November 7, 2011

Favorite Neighborhoods: Roncesvalles Village, Toronto

I was visiting my mom on Sunday since she hadn't seen the squirt in a few weeks; and I took nap time as an opportunity to hop on the streetcar over to Roncesvalles Village for a couple of hours.  Thankfully, my mom has no problem with me taking off for some "me time".  I've gotta have it every week.

"Ronces" (as the locals call it), has been under construction for what feels like forever.  Businesses in the area have suffered greatly as for a time period of approximately 2 years, you could not drive down this street, only foot traffic and public transit was permitted.   Friend's of ours had a restaurant in the village and he was forced to close and sell last year because of it.

Well, the construction is finally over, and it's once again become a very pleasant place to be, to wander, to shop, to sip tea, or espresso.  And I did pretty much all of the above.

Ronces Village is one of the neighbourhood's very close to where I grew up, and sure it's changed a bit over the year's but thankfully hasn't been attacked by The Gap or Starbucks.  OK, I take that back there IS a Starbucks, but it's at the north end, and not really "IN" the village, so I'll accept that.

image by decoraddict

This is a neighbourhood that we would love to live in.  It has heart, culture, and a feeling of closeness, unlike the burbs which just feels so non-existent in a way.  Sadly, unless I win the lottery, there is no way we could ever afford to buy a home here.  Sure we could rent, and hey, you never know it could happen. 

The heart of the village runs south of Howard Park, almost all the way down to Queen St. West, and is full of coffee shop, bakeries, independent gift shops, flower shops, vegetable markets, the list goes on and on.  I wandered into two coffee shops, Cherry Bomb, and Lit.   Cherry Bomb was closest to Queen St. West, and PACKED, so I just poked my head in and kept going.  I made my way up to Lit, and stopped in for an Earl Grey tea.  Delicious.  As is the cafe.  My favorite part of this shop is not only is the cafe a "cool" local hip place to sip your caffeine and hang out;   you've got your laptop and iPhone junkies in one corner, and in the other corner were groups of ladies that had likely just been to church, discussing their grand children and great grandchildren, and likely gossiping about what Myrtle wore to church that day.

image by cherrybombcoffee

This is what I love about Ronces Village.  There is a complete miss-mash of cultures, and age groups, all around you.  This is they type of neighbourhood that I'd like my daughter to grow up in.

As I made my way north, I happened upon a brand new shop in the village, Scout.  I had read about Scout  on BlogTO last week, and made a mental note to myself to stop my this shop, full of handmade independent goodness.  It's like walking into Etsy.  But better.  Cause you can touch the stuff.  I love it.

all images above from BlogTO

image by decoraddict

I could of spent hours just sitting on a bench with  my tea just watching the world go by on this street.  So many different types of people, so many different types of shops and cafes;  it just feels like home to me here.  Maybe it will be home one day.  You just never know, right?

Do you have a favorite neighborhood in the city you live in?  If you do, I'd love to hear more about it!  Please share with us in the comments below, or you can always email me directly, I'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Jennifer@DreamingofJune said...

I used to live off Wright Avenue and Roncesvalles and oh do I miss it!!! Great post, it truly made me feel nostalgic.