Author Archives: Veronica Feihl, Manager RVBIA

Mural Painting Underway at Garden and Roncesvalles

In partnership with StreetARToronto, we commissioned artists Philip Cote and Jim Thierry Bravo to collaborate on a mural for Roncesvalles Village.  In the cool hours of the day, you’ll find them painting the wall on the north east side of Roncesvalles and Garden Ave. They will work through July until finished. The official launch will be on September 21, 2018. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the work in progress.

Artist seated in front of white brick wall that features animal spirits painted in the Woodland style.

In the twilight, Philip Cote adds finishing touches on the bear at 149 Roncesvalles Avenue.

Cote and Bravo’s design concept reflects the thematic framework set out by the RVBIA’s Street Advisory Committee. These themes include: Nature in the City, the Urban Community, and the interconnected concepts of Legacy, Sustainability and Stewardship. Their collaboration also draws on some of the insights gleaned from several community consultations. These affirmed that the people of Roncesvalles love being so close to High Park and Lake Ontario. They cherish all the trees and the gardens that make this a healthy and lovely place to live. Locals and visitors alike appreciate the sense of community, the village vibe, and tender loving care you can feel here.

Cote and Bravo bring together the sensibilities of a First Nations artist with those of a first generation Canadian artist. Bravo’s family immigrated to Canada in 1985 and settled in Toronto when he was young. Both have lived on Roncesvalles Avenue and are well known mural artists in this City. They have witnessed how the neighbourhood has changed in the past 30 years.

For example, Roncesvalles Village has much fewer Polish residents and businesses than it once did, but many people of Polish heritage enjoy celebrating their cultural roots here. In fact, our BIA still runs the two-day Roncesvalles Polish Festival each September. “The demographics of urban neighborhoods can change rapidly,” says RVBIA Chair Len McAuley, “so we must find ways to celebrate the culture of the new community of residents and businesses that have settled here more recently. Likewise, it is time to acknowledge that for thousands of years before the arrival of the British, Irish and Scottish to this area that is now called Roncesvalles Village, there thrived indigenous people whose tribes made up the First Nations.” These included the Anishinaabek, Wendat, Mississauga and and Haudenosaunee, among others before them. “Their shared ethos was—and still is— to serve as stewards of the land for future generations. Their stories reflect this.”

“People around the world have become more aware of the environmental impact of industrial waste and careless human lifestyles,” says RVBIA Manager, Veronica Feihl. “And, consequently of our responsibility to protect the air, water and soil along with nature’s rich variety of plants and animals that form healthy ecosystems. Not just for our own sake but for our descendants,” she adds. “So there is something to be learned from the First Peoples who lived on this land for ages before the newcomers arrived. Here’s an opportunity to look and listen, while enjoying some time in the neighbourhood.”

The BIA will provide online video and audio clips of the work in progress and hopes to share some of the stories and meaning behind the symbols on this mural.


The vision of my work starts with a journey into Indigenous history of this land that dates back 130,000 years and maybe even 200,000 years. The first humans in North America we call the Original People also known as the Anishinaabe “From whence lowered the original man”.

On the design of this mural we have first man and woman taking that first journey across the land and in communion with all life as displayed here by the animals, plants and the Anishinaabe Spirit World.

The design is deeply connected to the creation story of the Anishinaabe as this design with all its black lines speak about the beginning of the universe. In the beginning there was a great black void and in that void there was a spirit who sent out thoughts into the Universe. When no response happened, those thoughts were called back, and the creator said create light as you come back to me. Thus all the stars were born and from them planets were formed.  At the moment we have light and dark in the Universe, for Anishinaabe people believe we are all made of light and dark physical and spirit.

The painted imagery is in the style of woodland painting first created by Norval Morrisseau, an Anishinaabe artist and visionary his work brought the Anishinaabe (first people’s) world into public space in the 1960s. Norval had a deep understanding of the history of the Anishinaabe and created such a stir in the western culture at that time — and in his own community, which was upset that he shared those secret stories with the outsiders. His work describes the culture and mystery of the Anishinaabe people that gives everyone a clearer understanding of who these first people really are.

We have stories of prophets who came to the people a millennium ago to give visions of the future and would come in stages called the Seven Fires. In recent times there has been a talk of an Eighth Fire in which the ancestor prophets say that to light the Eighth Fire Indigenous People will come forward with their knowledge connecting with the western knowledge and from this union a new people will emerge lighting the Eighth and final Fire. This will begin the golden age of peace.

My work reflects this same importance of sharing the story of ancient Anishinaabe footsteps that crossed Roncesvalles in days gone by. It’s inspiring to know that we the Anishinaabe Peoples are still here sharing stories/oral histories much as our ancestors did for thousands of years and thus bringing the values of our culture into the present day and breaking down the stereotypes and racism that still prevails today. I am happy to be part of these changes in our country called Canada.


