Roncesvalles is a neighbourhood in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada centred around Roncesvalles Avenue. Culturally, the area is known as the centre of the Polish community in Toronto with prominent Polish institutions, businesses and St Casimir’s Catholic Church located on Roncesvalles Avenue.
The neighbourhood is predominantly residential, with a commercial strip the full length of Roncesvalles, composed predominantly of small businesses, churches and institutions. Several of the buildings along Sorauren Avenue have been converted into loft-style condominiums. The City of Toronto defines three official neighbourhoods as having boundaries with Roncesvalles Avenue. To the west, the official neighbourhood is High Park-Swansea. To the east, the official neighbourhood is named “Roncesvalles” – often referred to as “Roncy”. To the southeast of Roncesvalles Avenue is “South Parkdale”
The Roncesvalles area has several parks and sporting facilities. The schools of the neighbourhood also provide facilities, including swimming pools for school-age children. The largest park in the area is 400 acres (160 ha) High Park west of Parkside Drive, with playgrounds, Grenadier Pond, a zoo, baseball diamonds, outdoor swimming pool and forest. High Park provides baseball diamonds and organized youth baseball programs. High Park also has two soccer fields, tennis courts and an artificial ice rink in the winter.
HISTORY OF RONCESVALLES VILLAGE
Roncesvalles was originally settled by Colonel Walter O’Hara in 1850.O’Hara was a soldier in the British army prior to immigrating to Canada.O’Hara was wounded and captured by the French in the Roncesvalles Gorge in northern Spain; hence the name Roncesvalles.
O’Hara,who was originally from Ireland,named the streets here;O ’Hara, Geoffrey, Constence, Marion and Sorauren are named after his family members,and Fermanaugh is the province in Northern Ireland where the O’Hara clan originated. The development of the present-day neighbourhood was spurred on by the street-car, which came to this area in the early 1900s. Roncesvalles was a family-oriented neighbourhood right from the start.
Nearby industries offered employment to the many British immigrants that settled here.The landmark St.Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church on Roncesvalles was the spiritual centre of these first residents.
Following the Second World War an influx of Eastern Europeans,predominantly Poles,settled in Roncesvalles.They built their own church:St.Casimir’s.Sir Casimir Gzowski, a Polish patriot, settled in Toronto in the early 1850s and was instrumental in the building of Toronto’s roads and railways.
HOMES IN RONCESVALLES VILLAGE
Roncesvalles Village Real Estate Update 2012
One of the hottest real estate markets in Toronto so far this year has been the Roncesvalles Villageneighbourhood located in Toronto’s west end. The fact this market is booming really comes as no surprise to Jill Stewart and Rob Lepage who are Brokers at Royal Lepage Real Estate Services Ltd., and are the proud sponsors of the Roncesvalles Village neighbourhood on the websiteTorontoNeighbourhoodGuide.com. Stewart and Lepage point out that Roncesvalles Village has been growing steadily in popularity over the years. “This growth has been somewhat under the radar until this year as the neighbourhood has recently garnered alot of attention from the media due to the redevelopment along Roncesvalles Avenue.”
The Roncesvalles Avenue redevelopment was a long drawn out affair but it appears to have been worth the wait as this commercial strip has never been more vibrant and is now firmly ensconsed as one of Toronto’s landmark neighbourhood shopping destinations. The iconic Toronto streetcar still glides up and down Roncesvalles Avenue only now it shares the road with new bicycle lanes and revamped pedestrian walkways. The streetscape has also been enhanced with places to sit down and native tree plantings.
Homebuyers have taken notice of all the changes in Roncesvalles Village and judging by the 41 homes sales recorded thus far in in 2012, they like what they see. Stewart and Lepage point out “there are three key amenities Roncesvalles homebuyers appreciate. These are: “the homes are within walking distance of Toronto’s landmark High Park, you can walk or bicycle in just a few minutes to Toronto’s waterfront and Roncesvalles Avenue itself is so convenient whether you need a jug of milk, fresh produce, or something from the hardware store, everything you need is close by.”
Falling in love with Roncesvalles Village is the easy part; finding and securing a home is more challenging. There is healthy competition for houses in this neighbourhood with homes selling for 107% of list price and averaging just 11 days on the market. Keep in mind most houses hold back offers for a week. Most of the houses sell on the day they take offers. The average price for a semi-detached house in Roncesvalles this year is $729,000. Entry level semi-detached houses can occasionally be found in the low $600,000s while the larger semi’s can sell for upwards of $900,000. Detached sales make up about a third of the Roncesvalles Village home sales with the average price of a detached home hovering around the $895,000 mark. However; while an entry level detached home can sometimes be found in the $700,000s, most detached houses in this neighbourhood sell for much higher than that, with some larger detached houses selling in excess of 1 million dollars.
