Dreamy Victorian century homes, great and family-friendly neighbors, thriving independent businesses, one of the best dining scenes in the west end, and home to the popular Sorauren Farmers Market, all located next to Toronto’s largest park.
Dreamy and diverse homes can be found in Roncesvalles Village. This neighborhood has something for everyone style-wise, but prices in Roncesvalles tend to be on the higher side because the demand for the area is also on the higher side. Historical hard lofts, large century homes with 5+ bedrooms, a church loft conversion, renovated 100+-year-old homes with an inviting front porch, shiny new condos and soft lofts, or a modern custom home. Whatever your real estate preference, you will find it here in Roncesvalles. Most homes in this neighborhood are lucky enough to be located within a 10-minute walk to the shopping and community hub along Roncesvalles Ave and the serenity of High Park.
Living in Roncesvalles – West End’s Finest neighborhood, Formerly known as Little Poland, Roncesvalles will easily capture your heart, and stomach, with its small-town European charm. Roncesvalles is home to many family-owned cafes and shops and as you explore the different boutiques, you may find yourself drawn in by the irresistible aromas that waft out of the local bakeries – if you have an appetite for Eastern European delicacies such as hand-made perogies, juicy sausages, sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, and traditional soups. One of these hearty meals will sustain you for a full day of exploring, or help you recharge.
Roncesvalles was originally settled by Colonel Walter O’Hara in 1850.O’Hara was a soldier in the British army prior to immigrating to Canada. O’Hara was wounded and captured by the French in the Roncesvalles Gorge in northern Spain; hence the name Roncesvalles. O’Hara, who was originally from Ireland, named the streets here after family members including O ’Hara, Geoffrey, Constance, Marion, and Sorauren. Fermanagh is the province in Northern Ireland where the O’Hara clan originated.
The development of the present-day neighborhood was spurred on by the street-car, which came to this area in the early 1900s. Roncesvalles was a family-oriented neighborhood right from the start. Nearby industries offered employment to the many British immigrants that settled here. The landmark St.Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church on Roncesvalles was the spiritual center of these first residents.
Following the Second World War an influx of Eastern Europeans,predominantly Poles,settled in Roncesvalles.They built their own church:St.Casimir’s.Sir Casimir Gzowski, a Polish patriot, settled in Toronto in the early 1850s and was instrumental in the building of Toronto’s roads and railways.
Roncesvalles is known for its European ambiance and small-town feel. This neighborhood is popular with young families who appreciate the convenience of the location just west of downtown. The close proximity to High Park, Toronto waterfront bicycle and walking trails, easy access to public transit, and the Roncesvalles shops and restaurants are also popular drawing cards.
The Roncesvalles Polish Festival, which takes place annually in September, attracts thousands of visitors. Roncesvalles Avenue is closed off for this festival that includes Polish dancers, children’s games and rides, polka bands, and lots of food and refreshments.
Roncesvalles Avenue is a wide boulevard shared by pedestrians, cyclists, automobiles, and streetcars. The heritage buildings that line Roncesvalles Avenue set the tone for the friendly atmosphere and old-world charm that is Roncesvalles Village.
Roncesvalles real estate is known for its European ambience and small-town feel. The neighbourhood is popular among young families and move up buyers, who appreciate the convenience of the location just west of downtown. The close proximity to High Park, Toronto waterfront bicycle and walking trails, easy access to public transit, and the Roncesvalles shops and restaurants are also popular credentials on many house-hunter’s lists.
Residential homes began to appear from the early 1900s on, as Toronto experienced a massive building boom. For the first half of the 20th century, Roncesvalles residents were mostly of British origin. In the post-WWII years, a large number of Polish immigrants settled in the area, setting up churches, banks, and businesses that remain important local institutions.
Roncesvalles Village homes for sale are highly sought after by Toronto homebuyers. The beautiful Victorian and Edwardian century houses that line the streets of this neighborhood are enjoying a revitalization with a new generation of homebuyers who appreciate the charm and character of these older homes and who are not afraid to put in a little work to create the home of their dreams.
Roncesvalles Community is brimming with beautiful turn-of-the-century homes that are accented with whimsical architectural details. Pretty front porches and well-tended gardens complement the pretty houses. A lush and mature tree canopy makes for a very pleasing streetscape. Most of the houses are attached or semi-detached with a sprinkling of detached houses. Garages are tucked away out of sight at the rear of the house off laneways.
