Oh, Scarborough, monument to the working class. Where others don gowns and stilettos, you sport hard hats and steel toes.

While garden tours snake through Old Cabbagetown, the hummingbirds drink nectar, unspotted, from your botanical beds in Cedarbrae.

No Bridle Path here for the nouveau riche. Your executives slumber in splendid isolation along the Bluffs, with the best, unheralded, million-dollar views in town. Such is Scarborough's fate: Scarberia; the most under-valued, underrated community in Toronto. And arguably the most stigmatized.

When crime occurs west of Victoria Park, two Scarborough councillors complained to city council last week, the media pinpoint the location at Parliament and Dundas Sts. or the Annex. But a shooting at Lawrence Ave. and Pharmacy Ave. isn't at Wexford ? not when Scarborough will suffice.

"When the media report on crime in Scarborough it sounds like all Scarborough," says Councillor Michael Thompson. "They may not be aware of the stigma they are creating or casting on Scarborough. We are hoping to alert them so they are sensitive to it," Thompson says.

Thompson and Councillor Norm Kelly asked Mayor David Miller to implore Toronto journalists to bone up on their geography and give the area a break.

At stake is a people's image of themselves, and, of course, property values.

It seems that Scarborough gets no respect. With so much going for the eastern borough of some 600,000 people, the overriding image is as home to lumberjacks, suburban malls, coffee shops and crime. Both councillors say the issue is raised constantly when they talk with constituents.

"People say: `When I tell friends I live in Scarborough they have this negative, shocked expression. I tell them I live in a beautiful area and people can't believe that,'" Thompson reports his constituents' lament.

"No matter where you go, if you're asked where you're from and you tell them `Scarborough', they begin to feel sorry for you," Kelly adds.

"My daughter was in residence at university a decade ago and when she told her friends she was from Scarborough, they asked, `What was it like growing up with all that violence?'"

But Scarborough has a lower crime rate than the likes of North York, Toronto or Etobicoke, Kelly says.

"I don't think there is a resident in Scarborough that doesn't feel that the positive, good qualities of Scarborough are being ignored," Kelly says.

And what might these be, Thompson was asked?

"Great restaurants."

C'mon. Like which ones?

"Barclays on Lawrence Ave. (Pharmacy and Warden Ave.) is a fine establishment ... some of the best steaks in the city.

"There's the Blackhorn restaurant at Ellesmere and Warden. Fine Greek Cuisine ... and the famous Wexford Restaurant ... every one comes here at some point."

We're talking great restaurants, not greasy spoons?

"Well, Wexford is a greasy spoon," Thompson admits.

"But they're moving to a more health-conscious breakfast menu, and the atmosphere is great."

What else about Scarborough?

"Shortly we'll have the largest Wal-Mart in Canada ... in time for Christmas. I say it with great humility, actually. We are creating jobs."

The notice of motion before city council lauds Scarborough for its "wonderful community of beautiful parks and neighbourhoods." Let us in on the secret.

"Thomson Park. Meadowvale. Birkdale Ravine area and, of course, the Bluffs, the eighth wonder of the world."

If Chris Bosh wanted to set up residence east of civilization, er, the city, where'd the real estate agent take him? Apparently, anywhere along the lake, from Midland Ave. to within view of the Pickering nuclear plant. Stunning vistas exist at the foot of Markham Rd., for example, where million-dollar homes sport a view to die for.

But most Torontonians don't know and don't want to believe it, Kelly says.

He has an idea. With all the charity runs in the city, Scarborough should host the Spectacular Scarborough 10K Run, an annual event through the beautiful neighbourhoods of Scarborough.

But, what happens in year two?

There are many great Scarborough neighbourhoods, he says. This is Scarborough like it's seldom portrayed.

Producer of "terrific athletes and world-class entertainers ..." and the home of "local theatre, arts organizations and orchestras second to none," boasts the motion before council, referred to the executive committee.

Hey, nobody's perfect. For an understated town, a bit of exaggeration is to be expected ? Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Paul Tracy and other outstanding Scarborough-items, notwithstanding.