For prospective Roncesvalles Village homebuyers Stewart and Lepage want you to know that “this is a very caring and supportive neighbourhood that has rallied around the restoration of the local Revue Theatre and ongoing efforts to save the High Park Zoo. We are very proud of our local farmers market, tree preservation efforts and the great work done by the Friends of High Park”. In closing for Roncesvalles Villagehomesellers Stewart and Lepage offer this advice: “The advice Rob and I would give sellers in Roncesvalles is, in order to get the greatest return on their investment, surrender to a professional stager, attend-to or disclose any mechanical or structural issues determined by a reputable home inspector and choose an active agent in the neighbourhood who knows intimately how to target the right buying audience.”
* Roncesvalles Village neighbourhood insights provided by Jill Stewart, Broker and Rob Lepage, Broker, of Royal Lepage Real Estate Services Ltd. Jill and Robert can be reached by calling 416. 231. 3000 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The information provided herin is compiled from source data obtained from the Toronto Real Estate Board. It is presented here for information purpose only. All data are subject to updates and revisions. The author assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information shown.
SCHOOLS IN THE RONCESVALLES VILLAGE AREA
(P) Etienne Brule Junior School, 50 Cloverhill Rd, 416-394-7850
(P) Park Lawn Junior and Middle School, 71 Ballacaine Dr, (416) 394-7120
(P) Swansea Junior and Senior Public School, 207 Windermere Ave, (416) 393-9080
(P) Runnymede Junior and Senior PublicSchool, 357 Runnymede Rd, (416) 393-9055
(P) Ursula Franklin Academy, 146 Glendonwynne Rd., (416) 393-0430
(P) Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent, (416) 393-0500
(P) Humbercrest Public School, 14 St Marks Rd, 416-394-2370
(P) Annette Street Junior and Senior Public School, 265 Annette St, 416-393-9040
(P) Keele Street Junior Public School, 99 Mountview Ave, (416) 393-9035
(P) Indian Road Crescent Junior PublicSchool, 285 Indian Rd Cres, (416) 393-9025
(P) Perth Avenue Junior Public School, 14 Ruskin Ave, (416) 393-1410
(P) Howard Jr PS, 30 Marmaduke, Toronto, (416) 393-9255(P) Garden Avenue Junior Public School, (416) 393-9165
(P) Fern Avenue Junior and Senior Public School, 128 Fern Ave, (416) 393-9130
(P) Queen Victoria Junior Public School, 100 Close Ave, (416) 393-9200
(P) Parkdale Collegiate Institute, 209 Jameson Ave, (416) 393-9000
(P) Shirley Street Junior Public School, 38 Shirley St, (416) 393-9270
(P) Brock Jr PS, 93 Margueretta, (416) 393-9245
(P) City View Alternative Senior School, 38 Shirley St, Floor 3, (416) 393-8708
(P) Kent Senior Public School, 980 Dufferin Street
(P) Pauline Junior Public School, 100 Pauline Ave, 416-393-9360(P) Safe and Caring Schools, 21 Randolph Avenue Toronto
(P) Perth Avenue Junior Public School, 14 Ruskin Ave, (416) 393-1410
(P) Pauline Junior Public School, 100 Pauline Ave, 100 Pauline Ave,(P) Alexander Muir/Gladstone Ave Public School, 108 Gladstone Avenue, 416-393-9140
(P) Givins-Shaw Junior Public School, 49, (416) 393-1240
(P) Niagara Street Junior Public School, 222 Niagara St, (416) 393-1371
(P) Charles G Fraser Junior Public School, 79 Manning Ave, (416) 393-1830(P) Dewson Street Junior Public School, 65 Concord Avenue, (416) 393-9120
(P) Central Commerce Collegiate Institute, 570 Shaw St, (416) 393-0030
(P) Montrose Junior Public School, 301 Montrose Avenue
(P) West End Alternative School, 777 Bloor Street West, (416) 393-0660
(P) Clinton Street Junior Public School, 460 Manning Ave, (416) 393-9155
(P) Delta Senior Alternative School, 301 Montrose Avenue, (416) 393-9730
(P) Ryerson Community School, 96 Denison Ave, (416) 393-1340
(P) Kensington Community Junior School, 401 College Street, (416) 935-0728
(P) King Edward Junior and Senior Public School, 112 Lippincott Street, 416-393-1320
(P) Leonardo Da Vinci Academy of Arts & Sciences, 100 Allanhurst Dr, 416-247-6137
(PH) Humberside Collegiate Institute, 280 Quebec Ave, (416) 393-0000
(CA) St Mark, 45 Cloverhill Rd, 416-393-5332
(CA) St. Pius X, 71 Jane St., 416-393-5237
(CA) James Culnan Separate School, 605 Willard Ave, (416) 393-5325
(CA) St Cecilia,355 Annette St., (416) 393-5218
(CA) St. James, 230 Humbercrest Blvd., (416) 393-5275
(CA) St Cecilia, 355 Annette St., (416) 393-5218
(CA) Holy Family 141 Close Ave., (416) 393-5212
(CA) St. Vincent De Paul Separate School, 116 Fermanagh Ave, (416) 393-5227
