Richmond Hill Neighourhood Profile

Toronto Neighbourhood Profile: Richmond Hill Community & Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

Although it’s only a recent motto, “A Little North, A Little Nice” deftly captures the spirit of life in Richmond Hill since its early inception. 

Located in the southern part of York Region and containing a population of nearly 200,000, Richmond Hill is one of the GTA’s popular commuter suburbs that combines a slower pace of life with close proximity to the big city. 

While modern suburban development is what makes it a comfortable and quiet place to live today, Richmond Hill has in a sense always been true to the slower pace of life.

The Beginning of Richmond Hill

While the name “Richmond Hill” wouldn’t grace the lips of residents for decades to come, its first settlers were the Munshaws : a family of 7 from Pennsylvania arriving in the spring of 1794 in search of a place to call their own. 

They cleared themselves a plot of land in the modern-day Elgin Mills area where they welcomed the first European-born resident of Richmond Hill – their daughter Susan. Despite a large and growing family the isolation proved too great and they relocated to an area closer to Highway 7. 

Over the course of that year several other settlement attempts were made, but issues with land claims, crop failures, and citizenships drove them all to be abandoned. The first permanent residents of the area came a few years later to occupy the Northeast corner of Yonge St. & Major Mackenzie Dr. 

Since the land was allotted and parcelled, a successive string of settlers were granted lands by the Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe in order to develop the area. These early residents were either being rewarded for military service with land or otherwise believed to be capable of fostering prosperity in the growing settlement. 

The initiative was part of the Lieutenant Governor’s special plan for Yonge St. which excluded crown and clergy reserves and made all of Yonge available to settlers. 

It’s largely due to this plan that Yonge St. is the artery connecting the northern GTA and that we still have stretches of it which feel like small town main streets. Once such place is just north of Major Mackenzie Dr. at Centre St. 

Becoming Miles Hill

By the turn of the century, English and German speaking settlers who came to the area were calling it “Miles’ Hill” after a prominent local settler Abner Miles and his son James. 

The younger Miles excelled as a community leader, serving both as a justice of the peace and a lieutenant during the war of 1812. Although his name is no longer attached to the place he worked so hard to support, a testament to his sustained effort stands near the Yonge/Major Mackenzie intersection.

Miles invited a Presbyterian minister to set up a parish for the community and the church they built would eventually turn into Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church, which serves the community to this day. 

Transforming Into Richmond Hill

While there’s no conclusive record of exactly when and how Miles’ Hill changed to “Richmond Hill,” several explanations exist. 

One story has the name coming from the city’s first schoolteacher, Benjamin Bernard. Apparently homesick for his native Richmond Hill in England, Bernard would lead his students in performances of the song “The Lass of Richmond Hill.”  The song’s popularity spread, perhaps as far as to have a city named after it. 

Another proposed origin for the name comes from Governor General Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond. It’s said that following his personal visit to the settlement in 1819 the village was renamed to Richmond Hill in his honour. 

Regardless of the origins of its name Richmond Hill was coming into its own as a prosperous farming community by the mid 1800’s, due in large part to the trade and travel infrastructure provided by Yonge St. As a sort of mid-point between York and Holland Landing, Richmond Hill proved a convenient stop-over for stage-coaches making the trip between the two other towns. 

Indeed, by 1836 Richmond Hill had everything a town needed – a store, a schoolhouse, a church, a tavern, a post office, and more. It was this latter feature which cemented the name “Richmond Hill” into the history books. 

Since the postal district needed a name, the postmaster used Richmond Hill and from then on the name has been officially recognized. 

Now appearing on maps and gaining wider exposure, Richmond Hill saw a real population boom. During this period the town was seeing annual population growth of up to 9%. 

Of course with increased demand, Richmond Hill real estate value went up and attracted more affluent settlers who in turn built larger homes and estates. 

Trying Times For Richmond Hill

The 19th century was a period full of trials for Richmond Hill and its residents, most of which stemmed from the characteristics that continue to make it a unique and appealing place to live.  

Whereas most settlements in this era of Canadian history grew around a primary intersection, Richmond Hill grew along the linear stretch of Yonge St. Shops and businesses sprang up along this thoroughfare and as a result Richmond Hill doesn’t have a historical downtown district like many other Ontario towns. 

Because this one street was so important to Richmond Hill’s sustained growth, modernizations and developments affected the city for better and for worse. 

Businesses, predominantly inns and taverns, would have boom and bust cycles. Initially, Richmond Hill’s location proved an asset for its economic growth since travellers leaving Toronto would naturally stop over looking for a meal and a good night’s rest. 

However, the grand Yonge St. project wasn’t without its problems. Financially, it was disastrous and even the toll charged to travellers wasn’t keeping it solvent. When the Ontario, Simcoe, and Huron Railway opened in 1853, Richmond Hill sustained a significant loss in Yonge St. traffic and had to adapt as travellers now had an alternative route for travelling north of Toronto. 

The railway line had a stop in Richmond Hill, but it wasn’t centrally located. It was about 6 kilometres east of Yonge St. along the then-unpaved Major Mackenzie Rd., closer to where Headford lies today. Certainly not a journey weary travellers would be keen to make when seeking respite from their journeys. 

While traffic on Yonge St. declined by up to 25% when the railway opened and a decline in business was felt, there remained a market for travellers coming from neighbouring communities or travelling by coach. Local trade continued and prevented other neighbouring towns from swallowing up Richmond Hill into their municipalities. 

Modern Richmond Hill

The turn of the century brought more trying times to Richmond Hill, but things changed almost immediately upon the arrival of the electric railway. Although carriage-trade businesses failed, the rest of the economy grew by 35% over the course of just a few years.

The Town of Richmond Hill made a deal with Toronto and the railway companies to sell power from their Bond Lake power generator, solidifying the town’s economic prospects. Bond Lake Park was even the first park in Ontario to have electric lighting

As this new form of transportation extended north and proliferated throughout the area with new routes for both freight and passenger transport, it seemed inevitable that Richmond Hill would become a suburb of Toronto. 

Despite all of this prosperity, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that modern amenities reached many of its parts. Areas annexed into Richmond Hill when the Regional Municipality of York was established in 1971 were still without water mains, sewers, or streetlights, and connected by dirt roads. 

That would soon change as Richmond Hill saw explosive population and real estate growth which continues to this day thanks to globalization and immigration. In fact, during the mid-70’s Richmond Hill had some of the most expensive real estate prices in Canada

Curiously, Richmond Hill wasn’t officially re-classified as a city until 2019 even though it experienced such explosive growth over the last 30 years. During the 90’s it had the fastest growth rate in Canada. 

Modern Richmond Hill

Although Richmond Hill has come a long way from a small rural settlement it’s still known as a quiet, comfortable place to raise a family in Ontario. Some of its younger residents might go as far as saying life in Richmond Hill is boring – especially next to the allure of Toronto – yet one thing Toronto can’t offer them is the large homes, backyards, recreational amenities, and close sense of community. 

Residents can take advantage of the numerous local amenities like pools, skating rinks, and sports fields or take a drive to places like the Blue Mountains where skiing, hiking, and nature abound. It offers a highly-diverse and family oriented community that’s welcoming for lifestyles of all kinds. 

Real Estate In Richmond Hill

Thinking of buying or selling property in Richmond Hill? Let Frank Leo & Associates be your guide. As the #1 Real Estate Team in Toronto & The GTA* we can help you achieve your real estate goals. 

