Bosley Real Estate Agent Insider: Roncesvalles Village

Dated: February 15 2023

Views: 367


A new season brings a new #AgentInsider, where we explore hidden gems, the best dining options, favourite shops, and more across southern Ontario! This month, we're headed west of downtown Toronto to the beautiful, historic neighbourhood of Roncesvalles with Bosley Real Estate Agent Rob Sansone!

 

The Roncesvalles neighbourhood is known for its strong Polish cultural presence and vibrant street life. The cornerstone street of the community is Roncesvalles Avenue, which begins at the intersection of Queen Street West, King Street West and the Queensway, running north to Dundas Street West. The avenue is only 1.8km long, yet home to 15,000+ residents, trendy restaurants and cafes, vintage shops, and independent boutiques. 

 

The Roncesvalles neighbourhood has a rich history dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Colonel Walter O'Hara owned most of the land on the neighbourhood's east side. He named Roncesvalles after the gorge in Spain, where he fought during the Battle of Pyrenees in 1813. Historically, it was the landing spot for many British, Scottish, Irish, and Polish immigrants.

 

Today, Roncesvalles is known for its vibrant street life, eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, and charming Victorian-era homes. The neighbourhood's strong Polish heritage is still evident today, with many Polish-Canadian businesses, cultural organizations, and events - including the Roncesvalles Polish Festival! While many of the area's buildings date back to the early 1900’s, they’ve stood strong and evolved to match the residential and commercial aspects of the neighbourhood. 

 

This area is popular with young professionals, families, and empty nesters, drawn to the neighbourhood's charming character, convenient location, and tight-knit community. Its location is the furthest stop accessible by TTC streetcar, is a short walk to the lake, sits right beside the coveted High Park, and is a short distance from the UP Express and Gardiner Expressway. The neighbourhood is also known for its inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, making it highly sought after. 

 

Let's get into more details about the fantastic neighbourhood of Roncesvalles!






DINE IN RONCESVALLES

 

Café Polonez

195 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Source: Café Polonez - Facebook

 

Café Polonez was established to provide an authentic Polish home-cooked culinary experience, and has been serving the GTA for over 30 years! To this day, Café Polonez is a family-run establishment that credits its long-run success to providing traditional homemade dishes. Everything is made fresh daily, in a pleasant atmosphere and at a reasonable price. We recommend trying their unique Polish beers and spirits on your next visit!


Barque Smokehouse

299 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Source: Barque Smokehouse - Instagram

 

Barque Smokehouse is a Roncesvalles staple, serving traditional BBQ brisket, ribs, and wings with all of the delicious BBQ sides. Known for its smokey atmosphere, it combines a restaurant, bar, retail store, and butcher shop all in one! Their menu is available for dine-in, takeout, and pre-order heat-to-eat, and Barque recently expanded their Brunch menu to run from Wednesday to Sunday. If it’s your first visit, we highly recommend the Sampler for Two or Meet Meat Platter, perfect for sharing and testing the best of the menu! And the Barque Caesar salad? One of the best we've ever had!


Pizzeria Defina

321 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Source: Pizzeria Defina - Instagram

 

Pizzeria Defina boasts inventive wood-fired pies and Italian dishes in a relaxed, retro-inspired setting. In 2011, Pizzeria Defina opened its doors to the welcoming Roncesvalles Village, offering Napoletana-style pizza. The restaurant owners are passionate about everything pizza and have won several food and pizza awards! At its core, Defina is a restaurant that loves giving back, supporting and collaborating with others, and making everyone feel at home. Our favourite? The Roncy pizza!


PLAY IN RONCESVALLES

 

Sorauren Park

289 Sorauren Avenue, Toronto

Source: Sorauren Park - Twitter

 

Sorauren Park is a multi-use park that serves the Roncesvalles/Parkdale/Brockton neighbourhoods. The park is a community gathering place for events, sporting games, and farmer's markets. It also has an off-leash dog park! In the winter, volunteers create an all-natural, giant ice skating rink for the public to enjoy. Check their Twitter @SoraurenPark for updates on everything happening at the park!


