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Toronto Communities Profile: Roncesvalles W01
Roncesvalles (or Roncesvalles Village) is a neighbourhood in Toronto, centred around Roncesvalles Avenue, a north-south street leading from the intersection of King and Queen Streets to the south, north to Dundas Street West, a distance of roughly 1.5 kilometres. Its informal boundaries are High Park to the west, Bloor Street West to the north, Lake Ontario/Queen Street West to the south and Lansdowne Avenue/rail corridor to the east.Originally known as ‘Howard Park’, most of this area was formerly within the boundaries of Parkdale and Brockton villages and was annexed into Toronto in the 1880s.
Culturally, the area is known as the centre of the Polish community in Toronto with prominent Polish institutions, businesses and St Casimir’s Catholic Church located on Roncesvalles Avenue. The businesses along Roncesvalles have formed the Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area and hold an annual Polish Festival.
There are a myriad of small businesses, most of which are independently owned and operated. These include specialty gift shops, pharmacies, grocers (including organic specialty), health food stores, clothing and shoe boutiques, cafes and restaurants, book and music stores, video stores, art shops, hardware stores and law offices. The former S.S. Kresge store, now a Royal Bank, was built in 1936 and retains its original Kresge signage. The majority of shops are accommodated in two or three-storey structures built in the first half of the 20th century, with the retail portion on the ground floor and apartments above.
Roncesvalles is very well known for the large number of small restaurants, cafés and specialty food shops of various cuisines. There are several bakeries and delicatessens found along the full length of Roncesvalles.
The Roncesvalles area has several parks and sporting facilities. The schools of the neighbourhood also provide facilities, including swimming pools for school-age children. The largest park in the area is 400 acres (160 ha) High Park west of Parkside Drive, with playgrounds, Grenadier Pond, a zoo, baseball diamonds, outdoor swimming pool and forest. A new park, Sorauren Avenue Park, was created at the intersection of Sorauren Avenue and Wabash Avenue on the site of a former bus garage. It now holds two tennis courts, two soccer fields and a fieldhouse. A playground is across Wabash from the park. At the site, a former linseed oil factory is now in the ownership of the City and is earmarked for a future recreation centre. To the south of the area, the Sunnyside lakefront provides playgrounds, picnic areas, the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion, a boardwalk, a recreation trail and beaches.
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Disclaimer: Listings provided by AgentLocator. Some neighbourhood descriptions provided by Wikipedia