Whether you’re looking for your dream home in Richmond Hill or you’re thinking of selling property, a team member would be happy to help review your options. 

You can take the first step by getting in touch with us directly, browsing current Richmond Hill real estate listings, or claiming a FREE, no-obligation home evaluation

Toronto neighbourhood profile newmarket

Newmarket, Ontario: Neighbourhood and Real Estate Profile from Frank Leo & Associates

For 200 years people have been living in and passing through what we now call Newmarket, and while initially it’s big appeal was the Holland River which allowed people to travel between Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario, today we can enjoy the same trip via the 404 Expressway connecting Barrie and the GTA. 

It’s comforting to know that despite all of the transformation in Newmarket’s long history, this town of about 85,000 residents remains a strong community which offers a nice respite from the trendy city living more common to Toronto or Barrie. 

Early Uses of The Newmarket Land

As part of one of the main transportation routes for traders, trappers, and settlers in the area, Newmarket already had a fair bit of traffic – practically as far back as settlers came to this part of North America. 

It was one of two branches on the Toronto Carrying-place Trail, the major portage route which began at Lake Simcoe, passed through Newmarket, then passed over the Oak Ridges Moraine into the Rouge River until it finally reached Lake Ontario. 

Following this trip along the lesser-used eastern route through Newmarket in 1793, John Graves Simcoe deemed the Newmarket route the superior of the two options for travellers heading south to York and began building Yonge Street in 1975. Work began in Toronto Bay and the street extended all the way up to Holland Landing, immediately north of Newmarket. 

More Permanent Settlement In Newmarket

While the Newmarket area was being used as a transit route and settled in the Holland Landing area, the foundation for modern Newmarket was laid by unexpected figures. Americans. American Quakers to be exact. 

A group led by the Vermont Quaker Timothy Rogers were seeking a place to settle in the North to escape America’s revolutionary struggle. 

By 1803, Rogers and a compatriot named Samuel Lundy had secured a large swath of 8,000 acres of land and made what would become Canada their permanent settlement. 

It was around Fairy Lake that the seed of Newmarket was sown by one Joseph Hill, a settler who constructed a mill and dam the produced the lake which residents still enjoy to this day. 

Other settlers unsurprisingly built homesteads around this agricultural resource. Because of this early historical detail, Newmarket’s downtown remains just north of Fairy Lake Pond in the form of Main St. instead of following Yonge Street several hundred meters to the west. 

The Settlement Grows Into A Town – “Newmarket”

Over the course of several years, another prominent local landowner named Elisha Beman opened a successive series of businesses to serve the local community. Among them was a distillery, and although it’s not in operation today the area is still the commercial centre of Newmarket. 

A wave of prosperity during the War of 1812 led into rapid growth during the 19th century, much of it stemming from inter-city commerce. In fact, following the establishment of Aurora and Holland Landing the settlement began holding regular markets, giving rise to the name we use to this day: Newmarket. 

Growth, Development, and Conflict In Newmarket

Although the Quakers founded Newmarket to escape the challenges of war, it would unfortunately reach the village regardless, albeit in a different form. 

Newmarket was the venue for rebel activity during the rebellions of 1837-1838. Discontent grew among the local farmers who saw the government as robbing them of the fruits of their labours. In fact, rebel leader and former mayor of Toronto, Willian Lyon Mackenzie gave his first campaign speech at the corner of Main & Botsford.

While King & his revolutionaries met a tragic end, Newmarket continued to flourish. By mid-century it had grown to over 500 residents, six places of worship, and even a post office. It wasn’t lacking in industry either, establishing its candidacy for a railway stop. 

The 1st railway in Upper Canada, Toronto, Simcoe & Lake Huron Union Railroad, stopped in Newmarket and shipped passengers, agricultural products, and manufactured goods to the rest of Canada. Newmarket was living up to its name as a centre for industry in young Canada. 

This heavy rail line would adapt over the course of its working life, first switching to serve a major conduit between Toronto & Collingwood and finally becoming incorporated into the Canadian National Railway. 

Today, commuters can even enjoy the convenience of GO Transit Service from Toronto along the Barrie Line.

Turning Into A Town

10 years before Canada’s Confederation Newmarket was officially incorporated as a town. Already the transition from subsistence to a more cosmopolitan way of life was developing. Around this time Downtown Newmarket got its first department store, which incidentally lived on and developed into the Simpsons chain of stores, itself later swallowed up by The Bay. 

It’s some solace to think that today’s Upper Canada Mall location at Yonge & Davis Dr. isn’t far from where Newmarket’s first commercial centre was located. 

From the late 1860’s, the town saw steady growth from a population of 1500. Perhaps it was increased local transit options or the reputation it gained as a prosperous place to live, but less than 20 years later the population jumped by another 25% and the town had its own elementary and high schools

Newmarket Coming Into Its Own

Along with the arrival of the Toronto and York Radial Railway at the turn of the century came a wave of visitors looking to see something new outside of Toronto. It was the first time leisure travellers could reach the city so easily and in such numbers, and although the railway line just brushed past Newmarket, their presence brought significant economic benefits to the city. 

Increased automobile traffic on Yonge Street had a similar effect and as cars grew more popular the railway was discontinued. The Yonge St. artery also began pulling real estate development in the town. A glance at the map of today’s Newmarket shows how the city’s primary commercial real estate space is concentrated around the intersection of Yonge St. and Davis Dr. W.

The early 20th century also brought other transportation transformations, the remnants of which can be seen to this day. A stretch of the East Holland River was straightened so it could be used to ship goods in place of the railroad, which was getting far too expensive to be viable. 

Remnants of the canal system running through to Lake Simcoe can still be seen to the north of Newmarket. This waterway was devised to give boats access to the Trent-Severn Waterway, and although it was initially promising the project was cancelled by the incumbent government.

What was meant to be the canal’s turning basin in downtown Newmarket was filled in and now serves the community in a different way – as the parking lot to the Tannery Mall, itself located on the site of the Davis Hill’s Tannery from Newmarket’s inception.

This abandoned canal project in many ways symbolized the advent of modern Newmarket. Concrete, cars, and modern commerce replaced the old ways of life and drove Newmarket into the contemporary era. 

Life In Newmarket Today

As of the latest census Newmarket’s population rests at around 85,000 residents, a far cry from the tiny settlement which served as the cradle of commerce, trade, and even rebellion. 

Yet one thing remains constant, and that’s the city’s importance as a stopover hub between Barrie and Toronto, though these days most of that travel happens via Highway 404 and Yonge St. 

Although Newmarket is part of Great Toronto and solidified its status as a bedroom town in the 1980’s, its location in the Golden Horseshoe still attracts more rural and agricultural citizens. A return to agrarian life may not be in Newmarket’s future, but residents can still enjoy a quieter pace of life and respite from the pace of major metropolitan Toronto. 

In addition to the town’s historical district, Newmarket offers numerous conservation areas and parks where people can get even closer to nature. Wesley Brooks Conservation Area and Rogers Reservoir are conveniently located near town, but lovers of the outdoors don’t have to go far to find even more green space, golf, or hiking to enjoy. 

Newmarket has undergone tremendous modernization to become the city it is today, but in many ways not much has changed. It’s still a relatively quiet place to live, work, and raise a family without being too far away from it all. 

Buying or Selling Real Estate In Newmarket?

Are you considering moving to Newmarket or perhaps relocating within the city? 

Get expert real estate advice from Frank Leo & Associates to plan your next real estate move. With decades of experience buying & selling real estate in the Greater Toronto Area as well as a million-dollar marketing system to get your property sold GUARANTEED, we’re here to help no matter what your real estate venture may be. 

