Top Ten Reasons Why We Love Roncy

It’s the Roncesvalles Village vibe that visitors find so striking in such a big city. The locals and shop keepers are friendly and welcoming. They’re pleased and grateful to be a part of this community. Many contribute time and creativity into making a difference for people who live and work here, and for people in need: whether it’s for our schools, at our parks, along Roncy — as the locals refer to Roncesvalles Avenue — or by initiating something just for the fun of it and then working at making it better each year. This builds community spirit.

Thriving Main Street

Generally, businesses do well on Roncesvalles. That is, they benefit from a critical mass of customers who enjoy shopping, eating out, picking up groceries, or just hanging out on Roncy.

The conditions on the street that make it so inviting, were conceived back when the RVBIA reached out to the community — in anticipation of a large street reconstruction project — to find out what they wanted as part of their main street. At the time, Roncesvalles Renewed was an umbrella group formed by the RVBIA for collaboration with the community on the vision for growth. It encouraged the local interest groups, residents and business owners to consider features and options critical to sustaining thriving neighbourhoods within cities.

Members of Roncesvalles Renewed pushed for a tree canopy, gardens, benches, bike rings and other street furniture that would enhance the street. Features that would fit in with the old-world character of the buildings while contributing to a walkable street.

Everything You Need

When visitors to Roncesvalles Village ask “Where can I find … (an item, a product, a service…), the answer is usually “just around the corner on Roncy.”

There’s no need to leave the hood once you’re here. There’s an abundance of shops and services that provide everything you need.

Visit our BUSINESS DIRECTORYto find what you’re looking for.

Great Places to Eat

Over 60 Restaurants, Bistros, Sports Bars, Cafes, Bakeries & Takeout Joints draw customers from around the City.

Find a place to eat that’s just right for your tastes and occasion. Visit our BUSINESS DIRECTORY

“Roncesvalles has always had a reputation for great restaurants, but lately more have been entering the scene than ever, offering the neighbourhood brand new options for East Coast, Asian, Mexican and Cambodian cuisine, plus a little pub-inspired comfort food for good measure.”

“It’s no secret that Roncesvalles is one of Toronto’s predominantly Polish neighborhood. The neighborhood, which is tree-lined and cozy, has the King streetcar coasting through it on the regular and has its streets populated with cute pups and young families. But Roncy has a lot going on besides cute pups, although it’s a great selling feature. Lots of coffee shops and tasty bakeshops as far as the eye can see.”

“We’re back at it with another neighbourhood full of fine eating options.Not simply content to be its own little picturesque village in the west end of the city, Roncesvalles also offers an abundance of foodie choices. Whether it’s a stroll in High Park that leads you there or you get to the end of Queen West and just keep walking, we promise you won’t be disappointed in the small-town feel of one of our favourite strips in all of Toronto.”

Small Businesses

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Local entrepreneurs provide better service. They hire locals and they invest back into the community.

Shopping local helps sustain the economic vitality of our main streets and neighbourhood. It builds community. It helps sustain local food producers and cut down on packaging waste and additional fuel usage from the delivery of goods ordered online.

Walkable Streets

Roncesvalles Avenue offers broad sidewalks lined with a diversity of trees planted sustainably at grade that will one day form a green canopy. Locals and visitors enjoy walking to Roncesvalles and along the main street to get something to eat, forage through shops, or just hang out on the street with its gardens and benches and cruiser-table-style tree guards.

The vision for our streetscape reconstruction — which was mostly completed in 2011 — was driven by the RVBIA’s Beautification Committee and its sub-committee Roncesvalles Renewed, and influenced by locals interested in urban planning, and city building. They observed the wisdom of legendary urban activist, Jane Jacob, and so pushed for the features that we enjoy today. Without them, Roncesvalles could have ended up as just another thoroughfare.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
— Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

The Greening of Roncy

It started with the community’s commitment to sustainably planting urban street trees. Then volunteers pitching in to maintain over 20 sidewalk gardens: first weeding then launching a campaign to reduce cigarette butt litter, then redesigning the gardens with perennials, native plants, and reconditioning the soil.

The Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden, designated as a place of heritage and continuing interest, with the Moccasin Identifier project by the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, was added after five years of collaborative partnerships between community groups, artists, students and the City. The DRPG opened in 2016, and received an Award of Excellence from the International Downtown Association. 

Many of the businesses along Roncesvalles are committed to sustainable values in what they order, where they order from, and the steps they’ve taken to reduce their environmental footprint.

Several Green groups in the area, like Roncy Reduces and Green Parkdale and Roncy, have spearheaded initiatives to further encourage businesses and their customers to reduce waste through various means and we continue to raise the bar on eco-action.

Community Engagement

Many who live or work in Roncesvalles Village, or who come to visit, are truly appreciative of all the good things it offers. They understand the connection between their quality of life here and the need to consider the well-being of the community in the choices they make and the actions they take.

Community members interested in volunteering their time to enriching the neighbourhood they live and/or work in are encouraged to consider the following initiatives/events:

Or with our volunteer partners:

Parks and Waterfront

Staying active is easy in and around Roncesvalles Village with its proximity to High Park and Lake Ontario, and to our local community parks and parkettes, easily accessible by bike and on foot. Plus there are lots of places to fuel and recharge your body before or after your activities at our many cafes, restaurants and delis along Roncesvalles.