TICKETS ON SALE FOR PIA BOUMAN’S ANNUAL NUTCRACKER BALLET

Pia Bouman Nutcracker

November, 2022

Each year in December, the Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement delivers a series of performances of the classic Nutcracker ballet featuring inspiring young students and the classic musical score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. This year is the school’s 37th annual show – Toronto’s longest-running and most family-friendly Nutcracker!

Performance dates are December 9, 10 and 11 in Lismer Hall at Humberside Collegiate Institute, 280 Quebec Avenue. Limited tickets are available here.

For those interested in supporting the school, there is also a Nutcracker holiday store selling merchandise for children and adults, including apparel and gifts. 

Before each show, last-minute tickets will be available at the door. 

The Pia Bouman School is one of Toronto’s few not-for-profit dance schools, located on Sterling Avenue. The Nutcracker is the school’s largest annual fundraising event and the proceeds from the performances support and sustain the quality of its dance program.

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GIVE TO THE SHOEBOX PROJECT AT HOME SMITH HOUSE ON RONCESVALLES

November, 2022

Home Smith House interiors store at 309 Roncesvalles Avenue is pleased to be participating as a drop-off location for the Shoebox Project for Women this year.  

The charitable initiative was founded in 2011 in Toronto to share empathy, kindness and compassion with local women impacted by homelessness through the collection and distribution of gift-filled shoeboxes and messages of support during the holiday season.

To participate, you can fill a standard-sized, decorated shoebox with approximately $50 worth of gifts and essentials that any woman might enjoy, and include a warm greeting or message of support. Volunteers distribute these gifts to local women’s shelters and community agencies serving women impacted by homelessness across Canada. 

Find out more about what to include in your shoebox donation here.

Drop offs are accepted at Home Smith House anytime between November 20 and December 14. For those who cannot donate in person, the Shoebox Project also collects virtual shoebox donations here.

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SORAUREN FARMERS’ MARKET MOVES INDOORS FOR THE WINTER

November, 2022

The Sorauren Farmers’ Market that takes place on the Sorauren Park Town Square in the summer months has officially moved indoors for the winter and will take place at its usual time on Mondays from 3-7 p.m. in the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse.

In addition to many of the usual market goodies, you will find:

  • Holiday crafts
  • Knitting circles
  • Wreath making
  • Live music
  • Holiday carols
  • A games night… and more!

Keep up to date with the latest offerings by following @soraurenmarket and @soraurenpark on social media, or visiting soraurenmarket.com.

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WEST TORONTO RAILPATH CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

west toronto railpath - park rendering

November, 2022

This month, work started as part of the GO Expansion Project – the largest transit expansion in Canadian history. Metrolinx is building a new track on the Kitchener GO line next to the West Toronto Railpath, adding a fourth rail line at Bloor Station and transforming the line into a two-way, all-day rapid transit line.

There will also be a new community park built along the West Toronto Railpath at Ernest Avenue, on behalf of the City of Toronto.

 During construction, there will be detours on West Toronto Railpath, sometimes lasting for weeks. A lot of this is due to the tunnelling needed as part of a direct connection to the TTC (which is a separate Metrolinx project.) There will be signage on Railpath to help give notice.

Users will use a section of the Bloor Go Station platform to bypass a section of Railpth that will be under construction. Cyclists are asked to dismount and use the detour path.

The majority of work will take place between 7 am – 7 pm on weekdays, and construction will be ongoing until 2025.

In future, the City of Toronto also plans to extend the West Toronto Railpath 2 km south from its current termination at Dundas Street West to Abell Street (just north of King Street) by 2024-25. It’s a big project with 5 bridges. It will be built for the City by Metrolinx after their work on a 4th line near the Bloor GO station is done.

For more information visit railpath.ca

JOIN THE SORAUREN PARK PUMPKIN PARADE NOVEMBER 1

October, 2022

It’s the original Pumpkin Parade, and it’s the best! On November 1st, the day after Halloween, members of the Roncesvalles Village community and Torontonians from near and far bring their carved jack-o-lanterns to line the walking path at Sorauren Park for one last glow up.

This free, family-friendly event started as a grassroots local initiative, to enjoy the spirit and artistry of Halloween pumpkin carving. With more than 1,500 pumpkins on display in some years, the Parade is a neighbourhood and even regional highlight of the season.

Since it began in 2004, the event has sparked similar pumpkin parades across Toronto, Montreal (Parade des Citrouilles) and in Upper Manhattan (hello Inwood). It has even earned attention in Copenhagen.

