Roncesvalles Real Estate Neighbourhood Guide
With a small town feel and just a short trip away from the downtown area, Roncesvalles serves as a diverse and pleasant neighborhood. The area is composed of of mostly small independent businesses and residential homes. The demographic consists of small families and few singles, all enjoying what the neighborhood has to offer. Roncesvalles has a very large Polish community; making Polish based services available throughout the area. The streetcar transit along the roads allow residents to get to and from their destinations with ease. Most houses in the area are semi detached with cute lawns and porches to suit the mature trees; giving the area a friendly home feel.
Roncesvalles holds a large shopping district, with all types of shops located along Roncesvalles Ave. There, you may find different bakeries, fresh produce markets and clothing stores; predominantly independently owned. All sorts of restaurants are available, providing diversity in the food as well in the neighborhood. You may come across Italian food, from Domani Restaurant, Cuban cuisine from La Cubana, or Polish dishes from Cafe Polonez; all located on Roncesvalles Ave. There are also a number of churches and institutions along this route, such as St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, and St. Casimir’s Church. As said before, streetcars running along Roncesvalles make the shopping experience effortless when you need to get from point A to B in a hurry. The ride on the TTC streetcars also provide a satisfactory view when driving down the Roncesvalles area.
Before becoming a populous neighborhood with bustling streets, Roncesvalles was settled by Colonel Walter O’Hara as he acquired the land in 1850. He was a British soldier who had immigrated to Canada after being captured by French soldiers in Roncesvalles Gorge, northern Spain. O’Hara had decided to name Roncesvalles Avenue after the Battle of Roncesvalles, giving the general area its name as well. Streets throughout the neighborhood were named after the rest of his family. As O’Hara passed away in 1874, his land was soon to be subdivided. With the introduction of the streetcar along lakeshore, people were able to easily travel to the Roncesvalles area, providing the neighborhood with some friendly traffic. In the early 20th century, homes were being built in hopes of creating a family friendly neighborhood. Along with that came schools, churches, and shops; making the neighborhood in to what it is known as today. At the first stage of the areas development, most residents were of British origin. But shortly before the second world war many Polish immigrants settled. As the Polish immigrants built churches and institutions in the area, their contribution added more culture to the neighborhood. Because of these contributions, festivals like the Roncesvalles Polish Festival occur annually.
There are a couple schools in the area, mostly providing education for elementary students with secondary schools just outside the neighborhood. Close by is Howard Junior Public School, Fern Ave Junior and Senior Public School, Garden Avenue Junior Public School, St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School, and Westminster Classical Christian Academy. The closest secondary school is Parkdale Collegiate Institute which also offers a International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. High Park Gardens Montessori School is in close proximity to the area as well as several day care centres. There are two Kid Zone day cares and a Sunnyside day care.
For those wishing to seek recreation, Roncesvalles is a short distance from High Park, providing outdoor recreation like jogging, fishing, swimming, and a number of sports. There are a couple local parks in the area; Sorauren Park and Charles G.Williams Park. Sorauren Park provides a large green space for many different activities like sports, workouts, jogging, walking, or leisure. It also features a large baseball diamond for the community to enjoy. Charles G.Williams Park has a playground, green area, and sandbox for young children to play in. On Glenlake Avenue is The Keele Community Centre. There, you can register for programs revolving around dance, music, piano lessons, camps, fitness, and sports. The facility also features a large gymnasium, multipurpose room, and an indoor pool. Right on Roncesvalles Avenue is the High Park Library, which offers an extensive amount of featured family oriented programs; like Baby Time, Toddler Time, and Family Time.
The Roncesvalles neighborhood is easily accessible by streetcars that run along Queen St and Roncesvalles Avenue, rolling past the charming independent shops on the way. The area is family friendly, and holds character in its small town vibe. There are plenty of nearby schools and recreational services to provide the neighborhood residents with their educational and leisure amenities. Roncesvalles is a very suitable neighborhood for those looking to travel effortlessly, and have services of all kinds close by.