Contact one of our representatives for help finding your dream home, browse current listings in Newmarket, or get started selling with Frank Leo & Associates by claiming your FREE home evaluation right now

Toronto neighbourhood profile Parkdale

Parkdale Toronto Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates: Compiled From Years of Experience Buying & Selling Real Estate in Toronto & The GTA

Toronto’s vibrant Parkdale neighbourhood is packed with different cultures, highly-walkable streets, and a range of Victorian and Georgian Revival homes. It exemplifies the Canadian experience with a modern population living among heritage buildings, all served by chic local shops, restaurants, boutiques, and art spaces.

Explore one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods with our neighbourhood guide, covering the area’s history, current culture, and what it’s like to live, work and play in this part of our fair city. 

Have real estate questions about Parkdale? If you’re thinking of buying or selling property in the area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for guidance, advice, or top representation. 

The History of Toronto’s Parkdale Neighbourhood

While the Village of Parkdale was officially founded in 1879 the area was already settled much earlier. As with many of Toronto neighbourhoods, the land that makes up Parkdale began as private property owned by an individual, in this case Sir James Brock. 

In 1812 Brock received 240 acres of land which stretched from Queen St. to Jameson at the west and Dufferin to the east, all as part of his salary for service as private secretary to the lieutenant governor. 

Although Brock himself moved away to Kingston shortly after receiving the land and not making any improvements, it was sold promptly after his death in 1830 and subdivided. Much of that land would become collectively known as Parkdale, but for decades the separate parcels were privately owned or treated as small villages – as in the case of Brockton Village, today’s modern day neighbourhood by the same name. 

By the late 19th century, both the Parkdale Railway station and the Grand Trunk Railway Stations were open and providing multiple points of entry along the east-west axis. Along with this boom in accessibility a corresponding boom in population would come soon after that. 

Although the village had to fight to be recognized as such with only 783 residents, it wouldn’t be long before Village council passed a bylaw to be Annexed by the City of Toronto which was already taking up all the land around it. The village was facing opposition from other municipal bodies which disagreed with its status as an independent entity within the ever-widening boundaries of Toronto. 

In March 1889, Parkdale Village was officially Annexed by the City of Toronto and dubbed “St. Alban’s Ward.” When the name “Parkdale” returned to local railway signage following reorganization of the the different lines and systems, so too returned the long forgotten name which we use to this day. 

Today’s Parkdale 

Butting up against the city’s downtown core, Parkdale is predominantly residential. More specifically, it’s filled with single-family and semi-detached homes, although it’s cut through by several main thoroughfares which include shops, restaurants, and other businesses.

It’s far enough away from the downtown core to not be dominated by towering condo towers yet close enough to have the always-active vibrance only a mega-city like Toronto can offer. 

If you happen down one of the residential streets you’ll notice that the homes are of an older variety, some dating as far back as the 19th century. Since the neighbourhood was an upper-scale suburb at the turn of the 1800’s, many of the homes were quite upscale and had to be converted into multi-use residences in order to accommodate the growing population of the city.

Equally old are some of the trees which line the streets and give them shade along with a sense of domesticity and small-town comfort. Look out for Georgian Revival and Victorian architecture, sometimes even with original gas lights. 

Given the high demand for housing in Parkdale, many of the homes are multi-unit properties to meet the demand. That makes for a larger population of renters compared with the rest of the city. A few swatches of the city have even been repurposed for high rise apartment buildings.

Thinking of moving to Parkdale? Get in touch with one of our team members to plan the sale or purchase of any property in Toronto and take advantage of decades of local real estate expertise.

Parks & Green space in Parkdale

For a neighbourhood with the word “Park” in its title, one would think green space were plentiful. That does not happen to be the case. Parkdale has less parkland per resident than other neighbourhoods. 

Due to the early settlement of this section of Toronto and the type of residents, city planners were more concerned with getting enough homes in the area and not so much with providing adequate green space. After all, many of the owners of the local mansions had country houses or easy access to the countryside.

To address this lack of parks in a time when apartment buildings were being added to the neighbourhood, the city built several parkettes since the 1960s. 

The neighbourhood does technically include the stretch of waterfront between Roncesvalles and Dufferin Streets, though access requires pedestrians to cross the Gardiner Expressway by 1 of 2 pedestrian paths. 

Regardless, it’s a convenient way to access the Martin Goodman trail and connect with other parts of the lakeshore. 

Commerce In Parkdale

Parkdale’s primary commercial space is Toronto’s famous Queen St. West, a primary thoroughfare which has been used for commerce and transportation since Toronto’s early days. Whereas this stretch of Queen was once a place where household wares were sold it’s now mostly serving the local community with bars, restaurants, local shops, and living up to the street’s bohemian reputation with art galleries and atelier spaces. 

Few large businesses function in the area. That’s partly because of the residential nature of the community and partly because larger commercial development is prevented by the heritage status of many buildings. 

Parkdale By The Numbers

Unsurprisingly for a downtown Toronto neighbourhood, Parkdale is mixed in terms of both ethnicity and income. However, regardless of people’s backgrounds, most residents are renters and that proportion continues to grow. 

Despite its diversity, Parkdale does have a disproportionate number of Torontonians falling in the lower-income bracket. Part of the reason for Parkdale’s low income status can be attributed to the abundance of rental properties in such a good location. Those factors can make it a great prospect for immigrant families, many of whom call the area home.

The bohemian vibe of Queen St. W. also draws many artists and creative types who enrich the neighbourhood in different ways. Some of those ways can be seen in the street art murals which adorn the various walls and buildings in the area. 

Transportation in Parkdale

Owing to its centralized Toronto location, Parkdale is exceptionally accessible. Much of the convenience of getting around is provided by the main Queen St. W. thoroughfare and the 501 streetcar route that follows it.

Local access to amenities is tremendous thanks to the highly-walkable side-streets and wide sidewalks. It’s an area designed to be enjoyed on foot, whether that means getting groceries, enjoying a coffee, or making one’s way to work. With a walk score of 82, it ranks among the most walkable neighbourhoods in the city. 

It’s not quite as bikeable, largely because of the heavy pedestrian traffic and the lack of bike lanes due to the streetcar route. Nonetheless, visitors will see local residents cycling as part of some of the more alternative lifestyles enjoyed by Parkdale’s residents. 

The neighbourhood is surrounded by heavier transportation infrastructure such as the Gardiner Expressway to the south and train tracks which border Parkdale in the north east.  

Regardless, it’s relatively convenient to access this transit corridor by car as long as you don’t mind waiting in a spot of traffic. 

Real Estate In Parkdale

Much of Parkdale’s real estate is commercial or mixed-use residential, although there’s no doubt there are some darling single-family homes available to the keen house hunter seeking to call the neighbourhood home. 

Because fully-detached homes are harder to come by in the area, they do sell at the higher range of the Toronto home-price spectrum. Parkdale’s proximity to downtown Toronto also contributes to this high price point. 

Owing to the zoning regulations high-rise condominium developments haven’t entered the area, leaving prospective property buyers with fewer ownership options. Fortunately, these regulations allow the neighbourhood to keep it’s village vibe and relatively low population density

More About Parkdale

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You can also browse and filter all the different types of properties available in the parkdale using the communities section of our website.