The parade starts at 6 p.m. at 50 Wabash Avenue. To learn more, follow the Friends of Sorauren Park’s social media channels @SoraurenPark

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GET SPOOKED AT THE PARKDALE GHOST WALK!

October, 2022

One of Toronto’s oldest (and most haunted) neighbourhoods is offering a walking tour with legendary tales of murder and mayhem just in time for Halloween.

Presented by the Sunnyside Historical Society, the Parkdale Ghost Walk on Saturday, October 29th and Sunday, October 30th invites participants to dress in costume if they choose, and join the fun as they hear about true stories with plenty of scary drama along the way. Learn about ghostly love stories, a tragic axe murder, a sensational shooting, and more!

Walks begin at 4 p.m. and last about 90 minutes. All interested in this exciting tour should meet on the southwest corner of Queen and Brock Streets. A suggested donation of $10 will be gratefully accepted, or pay what you can.

Bring pre-teens at your discretion! Some content is for mature audiences.

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CHANDER’S PUMPKIN SALE FUNDRAISER RETURNS TO SORAUREN PARK

October, 2022

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, I’m pleased to announce my annual pumpkin sale fundraiser returns to Sorauren Park on Saturday, October 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on the Sorauren Park Town Square.

All are welcome – pick up your pumpkin for Halloween and Sorauren Park’s annual Pumpkin Parade, which happens at the park the day after Halloween. 100% of the proceeds are donated to future programming and local park improvements at Sorauren Park.

Over the years, the Pumpkin Sale has raised more than $30,000 for Sorauren and Charles G. Williams parks.

The pumpkins often sell out, so come early! If there are any leftover pumpkins, they will be donated to local schools.

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HALLOWEEN HOWL AND MORE AUTUMN ACTIVITIES AT HIGH PARK

high park autumn hikes

October, 2022

Celebrate all things spooky at High Park’s fun family Halloween Howl event. This outdoor experience will begin with a hike through the woodlands to learn the not-so-scary truth about owls, spiders, bats, decomposers, Witch Hazel trees, and more. 

After the hike groups can warm up around a campfire and make Halloween-themed art. Roasting sticks, hot chocolate, and marshmallows will be provided for everyone and you are welcome to bring any additional items you would like to roast. 

Fun for all ages! Costumes are strongly encouraged but optional.

Dates & Times:

Saturday, October 29, 4-5:30PM & 6-7:30PM

Sunday, October 30, 1-2:30PM & 3-4:30PM

Price: $15/person (receive 20% off when you purchase 3 or more tickets using coupon code SPOOKY).

Guided family nature walks are also scheduled in October and November – view the full schedule here.

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RMRA TO HOST MUNICIPAL & TRUSTEE CANDIDATES MEETING

September, 2022

It’s municipal election time in the City of Toronto, and the Parkdale – High Park community is invited to attend an open meeting on Tuesday October 4, 2022 at Roncesvalles United Church, (Wright Ave. & Roncesvalles Ave.) from 7 – 9 p.m. to meet and speak to candidates running for the following positions:

  • Ward 4 Municipal Councillor
  • TDSB Trustee
  • TCDSB Trustee

The event will also be live streamed on Roncesvalles Macdonell Resident’s Association Facebook page beginning at 7 pm, for those who wish to attend virtually. Sign on here: facebook.com/RoncesvallesMacdonell

The Roncesvalles-Macdonell Residents’ Association (RMRA) is made up of local residents committed to making our neighbourhood a better community in which to live, work, and play. Established in 1973, the RMRA is non-political, non-partisan, and exists to promote the welfare of the community.

This event is also supported by the High Park Residents’ Association; High Park Tenents’ Association; Sunnyside Residents’ Association and West Bend Community Association.

For those attending the meeting, there will be a collection of funds to cover expenses, and a portion of donations go to Roncesvalles United Church. 

Election day is Monday October 24, 2022.

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RONCESVALLES COMMUNITY COMMEMORATES TRUTH & RECONCILIATION DAY

September, 2022

September 30th is Canada’s National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and the Roncesvalles United Church, Reconciliation Roncesvalles, and the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden are hosting events locally to reflect and honour Survivors, their families, and communities affected by the legacy of Indian Residential School policies.

At 5:30 pm, meet at the corner of Roncesvalles and Dundas Street W – the site of our local Indigenous Peace Garden (2201 Dundas Street West) – and join the Orange Shirt Walk down the street to Roncesvalles United Church, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, at Wright Avenue.

