The Scarborough I know is more than just a place with great dentists

I grew up in Scarborough, and I still feel like I’m going home whenever I go back there. The only thing is, I hardly ever go back anymore.

That’s the way it is, I suppose, with a lot of the places we call home. My family moved out years ago, and so did most of the other families I grew up with. My friends from high school are scattered all over the world now. I might know a couple of people who live there today, but it’s not like I visit.

In fact, the only reason I ever go back to Scarborough anymore – the only reason I’ve been there in years, and the reason I’m going today – is to visit my dentist.

I’ve been going to John Banducci’s office at the strip mall at Sheppard and Morningside for thirty years. He’s been my dentist for as long as I’ve had teeth. I have to take the Bloor Line to¬†Kennedy and the catch the 116 to get there these days, but it’s worth it. He’s a really good dentist.

Sure, the Danforth is full of good dentists. There are two or three on my block alone, and when it’s time to make an appointment for my daughter, we’ll probably make it with one of them. But I’m happy with my dentist, and happy to make the commute.

I’ll admit, though, that the commute’s a big part of that loyalty. It’s not the reason I’ve stuck with my dentist, but it’s the reason I don’t hear the word Scarborough these days and think “How many years has it been since I was even back there?”

And let’s be honest: when I go back now, I’m a tourist. But I’ll tell you, the 116 is a great tour bus.

I mean, it boards at Kennedy, the fabled end of the Bloor Line. It runs you through strip mall country along Eglinton. It takes you past U of T Scarborough, the park, and what used to be Morningside Mall. And if you’ve only heard of Scarborough on the news, then yes, it takes you past Danzig Street.

Then it lumbers over the 401 and drops you off at a huge concrete intersection, wider and tougher to cross than any you’ll find downtown. And there, across from the gas station and above the a row of variety stores, you’ll find my dentist.

I love making that trip. I know it sounds silly, but I love it. I love seeing what’s changed, and I love seeing what’s stayed the same. I love knowing that my old house in Malvern is just a quick walk through the park away. But if I didn’t have a reason to take that trip, I probably wouldn’t do it anymore.

By the way, if you need a good dentist, Dr. Banducci and his team are the best. His office number is (416) 284-0945. He’s an artist, and he’s great with kids. Make it happen.

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2 Responses to “The Scarborough I know is more than just a place with great dentists”

  1. Rishi says:

    Ha! I live in Amsterdam and I still go to the same dentist I used to when I lived in Scarborough. The 116 is a great tour bus. I always take the 86 to get home, which is the best choice if you need a scenic route from Kennedy to the Zoo.

  2. Matt says:

    Amazing! That’s exactly what I’m talking about. I watched the westbound 86 drive by this morning, and wondered if I shouldn’t start taking it back to work; it’s probably the better route to my office at Yonge and College. Maybe next time…