2017. The library features one of Toronto's eight Digital Innovation Hubs, which feature technology such as computers, 3D printing, and recording studios. The library is also home to a Chinese collection and small French and Tamil collections.

Explore Bendale

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Mark Reinhart
Toronto Public Library: McGregor Park Branch
2219 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1P 2P5

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

This stroll explores the rich history and community of the Bendale neighbourhood, while highlighting beautiful works of public art and lush green spaces. Learn about some of the oldest remaining buildings in Scarborough by visiting Springfield House and Scarborough Museum and explore the extraordinary parks along the West Highland Creek. This walk showcases murals designed by local youth artists such as the Bendale Acres mural, and will take you along its several main streets like Ellesmere and McCowan Roads to the hub of Bendale by the Scarborough Civic Centre, distinctive for its eye-catching modern architecture.

Main Streets: Ellesmere Road, McCowan Road, Lawrence Avenue East, Brimley Road and Midland Avenue
  1. Robert Matejka 'Come Unity' Mural
    1163 Ellesmere Road
    Looking over a parking lot facing Midland Avenue, this colourful mural was a group effort, designed by a team of youth artists with community input. Led by Robert Matejka and painted by youth artists Jordan Chretien, Maggie Chen, Johnny Yang, and Christian Joseph, 'Come Unity' portrays a passage of a gift from left to right, representing a difficult journey towards human rights. The journey by boat depicts people coming together to reach their destination, while the community is held together by five pillars representing youth. This mural was painted in 2009 as part of the Amnesty International Project Urban Canvas, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.
  2. Birkdale Ravine
    1297 Ellesmere Road
    Located just off Ellesmere Road and stretching to the south is the Birkdale Ravine. The lush park features the Birkdale Community Centre, a playground and outdoor fitness equipment, as well as access to trails along the West Highland Creek. The ravine allows for opportunities to see local wildlife, and to view the cherry blossom trees planted in 2015 and 2016 as a gift from Sagamihara, Toronto's sister city in Japan. The ravine has also hosted the Birkdale Arts Festival, in partnership with other community organizations such as Scarborough Arts and Scarborough Museum to showcase the works of local Scarborough artists.
  3. Thomson Memorial Park
    1005 Brimley Road
    Thomson Memorial Park is an expansive 41.8-hectare green space that follows the West Highland Creek and the accompanying wooded ravine. The park features a variety of amenities, including playgrounds, a picnic site and shelter, a firepit, an off-leash dog park, and a number of bike trails. Thomson Memorial Park is one of the city's accessible parks, featuring accessible washrooms, walkways, and parking lots, as well as being easily accessible via TTC. The park is named after the Thomson family, who were the first European settlers in what is now Scarborough. The park was also the site of an Iroquois settlement that was established between 700 and 1651. Excavations of the park have recovered artifacts including pottery fragments, stone tools, and food remains such as corn.
  4. Scarborough Museum
    Thomson Memorial Park, 1007 Brimley Road
    Right in the heart of Thomson Memorial Park is Scarborough Museum, one of 10 historic sites and museums operated by the City of Toronto. The museum is situated on land that once belonged to David and Mary Thomson, and is comprised of four designated heritage buildings showcasing the history of the early Scarborough township: Cornell House, McCowan Log Cabin, Hough Carriage Works, and the Kennedy Gallery. Each of the heritage buildings is restored to educate visitors about Scarborough's past, as well as featuring a space for rotating exhibits in the gallery. The museum provides community outreach through school programs, special events, and opportunities for youth involvement through volunteer youth group programs.
  5. Sean Martindale Mural
    2920 Lawrence Avenue East
    Note: Private property. Please view the mural from the sidewalk only. Located on the wall of Bendale Acres Long-term Care Residence this intergenerational project paired adults and youth with seniors. The mural boldly demonstrates the capacity and ability of people of all ages to contribute meaningfully and artistically to the streets of Toronto.
  6. Toronto Public Library - Bendale Branch and Drew Mosely & Elicser Mural
    1515 Danforth Road