I have been given a great and honorable artistic challenge.  Artistic collaborations are a delicate dance of two visions. My vision for this design comes, I hope, as a sensitive and complimentary response to Mr. Cote’s narrative on the First and Founding Peoples of this region of our City/Province, etc.  Through an interplay of bold, highly stylized and graphic illustration (as a method through which to correspond with Cote’s Woodlands approach) I have chosen to present a take on what I feel are the three founding attributes of what is at present known as Ward 14/Parkdale-High Park. These three attributes are the waterfront, the long-standing local architecture which has witnessed the coming and going of many different settlers, and the wide natural array of trees, flowers and plant life.  The arrangement of the word “Roncesvalles” is designed to invoke a feeling of movement, change, development, space and inclusion, but ultimately that something is about to eventually settle down – only to be carried off again through progress, symbolized by the land rising out of the water.  I have decorated the word with flowers and plants found in the area and it is these swooping components that propel the word — and thus the community — into the present day. On close inspection various “umbilical” lines stemming to and from the text are placed as connection portals to Mr. Cote’s surrounding narrative.

Philip Cote’s works and CV can be viewed at:

Jim Thierry Bravo’s works and CV can be viewed at:


The word Roncesvalles is written in staggered letters intertwined with floral elements.. It sits above images of indigenous animal spirits.

Version 2 includes an aqua background and ochre sky.

This design concept by Philip Cote and Jim Thierry Bravo is close to final. There are a few more changes to come including to the lettering of “RONCESVALLES” and the plants and foliage that are intertwined; removal of the blue waves above the moose and buffalo; addition of a forested landmass rising on the right side and some additional details. The final changes will be made directly on the mural. There are seven windows and two doors in the wall to work around. The pharmacy window on the left painted by a previous artist will be retained at the request of the business owners.

RVBIA Summer Intern – Events, Marketing and Communications Assistant

We are looking for a summer intern to assist the Roncesvalles Village BIA with its Special Events, Marketing and Communications . The candidate must be a student at a College or University who will be resuming their studies in the fall. Preference will be given to students pursuing the fields of Marketing, Communications and or Special Events. This is a paid position at 30 hours per week for 14 or 15 weeks starting May 14, 2018. The application deadline is May 7, 2018 at noon.

Position Summary:

The Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Association (RVBIA) is looking to hire a summer intern to assist with tasks related to special events for the RVBIA. This includes sponsored events like our Mural Project, Roncy Rocks, Roncesvalles Polish Festival, and non-sponsored events like preparations for our Annual General Meeting and our Holiday Marketing Event. The intern will also be involved in supporting related marketing, media and member communications

With your help, the association will be able to extend its ability to communicate to the association’s business members, the community, its festival stakeholders, fans and would-be festival goers in support of two special events. You will help us build on the neighbourhood’s tradition of being an outstanding place to live, work, play and thrive. Each year, the RVBIA hosts the Roncesvalles Polish Festival that draws 300,000 to 400,000 visitors and Roncy Rocks a much smaller festival, which celebrates local music, arts, business and community spirit.


  • Assist the Event Coordinator with digital media including drafts posts for publication on BIA & related festival websites & social media, take photographs, and draft or publish Member email updates in regards to the festivals.
  • Alongside the Event Coordinator, assist with development of promotional and media materials re: event programming for seniors, children, youth and families, local musicians and artists which includes individuals from Indigenous and visible minority heritage. Candidate may communicate directly with the designer, collect files and distribute logos and other graphics needed.
  • Administrative tasks as needed: maintaining contact lists, responding to public inquiries about the festivals, such as programming, transit, accessibility to venues, washrooms, information, volunteerism and assistance, including health and safety concerns and responding to standard BIA-Member and vendor inquiries regarding the festival
  • Researches suppliers and is able to obtain competitive quotes.
  • Attend committee meetings related to event planning and project management, contribute ideas and suggestions
  • Support the Event Coordinator with vendor and artisan coordination including contracts and site plans
  • Assists in coordinating, orienting and managing volunteers involved in special events, surveys and other success measurement activities.


  • Pursuing post-secondary studies in Marketing, Event Management or Urban and Regional Planning
  • Ability to work independently on assigned tasks, self-motivate, use collaboration tools and problem solve
  • Ability to manage time and priorities
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills paired with online publishing and social media savvy
  • Design and photography skills and training is an asset

Structure & Compensation

This is a summer internship position at 30 hours per week for 14 or 15 weeks, starting on May 14, 2018.

To Apply

Send your resume and cover letter to the RVBIA Manager at  In your cover letter, please state in your last paragraph, the mode of transportation you would generally use to get to Roncesvalles Avenue and Marion Street and the time it would take you to get there from your home during morning rush hour. The application deadline is Monday, May 7, 2018 by noon. Applications received after that time will not be considered. Short listed applicants will be interviewed on Wednesday, May 9th.  Start Date: May 14, 2018.

Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area (BIA)

Roncesvalles Village BIA (RVBIA) works with the City of Toronto to create a thriving and safe business area. It oversees streetscape improvements and special events to increase business, employment, shopping, tourism, volunteers and sustainable city living.

The RVBIA is an association of business owners along Roncesvalles Avenue, run by a volunteer Board of Management, one manager and a coordinator with the help of community and student volunteers. The RVBIA acts on the priorities and values of its business members to ensure a thriving main street to serve and delight the local community and visitors. We are looking for an enthusiastic student – passionate about special events and communications – to work with our team in the Roncesvalles Village neighbourhood and assist with our local festivals.

Working with a successful BIA can supply the chosen candidate with invaluable experience.  Through learning the day-to-day workings of a professional association and the culture of an effective workplace, the candidate will be well positioned for their professional future.

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Start Date: Monday May 14, 2018

Download PDF of this job posting [226KB] Get Adobe Reader 


Job Posting: RVBIA Coordinator

The Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Association (RVBIA) is looking to hire a part-time coordinator to ensure the successful execution of sponsored events for the RVBIA (Roncy Rocks, Roncesvalles Polish Festival, other), related marketing communications, and the smooth running of the RVBIA, in conjunction with the Manager.

Role Overview

Special Events

  • Project coordination for Roncy Rocks, the Annual General Meeting and other marketing events (e.g. Holiday marketing event) and assisting with the Roncesvalles Polish Festival:
    • Planning and meeting coordination including minutes and follow-up
    • Event operations, member and vendor requirements, invoicing, vendor solicitation and collection assistance
    •  Volunteer recruitment and coordination
    • Event success measurements, report drafting and development
    •  Assist in budget development and tracking using spreadsheets and Profit & Loss reports
    • Procuring and maintaining event assets

Marketing and Communications

  • Website maintenance and digital asset management
  • Social media communications and analysis/metrics (day to day RVBIA & events)
  • Manage public inquiries to the RVBIA and assist with communications for Roncy Rocks and other events
  • Assist with Marketing and Promotions Plan development and member communications
  • Assist in fostering good relations with event sponsors, suppliers and community partners.

RVBIA Administrative Support

  • Update Member List and Business Directory
  • Maintain RVBIA storage and asset inventories including supplies, document archives, and infrastructure
  • Coordinate Volunteer outreach and intake
  • Assist in maintaining reference documentation for volunteers, staff and RVBIA Members.


  • Post-Secondary Education in Project Management, Marketing, Event Management or similar
  • Significant experience in planning and coordinating events, projects, and budgets
  • Ability to work independently, self-motivate, use collaboration tools and problem solve
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and agendas
  •  Excellent verbal and written communications skills paired with online publishing and social media savvy

Structure & Compensation

This is a part time position averaging 26 hours per week moving from fewer hours in off season months to full time leading up to and during event execution.  The annual compensation for this role is budgeted at $24,700 plus 4% vacation pay and other benefits. This position is slated to become a full-time position in 2019 with pay adjustment.

To Apply

Send your resume and cover letter to the RVBIA Manager at  In your cover letter, please state in your last paragraph, the mode of transportation you would generally use to get to Queen St. W and Roncesvalles Avenue and the time it would take you to get there from your home during morning rush hour. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. Applications received after that time will not be considered. Short listed applicants will be interviewed on Monday, April 23rd.  Start Date: June 1, 2018.

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed on Monday, April 23, 2018

Start Date: Friday, June 1, 2018

Download PDF of this job posting [243KB] Get Adobe Reader 

Roncesvalles Community Clean Up

On April 21st, join over 200,000 residents, students, businesses, organizations and communities as we clean Toronto together for the 15th annual spring cleanup!

The Roncesvalles Village BIA & RoncyWorks will be hosting the Roncesvalles Avenue Community Clean Up. We will be encouraging BIA members to clean in front of their businesses on the sidewalk and their back laneway. We will be inviting community members to assist us with the gardens and tree grates along Roncesvalles.

All items needed for the clean up will be provided by the City of Toronto and the Roncesvalles Village BIA.  We will have two groups meeting at 10:45AM; one meeting at Dundas and Roncesvalles Peace Garden, and the other meeting and Howard Johnson Inn. We will make our way up the street at 11:00AM and meet in the middle of Roncesvalles Avenue to end the clean around 1:00PM. Dress comfortably and for the weather!

So we know how many people to expect, please fill out the form below:

Roncesvalles Community Clean Up


Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season from all of us at the Roncesvalles Village BIA.

Please note our office will be closed from December 24th at noon until December 26th, and January 1st.