Inside, see artifacts and hear stories from Métis history from Indigenous Elders. Learn to clap spoons, or get up and dance to Métis fiddlers.

The event is free and all are welcome. Donations will be accepted to support Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, which strives to provide a life of quality, well-being, caring and healing for children and families in the Toronto Native Community.

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SEPTEMBER MOVIE EVENT & STARGAZING AT SORAUREN PARK

sorauren park movies

September, 2022

The Friends of Sorauren Park invite you to the last outdoor movie of the year, Saturday September 24 on the Town Square in Sorauren Park where they will be showing the animated movie Wall-E, starting at 7:15 p.m.

To celebrate the last outdoor cinema of the season, they will also be firing up the bake oven to serve hot pizza in the park from 6 p.m., provided by Cucinato Studio. There will also be popcorn, drinks, and more available at the concession stand.

Bring your chairs and blankets and join the community in the park for another magical evening, sponsored by generous local businesses: Chander Chaddah, Dundas West Animal Hospital, Master Mechanic High Park, and Scooter Girl Toys.

The Friends of Sorauren Park will also host a “Stargazing” evening September 26th, where you can join other astronomy enthusiasts in the park to gaze at Jupiter at opposition with Uranus through a telescope. Meet at the shipping container near the baseball diamond at 8 p.m.

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RE-MARKET ENCOURAGES RONCY COMMUNITY TO EMBRACE THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Roncy Reduces market

September, 2022

Roncy Reduces is hosting its first RE-Market on Saturday, September 24, designed to contribute to a circular economy approach to shopping, spread awareness about re-use and entice you to try it for yourself.

Roncy Reduces is part of a collective of local organizations, Canada Reduces, whose mission is to reduce plastic and overall waste in our neighbourhoods by inspiring both neighbours and neighbourhood businesses to take on waste reduction together.

The RE-Market will be held in the parking lot of Roncesvalles United Church, and the community is welcome to drop in to:

  • REPAIR: get an expert consultation on how to fix your broken household item, toy, bike, and more!
  • SWAP: clothing at the teen clothing swap
  • DROP OFF: old textiles, electronics, used batteries, containers, and more!
  • DONATE: warm clothing, food items, medical supplies, etc.
  • SHOP: upcycled, locally made items, bulk foods, native plants, and more!

WHEN: Saturday September 24, from 10 am – 3 pm

WHERE: Roncesvalles United Church (240 Roncesvalles Avenue)

Find out more at the Roncy Reduces Facebook page

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A FREE COMMUNITY NIGHT MARKET HAPPENING IN PARKDALE AUGUST 27

August, 2022

Enjoy an evening with Parkdale’s finest food, arts, and live music at this community event that helps to highlight and celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of the Parkdale neighbourhood and local businesses.

Festivities will include a fire dance show, free photobooth, free face paint, live print screen and food demos, and other table games activities.

When & Where:

August 27, 2022 from 2:00pm – 11:00pm along Queen St. West from Roncesvalles Ave to Triller Ave, including the outdoor lot 1668 Queen Street West, Toronto.

View more information and the event program.

Apply to become a vendor here.

This event is presented in partnership with Parkdale BIA, The Queen’s End Neighbourhood and Parkdale Hall.

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SORAUREN PARK HOSTS FREE OUTDOOR MOVIE DOUBLE-BILL AUGUST 27

August, 2022

The Sorauren Outdoor Movie Season continues at the Town Square this summer with a special double-feature on Saturday August 27 called “Two Toms Night” showing Big, starring Tom Hanks and Days of Thunder, starring Tom Cruise.

This year’s film series is sponsored by myself, along with Dundas West Animal Hospital, Master Mechanic High Park and Scooter Girl Toys.

If you are interested in volunteering for these events, which are hosted by the Friends of Sorauren Park, join the volunteer Sorauren Park Film Crew! 

For updates and weather alerts, follow @SoraurenPark on social media.
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THE REVUE CINEMA SEEKS BOARD DIRECTORS

August, 2022

Toronto’s oldest independent movie theatre, The Revue Cinema at 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, is seeking at least one new Director for their Board for a 3-year term starting this fall.

