Vibrant and community-oriented, Roncesvalles Village is a true west end gem. The neighbourhood’s friendly residents and tree-lined streets give it the feel of a small town. At the same time, its unique pubs, restaurants, and boutiques ensure that life in the village is never dull. If you’re moving to Roncesvalles Village (known more affectionately as “Roncy”), here are a few things you should know about exploring your new neighbourhood.
1) You’ll find the best Polish food in Toronto
Roncesvalles Village is the centre of the city’s Polish community, and some of its most popular restaurants reflect that. Cafe Polonez is a perfect example. For over 30 years, this family-run establishment has been serving up perfectly-prepared borscht, potato dumplings, and schnitzel.
You’ll find Polish beer and five types of perogies at Inter Steer Tavern, a cozy bar on the Roncy Avenue strip. Afterward, head over to Benna’s for a paczki—a favourite of dessert lovers in Poland. Trust me, you won’t believe how good these doughnuts are until you’ve tried them!
2) You’ll never be far from a fantastic patio
When the weather is warm, patrons of the watering holes and eateries in Roncesvalles Village move outside. No matter what type of patio you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Roncesvalles.
If you’re a fan of people watching—not to mention pulled pork—Barque Smokehouse is about to become your local go-to. This cozy, street-facing patio is the perfect place to enjoy a hearty summertime meal while watching the world go by.
Those who like to enjoy a cold pint while sitting outside will want to head over to Bandit Brewery. You’ll find a roomy outdoor space that looks out onto Dundas West, along with a distinctive selection of craft brews. Roncesvalles Village also features a number of fantastic hidden patios, which are nestled in behind La Cubana, Loon’s Pub, and The Local (among other neighbourhood hot spots).
3) The kids are always welcome
There’s no shortage of local businesses that cater for things to do for kids in Roncesvalles. Along the avenue, you’ll find boutiques that offer a fabulous selection of children’s toys, books, and clothing. Favourites include Scooter Girl Toys, Hey Kiddo, and Another Story Bookshop (which sells books that feature social justice themes for children as well as adults).
When it comes to family-friendly restaurants and cafes, the village doesn’t disappoint. The Ace and the Westerly are great places to grab a bite with strollers in tow, while Cherry Bomb Coffee offers a flavourful caffeine fix in a kid-friendly environment.
Last but certainly not least: if you have children, you’ll love Sorauren Park. This community-oriented space includes a playground, a community centre, and (when the weather is right) a farmer’s market.
4) High Park is always just around the corner
No matter where you are in Roncesvalles, you’re just a short jaunt away from one of Toronto’s largest and most majestic parks. At 161 hectares, High Park provides plenty of gorgeous green space, along with some of the city’s best nature trails and recreational facilities.
In any season, there’s an abundance of fun things to do at High Park. When summer rolls around, take a dip in the outdoor pool or bring the kids to the zoo. In the spring, check out the park’s iconic cherry blossoms in full bloom. See the leaves change along the park’s nature trails in the fall, and try cross-country skiing or skating on the artificial ice rink during winter.
5) You’ll find more than blockbusters on the big screen
Roncesvalles Village is home to the Revue Cinema, one of the most unique places to see a film in the city. This beautiful old theatre, which was built in the early 20th century, is located near the corner of Roncesvalles and Howard Park Avenue.
The Revue offers an eclectic selection of cinema, including independent and Canadian films, documentaries, and classic movies. For a relaxed evening, take a leisurely stroll along Roncesvalles Avenue and catch a flick at this one-of-a-kind theatre. Pro tip: try heading over on a Tuesday, when admission is half price.
Still looking for your perfect house or condo in Roncesvalles Village? You can check out recent listings in the neighbourhood here. If you have any questions about the area, feel free to get in touch!