Scarborough mixtape Toronto

10 songs that capture the spirit of Scarborough

All this month, we're making playlists about the spirit of select Toronto neighbourhoods. Our fourth playlist explores Scarborough through the ages.

Scarborough's musical history has yet to be lovingly documented in the ways that Yonge Street, Queen West, Yorkdale, and Kensington Market have been, but ask anyone who grew up here about their borough and you might be surprised by how much civic pride the area's residents have. No matter how often politicians and the media paint Scarborough as either a cold desolate wasteland (Scarberia) or a violence-plagued ghetto (Scarlem, Scareborough), the eastern suburb continues to prove that it's more vibrant and diverse than it gets credit for.

Sure, it's never really been known for its local live music scene, but many musical acts that have packed downtown clubs since the 60s grew up practicing in Scarborough garages, and Toronto hip hop definitely wouldn't be what it is now, if not for all those beats and rhymes crafted in suburban basement studios. If anything, that physical distance might be why so many visionary artists honed their unique voices out here, far removed from the fleeting musical trends that too often guide downtown acts.


Which 10 tracks would you use to celebrate Scarborough? Make your own Spotify playlist and tweet us the link, or leave it in the comments below.

Image by Aldrin Taroy


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