The Revue is a federally-incorporated not-for-profit organization known for its specially curated cinema series and events. As a volunteer member of the Board, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the growth and sustainability of an important Toronto cultural landmark and community hub and gain valuable experience in: 

  • collaborating with a group of keen and active board volunteers 
  • learning about the inner workings
  • connecting with the community

The Board is looking for people who can bring a passion for its mission and encourages applications from individuals from all walks of life.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Learn more at revuecinema.ca

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SAFETY & MOBILITY IMPROVEMENTS PLANNED FOR HIGH PARK

July, 2022

Local City Councillor Gord Perks recently gave an update on the status of The High Park Movement Strategy (HPMS), which will rethink the travel network serving High Park in the context of the city’s growing population, changing travel patterns, and the impacts of COVID-19. The goal is to improve mobility within the park while prioritizing safety, accessibility, and the park’s ecological integrity. The study will also explore interim solutions

PARKSIDE DRIVETransportation Services has reviewed the need for pedestrian crossing protection on Parkside Drive and recommends installing traffic control signals on Parkside Drive where it intersects with High Park Trail, located north of The Queensway overpass. Traffic control signals will provide enhanced safety for vulnerable road users using the trail as well as the existing transit stops.

Other recommendations include: 

  • The installation of traffic control signals on Parkside Drive, approximately 100 metres south of Spring Road (at High Park Trail).
  • Amending the existing parking prohibition in effect at all times on the west side of Parkside Drive, between Bloor Street West and The Queensway, to be in effect between Bloor Street West and Spring Road.
  • Amending the existing stopping prohibition in effect from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday to Friday, except public holidays on the west side of Parkside Drive, between Bloor Street West and The Queensway, to be in effect between Bloor Street West and a point 30.5 metres south of Spring Road.
  • Prohibiting stopping from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday to Friday, except public holidays on the west side of Parkside Drive between Spring Road and The Queensway.
  • Authorizing the installation of parking machines on the west side of Parkside Drive.

Learn more about the HPMS project and timeline here.

Read the interim report.

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POLISH FESTIVAL RETURNS TO RONCY SEPT 17-18, 2022!

roncesvalles festival

July, 2022

Roncesvalles Village is gearing up for the return of its annual street festival after a two-year pandemic hiatus – and this time, it is joining forces with the community music and arts festival, Roncy Rocks! which previously took place annually in June.

Well known as one of Toronto’s most vibrant, unique, and creative communities, attendees will find an amazing variety of global cuisines from local eateries (including Polish favourites), exceptional shopping, and quality services, as well as performances by talented local artists and musicians, including Indigenous programming and family-friendly activities. Discover treasures along the 18 blocks of boutique shops and merchants. 

Now entering its fifteenth year, the Roncesvalles Polish Festival; A Celebration of Local Food, Art, Music & Polish Community is made possible by the Roncesvalles Village BIA; made up of more than 270 members in Toronto’s West End, serving the community of more than 16,000 residents for over 35 years.

Find more information about the Festival, as well as Vendor, Sponsorship, Entertainment or Volunteer Performer applications at PolishFestival.ca.

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DANCE LESSONS AND COMMUNITY BAKING EVERY WEDNESDAY IN JULY AT SORAUREN PARK

For Goodness Bakes at Sorauren ParkJuly, 2022

There is nothing quite like summer evenings in Toronto parks, and on Wednesday evenings (6-8:30pm) in July, the Friends of Sorauren Park are hosting two great events for the community.

The first is For Goodness Bakes! featuring fresh baked goodies made in the wood-fired bake oven at the park from ingredients donated by wonderful neighbourhood bakeries. Quantities are limited. Pay what you can, and all proceeds support the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park and free park programming.

For Goodness Bakes schedule:

  • July 6: Sourdough bread, croissants and cinnamon buns, Blackbird Baking Co.
  • July 13: Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and ginger cookies, Mabel’s Bakery and Specialty Foods
  • July 20: Beer cheddar scones and pork sausage rolls, Oy’s Joys Bakery
  • July 27: White and whole wheat dinner rolls, Robinson Bread

Intro to World DanceThe second event is free World Dance Lessons, happening at the Town Square and led by local dance professionals. All are welcome to learn and participate. The schedule so far:

  • July 6: Turkish Romani with Asli Rakkas
  • July 13: Indian Kathak with Tamanna Koovarjee
  • July 20: Spanish Flamenco with Pamela Briz Guijaro
  • July 27: TBA

Lessons are free thanks to the support of donations to the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park.

And don’t forget, free Summer Movies are showing at the park on the third Saturday of the month from June to September. The July 23 movie is Rear Window, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, directed by Alfred Hitchcock – starting at 9pm. Bring your lawn chairs and get popcorn and drinks at the snack shack!