Dogs, strollers, babies, and kids on scooters are all very common sights in Roncesvalles. As the stomping ground for many of Toronto’s west-end families, Roncesvalles Village offers both a trendy and traditional vibe with many great shops, restaurants and services for young families. Roncesvalles Village residents are a proud and engaged bunch, putting down roots here, evidenced by the fairly low housing turnover in this neighborhood.
Shops, Restaurants & Services:
When it comes to shopping, Roncesvalles Village has a charming shopping district centered at Dundas St. West & Roncesvalles Avenue. This is where the community comes together to shop, play, exercise, and exchange greetings. The historical buildings that line this stretch are home to coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, and specialty food shops. Neighborhood landmarks include;
- The Revue Cinema, Catch a movie at Toronto’s oldest operating movie theatre. Completed in 1912, The Revue Cinema is a designated heritage building with Edwardian and Art Deco charm. The theatre shows current films, and also hosts several fun events like a monthly “Druken Cinema” where drinking games are played while watching 80s and 90s cult classics. Parent and Baby movies are offered every other week where parents can see grown-up movies with their little ones in tow. Lights are turned up a bit, the sound is turned down a bit, and noise from babbling children is embraced.
- The High Park Library – a Carnegie endowed library (1916) and St. Casimir’s Church (1952) which has served the many Polish immigrants that have settled in Toronto’s west-end.
- Roncesvalles United Church, The 240 Roncesvalles. This address is home to the historic (and still operating) Roncesvalles United Church, but this building is far more than just a church. The rainbow-painted front steps welcome those arriving for one of the many programs and services that operate here, such as The Roncy Flea Market, The Artful Child, Boomerang Pilates, Yoga Village (pay what you choose), Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, and Village Healing which offers a huge variety of wellness and counseling services. The church hosts a “Dinner With Dignity” every Sunday for those in need of a fresh meal, warm clothing, and companionship.
- Polish pride is celebrated in Roncesvalles. After World War II, many Polish immigrants settled in Roncesvalles. Over the years, Polish culture has continued to be celebrated here with the annual Roncesvalles Polish Festival in September. Local businesses like Cafe Polonez, Chopin Restaurant, Benna’s Bakery & Deli, and Chicago Bakery & Deli continue to serve up authentic Polish dishes. Pickle soup – yum! The street is closed down for the weekend as thousand enjoy live music and great food. Another festival not to be missed is Roncy Rocks held in June. This annual event celebrates the creative talents of local musicians, artisans, and entrepreneurs.
- Check out Roncy Rocks, a street festival celebrating music and the arts in Roncesvalles. Every June, Roncy celebrates local artists, musicians, and artisans with a street festival along Roncesvalles Ave. It is a great way to check out some art exhibits, live music, and sidewalk sales.
- The Roncesvalles Mural and its meaning to the Roncesvalles Village – Entitled The Original People Leading to the Eighth Fire, the mural presents the stories of the indigenous peoples who first walked the land where Roncesvalles Village now stands. A few local buildings from the last century emerge from the word ‘Roncesvalles’ which is heavily intertwined with foliage. Integrated into the wordmark is a symbol for The Eighth Fire.
Roncesvalles has one of the better dining scenes in the west end. Some of our favorites are Barque Smokehouse, Lambretta Pizzeria, Cinco Mexican Restaurant, The Ace, Pizzeria Defina, and La Cubana. For a lighter but delicious bite, we suggest The Simple Kitchen, Fantail, The Goods, Fresh City, and Village Juicery. If you are cooking a nice meal at home, check out Thin Blue Line’s huge cheese selection, Barque Butcher’s Bar for fresh meat and sauces, and Alimentari Italian Grocery for fresh pasta.
- Alimentari Italian Grocer, Foodies can take a trip to Italy without leaving your neighborhood. Alimentari Italian Grocery on Roncesvalles Ave is inspired by the owner’s time in Italy and their love for the Italian concept of an alimentari being the town’s fresh food shop, lunch spot, and gathering place for the locals. Stop in for a delicious lunch, shop the pantry staples, pick up some fresh pasta for dinner, sign up for a cooking class, or grab a sandwich to go. We highly recommend their porchetta panini and their stuffed pasta.