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Toronto nieghbourhood profile danforth village

Danforth Village Toronto Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

Welcome To Danforth East, East York’s Village in a City

East Danforth, also known as Danforth Village or “The Danny”, is a burgeoning neighbourhood in the east end of Toronto. While the abundance of open green spaces is a refreshing recreational reprieve for its residents, the rustic retro brick buildings from the Massey Estate and casual functional architecture from the interwar period is of heritage value. 

The area, extending from the eastern boundary of Greektown by Greenwood Avenue to the periphery of Scarborough at Victoria Park Avenue, was once part of the municipal township of York County before being annexed and then amalgamated into what is presently known as the City of Toronto. 

Strategic public investments in infrastructure like transit, housing and community services have led to Danforth Village’s urban renewal. Transitioned from its agro-industrial origins and suburban reputation, the area is now a multicultural patchwork with its own identity and charm. Danforth Village has a wealth of quaint single-family homes both detached and semis, in addition to its newly developed condos and apartments that border the quiet tree-lined streets all just steps away from incredible dining, shopping and leisure experiences. 

Golf at Dentonia Park Golf Course with your neighbours or appreciate fresh produce and artisan goods while strolling through the lively farmers’ market in East Lynn Park alongside your family. Hike and cycle through the network of trails at Taylor Creek Park or enjoy the charming boutiques and socialize at the bustling outdoor cafes along the vibrant pedestrian path of the commercial street. This welcoming neighbourhood is ideal for families and young professionals interested in integrating big city living with small town appeal.

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History of Danforth Village

From Coleman’s Corners to Little York, a look into the east end of the Danforth’s history provides a chronology of development and boom that has led from its era as an electric village to that of a friendly cultural mosaic of commercial and retail spaces. In the 1870s, the intersection of Danforth and Dawes was referred to as Coleman’s Corners when Charles Coleman, a hotel owner in the area, was first appointed to Postmaster and responsible for the receiving, sorting and sending of mail in the village. The Grand Trunk Railway was constructed in the mid-19th century, along with the establishment of a train station in East Toronto. 

In fact, some of the original rail lines from this time are currently used by the GO Transit and VIA Rail Networks. The area was renamed “Little York”, of which you can still find traces. From the bay and gable Victorian houses of the Massey Goulding farm residences and the Gothic Revival architecture of the Charles Taylor Estate, to the modest brick homes for railways workers on Coleman Ave and the steam powered grist mill of Gooderham & Worts. 

The former remote area of Danforth East soon became industrialized along the east bank of the Don Valley. While its rich clay deposits were exploited for brick-making, its unserviced land was settled by a thriving population of newly arrived immigrants who continue to put down roots here to this day. 

Named after Asa Danforth, an American contractor, Danforth Village soon flourished after major transportation improvements were made. The completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct in 1918, the streetcar line along Broadview Ave from Queen St East to the corner of Danforth Ave and the opening of the Bloor – Danforth subway in 1966 connected the populous metropolitan (city) to the extended “streetcar suburbs” (village). 

As a result, Danforth East is now home to Italian, Greek, Irish, Moroccan, Chinese, Afghani, Caribbean, Pakistani and Ethiopian cultures. This new microeconomy provides ample authentic retail, restaurant, and cafe options along the main Danforth thoroughfare, while also attracting pedestrian traffic and encouraging active engagement in the now vibrantly diverse community where residents can live, work and play. 

Thinking of buying property in Danforth’s East End? Get help finding the perfect property from Frank Leo & Associates, a team with decades of experience in Toronto’s real estate industry. You can also browse current Danforth real estate listings.

Landmarks & Notable Features

Taylor-Massey Creek Park

Named after two prominent Toronto families, the Taylors of the Don Valley Brick Works and the Masseys of the Canadian farm equipment manufacturing company, Massey-Ferguson, the creek provides sizable open green space in the form of paved and dirt recreational trails for City of Toronto residents. 

Children’s Peace Theatre

Children’s Peace Theatre is located in the Goulding Estate, a heritage property on Dawes Road that was once the primary residence of Canada’s first major industrialist. It operates year-round to provide collaborative and artistic programs and projects to children and youth of all ages in an effort to raise awareness about peace methods. 

The house, which was once located on the family’s 240 acres of farmland, is architecturally significant as it was designed by the notable Canadian architect Ferdinand Marani. The mansion is often referred to as the Garden of Eden because of “British-born, Toronto-made” Eden Smith’s influence on the cottage-like style. 

Dentonia Park

A large park packed with fields for soccer, baseball, and even cricket as well as a clubhouse and walking trails, Dentonia Park is situated on what was once farmer’s fields. These days it serves as a place to experience the outdoors for the area’s residents and will be recognized by many as the location where the Bloor-Danforth Subway line descends underground after Victoria Park Station. 

Things To Do In Danforth East

Enjoy Nature at Taylor Creek

Flowing through Scarborough and East York before entering the Don River, the creek offers a well maintained respite from the hustle and bustle of city living. The cascading river, assorted tall trees and savage wildlife emanates an enchanting feel of serenity. Regardless of the season, this accessible network of trails is a great place for residents passionate about the outdoors. Here you can walk with your family and/or pets, train for endurance sports like running, biking or cross country skiing, host a private and/or community barbecue and sit on one of the many benches to bask in the surrounding natural beauty of Danforth Village’s hidden oasis. 

Go Green with East Lynn Park’s Farmers Market 

Danforth East residents can take pleasure in the fresh selection of local produce and artisanal goods, as well as family-friendly entertainment every Thursday from 3 to 7pm at East Lynn Park, located on Danforth Avenue at Woodbine Avenue. The Danforth East Community Association (DECA) continues to offer opportunities for neighbours and local families to congregate with monthly festivals and children’s events like their strawberry social, movie nights, arts fair, corn broil, pumpkin parade and fall harvest festival. 

Hit A Few Balls At Dentonia Park Golf Course

A hidden gem in the heart of the city and conveniently located at Victoria Park and Danforth Avenue, just steps away from the subway station, this well kept short-game circuit offers an 18 hole irons-only par three golf course on part of the original Massey Farm lands that is perfect for beginner and pro alike. 

Danforth Avenue

From the nostalgic smells of warm bread baking to the aromas and spices of the myriad ethnic shops which line the street, Danforth Village residents can enjoy the specialty food stores as well as “ma and pa” businesses on the neighbourhood’s main street. Although it’s no Greektown or Queen St. W., there’s a certain no-frills appeal to a commercial part of the city without the fuss. 

Real Estate In Danforth Village

Since Danforth Village began as a farming community with large swaths of land with a relatively low population density it should come as no surprise that today’s Danforth Village residents continue to enjoy a fair amount of breathing room. 

Real estate in the East-end Danforth neighbourhood may not be luxurious, but there’s a range of property types to serve everyone from young families and couples to single real estate investors looking to get a leg up in the real estate market. 

Fully-detached homes abound, many with generously sized lots. Even more prevalent are semi-detached homes connected to rear laneways for garage and parking access. Finally, the large apartment complexes around primary intersections like Main St. & Danforth Ave. make the area an attractive place to settle for immigrants of all kinds. 

With terrific connection to the rest of the city via the Bloor-Danforth Subway line and the 512 Streetcar route leaving Main St. station, it’s no surprise that the area is quickly gaining popularity for prospective home buyers. 

Working With Frank Leo & Associates

Thinking of buying or selling property in Danforth Village? Work with Frank Leo & Associates to get the city’s top real estate team on your side. You can get started by contacting us with questions or claiming your free, no-obligation home evaluation

As always, we’re available for any questions you may have so don’t hesitate to reach out through or website or via social media

An image of a person at a computer used as the featured image for how selling too fast without the right marketing can cost you

How Selling Your Home Too Fast Can Cost You. Don’t Sell Without the Right Marketing!

