Saturday, June 27, 2020


Definition: A very pedestrian view on Toronto ON. Focusing on the urban form, but stretching to travel and food.

June 2020 - Toronto ON

Just a note that these walks are being taken during the pandemic so things are different. Some places have not yet opened, most require masks and hand sanitization. Restaurants can only do takeout.

A couple of rambles this week. I'll start with Friday's Roncevalles walk.

Roncesvalles (or Roncesvalles Village or Roncy Village) is a neighbourhood in the city of Toronto centred on Roncesvalles Avenue, a north-south street leading from the intersection of King and Queen Streets to the south, north to Dundas Street West, a distance of roughly 1.5 kilometres. Its informal boundaries are High Park to the west, Bloor Street West to the north, Lake Ontario/Queen Street West to the south and Lansdowne Avenue/rail corridor to the east. 

Originally known as "Howard Park", most of this area was formerly within the boundaries of Parkdale and Brockton villages and was annexed into Toronto in the 1880s.

What is now the Roncesvalles neighbourhood began as farm lots given to Toronto's prominent Ridout family and the architect John George Howard. These men had careers in the city so little was done with their farmland most of which was never even cleared of the natural forest. Two houses were built by John Howard on these farms: Sunnyside (where St. Joseph's Hospital is now), and Colborne Lodge (Mr. Howard's own cottage built 1837) in what is now High Park. A path running through Sunnyside Farm was an Indigenous trail (now Indian Road) thought to have originally been an ancient Mississauga Indian path, leading from Lake Ontario north. 

A new mural to me.

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 businesses along Roncesvalles have formed the Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area and
hold the largest Polish Festival in North America, which takes place every September. 
But not this year!

Knights of Columbus, Polish branch.

I guess churches are now open for confessions.

This gorgeous statue of Pope John Paul II is by Alexander von Svoboda and is outside the Polish Credit Union.

An independent toy store, Scooter Girl Toys.

High Park Library Branch, I forgot to get a photo of the building.

High Park branch opened on October 31, 1916. This was the second of three nearly identical libraries (together with Wychwood and Beaches) built by the Toronto Public Library with a $50,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The new library was needed to serve the rapidly growing community. Designed in the 17th-century English Collegiate style by architects Eden Smith and Sons, the building did not follow the classical style of earlier Carnegie libraries. Chief librarian George Locke wanted the branch to remind residents of "Scottish and English village type of architecture" while being "adapted to modern requirements." The brick and stone library features an upper floor modelled on a Tudor Gothic great hall, with a soaring hammerbeam ceiling and stone fireplace. The building was renovated in 1979, when two pitched-roof wings were added, and in 1990, when the north wing was extended and a glass canopy added at the entrance.

However, there are photos online.

Click here for a photo of this mural we took in 2014.

United Church.

St Vincent de Paul has been served since 1995 by clergy of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri and St. Philip's Seminary who reside at their primary parish of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, Parkdale.

The west side of the street is mainly residential.

Some have been turned into businesses.

Featuring Polish food.

The old European Shoe Boutique sign still hangs over Doll Factory by Damzels.

Shopping online only at the moment. They carry adorable dresses!

Built between late-1911 and early-1912, it is a designated 'heritage' site and is Toronto's oldest standing movie theatre in use for showing movies. It operated continuously as a movie theatre from its opening until June 2006, making it the oldest continuously running movie theatre in Ontario.
I'm not sure if it will survive the virus or the wrecking ball. had some great stuff in the window, it was not open.

Raza, Mexican beer brewpub, they have a corn beer.

Cuban sandwiches.

Would be worth a stop on a summer's day.

I thought this would be a candy store, they did have some British products but their main product was puzzles and games.

Our claim to fame are chocolate-dipped potato chips but we will dip anything in chocolate! Everything is made on site and we only use premium Belgian and South American chocolate in all of our creations. All of the chocolate we use is sustainably grown and equitably traded. We also do house-made ice cream (kitchen sink is the most popular) as well as coffee and baked treats.

Ed's is on my summer ice cream list. 

At the moment we are offering our treats in pre-packed, sealed containers to limit direct contact. On our days of service, we are serving; Pint containers (16oz), Half Pint containers (8oz), Ice Cream Sandwiches, Ice Cream Cakes and Ice Cream Pies. Packs of cones are available on the side to be scooped and enjoyed at home!

Barbers had only been open for two days.

Tacos on corn tortillas.

Flower shop kept the old cool sign.

Gluten free pasta and pizza, we'll be checking this out.

And a mural that you will have to wait and see. Time for me to get the streetcar home.

1 comment:

  1. Kitchen Sink ice cream??? The conjured up mental image is not good. I wouldn't mind a Jim Morrison cushion and I will refrain from vulgarity.


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