- Sorauren Farmers Market, Visit the Sorauren Farmers Market for fresh produce, treats, and seasonal events. Every Monday from 3 pm-7 pm all year long, locals gather at Sorauren Avenue Park to chat with the vendors and stock their fridges with local goodies. During the cooler months, the market moves indoors to The Fieldhouse. The market also hosts an annual Tomato Tasting, Country Fair, Harvest Festival, and Pumpkin Fest.
- Enjoy a beer on the Bandit Brewery patio, followed by a concert at Hugh’s Room. With an atmosphere inspired by German beer gardens, the patio at Bandit Brewery is a local hot spot. Indoor seating is available too, so you can enjoy a beer, cheese platter, and buttermilk fried chicken sandwich all year round. If you feel like bar hopping, check out Round The Horn, Loons, Cider house, The Dizzy, and The Local which has live music every night. Live music lovers should also definitely check out a concert at the legendary Hugh’s Room Live.
- Ed’s Real Scoop, Satisfy your sweet tooth at Ed’s Real Scoop. It’s not hard to be tempted to stop at Ed’s when you walk down Roncesvalles Ave and see the groups of people outside enjoying their ice cream. Ed’s Real Scoop is always busy and always delicious, known for their homemade ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbets, and ice cream sandwiches. They have over 100 flavors of ice cream that they rotate through, and we highly recommend the s’mores, Ed’s rocky driveway, cookies and cream, and pistachio almond ice cream. They have great seasonal flavors too.
High Park is a short walk west of this neighborhood. Visitors to this park can engage in a myriad of sports opportunities, from tennis to fishing in Grenadier Pond. There is also a popular children’s playground and a zoo. Walkers, joggers, and nature enthusiasts will enjoy the many trails that traverse this park.
Local parks include Sorauren Park, at the northeast corner of Sorauren and Wabash, and the Charles G.Williams Park at the southeast corner of Sorauren and Wabash. The Keele Community Centre on Glenlake Avenue has an indoor pool.
Streetcar service is available on Queen Street, Dundas Street, and Roncesvalles Avenue, with stops at numerous subway stations along the
Yonge-University-Spadina and Bloor-Danforth lines. The Lansdowne bus stops at the Lansdowne subway station on the Bloor-Danforth line.
Go Transit has a station at the Crossways, on the north-east corner of Bloor Street West and Dundas Street West.
Commuters can access Union Station from this line. Motorists are approximately a 15-minute drive from the downtown core.
Schools, Colleges and Universities:
Address: 209 Jameson Ave, Toronto, ON M6K 2Y3, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-9000 | Fax: (416) 393-8160 | Email: Parkdale.CI@tdsb.on.ca
“Parkdale has a reputation as the “gem” of our community. We are characterized by our caring, inclusive and welcoming learning environment. Our programming is continually evolving to meet the needs and interests of our students in our changing community; our diversity is our strength and we proudly welcome all students. Our programs include an enhanced PreBaccalaureate program to prepare students for our International Baccalaureate Programme, and a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) in Horticulture and Landscaping. We are a dynamic learning community, located with easy access to the TTC, where everyone has opportunities to get to know one another.” As originally published by Parkdale Collegiate Institute
Howard Junior Public School
Address: 30 Marmaduke St, Toronto, ON M6R 1T2, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-9255 | Fax: (416) 393-9258 | Email: Howard@tdsb.on.ca
“Howard Public School is located in the High Park/Roncesvalles community. It began as a small country school in 1874. The present building was constructed in 1970 as an “open concept” school with three “houses”: Anderson House, Maison Neuve and Clarke House. Each house has a common area surrounded by six individual classrooms. The three Kindergartens and music room are in separate classrooms. The school has approximately 550 students. Howard Public School is a dual-track school offering an English program from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 and an Early French Immersion program from Senior Kindergarten to Grade 6. Each program enhances the other. The school shares space with a daycare centre.“ As originally published by Howard Junior Public School
Address: 330 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Y1, Canada | Telephone: 416 532-6592
“L’école secondaire Toronto Ouest continue de bâtir un milieu d’apprentissage franchement exemplaire. Ce milieu diversifié, inclusif et sécuritaire offre à ses élèves des programmes d’excellence en sciences, mathématiques, langues, études sociales et arts. De nombreux clubs et activités socioculturelles et sportives viennent agrémenter le quotidien de nos élèves, leur permettant de joindre l’utile à l’agréable. Fondés sur des valeurs d’excellence, d’engagement et de dépassement de soi, l’enseignement et l’encadrement offerts à nos élèves leur permettent « de voir un avenir à la hauteur de leur vision où les choix de carrières sont guidés par leurs passions et qui offre la possibilité et les ressources nécessaires à leur réalisation ».” As originally published by ÉS Toronto Ouest