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UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE PARKDALE HALL

Parkdale HAll

June, 2022

Every Sunday, The Parkdale Hall hosts a mosaic of vendors selling everything from vintage, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, arts, crafts, and much more.

Visit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1605 Queen Street West. Admission is free.

In addition, on Saturday June 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Made for Me Marketplace is on — an inclusive Toronto pop-up market showcasing the city’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The event will include vintage, skincare, accessories, art, and more, with vendors stationed at their new outdoor lot at 1668 Queen Street West. 

Come shop, meet new friends, and leave with that item made just for you! Follow on instagram @madeformemarketplace for more information.

And on the Canada Day Long Weekend, July 2-3, the Parkdale Hall will host an indoor/outdoor event with shopping, entertainment, barbecue, fireworks, and community! Open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 1605 & 1668 Queen Street West.

The Parkdale Hall has a long history in the neighbourhood. Originally the Parkdale Theatre, it opened in 1920 and was designed by Detroit’s finest movie palace architect, C. Howard Crane. The theatre’s interior was opulent, with an expansive ornate plaster ceiling, gilded details, crystal chandeliers, and more than 1500 luxurious leather seats.

For general and vendor inquiries, contact info@theparkdalehall.ca or 437-241-7260.

OUTDOOR MOVIES RETURN TO SORAUREN PARK THIS SUMMER!

sorauren park summer movies

June, 2022

After a two-year absence, the Friends of Sorauren Park are pleased to host its summer movie series on the Town Square once again. Mark your calendars for the fourth Saturday of the month from June to September. The first move — the classic 1994 Jim Carrey comedy Dumb and Dumber will screen Saturday, June 25, starting at 9:30 pm. For the full schedule visit the Outdoor Movie page at SoraurenPark.com.

The summer outdoor movies would not be possible without the financial support of returning presenting sponsors: 

  • Chander Chaddah, Sutton Group Associates; 
  • Master Mechanic High Park; 
  • Dundas West Animal Hospital; and 
  • Scooter Girl Toys (Snack Shack sponsor)

Movies are free but donations are welcome at the Snack Shack (serving popcorn and drinks) to cover the many costs.

The Friends of Sorauren Park also rely on volunteer support to organize and host its summer outdoor movie series. Interested in helping out? Join the Sorauren Park Film Crew!

BASKETBALL JAMBOREE AT CHARLES G WILLIAMS PARK

Basketball Jamboree

June, 2022

The Friends of Charles G. Williams Park are hosting a Basketball Jamboree this coming Saturday, June 11, on the two courts at Charles G. Williams Park across the street from Sorauren Park.

The event tips off at 10 am, with registration starting at 9:45 am. Ages 5 to 6 will convene on the junior court, while ages 7 to 8 will dribble on the main court.

The Jamboree features skills games and competitions, guided by Toronto triple threat players and coaches. There is no admission fee, but donations to support the Friends and free programming in the park are most welcome.

Plus, participants will have a chance to win prizes, generously donated by local toy shop, Scooter Girl Toys!

Find more information on the Sorauren Park Website.

DUNDAS WEST FEST RETURNS WITH A NEW NAME

Dundas West Fest

May, 2022

After a two-year hiatus, Dundas West Fest is returning as “Do West Fest” and will transform the heart of Little Portugal into a vibrant community street festival with live music, artisans, and plenty of delicious food and drink to try from local restaurants from June 3-5.

Dundas Street is named after historic figure Henry Dundas, who aided in the subjugation of Indigenous peoples in Canada during his role as British Home Secretary. In 2021, Toronto City Council voted in favour of a motion to rename the street, along with subway stations, a library, Yonge-Dundas Square, and a number of parks. While the City is in the renaming process, the event will be known as Do West Fest until the street name has been changed.

“The change is significant to us as it marks a new chapter for the neighbourhood, of combined efforts in improving the area with true community spirit in mind,” states the website.

The street festival will take over Dundas Street West from Ossington Avenue to Landsdowne Avenue, with those eager to celebrate the Portuguese community in Toronto. More than 50 licensed patios and 200 unique local vendors will take part, plus busker performances, art installations, and outdoor entertainment.

Check out the event schedule for more information on programming.

MEET THE CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR PARKDALE-HIGH PARK MPP

all candidates meetingMay, 2022

Community members are invited to meet the provincial election candidates running in our local riding of Parkdale-High Park during an all-candidates meeting at Roncesvalles United Church, 214 Wright Avenue.