    Designed by artists Drew Mosely and Elicser, this mural is positioned in front of the Toronto Public Library's Bendale Branch and celebrates reading as a doorway to new adventures and ideas. The mural depicts readers of all backgrounds and ages immersed in their books and imaginations. This branch is the most recent location of the library once operated out of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, first founded by members of the church in 1834. Eventually, a small building was constructed to house the library in 1896, and opened as Scarboro's Centennial Memorial Library. The library ultimately moved to this location in 1961, after it was taken over by the Public Library Board of the Township of Scarborough.
  7. Springfield Farmhouse
    146 St Andrew's Road
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. Tucked away along St Andrew's Road, the Springfield Farmhouse was first constructed in 1840 by James A. Thomson, son of Andrew Thomson, who first patented the land in 1802. The bricks of the house were made from local clay, and it remains one of the oldest brick buildings in Scarborough. James named the house Springfield for the pure spring that flowed through his property into the creek, earning him the nickname Springfield Jimmy. The house is a designated heritage property, notable for its expansive verandah.
  8. Frank Faubert Wood Lot
    185 Borough Drive
    This five-hectare park is located just south of the Scarborough Civic Centre. The Frank Faubert Wood Lot is a heavily forested green space featuring an off-leash dog park. The land that now makes up the park was once set aside as a wood lot by George Scott, a settler in early Scarborough who owned the land encompassing this area. The wood lot was left as an uncleared space so the trees could be used to provide additional firewood. The wood lot came under threat of redevelopment in the 1980s, and was saved to be used as a park. The park is named after Frank Faubert, Scarborough's last mayor before Scarborough was amalgamated into Toronto.
  9. Carl Milles 'Hand of God' Sculpture
    160 Borough Drive
    The 'Hand of God' sculpture looks out over the Frank Faubert Wood Lot by the dog park, giving it the nickname Hand of God Park. The sculpture, depicting a man posing in an open hand, stands tall above the park on a steel pole. Installed in the park in 1975, 'Hand of God' was designed by Swedish artist Carl Milles, and is dedicated to Scarborough's former mayor Albert Campbell.
  10. Scarborough Civic Centre
    150 Borough Drive
    Located in Albert Campbell Square along Borough Drive, the Scarborough Civic Centre stands out with its distinctive architecture. The centre was first opened in 1973, and was designed by architect Raymond Moriyama, also known for his work designing the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Moriyama's vision for the centre was that it would become a 'people place' for the community. Surrounding the centre are landscaped gardens, a waterfall and pool and outdoor ice rink and a variety of public artworks. The centre is home to the Scarborough Community Council, who represent the different wards of the area.
  11. Toronto Public Library - Scarborough Civic Centre Branch
    156 Borough Drive
    The Scarborough Civic Centre Library is a new addition to the Scarborough Civic Centre and to the Toronto Public Library, and opened as the library's 100th branch. The building was the first significant addition to the civic centre when it first opened in 2015, and was designed by LGA Architectural Partners and Philip H. Carter. The library won the Design Excellence Award from the Ontario Association of Architects in 2016 and the Public Buildings in Context Award of Excellence from the Toronto Urban Design Awards in 2017. The library features one of Toronto's eight Digital Innovation Hubs, which feature technology such as computers, 3D printing, and recording studios. The library is also home to a Chinese collection and small French and Tamil collections.

Accessibility information: This walk takes place on streets and paved paths. All points of interest are viewable from the sidewalk. The 'Come Unity' Mural overlooks a parking lot, so please exercise caution if moving to get a closer look. The paths through Birkdale Ravine, Thomson Memorial Park, Scarborough Museum, and Frank Faubert Wood Lot may be difficult to maneuver depending on weather conditions. Birkdale Ravine features trails that are on an incline. St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is up a hill following a road also used by cars, so please exercise caution if moving to get a closer look. The church is still viewable from the sidewalk along St. Andrew's Road. The 'Hand of God' sculpture rests in a grassy area of the park, and the ground around it may be uneven.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.