(CA) Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School, 1515 Bloor St. (416) 393-5545
(CA) St. Luigi Separate School, 2 Ruskin Ave., (416) 393-5370
(CA) St. Sebastian Catholic School, 717 Brock Ave, (416) 393-5354
(CA) St. Luigi, 2 Ruskin Ave., (416) 393-5370
(CA) St Mary’s Catholic Secondary School, 66 Dufferin Park Ave, 416-393-5528
(CA) Saint Helen Separate School, 1196 College St, (416) 393-5208
(CA) Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School, 30 Humbert St., (416) 393-5367
(CA) St. Luke Separate School, 319 Ossington Ave., 416-393-5347
(CA) MSGR Fraser College (Alternate Study) Secondary School, 486 Shaw Street (416) 393-5557
(CA) St Francis of Assisi, 80 Clinton St, (416) 393-5206
(CA) St Mary, 20 Portugal Sq, (416) 393-5205
(P) Public School, (PH) Public High School, (CA) Catholic School, (PR) Private School, (PC) Private Catholic School, (PJ) Private Jewish School, (C) College, (U) University
RECREATION IN RONCESVALLES VILLAGE
High Park is a short walk west of this neighbourhood.Visitors to this park can engage in a myriad of sport opportunities,from tennis to fishing in Grenadier Pond.There is also a popular children’s playground and a zoo. Walkers, joggers and nature enthusiasts will enjoy the many trails that traverse this park. Local parks include Sorauren park, at the northeast corner of Sorauren and Wabash, and the Charles G. Williams Park at the southeast corner of Sorauren and Wabash. The Keele Community Centre on Glenlake Avenue has an indoor pool. High Park Library on Roncesvalles Avenue offers programs for children and adults.
TRANSPORTATION IN RONCESVALLES VILLAGE
Streetcar service is available on Queen Street, Dundas Street and Roncesvalles Avenue, with stops at numerous subway stations along the Yonge-University-Spadina and Bloor-Danforth lines.The Lansdowne bus stops at the Lansdowne subway station on the Bloor-Danforth line.
Go Transit has a station at the Crossways, on the north-east corner of Bloor Street West and Dundas Street West. Commuters can access Union Station from this line. Motorists are approximately a 15-minute drive from the downtown core.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE RONCESVALLES VILLAGE AREA
High Park – 1873 Bloor Street West
High Park encompasses 399 acres of public parkland. This city park includes a fishing pond, an outdoor theatre, an animal paddocks, picnic grounds, playgrounds, a restaurant, an historic museum, flower gardens, an adventure playground and a trackless train.
High Park’s sports facilities include tennis, baseball, soccer, lawn bowling, swimming, and skating, as well as walking, jogging and cycling paths found throughout the park.
Trinity Bellwoods Park – 155 Crawford Street
A 14.6 hectare park on Queen St. West at Strachan Ave. once the home of Trinty College. The park sits atop the now buried Garrison Creek and features three ball diamonds, eight tennis courts, two volleyball courts an artificial ice rink, an dog off leash area, a picnic area, a wading pool and a children’s playground. Loacted in the south west section of the park is the Trinity Community Recreation Centre.
Dufferin Grove Park – 875 Dufferin Street
A 5.3 hectare park on Dufferin St just south of Bloor St West with large mature forest canopy. The park features a mutli-purpose sports field, a basketball court, a picnic area, a wading pool and a children’s playground. At the north end of the park is the Dufferin Grove Park Atrificial Ice Rink and Clubhouse.
LIBRARIES IN THE RONCESVALLES VILLAGE AREA
- High Park Library – 228 Roncesvalles Avenue, (416) 393-7671
- Parkdale Library – 1303 Queen Street West – (416) 393-7686
- Swansea Memorial Library – 95 Lavinia Avenue – (416) 393-7695
- Runnymede Library – 2178 Bloor Street West, (416) 393-7697
- Annette Street Library – 145 Annette Street, (416) 393-7692
- Perth/Dupont Library – 1589 Dupont Street, (416) 393-7677
- College/Shaw Library – 766 College Street, (416) 393-7668
- Bloor/Gladstone Library – 1101 Bloor Street West, (416) 393-7674
CHURCHES IN THE RONCESVALLES VILLAGE AREA
- Kingdom Hall Of Jehovah’s Witnesses -2101 Dundas W, (416) 536-5479
- Westminster Chapel at High Park – 9 Hewitt Avenue, (416) 466-8819 ext. 300
- St Vincent De Paul Church – 263 Roncesvalles Avenue, (416) 535-7646
- Emmanuel-Howard Park United Church – 214 Wright, (416) 536-1755
- St. Casimir’s Church – 156 Roncesvalles Avenue, (416) 532-2822
- Hindu Prarthana Samaj – 62 Fern Avenue, (416) 536-9229
- The Abbey – 384 Sunnyside Avenue
- Redeemer Lutheran Church – 1691 Bloor Street West, (416) 766-1424