How Selling Your Home Too Fast Can Cost You. Don’t Sell Without the Right Marketing!

Everyone wants to sell their homes for top dollar. Not everyone succeeds. 

The good news? It’s absolutely possible as long as you don’t make the mistake of selling too fast without proper marketing. 

Selling quickly can seem like such an important goal that it’s easy to forget that without the right marketing, you could be missing out on tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on the sale of your property. 

In this article you’ll find the insights that Frank Leo and Associates has garnered over decades selling thousands of homes in Toronto & The GTA fast and for top dollar. We’ll cover why marketing effectively is important and how it’s done. 

Considering selling your property in Toronto or The GTA? Sell your home for top dollar value guaranteed with Frank Leo & Associates. All it takes to get started is a FREE home evaluation

Why Just Selling Fast Isn’t Enough

Anyone can sell a house quickly by setting the price low enough. However, it takes a top real estate agent with a good strategy to sell quickly and  for top dollar.

Focusing on finding any buyer quickly leaves money on the table because there’s a great likelihood  that other more ideal buyers would be willing to pay a higher price if they are not being reached or aware of the property being available.

It all comes down to far reaching marketing to find the ideal qualified buyers who are interested in the property in question and understand and appreciate its highest value. 

What is “Marketing” When It Comes To Selling Fast and for Top Dollar?

At Frank Leo & Associates we use a Guaranteed Home Selling System the ensures homes will sell quickly for top dollar. We’ve created this multi-million dollar marketing system over years working in the Toronto real estate market. 

Below we’ll cover the marketing techniques we use to sell property fast for top dollar and why you could be missing out on profit for your home sale homesale.

Starting With A Home Evaluation Consultation 

To get top dollar for your home, you need to have a strategy. At the core of that strategy is an understanding of your home’s market value to the ideal buyer. 

Knowing the market value enables a seller to advertise the home to qualified buyers who are interested in that type of property and able to afford it. 

For example, advertising a million dollar home to a young family looking for a starter home isn’t likely toget you the best result. 

Interested in finding out how much your property is worth? Contact us or claim a FREE home evaluation carried out by professionals with decades of experience in the Toronto & GTA real estate market. 

Photographing the Home 

Presentation is critical to advertising any product, and property is no exception. In today’s market most people will first see your home in photographs or video – whether that’s on social media, a multiple listing service (MLS), or through other internet digital channels. 

According to a recent National Association of Realtors study, 99% of Millennials, 90% of Older Boomers, and 70% of the Silent Generation are searching online for property. 

It’s important to have the home looking its best and photographed professionally to make this first impression a strong one. There are numerous tricks of the trade and details that may not be clear to the layman’s eye when it comes to capturing the strengths of a property to make it look its best. 

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the different visuals listings should have for effective marketing. 

Front Shot

Listings that don’t have a full-frontal shot showing off the property have slim chances of getting much engagement or interest. The exterior photo is an important demonstration of curb appeal and is an expected convention in the real estate industry. 

Interior Photos

All the primary rooms of a house should be photographed to give prospective buyers a sense of what it’s like to live there. The goal is to help buyers imagine their own lives in the property, to make them feel at home.  

Interior photos also bring up the question of home staging, or presenting your home in a way which makes it appealing to buyers. Having an eye for home preparation and staging is a skill in itself – another reason many home sellers choose to sell with an experienced real estate agent.

See our article about how home staging can help maximize profit for more tips on making prospective buyers feel at home when they see your property and appreciate it. 

Virtual Visits

Are included as part of our Guaranteed Home Selling System

These interactive virtual visits invite buyers into your home without the need for intrusive open houses, giving them a remote home-buying experience. 

Virtual visits let buyers investigate and see a property at their own pace and at their convenience. 

Nearly half of house hunters responding to a recent survey described virtual visits as “very useful.”

Thinking of selling in Toronto or The GTA? Frank Leo and AssociatesLeo can help apply some of the marketing know-how we’ve collected over the past 30 years to help you get top dollar value for your property. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help or get started directly with a free home evaluation

Using The Multiple Listing Service

Once a home has been property photographed, an agent creates a custom listing on the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. 

Although MLS is typically used primarily by agents and brokers, it’s an important part of home-selling process it is only one part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. 

24-Hour-A-Day Advertising 

So you have your home photographed and listed on MLS. Now what?

Just sitting back and waiting for something  to come in isn’t a practical strategy for getting top dollar in a short time frame. 

That’s why Frank Leo & Associates employ a multi-million dollar marketing system that advertises each home listing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the property is sold. 

This constant targeted advertising should take a variety of forms if you’re going to get your property sold for top dollar and in a short period of time. 

In a major metropolitan area of the GTA’s size, there’s always someone out there searching for a property – and we’re there to meet them with a property that fits their needs. 

Explosive Digital Marketing

Increasingly important in the digital age, digital marketing is a big component of today’s real estate industry. With more and more consumers turning to their devices for customer service and information, a strong presence online will help sellers reach the right audience at the right time. 

A digital presence involves being active on social media, advertising listings across channels, leveraging email marketing, banner ads, geo and profile targeting plus much more. 

At Frank Leo & Associates we pride ourselves on placing properties in front of more ideal buyers at the right time, resulting in astounding results like selling a Toronto home for $1 million over asking.

Take a glance at the Team Leo Facebook page, LinkedIn, or Instagram and you’ll find examples of how we market listings. You’ll also see plenty of examples of listings we sold quickly for top dollar, all thanks to our multi-million dollar marketing system. 

Doing Traditional Advertising in Newspapers, Magazines, Flyers, Radio, TV, Outdoors, and More

In addition to digital advertising, we invest millions in advertising our brand across most traditional media – from out of door billboards to radio and TV spots. 

It’s all part of our Guaranteed Home Selling System and making sure both home buyers and sellers understand that Team Leo has them covered when it comes to real estate services. 

Being top-of-mind has helped our team achieve accolades like the #1 RE/MAX Team in Toronto & The GTA.*

There’s No Need For  An Open House 

DON’T hold an open house!

That may seem like curious advice in an article about how failing to market your home effectively can cost you, but open houses are a marketing tactic from a different time.

The sale process is totally different today.

It may come as a surprise that hardly any buyers learn about the home they eventually buy from an open house.

Considering that an open house is a standard marketing tactic that is practically assumed in most real estate offerings, it’s remarkably ineffective.

Simply put, open houses don’t do much in the way of finding qualified buyers for your property. They actually cost practically nothing to do. In fact, many agents use them to increase their network and meet buyers to whom they can then sell other properties. 

Selling Your Property in Toronto or The GTA

As you can see, marketing a home is a crucial part of selling. No other realtor invests as much to market your property as Frank Leo and Associates. A private seller’s wouldn’t have the time or the resources to sell a property effectively. Not to mention the lack of an effective marketing campaign required to sell a home quickly for top dollar value. How much would you lose by cutting marketing corners? 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions about selling your property or any inquiries about our Guaranteed Home Selling System

Other Articles You May Be Interested In…

How To Find The Best Real Estate Agent For You in Toronto & The GTA

Your Guide to Enhancing Your Home’s Curb Appeal When Selling

Why Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent Matter

An image of roncesvalles ave in Toronto overlaid with the Text "Toronto Neighbourhood Profile: Roncesvalles"

Roncesvalles Toronto Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

Click on one of the headings in the table of contents to jump directly to that section. 

