A popular shopping and dining destination, Roncesvalles Village has undergone a major rebuilding of its main artery. Roncesvalles Avenue has been rebuilt over a course of two years. That period was extremely difficult for the store owners, residents and visitors alike.
Thankfully, the renovation has been completed. The sidewalks along Roncesvalles Avenue have been widened at the streetcar stops, allowing the passengers easy access - cars cannot pass the streetcar. Benches invite weary shoppers to rest, and new trees are protected by attractive metal surrounds.
Toronto's Roncesvalles Village is adjacent to the south High Park to the west and Parkdale to the east and south. The area is defined by Queen Street West, Roncesvalles Avenue, Dundas Street West, train tracks and Macdonell Avenue. North-east part of this area contains a number of old factory buildings, which are gradually being converted into lofts.
All east-west streets have one-way traffic, some of them with a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h. All streets are beautifully treed, and there is very little traffic noise.
Roncesvalles Village is a popular destination for home buyers. For several past years the area east of Roncesvalles Avenue grew in popularity, as young professionals moved in and more properties were renovated and modernized. By now many of the old homes acquired beautiful, modern interiors. Buyers who would once search in North Toronto find here residences that offer more space and equal sophistication.
The area was once frowned upon, and considered undesirable. Now no longer called a part of Parkdale, it became attractive as other, more established areas were growing out of mid-range prices and affordability became a major issue.
One-way streets, easy access to schools, transportation, parks and excellent shopping meant that moving-up buyers were more inclined to stay in their neighbourhood, purchasing larger homes, often on the same street.
Home style varies here from beautiful Victorian, sometimes with elaborate brickwork and detailed woodwork, through Edwardian, American Foursquare and some more recently built flat-roofed East-European residences, popular around 1950s. Old factories on Sorauren, Columbus and Dundas have been converted into trendy har loft condos. Majority of freehold homes in Roncesvalles Village are semi-detached residences either two, two and a half, or three storey high. Detached houses are mostly 2.5-storey, with a small number of 3-storey homes, and a handful of bungalows.
We watched the real estate price change as the popularity of this neighbourhood grew. While in the early 1990s it was rather unusual to see a house located east of Roncesvalles selling above $300,000, by 2006 it was rare to see a property sell below that price. It is not unusual now to see listing prices above $700,000 and we have even seen homes being listed and sold over one million.