Scarborough Heights Park is a community park with a large community garden on the west side. Local residents gather here to walk their dogs and bring their families, particularly in the evenings. The park offers a large, fenced, dogs-off-leash area, adjacent to the pumping station at Fishleigh Dr. Lake Ontario breezes come through the gaps in vegetation, but views of the lake are harder to see through the dense vegetation that grows along the bluff in this area. A few pathways approach the eroding edge beyond the safety fences, but the pathways are treacherous because the bluff edge is undercut and there is a steep drop. Staying behind the fence is strongly advised.
At the west edge of this park is a service road that connects to Fishleigh Drive. This road can be used as a pathway to the shoreline trails. Give yourself at least 20 minutes to get down and back, or longer if you want to walk along the shoreline to see the views at the base of Scarborough Bluffs Park, or to enjoy the beaches below Rosetta McClain Park. Spending the day on the sand and stone beaches, away from the city traffic and built landscapes can be a magical experience.
The slopes do continue to erode and occasionally trees will tumble to the shoreline particularly in the older areas of shoreline protection to the west of the Scarborough Heights Park service road. Be prepared to find the odd tree across your path. This is still an area of eroding bluffs particularly in the freeze-thaw cycle during the winter and spring.
How to get there:
Vehicles can enter Scarborough Heights Park from, south of Kingston Road. By TTC the Kingston Road #12 bus stop is only a five minute walk from the park.
The magnificent view of the bluffs from Scarborough Heights Park is the reason this significant geological feature is called the Scarborough Bluffs. When Elizabeth Simcoe, the wife of Upper Canada's first Lieutenant-Governor, saw the beautifully carved sandstone cliffs in 1793, she considered building a summer residence on top and naming it Scarborough for the Yorkshire town of Scarborough, in England, that is also known for its cliffs. In the same year, Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe renamed the township Scarborough, as tribute to the Duke of York. When the township was originally surveyed in 1791 by Augustus Jones, it was called Glasgow.
In 1920, the Scarborough Water Works System was constructed here. As Scarborough grew in population, the capacity of the filtration plant and pumping station were expanded; by 1952, the filtration plant processed 14.0 million gallons of water per day. Today, only the pumping station and the reservoir are still in use.
In May 1960, the Borough of Scarborough transferred its Scarborough Bluff holdings to the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Various parcels of land were combined as part of the Waterfront Plan, a program designed to promote public ownership along the bluffs as a means of curtailing further erosion.