Introduction

History of Roncesvalles

Landmarks & Notable Features

Things To Do In Roncesvalles

Public Transportation

Meet The Neighbours

Local Culture

Real Estate In Roncesvalles

Geography

Residential Amenities

Employment

Walkability

Greenspace

Dog Parks

Welcome To Roncesvalles

Known locally as “Roncy” or “Roncesvalles Village,” this predominantly residential area in the city’s west side has a firm spot among Toronto’s most well-known neighbourhoods. Taking its name from the long commercial thoroughfare which runs north-south through its centre, Roncesvalles is conveniently located, filled with residential amenities, and has plenty of local history. 

It has a reputation for being the centre of the Polish community in Toronto, and although prominent Polish businesses and other institutions can still be found in Roncesvalles the community is not as densely Polish as it once was. However, you can still experience the Polish heritage while the Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area hold their International Polish Festival.

In this neighbourhood guide on Roncesvalles we’ll start with the history of the neighbourhood and how it came to be what it is today then move onto what life is like for its residents. 

Have questions about Roncesvalles?  Considering buying or selling property in the area? Reach out to one of our team members with any questions or get a FREE home evaluation to see what you could expect to get for your property. 

History of Roncesvalles

Before Roncesvalles was settled, Toronto’s boundary was Dufferin St.. Although the Dufferin region was sparsely populated, a small village had sprang up along Dundas towards Ossington. Since Dundas St. was the first major highway going west from Toronto, it served as a natural location for settlement.  

This village gradually amalgamated with 2 settlements further west in the modern day High Park / Roncesvalles area which started as farm lots given to prominent Toronto families – The Ridout family and John George Howard, the 1st professional architect in Toronto. Since the men worked in the city, much of their land remained unfarmed, resulting in the intact natural beauty seen in High Park today. 

The area was originally called Howard Park after the architect who owned it. Although his name is gone from the map his legacy lives on in Colborne Lodge, the cottage he built in 1837, which remains in High Park as a historical museum to this day. 

A memory of indigenous presence exists in Roncesvalles in the form of Indian Rd., a street which is named after a trail running through the region that was thought to have been an ancient Mississauga Indian path leading north from Lake Ontario. 

By 1850, much of the land North of Queen St. was acquired by Colonel Walter O’Hara, a former British soldier who immigrated to Canada. It was also O’Hara who gave the neighbourhood and many of its streets their names. 

The name Roncesvalles itself comes from the Roncesvalles Gorge in Northern Spain where O’Hara had been wounded and captured by the French. Toronto was already taking on a multinational identity with a Spanish name given by an Irishman courtesy of the French. 

Although the neighbourhood’s name may be Spanish, the street names are far from it. O’Hara hailed from Ireland and bestowed the names of his Irish family members to the city’s growing number of streets. Among them you’ll find O’Hara, Constance, Sorauren, Marion, and Fermanaugh, the Northern-Irish province the O’Hara clan comes from. 

Present day Roncesvalles is really a product of the street-car which came to the neighbourhood in the early 1900’s. With viable public transport, the area quickly became a recognized family neighbourhood. Nearby industry provided employment for the mostly British immigrants, and community life was largely built around the landmark St.Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church. 

It wasn’t until the end of the Second World War that Roncesvalles would get the Eastern European charm and character for which it known. An influx of immigrants, mostly Polish, settled and built their own church St. Casimir’s after a Polish patriot and early settler of Toronto who was instrumental in building Toronto’s road and railway infrastructure. 

Landmarks & Notable Features

Roncesvalles Ave. 

The major North-South promenade and commercial hub of the neighbourhood, which shares its name, Roncesvalles Ave. is an iconic fixture of Toronto’s West End. On weekends this street is filled with pedestrians strolling and enjoying the area with a vibe not unlike what you would find in The Beaches or Queen St. West. Further north near Bloor St. is the street’s commercial centre while the southern part of Roncesvalles Ave. is predominantly residential, giving it a more balanced feeling than some of the city’s other pedestrian thoroughfares.  

St. Casimir’s Polish Church

Following the influx of new Polish families settling in west Toronto following WWII, the local Polish community immediately identified the need for a place of worship in Roncesvalles. By 1948, the land for St. Casimir’s was purchased and not long after that the church was ready. It takes its name from Casimir Gzowski, a Polish-Canadian patriot, and continues to serve Toronto’s Polish community. 

Revue Cinema 

The Revue Cinema is Toronto’s oldest operational cinema. Built over a century ago during the theatre building boom, it ran for years as a regular cinema before serving as a repertory cinema from the 80’s onwards. Due to the rise of personal media players, the owners could no longer sustain the business and it closed in 2006. Fortunately, two community members bought this piece of Toronto’s heritage and endowed it to the Revue Film Society who run it as a non-profit. Although Toronto has plenty to offer residents with both TIFF and Hot Docs, no self-respecting Toronto film buff should miss this true piece of cinema history in our city. 

High Park

The “Central Park of the North” serves residents from all over the city, especially in the summer months or during the annual blossom bloom which brings droves of Instagram users hungry for that perfect shot. It’s a perfect place for practically any outdoor activity, from taking a break from the sights of the city to playing sports or even catching Shakespeare in the Park. There’s really too much going on in High Park to list, especially since it’s not technically even in Roncesvalles!

St. Joseph’s Health Centre

An iconic building on the waterfront, St. Joseph’s is a large Catholic Teaching hospital which marks the beginning of both Queen St. going east and Roncesvalles going north. The story of how the hospital came to be is an interesting one, with the land first being used as the Sacred Heart Orphanage which opted to convert part of it’s space to a hospital in order to stop the city from expropriating its land for use as a high school. The city still got its high school further north by Bloor St., but now residents also have access to a full-service hospital.  

St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church

Although it is also a Roman Catholic Church, St. Vincent de Paul predates St. Casimir’s Church yet has a remarkably similar story. Following the 1st large wave of non-British immigration to Toronto in the early 20th Century, there were enough Catholics in the city to warrant a parish in the western part of the city. With a more imposing facade than its Polish “child parish” St. Vincent de Paul is one of the preeminent landmarks along Roncesvalles Ave. as well as one of the most recognizable historical buildings in the area. 

High Park Branch of the Toronto Public Library 

As one of Toronto’s Carnegie Libraries, the High Park Branch of The Toronto Public Library features an architectural style which will be familiar to many Torontonians. In service for over 100 years, the library has been remodelled and expanded to better serve the needs of Toronto’s growing population. Today it not only serves as a local landmark and piece of Toronto’s heritage but offers community programs, a large library catalogue, and the city’s largest public collection of Polish-language library books.  

Pope John Paul II Statue

Universally revered and practically venerated in the Polish community, Pope John Paul II has a unique place in the hearts and minds of Polish-Canadians. To commemorate the Pope’s 1st visit to Canada in 1984, the statue was erected by the Polish community in front of what is now the Polish Credit Union. 

Roncesvalles Carhouse

The oldest of the TTC’s active carhouses, the Roncesvalles TTC Maintenance Facility services the city’s busy streetcars on numerous routes. It’s fitting that the carhouse is located at the nexus of some of the city’s busiest routes – the 501 Queen St. and 504 King St. routes. The facility’s history is long and intricate, but it started its service life as a Toronto Railway Company service centre before being taken over by the then-new TTC in 1921. 

