Neighbours of a local mosque in Roncesvalles Village had already started working on a plan to express their support for the congregants at a time when Muslim communities have increasingly been experiencing racism in countries around the world. After this week’s attack on a Mosque in Quebec City the group went into immediate action tying white ribbons around local posts expressing “All Faiths Welcome.”
“We want those coming to worship to feel safe in our community,” explains Jessica Olivier, who lives near the Mosque. “We need an antidote to those who are driven by their fears and hatreds. Canada is a country where we embrace diversity. The isolated acts of a few can’t be allowed to overshadow the sentiments of the many.”
This action echoed the thoughts of many in Roncesvalles Village who wanted to counteract increasing acts of racism. The Roncesvalles Village BIA quickly moved to support this campaign by tying ribbons to the trees lining Roncesvalles Avenue. The ribbons express sentiments of Peace, Hope, Love and support for diversity. “Our community – both residents and businesses — have been very welcoming of Syrian and other refugees. We want to express our empathy and support for both new and established Muslims who live here or who come here to pray,” says Roncesvalles Village BIA Chair, Len McAuley. “There comes a time when you have to be more vocal about what we stand for.”
The effort is very grass roots. It’s a DIY campaign. There is no place to order or purchase ribbons. If you support it, you can simply find your own white ribbon and your own words to express your support. Some supporters are making infinity loops from thin white ribbon and are pinning them to their coats or lapels as part of their personal show of solidarity for the sentiments expressed.
Global News covered this story on January 31, 2017, ‘All faiths welcome’: West-end Toronto community ties white ribbons in solidarity with local mosque
Shopping on Roncesvalles will be extra delightful this Saturday, as our shops are primped and prepped for the holiday season. Plan a leisurely stroll down the street on December 3rd, for lots of inspiration.
There will be carollers singing in the season along Roncy from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be lights in the windows, hot chocolate at the cafés, and good cheer in the bistros. Plus, an official Christmas Tree Lighting at 5 p.m. in front of the Roncesvalles United Church (RUC), while a choir sings.
If there isn’t actually snow on the ground or in the air, no worries, there are snowballs in the making. This year we’ve partnered with the Roncesvalles United Church (at Wright and Roncesvalles) for some Family Fun that will start at 3 p.m. Here’s what’s planned:
- 3:30 – 3:50 pm – Music Hosted by Classical Music Conservatory
- 3:50 – 4:00 pm – “Reindeer Romp”: Hosted by Acting Out
- 4:00 – 4:20 pm – Holiday storytelling: Hosted by RUC
- 4:30 – 4:50 pm – Indoor snowball fight: Hosted by RUC
- 4:55 pm – Everyone outside for official Christmas Tree lighting
Other activities: (3 pm – 4:30 pm)
- Hot chocolate and cookies available.
- Paper airplane making (and sailing them off the balcony): Hosted by Scooter Girl
- Colouring Table: Hosted by the BIA
- Tree Decoration Making: Hosted by The Artful Child, children’s creative art school
Lights, camera, action! Let the good times roll on Roncy as we enter the last month of the year. Let’s start to celebrate cherished traditions and make space in our lives for new ones.
We hope you will join us!
Most people from Roncesvalles Village love that we have so many great shops, services and awesome places to eat, drink and be merry. On Saturday, let’s show Canada our shop local spirit as the Yellow Pages brings their Shop the Neighbourhood Challenge to Roncesvalles Avenue.
• Official event times: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Event location: High Park Library Lawn, Corner of Wright Ave. and Roncy.
Share your love: When you spot something awesome along Roncesvalles, snap it and tag it #shoproncy and #shopthehood.
While you’re at it, you can pick up free promotional items such as shopping bags, balloons and scarves – but quantities are limited, so make sure you get out during the official event times.
Shop The Neighbourhood is a national Yellow Pages campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of local shopping and supporting small businesses in neighbourhoods across Canada.
The Roncesvalles Village BIA is working with a research team from Ryerson University’s Urban Planning program in conducting surveys of visitors, shoppers, residents and members of the Roncesvalles Village BIA. They will be focusing on parking issues and solutions. We need volunteers to help survey visitors and shoppers specifically along Roncesvalles Avenue during the week of July 24 to 30. Each survey would take approximately 3-5 minute to complete.
If you or someone you know from the neighbourhood could spare 30 minutes to an hour to greet people on Roncesvalles and ask them a series of questions:
- Please get in touch with our survey coordinator Darin Rankine using the form below.
- Please use our Doodle Poll to let us know what dates and times you would be available to conduct surveys for up to an hour. The choices are any time between 9 AM to 8 PM from Sunday, July 24 to Saturday, July 30, 2016.
Your help is much appreciated.
MPP Cheri DiNovo presents Alison Fletcher with New Business Community Award for Cookery
While celebrating new local businesses at the 7th Annual Community Appreciation Gala on June 14th, MPP Cheri Dinovo recognized Alison Fletcher, owner of Cookery. Well known in the neighbourhood and beyond, Cookery is a specialty kitchenware store, cooking school, and event space that opened in Roncesvalles Village, less than two years ago, in August 2014. A small business owner and proud mother of two young children, Alison makes the time to engage with the community. She set up cooking classes for kids and adults inspiring them to cook. The Cookery has quickly grown to be an important part of the community, supporting many causes and events.
Alison joined the Roncesvalles Village BIA as Secretary of the Board in August 2015 — only one year after opening her shop — and immediately set about co-creating a Strategic Plan, that drew on member input gathered earlier in the year.
Most recently Alison teamed up with Marcy Verburg, RVBIA Marketing and Promotions Committee Chair, to revive Roncy Rocks, an annual RVBIA event that celebrates local business, music, arts and community spirit. Roncy Rocks was cancelled in 2015 and was not slated to run this year, but Alison made it her mission to help raise the money needed. Held on June 11, 2016, Roncy Rocks Music & Arts Fest West made a successful comeback.
Congratulations Alison of Cookery!
Celebrating Cookery Achievements RVBIA Chair Len McAuley, Cookery Owner Alison Fletcher, and RVBIA Manager Veronica Feihl – Photos by Shane Jeffery