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Roncesvalles Village is an urban community with a unique village vibe that manifests most delightfully along its main street, unexpectedly named after a battle site in Spain. What’s most remarkable is the wide array of well-tended shops and gardens along its 1.8 km stretch; the many marvelous places to meet and eat, and the goodwill among neighbours and shopkeepers that makes awesome things happen here.
At the northern gate of the village lies the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden. The street appears to end where King and Queen Street West meet the Queensway, but the Roncesvalles pedestrian bridge at its foot connects the village to Lake Ontario’s waterfront.
Roncesvalles Avenue offers broad sidewalks lined with a diversity of trees planted sustainably at grade that will one day form a green canopy. Locals and visitors enjoy walking to Roncesvalles and along the main street to get something to eat, forage through shops, or just hang out on the street with its gardens and benches and cruiser-table-style tree guards.
The vision for their streetscape reconstruction — which was mostly completed in 2011 — was driven by the RVBIA’s Beautification Committee and its sub-committee Roncesvalles Renewed, and influenced by locals interested in urban planning, and city building. They observed the wisdom of legendary urban activist, Jane Jacob, and so pushed for the features that we enjoy today. Without them, Roncesvalles could have ended up as just another thoroughfare.