Roncesvalles United Church

214 Wright Ave, Toronto

Source: Roncesvalles United Church - Instagram

 

Roncesvalles United Church is a welcoming, progressive, affirming church in the Roncy neighourhood. They are passionate about celebrating together in their weekly gatherings and giving back to their community through food drives, book fairs, and more. Connect with them for a coffee in their church with Rev. Anne Hines.


Rainbow Songs Inc.

277 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Source: Rainbow Songs Inc - Website

 

Rainbow Songs Inc. hosts music classes for babies, toddlers, and children up to age four! Children learn and develop through music, and it's a great way to watch your child grow and have fun. Children are excited by music, whether repeating simple words back to Mom or Dad, making up rhymes, jumping to a beat, or dancing to a silly song. Rainbow Songs early childhood music classes are the first steps in fun and learning.


Another Story Bookshop

315 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto


Source: YELP

 

Another Story Bookshop ells a broad range of literature for children, young adults, and adults, focusing on themes of social justice, equity, and diversity. They are a proudly independent bookstore with 30 years of history and a commitment to providing quality customer service. They have an extensive collection of children's books, and their staff are knowledgeable about the Ontario curriculum. They create custom orders for schools and help diversify their collections by attending vendor fairs and tabling at educator events. Another Story Bookstore hosts book fairs, provides educator discounts, and always looks for new ways to support students, teachers and their schools.


SHOP IN RONCESVALLES

 

Frock

97 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Source: Frock - Instagram

Frock opened its boutique in 2003 in the neighbourhood. This unique clothing boutique aims to have something for everyone regardless of style, budget, size, or age. Frock showcases an eclectic mix of local and international independent designers and brands, with a lean towards small, in-season production with sustainability and ethical business practices at heart. They encourage their shoppers to be bold and different. If you need an outfit for an upcoming event, this is the place for you!


Scooter Girl Toys

187 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Source: Scooter Girl Toys - Instagram

 

Scooter Girl Toys is a fiercely independent neighbourhood toy store that opened its doors in Roncesvalles in 2002. They are known for their love of beautifully designed kid's stuff that's smart, creative, innovative, and affordable. They stock the regulars like Calico Critters, Corolle, Lego, Playmobil, and more but also have quirky, off-the-beaten-path items you'd never find in a box store. Make this a stop on your next family Saturday shopping trip!


Brodawka & Friends

231 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Source: Brodawka & Friends - Instagram

 

Brodawka & Friends is owned and operated by the husband and wife team, Jeff and Cayla. The store has unique gifts, shoes, accessories, and home items. They team up with many local Toronto and Canadian designers to carry their products and also host a variety of items from small businesses and brands worldwide! This store has everything from greeting cards, socks, and leather bags to handmade jewelry, bow ties, soaps, and candles!


Revue Cinema

Source: Revue Cinema - Facebook

 

Revue Cinema connects the Roncesvalles neighbourhood through film, arts, and culture! It is Toronto's oldest operating cinema that functions as a not-for-profit and is completely community-run… sounds like our type of place! The theatre plays a mix of older movies, with different themed events such as staff picks, and drunken cinema nights. Tickets must be bought in advance on their website or are available at the box office 30 minutes before the show begins. Make sure to plan ahead - their showtimes are usually sold out a few weeks in advance! 

 


These are only a few of the gems found within the Roncesvalles neighbourhood. You need to see it to truly experience the history, culture, and magic this area of Toronto has! This neighbour is special to Bosley Real Estate Agent Rob Sansone, and he's waiting to share more with you! Reach out to Rob for a tour around the neighbourhood and to discuss relocating to this area. You can reach him directly by email: rsansone@bosleyrealestate.com or phone: 647-461-7771.




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