The residential streets just east and west of Roncesvalles Avenue might just be some of the most charming streets in the city — and the businesses along Roncesvalles aren’t too shabby either. Set away from the downtown core, this west end Toronto neighbourhood is about as enchanting as Toronto gets.
Even the commercial strip is filled with anything but typical offerings. Instead, residents can find locally owned boutiques, organic grocers and butchers, and a handful of independent cafés. And in this tight-knit community, not only do neighbours know one another by name, but everyone knows the local shop owners as well.
The Roncesvalles neighbourhood came to be developed in late 19th century, after the Lake Shore streetcar line brought more residents — and therefore visitors — to the area. While the demographic is mixed, Roncesvalles has historically been home to a large proportion of middle class residents. Immigrants from Poland also have a history of landing in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood, which still has a large Polish community to this day. The Roncesvalles Polish Festival is held in the neighbourhood each year to celebrate this group, and residents can dine on authentic Polish food at Café Polonez year-round.
Outdoorsy types interested in condos for sale in Roncesvalles will be glad to hear about the 400-acre park that’s around the corner. High Park — essentially the Central Park of Toronto — is home to a zoo, swimming pool, and skating rink, and Shakespeare in the Park is held here every summer. Speaking of summertime, hot weather also calls for trips to Sunnyside Beach, just to the south of the Roncesvalles neighbourhood.
Most of the homes in Roncesvalles were constructed in the early 1900s. Many of these showcase the American Foursquare style, evidence of the lower-income community living here at the time. Down in Parkdale, on the other hand, the houses going up around the same time were much more ornate. Between 1910 and 1930, however, wealthier families began to flock to Roncesvalles, at which time the neighbourhood’s more extravagant homes were built.
Some buyers interested in condos for sale in Roncesvalles have an interest in the neighbourhood’s history, and those buyers are especially in luck. The neighbourhood happens to be home to a handful of lofts, including the Feather Factory Lofts at 2154 Dundas West and the Sorauren Lofts at 347 Sorauren. The former is situated with a heritage building that’s been standing since 1911, while the latter occupies a ball-bearing factory that was converted into 48 residences in 1999 by Mel Brown.
As for contemporary condos, a couple of soft lofts can be found throughout the neighbourhood as well. The High Park Lofts at 433-437 Roncesvalles and the Roncesvalles Lofts at 25 Ritchie Avenue are great options for those who want the look of a loft, with all the amenities a modern condo has to offer.
Thanks to its location in the west end of Toronto, drivers interested in condos for sale in Roncesvalles can check drivability off their lists. A quick drive south will land one at the Qeensway, the Gardiner Expressway, and Lake Shore Boulevard West. Drivers can also use Bloor and Dundas to reach more central areas of the city in no time.
Even residents without cars can use Bloor and Dundas to get around. Streetcars along dundas carry passengers all the way to the Eaton Centre and beyond, while a ride on the Bloor-Danforth subway line is an even faster method of reaching neighbourhoods in the east end of the city.
The Locals: They’re particularly friendly with one another.
Code of Conduct: Most residents prefer to shop local, even if the Loblaws at Dundas and Bloor is tempting.
What You’ll Find: Picturesque residential streets.
What You Won’t Find: Office towers.
The Homes: Lofts — both hard and soft — are aplenty here.
Sealing the Deal: The ability to walk to High Park on a whim.