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
We’re delighted to announce that Roncesvalles surged ahead of all competitors in the Ontario section of CBC’s Song Quest to win. Thanks to everyone who voted, and thanks especially to Roncy businesses who got the word out!
As Rachel at Hawk Eyes said: “Roncy needs the love.”
We’re looking forward to hearing what Jully Black will create about our great street.
We were very pleased to see that twenty-five of our businesses were lauded in an excellent and glowing online article in Toronto Life.
In appreciation of this, RVBIA Chair Tony Cauch wrote the following letter to the editor:
To the editor:
Thanks for today’s great online feature on Roncesvalles Village (The Roncesvalles Guide, April 22, 2010). We appreciate your recognition of the wonderful businesses in our neighbourhood!
As I’m sure you’re aware, Roncesvalles Avenue is in the midst of a long-planned rejuvenation of our streetscape. We are excited by the expanded sidewalks and other improvements that will soon be built, and the many healthy trees that will grace our street in 2011, planted at grade along our sidewalks, which will create a beautiful tree canopy that will last for generations.
With the worst stage of construction behind us, I wanted to assure you that Roncesvalles Village is a welcoming place and that visitors will have a great time in our neighbourhood. I invite you and all your readers to visit Roncesvalles Village and take advantage of the three hours of free on-street parking in effect until late 2010!
With three hours to linger on Roncesvalles, you could take the opportunity to visit those businesses that were featured in your article as well as the many other terrific cafés, restaurants and shops that make Roncesvalles Village a place I’m very happy and proud to call my home.
Chair, Roncesvalles Village BIA
Local man’s book pays tribute to those who made a difference in the New World
(Excerpted from Toronto Sun article by Mike Strobel.)
We’ve sort of forgotten about the Poles.
And I don’t mean the ones at Filmore’s and the Brass Rail.
I mean the 300,000 of Polish descent who inhabit the GTA, no fuss, no muss.
Other immigrants grab all the attention.
Tamils, Tibetans, Somalis, Filipinos, Russians, Iranians, Serbs, Indians, Pakistanis. You can’t miss ’em.
The Irish raise the roof on St. Patrick’s Day. The Italians mob College St. when the Azzurri win. The Jamaicans rule during Caribana.
Meanwhile, the Poles quietly and diligently go about their business on Roncesvalles Ave. or in Mississauga.
(To read the full article, click here.)
Congratulations to Imelda (123 Roncesvalles) and the Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles), both winners in NOW Magazine’s recent “Best of Toronto” issue. Imelda was awarded the Critic’s Pick of “Best Shoe Store In Toronto”, while the Revue was voted by readers “Best Repertory Cinema in Toronto” for the second year running.
Imelda and the Revue join the many other award-winning businesses in our great neighbourhood.