Neighbourhood Spotlight: Roncesvalles Village
Roncesvalles Village, locally called ‘Roncy’, is a beautiful charming neighbourhood to call home in Toronto. It has plenty of amenities for visitors and residents to enjoy – all you have to do is walk down the main thoroughfare and you’ll be overwhelmed with food markets, restaurants and plenty of things to do! Filled with beautiful homes and beautiful parks, it’s no wonder that it is one of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods.
Roncesvalles originally began as farm lots owned by many prominent families. These families often worked in the city and the lands were left unfarmed which preserved their natural beauty that we can see in High Park to this day. Roncesvalles’ name comes from the Roncesvalles Gorge in Spain. It was in that gorge that an early 19th-century settler, Colonel Walker O’Hara led the winning regiment against Napoleon’s Army. O’Hara was a prominent figure in the establishment of the Roncesvalles neighbourhood. At the end of the Second World War, Roncesvalles received an influx of immigrants, predominantly Polish, who introduced many Eastern European cultures and charm to the neighbourhood. Additionally, the streetcar facilities popularised this neighbourhood as family-friendly and continued to grow and develop as a community around schools, churches and public transit.
Types of Homes You’ll Find
Roncesvalles offers a wide range of home buying opportunities but be warned the listings are rare. Many homes are semi-detached or attached, often well maintained Victorian or Edwardian homes. Typical streets are filled with beautiful gardens and pretty porches with the odd condo building appearing recently. There are some areas of high-density housing but most of Roncesvalles is low-density historical homes.
Real estate demographics
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Roncesvalles Village is a family-focused neighbourhood. The typical established families have two working parents with young children. It’s still a diverse neighbourhood with a fairly even mixture of owners and renters.
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Parks & Green Spaces
Roncesvalles has plenty of green space around. High Park is obviously the largest and most well-known. There’s also Souraren Avenue Park which has plenty of amenities for visitors. Charles G Williams Park is perfect for families and kids to spend the afternoon. West Lodge Park is a great skatepark.
St. Vincent de Paul Separate School
Howard Junior Public School
Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School
Fern Avenue Junior and Senior Public School
Mary Mother of God
Westminster Classical Christian Academy
Parkdale Collegiate Institute
Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton
Ecole Secondaire Toronto Ouest
West Park Secondary School
Getting In and Around
With plenty of TTC Routes and the Bloor Go Station, Roncesvalles makes it easy to get anywhere in the city and out. THere are five different streetcar routes around Roncesvalles that grant access all over Toronto. The Bloor Go Station also grants access to the Union-Pearson Express so whether you want to go Pearson Airport of Union Station, Roncy has you covered. Roncesvalles has access to both the Queensway and the Gardiner for convenient access to the downtown core. With the combination of streetcars, public transit options and abundance of amenities, Roncesvalles is incredibly accessible whether you have access to a car or not.
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Things to Do
Roncy has plenty of things to do for people of all ages! Full of some of Toronto’s best restaurants, coffee shops, charming markets and bakeries, you’ll find no shortage of food options. If it’s green space you’re looking for, High Park and Souraren Avenue Park will satisfy you.
Souraren Farmers’ Market
Held every Monday from 3 pm to 7 pm, even public holidays, Souraren Farmers’ Market offers fresh local produce, meat, baked goods and all manner of foodstuffs to suit any foodie. There are activities for kids and entertainment activities throughout the market. During the winter months, the Market moves indoors while mid-May through to October, it’s an outdoor experience.
Open all year round with numerous activities no matter the season! Whether you want to walk on the waterfront, have a picnic, walk your dog, bike, or visit the zoo – High Park has it all. During April and May, the Sakura Cherry Blossoms bloom which attract thousands of visits every year. There’s 399 acres in High Park to explore including 18 designated picnic areas.
A historic staple in Roncesvalles, Revue Cinema has been offering a collection of eclectic films, old and new, since 1912. Revue offers a great monthly screening schedule with plenty of options like afternoon parent-and-baby screenings, penguin Teen Screens and Drunken Cinema screenings where you get to enjoy a glass of wine with your flick. It’s iconic Art Deco is sure to draw you in for an afternoon or night of entertainment.
Another foodie staple in Roncesvalles, Café Polonez is the most popular Polish restaurant in the neighbourhood. It’s a much loved local hotspot and has been around for over 33 years offering a range of classic Polish dishes that anyone can enjoy. Their pierogies are a popular item and are even sold frozen in a bag to take home!