Jami Mosque Toronto

In a neighbourhood seemingly dominated by Roman Catholic heritage and culture, there’s still plenty of room for a Mosque. Jami Mosque’s status as the oldest Canadian Islamic Centre in the city has earned it the title, “mother of all the mosques in Toronto.” Curiously, the building began as a Presbyterian Church before it was purchased in 1969 by a small and predominantly Balkan muslim community to be converted into a mosque. 

Things to Do in Roncesvalles

Take A Stroll Down Roncesvalles

There’s always something happening on Roncesvalles Ave. Its reputation as a pedestrian thoroughfare brings people from all over the city to peruse the local fare. Watch the street life from a patio, try one of the authentic local restaurants, or just grab a coffee on your way to the park or beach. 

Go Visit High Park

There’s something happening and something to do at High Park year round. It truly has the diversity of activities befitting a world-class city like Toronto. Picnicking, birding, biking, playing sports, visiting the zoo – there’s really too much to list. You can visit the High Park website for  more details of what to do, but one activity that definitely stands out is the annual Sakura Bloom which brings droves of amateur photographers, Instagrammers, and nature enthusiasts to overrun the park. If you’re going to go, be prepared for the crowds. 

Hit The Beach!

It may not hold a candle to Woodbine Beach in the city’s east end but for a major metropolitan area, Sunnyside Beach is a terrific place to go out and enjoy the outdoors. Located at the foot of Roncesvalles Ave. you’ll find a stretch of sandy beach as well as parkland spanning several kilometers. There’s plenty to do other than merely enjoy the outdoors, too. With an outdoor pool, tennis club, paddleboard rental, and more, there’s no shortage of excitement by the water. 

Check Out Sorauren Avenue Park + Gallery 345

Sorauren Park may be modest in comparison to High Park’s rolling expanse, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in local charm and culture. It’s much more of a local spot and it’s great for a light stroll or a more active outing. There are public tennis courts, a soccer pitch, and a baseball diamond if more organized sports are your thing, but you can also see if anything is on at the adjacent Gallery 345, a local arts gallery and culture venue that usually has a static exhibition in addition to performances and events. 

Check Out Colborne Lodge

If history is your thing, John Howard’s former cottage-turned-museum is for you. After the architect’s death in 1890, the became property of the city which eventually turned it into a museum. There is a small entry fee, but for a few dollars you can explore the world of 19th century technology, innovation, urban planning, science, and design right where it all took place. 

Visit The Farmers Market

These days no residential neighbourhood seems complete without a farmers market. Luckily for Roncesvalles residents, Sorauren Farmers Market happens weekly at Sorauren Park – year round! Thanks to City of Toronto facilities, the market can run throughout the year, giving you a great excuse to get out of the house and access to over 20 great local vendors offering everything from fruit & veg to honey and even perogies. 

Catch a Movie At Revue Cinema 

Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles recaptures a time before movies theatres were corporate and only played new releases. This independent, non-profit movie house offers enough movies, talks, and special screenings to make a movie buff forget about TIFF. While it may be a great place to watch a classic film on the big screen, the Revue Cinema also offers access to a community of film lovers that’s getting increasingly hard to find offline these days. 

Annual Polish Festival 

Live music, dancing, entertainment, beer gardens, exhibitors, and of course, Perogies. What more could you ask for on a summer’s day in Roncesvalles? Find it all and more at Roncesvalles Annual Polish Festival. For a full weekend the avenue is closed to traffic and taken over by a street festival with something for everyone, whether that’s arts, culture, history, or food! Although it only happens once a year, you won’t want to miss this west-end festival if you love urban life. 

Public Transportation

While it may have been on the edge of Toronto just 100 years ago, now Roncesvalles is practically downtown and with such close proximity comes tremendous accessibility. Practically all urban transportation options are available to you in Roncesvalles: the highway, busses, streetcars, the subway, and even commuter trains. 

TTC Routes in Roncesvalles

No matter where you’re heading in the Greater Toronto Area, there’s probably a convenient way to get there from Roncesvalles. 

Keele and Dundas West Subway stations at the top of Roncesvalles make any destination along the Bloor-Danforth line just a short train ride away, not to mention granting access to the north-south Yonge-University Line just a few stops east. 

In terms of streetcars, 5 separate routes criss-cross Roncesvalles. To go east you can take 505 along Dundas, 506 along College, or the 501 & 504 along Queen & King, respectively. One of the more popular routes is the 504 King St. route which starts up at Dundas West station and runs down along Roncesvalles Ave. before cutting downtown. Since High Park poses a big obstacle for streetcar tracks going west, the only route in that direction is the 501 Queen Car which takes passengers all the way to Mississauga along the Lakeshore. 

Because of the extensive streetcar service in the neighbourhood, Roncesvalles has fewer bus routes than other parts of Toronto. The primary bus is Route 80 along Parkside Dr. which runs north-south along the eastern border of High Park. 

For a complete list of TTC options, consult the TTC Trip Planner.

Bloor GO Station

Servicing the Kitchener Line, Bloor GO Station is a nice addition to the available transit options for travellers leaving Toronto. With so many other options available, the GO Train isn’t too convenient for travelling within the city or even accessing other GO Trains. However, Torontonians travelling to Brampton, Guelph, Kitchener, or anywhere in between could certainly find value in Bloor GO Station.

Visit the GO Transit Website for details about schedules and route options.

Union-Pearson Express

The Bloor GO Station also grants commuters access to the Union-Pearson Express, direct-service train between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station. Drastically reducing the transit time from the city’s downtown to the airport, the UP Express is an amenity most neighbourhoods don’t offer. Trains typically run every 30 minutes, but you can find full itinerary details on the UP Express website.

Meet The Neighbours

Roncesvalles may be known as a historically Polish neighbourhood, but these days the area is far more diverse when it comes to culture and demographics. 

Demographics

Historically a neighbourhood for working-class families, Roncesvalles remains a predominantly residential neighbourhood largely populated by families and young professionals. 

The latest census data lists a population of just under 15,000 with about 10,000 people per square mile, giving the area a medium density for Toronto standards. This medium density is due in large part to the amount of single family homes and low-rise buildings in the neighbourhood.

Remarkably, the population decreased during the last census period by half a percent. That seems unthinkable considering the city’s population has been steadily increasing and was most recently assessed at 2.5%, but it seems that at least for the time being Roncesvalles is keeping its character.

In terms of resident age Roncesvalles sticks to the city’s trend pretty closely other than a considerably higher number of working aged people, though that’s likely due to the neighbourhood’s location and proximity to employment of all kinds. 

The families that call Roncesvalles home are predominantly middle class with a recorded median income of about $100,000. Out of these families only 30% are immigrants, considerably less than the city average of 50%. 

A majority of residents have completed higher education and the number of people without income or unemployed is decidedly lower than than in the rest of Toronto. 

As might be expected for a neighbourhood that’s so well connected by public transportation almost half of residents use TTC to commute to work, and fortunately for them only about 1/10th of commuters spend more than 1 hour getting there.  

Local Culture

Think of Roncesvalles as the popular residential area without the fuss. Compared with other well-known spots like The Beaches, Roncesvalles has a much tamer character. Sure, it can get busy, but there’s a lived-in quality to the area that makes being there feel more personal than you might amid the towering condos of Yonge St. 

Another key factor in creating this more laid-back vibe is the extraordinary walk-ability. People can and do get by quite comfortably without cars or even public transportation. Getting between the main commercial strip, home, and local parks is not only possible but enjoyable when done by foot, creating a welcome change from the status quo of urban life. 

