Since the early 1900s, Roncesvalles Village has transformed from vast plots of land into a picturesque neighbourhood, housing a residential boom and accessible transportation. Right around the corner from Toronto’s High Park and Parkdale, the west-end community is looking chic these days thanks to a recent street makeover, now boasting wider sidewalks, new streetcar tracks and more restaurants.
Whether you’re stopping by or searching for a gorgeous three-storey home, we have a few reasons why Roncy really does rock. Here are three things you probably didn’t know about Roncesvalles.
(Roncesvalles Avenue, 1919)
1. Authentic sauerkraut.
The annual Roncesvalles Polish Festival is the biggest party of the year in this neighbourhood. Paying tribute to its heritage, the event began in 2005 and has since become the largest Polish festival in North America, crowding the streets with buskers, live music, traditional dancing and of course, plenty of food.
2. Really old theatres.
The Revue Cinema, one of Toronto’s oldest standing theatres, has occupied Roncesvalles Avenue near Howard Park since 1911. The Revue is designated a heritage site, and is a cinema hot spot for second run flicks. However, this theatre wasn’t the only one in the area, locals might recall The Brighton, an intimate two-storey cinema, which closed in the 1980s. The original facade looks the same, although the building is now used as a convenience store.
3. Borrowing books since 1916.
The community High Park Library is a treasured one, opening its doors back in 1916. The library was originally identical to the Wychwood and Beaches branches–––all designed by the same architect–––and has since been renovated. The former church is a beautiful space with vaulted ceilings, a cozy fireplace and shelves of reading material including Polish-language literature.
What do you love about Roncesvalles? Let us know!
Photo via City of Toronto Archives