Community, Toronto, Ontario
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Please click on the above links to access articles from my newsletter, The Scarboro Heights Record, and the publications of the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society.

I will continue to add pages relating to your community, so please check back often.

The Scarborough Bluffs are one of the great natural wonders of the world. This watercolour of "The Dutch Churches" was drawn by the late Mary McCowan Woodburn, daughter of an exceptional Scarborough inventor.

For now, here's a few thoughts on the evolving nature of "community" itself.

The "Concept" of Community

The emigrant Scots quickly adapted to a new physical, social and economic environment in Canada. They formed new relationships, both with the land and with others who were likewise adapting to the responsibilities of nation-building. The evolution of the Canadian identity is, in part, the evolution of our relationship with each other -- both at work and at play.

Our concept of "community" is rapidly changing. The lowland "fermtoun" and the early Upper Canadian Scottish "settlement" were "communities" where neighbours and relatives worked and played together in relative isolation from the outside world. "Community" then was really some sense of physical place where the residents had the "place" in common. But today, rapidly developing transportation and communications technologies allow us to very efficiently interact socially and economically with the entire world. To a large degree today, a "community" can be considered to be a group of people who have values, interests, experiences, goals or visions in common -- even though they may be physically separated by many miles.

From the Introduction to Fairs and Frolics: Scottish Communities at Work and Play