Why it’s better to live in Scarborough

Scarborough gets a lot of hate from just about everyone who doesn’t live here.

But I think living here is better than living in downtown Toronto.

Yes, you read that right.

One of the main reasons is that everything is more spread out and evenly spaced. While some may enjoy downtown’s vibrancy and energy, it’s much easier to raise a family in the suburbs because it’s quiet, the real estate is cheaper and people seem more relaxed.

It’s no wonder the majority of immigrants choose to live in Scarborough. Life for immigrants is much easier here because they are close to the people of their ethnic origins and it is much easier to practise religion, thanks to a growing number of temples, mosques and shrines.

“I think Scarborough is a great place to live in, the people are very friendly,” says Jessica Wong, 39, an immigrant from China who moved to Scarborough-Agincourt two months ago with her 11-year-old son, Tom. “The schools are also very nice and my son really enjoys his classes.”

Many high schools in Scarborough such as Agincourt Collegiate and L’Amoreaux Collegiate are ranked as some of the best public high schools in Toronto, according to the Fraser Institute’s rankings.

Let’s move on to the issue of crime because it’s the number one knock against Scarborough.

People assume Scarborough is a ghetto, filled with gangs, drugs and violence. And whenever a crime happens in any part of Scarborough, it is automatically labelled a “crime in Scarborough,” while crimes that happen in other parts of Toronto are reported according to the intersection they occur in.

But, according to the Toronto Police website, the violent crime rate in the rest of Toronto is three per cent higher than it is in Scarborough. The murder rate for Scarborough over the past three years is also lower than for downtown Toronto.

Scarborough seems to get a lot of negative attention and allegations directed toward it, but Scarborough is quickly proving itself to be a great place to live in and is certainly equal to or better than living in downtown Toronto.

I invite you to take a walk through Scarborough some time, and I anticipate you will find something to your liking that you will not have found downtown.

And you are unlikely to be mugged, kidnapped or shot.