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Roncesvalles Village Historical Society

Roncesvalles Village is truly one of the most vibrant and exciting neighbourhoods in all of Toronto.  Along with a rich variety of cultures, our community spirit is one that has shown incredible strength in determining the area’s face and future.
It became obvious that these qualities and actions should be recorded, as well as the community’s wonderful history - not only for interest’s sake but as a reference point so that we may continue making great decisions for our neighbourhood.

Our First Event:  A celebration of the founding of Sorauren Park (289 Sorauren Avenue in Toronto) on September 12, 2009 at 2 pm, with speakers former mayor Barbara Hall, school trustee Irene Atkinson and city councillor Gordon Perks.

TTC Parkdale Bus Barns around April 1955

It's hard to believe that this now well-used community-binding and neighbourhood-enhancing park was once slated to become a yard for municipal service vehicles such as garbage trucks and snow plows.  Roncesvalles Village Historical Society has put together the archive on this incredible story of over ten years of community action which saw the City finally relenting to establishing our now beloved Sorauren Park.

It was wonderful to be able to commemorate and acknowledge all those who had worked so hard for the life of the community, but it also dawned on us that Roncesvalles Village is now in a fight that mirrors the Sorauren Park battle…(Metrolinx diesel train issue).  What we can learn from our history!  You may watch some of this celebration at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXE418eYjb

      Sorauren Park Summer 2009    Pumpkin Parade 2009    Sorauren Park Winter 2009

Sorauren Park – Summer, Fall Pumpkin Parade and Winter - 2009

Second Event:  Growing Up on Roncesvalles (Before it was funky!) at the Roncesvalles High Park Library on January 12, 2010.

Writer and editor Andrew Borkowski provided a vivid personal account of growing up on Roncesvalles in the 70s when the neighbourhood was heavily Polish and less fashionable. He now lives in Riverdale but retains a lot of fond memories for the people and ethnic shops at the time. In addition, Roncesvalles will be featured one way or the other in some of the short stories that will be included in Andrew's first collection of short fiction in 2011. Turnout was great for what turned out to be an informative evening.

Roncesvalles & Queen Streets Roncesvalles and Queen, circa  1970's

Third Event - How to Research Your Home

How to research your home was the theme of Alec Keeper's talk on Feb. 23 at the monthly meeting of the RMRA in a joint event with the Roncesvalles Village Historical Society. President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, he provided a detailed history of homes in Parkdale, formerly a separate municipality until the 19th century, as well as the adjoining Brockton area. He provided the steps involved in researching one's house at the city archives and the Toronto Reference Library.

Future Projects/Events:

  • Time Capsule

We meet on the second Tuesday of every month at various locations around the neighborhood.

High Park Library High Park Library on Roncesvalles Avenue

And yes, we are always in need of volunteers.

To donate time, documents, archives materials or objects, please contact:
Paul Weinberg for further information at 416-533-2428 or paulweinberg@rogers.com