Address: 65 Grace St, Toronto, ON M6J 2S4, Canada | Telephone: 416 397-2097
“Nous sommes heureux d’accueillir environ 360 élèves de la maternelle à la 6e année dans un milieu sécuritaire où il fait bon apprendre. À l’école élémentaire Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, nous préconisons le développement global de l’enfant en mettant l’accent sur la pensée critique, la curiosité intellectuelle et l’imagination. Nous désirons outiller les enfants pour qu’ils prennent leur place dans un monde en évolution afin de devenir des citoyens engagés.” As originally published by É Élém Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau
Address: 55 Pelham Ave, Toronto, ON M6N 1A5, Canada | Telephone: 416 651-4630
“La communauté de Charles-Sauriol est accompagnée par un personnel enseignant dynamique et dévoué ainsi que des parents très impliqués et prêts à soutenir le développement des enfants. Une étroite collaboration entre le milieu scolaire, la famille et la communauté est essentielle à la réussite de tous les élèves. Le personnel de l’école a à cœur le bien-être de tous les élèves. La différentiation pédagogique, les projets touchant divers intérêts, l’enfance en difficulté, le programme d’Actualisation linguistique du français (ALF) et le programme d’aide pour les nouveaux arrivants (PANA) sont le pivot de l’enseignement à l’école Charles-Sauriol.” As originally published by É Élém Charles-Sauriol
Address: 108 Gladstone Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 3L2, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-9140 | Fax: (416) 393-9142 | Email: AlexanderMuir_Gladston@tdsb.on.ca
“Alexander Muir/Gladstone Ave (AMG), an inner-city school in the Dufferin/Dundas area, is comprised of two schools joined together in 1982. The school also houses an alternative school, integrated international languages, adult ESL day programs, a Parenting, and Family Literacy Centre, and a YMCA child care program. Alex Muir, a Scottish-Canadian poet, and songwriter who composed the lyrics to the song, “The Maple Leaf Forever,” was the first principal of the school. At AMG, staff and students work collaboratively to create a positive learning environment where all students are respected and valued as individuals.” As originally published by Alexander Muir/Gladstone Ave Junior and Senior Public School
Address: 1141 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N1, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1420 | Fax: (416) 393-1424 | Email: Bloor@tdsb.on.ca
“Bloor Collegiate Institute, established in 1925, has a long tradition of scholarship and post-secondary success for our many graduates. While small enough to be comfortable, Bloor C.I. offers a full range of courses. Grade 9 students choose from a unique selection of options including a course in skills for success in high school and courses in computer arts, business, and music. We offer a variety of enrichment opportunities. Our partnership with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics brings cutting-edge modern physics into our science classrooms. Opportunities for senior students include an in-school University of Toronto course (Sociology 101) and mathematics lectures at the University of Toronto.“ As originally published by Bloor Collegiate Institute
Address: 128 Fern Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 1K3, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-9130 | Fax: (416) 393-9132 | Email: Fern@tdsb.on.ca
“Fern Avenue School is located east of Roncesvalles Avenue, on Fern Avenue, north of Queen St.and south of High Park Blvd. The school was built in 1894, celebrated its centennial in 1994, and a two-storey primary wing was added to the three-storey old central building in 1954. The school serves about 600 students. The majority of the students are from English-speaking backgrounds. Approximately one-third of the students represent about 20 cultural and language groups. Fern is a composite school offering programs from Full Day Kindergarten to Grade 8 in English, Full Day Kindergarten (SK) to Grade 6 in French Immersion, and a Grade 4 to 8 Extended French program.” As originally published by Fern Avenue Junior and Senior Public School
Address: 78 Seaforth Ave, Toronto, ON M6K 3L2, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1280 | Fax: (416) 393-1285 | Email: Parkdale.PS@tdsb.on.ca
“Parkdale Public School, commonly known as “the jewel of the south” is proud to be an inner city model school. The school works in partnership with the Parkdale Community Centre, the George Brown College Childcare Centre, the Parkdale Parenting Centre and the International Language Program to ensure that our students develop strong literacy and numeracy skills while placing an emphasis on critical thinking, character development and global citizenship. We focus on cross-curricular planning with curriculum that is culturally relevant in order for our students to develop the knowledge, skills and values they need to become responsible members of our democratic society.” As originally published by Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School
CATHOLIC AND PRIVATE
