What’s not to like about Toronto’s Roncesvalles neighbourhood? Streets are lined with beautiful homes, friendly faces, burgeoning local businesses, and some of the city’s best parks. Walking down Roncesvalles avenue, the smell of homemade bread, and rich coffee, coming from nearby Mabel’s Bakery, serves as a reminder that “Roncey” is a neighbourhood abundant in life’s simple pleasures.
Bordering High Park, Roncesvalles is the perfect place to run the dog, go on a stroller-clad coffee date with friends, or be first to the High Park Cherry Blossom watch (for all you avid botanists out there!). Suitable for any active ‘Torontonian’, or nature-loving family, Roncesvalles fosters well-being and community at every corner. And, we cannot forget to mention the Annual Polish Festival, held each year, in “Roncey”- a testament to the neighbourhoods strong Polish community presence.
No longer one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets, the restoration of Roncesvalles is evident in its destination-worthy restaurants, boutiques, pubs, and indie coffee houses. Staying true to its roots, authentic Polish butchers, delicatessens, and restaurants, stand strong with the area’s newest entrepreneurial ‘allies’. The seamless mixture of ‘old’ and ‘new’ combine effortlessly to create a tight-knit community that has everything a resident would need – less pretensions.
Roncesvalles brims with turn-of-the-century brick homes, inviting porches, sweeping gardens, and charming laneways. Houses are located within walking, or short driving, distance to local schools and amenities. Real estate in this vibrant area is highly sought-after and homes listed in the neighbourhood normally sell within days of being listed on the market.
If you’re lucky enough to ‘score’ a groovy pad in the “Roncey” area, an “impressive dinner party fact” is that Roncesvalles Avenue takes its name from the Battle of Roncesvalles, which took place in the Roncesvalles Pass in Spain in 1813. (The name ‘Roncesvalles’ means ‘valley of thorns’ in Spanish.) It was at this gully that Colonel Walter O’Hara — an early 19th-century Irish settler who played a significant role in the establishment of the neighbourhood — once led the winning regiment that fought against Napoleon’s army.