Travel Tuesday: Take a Stroll Down Roncesvalles, Toronto!

Travel Tuesday: Take a Stroll Down Roncesvalles, Toronto! in Travel Tuesday

A few years ago, my husband and I purchased a loft in Toronto’s Roncesvalles Village. We fell in love with the neighborhood. We love living in this area, as it is situated beside Sorauren Park which boasts two soccer fields, two tennis courts, a baseball diamond and a dog park. Every Monday in the summer months there is a farmer’s market in the park, where one can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, home baked goods, and there are a variety of vendors selling handmade jewelry. We mostly love this area, as it is very close to Roncesvalles Avenue, which is a very busy area filled with great shops and restaurants.

Roncesvalles Village is a trendy neighbourhood in the city of Toronto, Ontario. Located on Roncesvalles Avenue, which is north of Lake Ontario in the Parkdale High Park area (it was once known as 'Howard Park'), this area was annexed into Toronto in the 1880s.

There are a myriad of small businesses, most of which are independently owned and operated. These include pharmacies, rug shops, specialty gift shops, grocers (which include organic specialty), banks, variety stores, clothing boutiques, and just about anything you can imagine. Most of the stores are two or three story buildings with the shops or restaurants on the ground floor and apartments above. Fun fact: today, the building where the Royal Bank is situated was built in 1936 and was originally the S.S. Kresge store. It retains its original signage even though it is now a Bank.

One of my favourite restaurants is the Barque Smokehouse. My great niece works there and we love seeing her when we drop by. They serve pulled chicken, smoked chicken, pulled pork, baby back pork ribs, beef brisket, all-day breakfast and the best brunch poutine I have ever tasted!

Another favourite for brunch is Mitzi’s Cafe on Sorauren Avenue. They serve any kind of eggs imaginable with fresh coffee. It’s a small restaurant so you have to get there early to get a seat but if you have to wait, the food is worth it.

Local culture: The area is known as the centre of the Polish community in Toronto. There are prominent Polish institutions, small businesses and St. Casimir’s Catholic Church located on Roncesvalles Avenue. Roncesvalles businesses have formed the Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area. They hold an annual Polish Festival.

If you are ever in Toronto, Ontario, I would highly recommend that you visit Roncesvalles. I love it!


Nancy Forsyth is a Business Counsellor with CFIB. She holds a Business Counsellor’s certificate through APEC (the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). Nancy lives in Port Perry, Ontario and rents out her loft in Roncesvalles Village to her son. On weekends in the warmer weather, she tours northeastern Ontario with her UTV with friends.