Category Archives: Kudos!

Roncesvalles Village Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, this year was once again a huge success.

We are so lucky to live in a village in this big city, where many of our residents and shopkeepers believe in contributing their time and effort — and cash — to making our community better in so many ways.

Having people who are willing to spare time for volunteer work is not something we take for granted, Life get’s so busy that it’s hard to fit in one more task. Yet, so many in this community make time despite the pressures, and for that we are so grateful.

For the second year, we held The Roncesvalles Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to thank those who contribute significant time to the enhancement of our street and the BIA’s community events. 

Our special guest this year was Carolyn King of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, who was also an early champion of the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden. She was involved in sharing heritage stories, and inspiring young artists in making designs for the Peace Path. She consulted on native trees and plants as well as the Garden design, and continues to be a Friend of the Peace Garden. Carolyn initiated the Moccasin Trail project, which marks places of Indigenous history and invites observers to understand why these places are significant. The Peace Garden is marked with the Anishinaabe moccasin design. Carolyn is a leader in advancing the causes of recognition, renewal and justice for her people. She encourages better relations with Canada’s Indigenous people, and is a model of inspiration for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people alike. To know her is to love her, and to laugh with her, whenever possible.

We gave special recognition to a few new volunteers and some who took on new roles:

Welcome Aboard Award for New Volunteers:

  • Daniele Stoddard: social media for Roncy Rocks and the Roncesvalles Polish Festival
  • Karen Pivnick and Ken: for adopting the native garden near The Westerley 

Snowball Award for Volunteer taking on new roles

  • Rahel Schneeberger-Brown: for planting an edible garden at George Brown and spearheading activation of the north end during the Polish Festival, with the addition of a DJ stage, sponsored and operated by George Brown and friends
  • Alexis Victor: for her multiple roles including sponsorship, graphics, the Art Zone, and the Art Gallery at Back Lanes Studio 

Roncesvalles Abroad Award for volunteer efforts extending from Roncesvalles and beyond.

  • Emma Coulter: for her ever increasing commitments to the Dinner With Dignity program at the Roncesvalles United Church which serves 16,000 meals per year.

A big thank you from all who attended to our Members who contributed the exceptionally tasty food:

 
La Cubana
Pizzeria Defina
Alimentari
Barque Smokehouse and Butcher Bar
De la Mer
The Dizzy
The Ace
Mable’s Bakery and Specialty Foods
McAuslan Brewery

 

A delighted thank you from all our community volunteers to the businesses that contributed volunteer gifts:

A Good Read
Alimentari Italian Grocery
Another Story Bookshop
Barque Butcher Bar
Barque Smokehouse
Cookery
De La Mer
Drapes and More
Image Photography
Kennel Café
La Cubana
Lexco.Art
Moretti Hair
My Olive Roncesvalles
Pollocks Home Hardware
Pizzeria Defina 
Roncesvalles Apple Specialists
Roncesvalles Welcome Guardian Pharmacy
Scooter Girl
Snap Fitness
Stasis Preserves Deli & Pantry
Sweet Thrills
The Ace
The Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub
The Mercantile
The Revue Cinema
Willem & Jools 
Wine Rack Roncesvalles

And last, but not least, a very special heartfelt thank you to David Neinstein of Barque Smokehouse and Barque Butcher Bar who orchestrated this wonderful event, and for our Masters of Ceremonies:  Reverend Anne Hines of the Roncesvalles United Church and Brian Bertrand of the High Park Library who challenged our knowledge of the Village, kept us laughing, and helped make this evening one to remember.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with the BIA, contact us at info@roncesvallesvillage.ca

OBIAA Award Goes to RVBIA Founder

John WakulatAt the recent OBIAA Conference held in Toronto, the founder of the Roncesvalles Village BIA, Mr. John Wakulat, was awarded the prestigious Alex Ling Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Alex Ling Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to a person in the Ontario BIA movement with major lifelong contributions to BIAs. The award is named after Alex Ling, one of the founders of the world’s first BIA, the Bloor West Village BIA, in 1970. Today there are 83 BIAs in Toronto, hundreds across Canada, and thousands upon thousands around the world.

John got his start in Roncesvalles Village in the 1950s when he started work at Pollocks Hardware Store. He bought the store in 1976 and it rapidly became one of the top stores in the Home Hardware chain.

In 1986 John was instrumental in founding the Roncesvalles Village BIA, a merger of two smaller BIAs on Roncesvalles Avenue. He served as chair of the Roncesvalles Village BAI for many years and still sits on the board as Chair Emeritus.

John has also served as president of TABIA, the Toronto Association of BIAs from 2002 until 2010, returning to the role in 2012.

We congratulate John for this richly deserved award!

Happy Anniversary

RVBIAanniversaryThe Roncesvalles Village BIA was honoured to receive a declaration from the City of Toronto at this week’s TABIA Awards Night, held at the beautiful Palais Royale.

The Roncesvalles Village BIA received congratulations on reaching its twenty-eighth anniversary, making us one of the older BIAs in Toronto (and the world.)

The Roncesvalles Village BIA was founded in 1986. Its first chair (now chair emeritus) was John Wakulat, and expanded in 2007 to include all of Roncesvalles Avenue. Through its twenty-eight year history, the BIA has reached many milestones, including one of the City’s first BIA graffiti removal programs, innovative streetscape designs, and successful promotional events, most notably the Roncesvalles Polish Festival, now acknowledged as the largest celebration of Polish culture anywhere outside of Poland.

Roncesvalles Village BIA Board Honoured at City Hall

rvbiamayorsmall.jpgOn November 16 there was a brief ceremony at City Hall to thank the hard-working volunteers of City of Toronto agencies, boards and commissions. Many hundreds of people volunteer their free time to serve on various boards, including those that govern the 72 BIAs in Toronto.

Outgoing mayor David Miller thanked the assembled people for their freely given time and labour to work to make Toronto a better place, and specifically mentioned BIAs as being a tremendous asset to the City, and one of Toronto’s greatest exports. (As you may know, the world’s first BIA was established in Bloor West Village in 1970.)

Representing the Roncesvalles Village BIA in the photo at left, RVBIA Coordinator Keith Denning, RVBIA Chair Tony Cauch, Mayor David Miller, and RVBIA Chair of Beautification Committee John Bowker.

Roncesvalles Avenue Shortlisted for CBC Song Quest

picture-10.pngVote early and often, people! Roncesvalles Avenue has been shortlisted in the second annual CBC Great Canadian Song Quest. You can vote by visiting this link: http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/songquest/provinces/ontario/roncesvalles_avenue.html

At the time of this posting, Roncesvalles Avenue is a close second! You can vote once a day for Roncesvalles until October 1.