Scarborough Centre

When I was a young boy, my family occasionally visited the Scarborough Town Centre Mall during trips to Toronto. Whenever we went, I was entranced by the shopping centre’s miniature hot-air balloons. I always begged to be allowed to watch their languorous rise and fall, over and over again. It was a hypnotic dance. So I looked forward excitedly to my present-day foray to neighbouring Scarborough Centre station; it would serve as a perfect excuse to pop by the mall, and marvel at the balloons again.

I was thus crestfallen to discover that the balloons were removed during a renovation in 2008! Sic transit gloria mundi.

Scarborough Centre exterior view from south-west
View from the south: the 3 levels of Scarborough Centre

As for the station, it makes for a fascinating study on passenger circulation movement and design. The three levels feel very distinct and clumsily integrated.

The RT platform sees a lot of usage; this stop is arguably the only major destination / origin for the entire RT line (not counting Kennedy).

RT train at Scarborough Centre
Eastbound RT at Scarborough Centre platform

Meanwhile, the second-level concourse hall sits mostly empty, except for the far end connecting to the mall and leading to Scarborough Civic Centre.

Scarborough Centre concourse level
The action takes place at the east end of this otherwise deserted concourse.

A pair of commemorative plaques on this level mark the opening of the Scarborough RT. Now we know who to blame! I’m obviously a general transit enthusiast and booster, but it’s important that we acknowledge our mistakes of the past (even as we compound them in the present).

Scarborough RT Commemorative plaque
Plaque commemorating the opening of the RT line. I like the bas-relief ICTS car.

I’m genuinely impressed with the awfulness of the bus platform at Scarborough Centre, especially considering that it services the largest number of surface routes for the TTC. This cramped section of the station has all the ambience of a sheet-metal factory. The exposed piping, stained concrete, crumbling floors, and stoic faces—it’s a complete contrast to the roomy level above.

Scarborough Centre bus platform
The abysmally grey bus platform: industrial chic? 

Scarborough Centre opened March 22, 1985 as part of the Scarborough RT line. An important transportation hub, the station also connects to the Scarborough Centre Bus Terminal. If and when the Scarborough Subway is ever constructed, this station will undergo major changes.

Should you happen to pass through the stop, the inhuman vastness of adjoining Albert Campbell Square and Raymond Moriyama’s Scarborough Civic Centre are well worth gawking over. Alas, nothing’s ever going to bring back those balloons.

Photo Gallery

Tour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past:

Scarborough Centre photo gallery

Scarborough Centre station transfers
Two variants at this station

More about Scarborough Centre

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Scarborough Centre

My next stop: Wilson
Previous station: Finch

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