South of Humberside to Lakeshore Ave. From the tracks near Sorauren Ave. to the west side of High Park.
Roncenvalles Ave and High Park Blvd.
Incredible park, Polish community, trendy, highly engaged community, bicycle-friendly, very dog friendly, let’s say it again: incredible park.
DID YOU KNOW?:
Though the area has little in terms of Spanish heritage, Roncesvalles Avenue takes its name from the Battle of Roncesvalles, which took place in Spain in 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars. Colonel Walter O’Hara, an early Irish settler to the area, fought in this war and gave the street its name.
High Park and Roncesvalles seems to have it all. You have good schools, highly rentable apartments for top dollar, and it’s relatively safe. And most of all, it’s not as stuffy and bland as some north Toronto neighbourhoods. It has a friendly and welcoming vibe that makes this place so beloved in the hearts of many Torontonians.
In many ways, this neighbourhood has to give some credit to its past for its success. First, you have thank John George Howard and his wife, Jermina Frances Meikle, for donating their 160 acre property they called High Park to city of Toronto in 1870. And then you have to give credit to the City of Toronto for making this park so incredibly functional for the urban dweller to include a petting zoo, an off-leash dog park, an incredible children’s playground, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a pool, tennis courts, nature trails, cherry blossoms, Shakespeare in the Park, a pond with swans and lots and lots of trees. Every great city has their showpiece park, and High Park is Toronto’s park.
Park aside, we also have to give credit to the Eastern European community that created a community hub along Roncesvalles Ave. making in a walkable main street for a very long time and leaving it’s mark on the neighbourhood.
Roncesvalles is a nice strip with a lot of the simple things like fruit and vegetable stands that other neighbourhoods lack. Plus, you have top notch restaurants and a revue cinema.
In terms of housing stock, there is some great options. West of Roncesvalles, the homes are stately and mansion-like in spots. East of Ronscesvalles, they are still amazing, but more quant with an incredible tree canopy. North of Bloor, you’ll find the tree canopy continue with historic homes, a little less expensive than south of Bloor.
Though the area is dominated by houses, there are incredible condo conversions worth mentioning. Robert Watson Lofts, the Sorauren Lofts and the Abbey Lofts, a church conversion on Sunnyside Ave, have all become some of the most sought after condos in the city. For the most part, many of the condos here have some character and lack the boxy any condo feel of many of the larger condo areas.
Now if you don’t believe me, you may want to research the Canadian Institute of Planners who, in 2012, ran a nation wide contest for the best neighbourhoods in Canada, and Roncesvalles was the only Toronto neighbourhood to make it to the top 8.