Hip, trendy and increasingly popular with real estate deal-finders, Roncesvalles and High Park are communities in flux and on the move.
Long known as Toronto’s Polish neighbourhood, Roncesvalles has actually transformed into a very diverse neighbourhood of varied cultures and backgrounds in recent decades without losing its strong Polish identity.
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In the stores along Roncesvalles Ave. you’ll find some of the best pierogies and pork schnitzels in the city in shops frequented by Poles and non-Poles alike.
The expansive environs of High Park itself give the area a natural beauty and attract plenty of residents eager to live near Toronto’s most iconic public park.
Average property value: Roncesvalles - $403,241, High Park - $468,292 Rent: Roncesvalles - $838, High Park - $1,031.
Homes you’ll see: Like many of the homes surrounding the High Park area, late 1800s designs dominate with Victorian and Edwardian styles being the most common.
Bargain spot: The further you move from High Park itself the cheaper the homes generally become.
Notable locations: St. Casimir’s Church (156 Roncesvalles Ave.) draws Poles from across Toronto and serves as a spiritual centre for the city’s Polish community — particularly at tough times like the recent Polish plane crash in Russia. North on Bloor Street West, hockey nuts flock to Toronto Hockey Repair (1592 Bloor St. W.) and sister store Goalie Heaven (1590 Bloor St. W.) for a skater’s delight of equipment choices.
Hot spots: The Chopin Restaurant (156 Roncesvalles Ave.) and Granowska’s (175 Roncesvalles Ave.) offer authentic Polish eats and you can pick up great Eastern European groceries from a wealth of local bakeries and meat shops along Roncesvalles Ave. The Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Ave.) is an old favourite among the celluloid crowd and specializes in theme and event nights.
Education: Humberside Collegiate Institute (280 Quebec Ave.), Keele St. Junior PS (99 Mountview Ave.), Howard Junior PS (30 Marmaduke St.), Fern Avenue PS (128 Fern Ave.), Garden Avenue Junior PS (225 Garden Ave.), St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Elementary (116 Fermanagh Ave.)
Condos & developments: Giraffe Condominiums (1540 Bloor St. W.), The Address at High Park (Bloor & Indian Rd)
Getting around: High Park, Keele, Dundas West and Lansdowne subway stations and Bloor GO Train Station nearby. Dundas streetcar service on the u-shaped Route 505 from Dundas West Station, through the downtown to Broadview Station.
Final word: With easy access to public transit, close access to the beauty of High Park and plenty of varied, thriving independent shops nearby, it’s no surprise why Roncesvalles and High Park are increasingly popular with current and would-be residents.