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West Hill – Scarborough

In the 1840’s, many people of Cork County, Ireland had emigrated to Canada. They ended up in a place I now call my home; West Hill. It is located in the East end of Scarborough, and runs along Lake Ontario.

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Before it was known as West Hill, the Irish had named it after their own home and called it Corktown. Corktown had three general stores, a school, and a church. They built houses along Morningside Avenue, and ran a streetcar line from Kingston Road to Victoria Park to allow for an easier commute outside of the city. 

West Hill itself is very tiny and doesn’t offer much except for a police station, however, directly surrounding it is plenty. Scarborough offers many educational institutions, parks, hospitals, and countless places of worship. It also features the Toronto Zoo.

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Scarborough has many issues with housing. It is overly populated and therefore causes slight congestion. It feels stuffy because it is so small, and way too many people live there. Because this is such a common issue, they have flooded Scarborough with apartment buildings and have made designated areas for more housing. They have torn apart some beautiful forestry, even in my parents’ backyard, to build.

In the far east end, where the Bluffs are located, there has been a lot of problems concerning erosion. Due to houses being built so close to the water back in the 1940’s, the east end of Scarborough is slowly deteriorating. It began in the 1970’s and has continued even until today. I suspect that, in the not-so-distant-future, a large chunk of Scarborough will have disappeared into Lake Ontario. 

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With an estimate of 1,022 families being helped each month making multiple visits, one of the largest food banks in Scarborough held its annual holiday drive last Saturday November 27th. Due to the recession, many people, especially in Scarborough, are without jobs. Their goal each year, is simply to help. They even give out an extra “hamper” to those families who are unable to provide for themselves during holidays when food banks are closed. These hampers include sandwich condiments, canned food items, healthy beverages such as juice, and even small treats of chocolate to enjoy. All this is possible because of “Scouts” going door to door collecting items from local residents. Last year they brought in approximately 10, 465lbs of food and this year alone have 40-45 youth and 20 leaders volunteering to be scouts. It’s good to know I live in a place with so many people willing to help the less fortunate through a difficult time.

 

One local person of interest in Scarborough is former City of Toronto Councillor, David Soknacki. He has been a resident since 1963, and still lives there today. He also attended school in Scarborough and graduated at the local University.

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Mr. Soknacki has been an active member of the community for many years and has contributed so much to make it a better place. He has worked for the local newspaper, The Scarborough Mirror, and even hosted on Scarborough television. He began as a representative for Scarborough, specifically, and was eventually made Toronto Councillor. Some of his achievements include efforts to help the environment, creating more jobs, and is responsible for successfully advocating the construction of the Toronto Police 43 Division located at Lawrence Avenue and Manse Road. Although Mr. Soknacki  served a time of 3 years, in 2006 he decided to retire. 

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Sources

http://scarboroughhistorical.ca/local_history/scarborough_community_names.htm#West Hill  – Corktown

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough_Bluffs

http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/1251416–scouting-groups-holds-annual-holiday-food-drive-in-scarborough

http://www.toronto.ca/toronto_history/councillors/2004-2006/soknacki1.htm

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