Real Estate In Roncesvalles

Real Estate in Roncesvalles is predominantly ground-based property like townhomes, semi-, and fully-detached homes. The condo boom that’s taking over other parts of the city hasn’t made its mark, partly because of the many historic structures in the area. 

Along Bloor St., Roncesvalles Ave., and Dundas Ave. you’ll find high-density housing and mixed use buildings, but the majority of Roncesvalles Village is covered in low-density housing. 

The types of homes you’ll find here will be familiar to anyone who has visited an older neighbourhood in Ontario. Between Parkside and Roncesvalles is packed with historic homes, old-growth trees, and plenty of local character. This section of the neighbourhood has the most high-end real estate due to its proximity to the park, seclusion from the hustle and bustle of the city, and gorgeous selection of detached properties. 

East of Roncesvalles contains a nice residential pocket as well, although property values tend to be slightly lower. As one of Toronto’s older neighbourhoods, Roncesvalles isn’t home to many post-war type homes. Most of the recent development is along the main thoroughfares where commercial real estate was needed. 

Thinking of buying or selling in Roncesvalles? Whether you’re curious about getting into the Toronto Real Estate market or have questions which require qualified advice, Team Leo can help you get started on your real estate journey. Get in touch with one of our agents or claim a FREE home evaluation to get started. 

Geography

There’s no stand out geographic feature which defines Roncesvalles aside from the avenue which gives the neighbourhood it’s name. 

Western Roncesvalles Village slopes gently towards the water, especially along Parkside Dr., but the eastern half is more level. The neighbourhood’s eastern border is defined by train tracks which separate it from Little Portugal while High Park meets it on the west.  

With the Lakeshore within walking distance of almost any point in the area, Roncesvalles may not be a lakefront neighbourhood but getting down to the water is convenient. 

Residential Amenities

Parkdale Community Recreation Centre (Local Community Centre)

Although designated under a different name, Parkdale community centre falls within Roncesvalles’ boundaries and provides residents with the full suite of recreational facilities one can expect from a public rec centre. 

That includes an indoor pool, 2 gymnasiums, and several multipurpose rooms. On top of that, the facility runs both registered and drop-in programs for kids and adults who want to take part in sport, arts, or camps. 

High Park Club 

Curling facilities can be hard to come by in the big city, but if it’s your sport you can do it at the High Park Club. This historic building has been serving the community for over 100 years and offers some of the best ice in the city. There are also grass tennis courts available during the warmer seasons. 

Sorauren Farmers Market

Farm-fresh food and goods are brought right into the heart of Roncesvalles each week of the year at the Sorauren Farmers Market. The organization also puts together events, workshops, live music, and more. Find a full list of vendors and updates on the Sorauren Farmers Market website.

Park Place LINC Centre

Adult learning can be a worthwhile experience at any stage of life. The LINC Centre offers courses for language learners who are new to Ontario. Run by the Toronto Catholic District Schoolboard,the LINC Centre offers programs for all skill levels and all you need to get started is to take a language assessment test. 

Libraries

Toronto Public Library High Park Branch is another of Toronto’s Carnegie Libraries, and as such is nearly identical to the Wychwood and Beaches libraries. Opened in 1916, the library is listed on Toronto’s Register of Historic Properties but continues to serve the public thanks to a renovation in the late 1970’s. 

Today, you can find a respectable catalogue on site as well as regular programs for adults and children. Given Roncesvalles’ nature as a family neighbourhood, much of the regular programming at the library is for young children and parents, though programs for seniors are also offered. 

Additional library resources include a large Polish Language collection to serve the historically polish neighbourhood as well as meeting rooms available for public booking

Schools & Education

As a well-established family neighbourhood, Roncesvalles unsurprisingly has numerous public and private schools as well as supplementary educational resources and preschools. 

Elementary Schools

Garden Avenue Junior Public School, 225 Garden Ave., (416) 393-9165

Mary, Mother of God School, 1515 Queen St W., (416) 531-7897

Howard Junior Public School, 30 Marmaduke St., (416) 393-9255

Westminster Classic Christian Academy, 9 Hewitt Ave., (416) 466-8819

Fern Avenue Junior & Senior Public School, 128 Fern Ave., (416) 393-9130

Catholic Schools

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, 116 Fermanagh Ave., (416) 393-5227

Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School, 1515 Bloor St W, Toronto, (416) 393-5545

Secondary Schools

West Park Secondary School, 1515 Bloor St W., (416) 393-0320

Adult Schools

Park Place LINC Centre, 2299 Dundas St W. Theatre, (416) 397-6593

Childcare & Private Schools

The Artful Child, 214 Wright Ave., (416) 970-9004 

High Park Gardens Montessori School, 35 High Park Gardens, (416) 763-6097

Odyssey Montessori School, 136 Sorauren Ave, (416) 535-9402

Employment

Similar to most residential neighbourhoods that are peripheral to the downtown core, most employment opportunities in the area result from the businesses which serve residents and visitors. 

As a largely pedestrian-oriented location most of the businesses in the area offer service jobs, although there are some small businesses offering professional services around Bloor St. or Queen St. 

Many of the residents seeking gainful employment turn to commuting either to the downtown or to other parts of the city. 

Walkability

Roncesvalles is remarkably walkable. With a walkability score of 91 there’s really no definite need to own a car if you live here. If you do need transportation, the local transit is exceptional even for Toronto’s standards. 

Perhaps the neighbourhood’s only accessibility shortcoming is it’s bikeability, which only comes in at 64. The streetcar tracks on Roncesvalles make bike lanes impractical going to show that you can’t have it all, unfortunately. 

Green Space

Green space may not be abundant in Roncesvalles itself, but just at the neighbourhood’s borders you’ll find numerous places to enjoy the outdoors. We’ll cover the local greenspace first, then fill you in on parks in the immediate vicinity.

Sorauren Ave. Park

The largest park in Roncesvalles Village, Sorauren has sports facilities, a farmers market, and is the site of a soon-to-be-completed community centre. Good for a stroll or some good old-fashioned relaxation, Sorauren Park serves the eastern have of the neighbourhood who have to far to go to High Park. 

Charles G. Williams Park

Just south of Sorauren, this park is made up mostly of playground space for kids along with a winding path south that can extend your walk around Sorauren park by a few meters. 

West Lodge Park

Located just east of Sorauren Park, the defining characteristic of this greenspace is the skatepark which dominates most of its surface area. 

Albert Crosland Park

A small L-shaped park just north of Queen St., Albert Crosland may not have much to offer in terms of space but it does offer a break from the city next to one of Toronto’s busiest streets. It even has a wading pool for families with young children to enjoy.

High Park 

While it’s not strictly within the neighbourhood, High Park might as well be for how close it is. Bordering the western side of Roncesvalles, High Park requires no introduction to any Torontonian. It’s a great place to go year round for recreation of all kinds. 

Parkettes in Roncesvalles

Scattered throughout the area you’ll find several parkettes that serve just fine as a place to stretch the legs or walk the dog but just don’t have the space to offer proper park-like amenities. However, with High Park so close by it’s hard to complain. 

Dog Parks

Sorauren Dog Park is about the only off-leash dog park in Roncesvalles proper. Fortunately the dog park is well appointed with a ground surface designed for canines and plenty of space to play. 

For Dog owners seeking more greenspace for their canine companions, High Park is just west of the neighbourhood and has an off-leash park of its own. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Municipal Affairs & Housing : Flikr