Address: 6 Fuller Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 1A4, Canada | Telephone: 416-606-458 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Tamarack West Outdoor School is an independent elementary school running from Junior Kindergarten through grade 8, located in the West end of Toronto. TW’s main goal is to provide an outdoor/experiential education option to families of the community at large.” As originally published by Tamarack West Outdoor School
Address: 1196 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1B8, Canada | Telephone: (416-393-5208 | Fax: 416-397-6142
“St. Helen Catholic School serves approximately 500 students from Kindergarten/ Early Learning Program to Grade 8. St. Helen Catholic School was established in the Toronto area in 1852. It has been situated at 1196 College Street for the past 100 years. In 1994, a new building was erected in conjunction with the original 1914 building which was refurbished. The architecture and design of our new school has won awards from the Ontario Architectural Conservancy and the Ontario Historical Society. St. Helen School serves the area of Brockton Village within the Toronto Catholic District School Board. We welcome families and children of varying backgrounds to our school community. Parents and guardians are invited to our school events including our monthly Mass celebrations at St. Helen’s Church.” As originally published by St. Helen Catholic School
Address: 25 Linden St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1V5, Canada
“L’école élémentaire catholique du Sacré-Cœur a 125 ans d’histoire! C’est avec enthousiasme que travaille une équipe dynamique. L’école accueille plus de 150 élèves de la maternelle à la 6e année. La langue française et la catholicité sont des priorités chez nous. Aux niveaux académique et personnel, nous rassemblons nos efforts en vue de permettre aux élèves d’atteindre leur plein potentiel.” As originally published by ÉÉC du Sacré-Coeur-Toronto
Address: 1515 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1A3, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5545 | Fax: 416-393-5977
“Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton is a multicultural co-educational Catholic secondary school which provides challenging educational opportunities to all of our students. Throughout the educational process, our students are encouraged and challenged to grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically within the framework of a Catholic community. The Arts School @ Marrocco houses a comprehensive secondary school arts program. The new arts-focused curriculum was introduced by the Toronto Catholic District School Board in the fall of 2004.“ As originally published by Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton CSS and Regional Arts Centre
Address: 330 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Y1, Canada
“L’école secondaire Saint-Frère-André est une école accueillant les élèves de la 7e à la 12e année. Notre but premier en tant qu’établissement d’éducation est avant tout l’apprentissage et le développement de votre enfant dans un milieu francophone catholique stimulant. En vue d’offrir un enseignement de qualité et un choix intéressant d’options à nos élèves, nous offrons toute une panoplie d’activités parascolaires, ainsi que des programmes d’enseignement. «Offrir à l’élève une éducation de qualité dans un milieu de vie catholique et francophone où le respect de la personne, le sens d’appartenance à la collectivité franco-ontarienne, la promotion de l’excellence et enfin l’équité sont des valeurs visibles et essentielles à son épanouissement ». C’est non seulement la mission du conseil scolaire mais aussi celle des enseignants.” As originally published by ÉSC Saint-Frère-André
Address: 116 Fermanagh Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 1M2, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5227| Fax: 416-393-5873
“St. Vincent de Paul is a friendly, challenging, and exciting school. We have a rich tradition as a spirited, forward-looking educational community that is a vital member of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. We offer programs for JK to Grade 8 that are consistent with the expectations of The Ontario Curriculum. We strive to provide an exceptional education that will foster a passion for learning, creativity, and independent thinking. Participation in a variety of activities in class and beyond will help students to develop the desire to use their gifts in service to the community, and the confidence to pursue their goals and dreams. On this strong foundation, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic school prepares its students to embrace the future!” As originally published by St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School
Address: 55 Pelham Ave, Toronto, ON M6N 1A5, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5291 | Fax: 416-397-6296
“By providing excellent opportunities for spiritual, physical, emotional, and academic growth, children have the tools to become independent and empowered individuals of the future. This school provides a safe, inclusive and healthy environment for learning that is faith-based. Thus, student success is measured by improved achievement in all areas of the curriculum as well as the child in his/her entirety.” As originally published by St. Josaphat Catholic School
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