Wednesday, May 18, from 7p.m. to 9p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Roncesvalles-Macdonell Residents’ Association (RMRA); the High Park Residents’ Association; West Bend Community Association; and Sunnyside Residents’ Association.

Participants are asked to come prepared to wear a mask during the meeting, or attend virtually via the RMRA Facebook page, where the event will be live streamed from 7 p.m.

The 2022 Ontario general election will be held on June 2, 2022, to elect Members of the Provincial Parliament to serve in the 43rd Parliament of Ontario.

For more information on candidates and voting, please visit https://www.elections.on.ca/

SORAUREN FARMERS’ MARKET RETURNS MAY 23

May, 2022

The Sorauren Farmers’ Market will once again be a regular feature each Monday on the Town Square in Sorauren Park as vendors return on May 23 for their 12th outdoor season.

This year, the market is excited to offer a BIPOC New Farmer Initiative to provide ongoing support in a welcoming environment for a new farmer who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Colour. The initiative will provide a subsidized spot at the market and holistic mentorship covering a range of topics tailored to the specific needs and interests of the participant(s).

The market will also see a return of outdoor music, and local musicians are invited to express interest here. Interested vendors can apply for a spot at the market here.

The market takes place each Monday from 3-7 p.m. until October 31, 2022. For more information and a list of vendors featured each week, visit soraurenmarket.com.

INDIGENOUS MURAL UNVEILED AT RONCESVALLES UNITED CHURCH

Philip Cote Mural Roncesvalles

(Photo: Andrew Faiz)

May, 2022

Roncesvalles United Church this month celebrated the unveiling of the first-ever Indigenous artwork inside the walls of a church in Canada.

In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, in 2020 Rev. Anne Hines invited acclaimed Indigenous artist and educator Philip Cote to paint “anywhere he chose and anything he chose,” within the sanctuary “to symbolize us giving back space to our Indigenous friends.”

The “Walls of Welcome” mural ​​depicts the Ojibwe Algonquin people’s creation story, and features Turtle Island underneath the Christian images in the church’s stained glass windows.

In an artist statement, Cote says, “The mural is a visual story of our beginning. It’s the first of its kind in a church. This is how the narrative is going to change. Our story needs to be inside all institutions and across the country.”

Cote spoke about his work at the event, which also featured a premiere showing of a documentary on the making of the mural by P.J. Marcellino and Jo Proux.

This is the second artwork by Cote in the neighbourhood, as he has also painted a mural titled “The First Peoples“, at the corner of Roncesvalles and Garden Avenue in 2018 commissioned by the Roncesvalles Village BIA in Partnership with StreetARToronto.

SORAUREN PARK HOSTS SPRING SWAP

April , 2022sorauren spring swap

On Saturday, April 23 at the Sorauren Park Town Square, drop off your gently used bicycles, as well as spring and summer sports and recreational equipment in the morning — and swap them for something new in the afternoon!

All bicycles and equipment dropped off must be clean and in good working order. Broken and unusable equipment will not be accepted. Please no bike helmets, kayaks, canoes, paddles, or winter sports equipment.

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Drop off

11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. — Swap & Shop

Will accept:

  • Bikes
  • Soccer equipment
  • Basketball equipment
  • Baseball equipment
  • Racquet sports equipment (tennis, ping-pong, badminton, squash)
  • Play equipment (roller blades; skateboards, kiddie pools, sand boxes)
  • Fitness equipment (yoga gear; free weights)
  • Camping equipment
  • Golf equipment
  • Miscellaneous

Will not accept:

  • Winter sports equipment (hockey/skiing/sleds/toboggans); bike helmets; kayaks/paddles/canoes; anything broken or too dirty, too worn out.

For more information please go to soraurenpark.com and follow @soraurenpark on social media for updates!

CITY INTRODUCES IMPROVED SAFETY MEASURES FOR PARKSIDE DRIVE

April , 2022

After a traffic accident on Parkside Drive that killed two people last October, Toronto City Council has reviewed a number of safety measures for the busy street, and Transportation Staff continue to work on improvements.

The speed limit has been reduced from 50km/hr to 40 km/hour and new signs have been posted. In addition, the first rotation of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) is scheduled to take place in April. The ASE device was placed on Parkside Drive and is still in the testing phase with activation to take place soon.

This month, Councillor Gord Perks asked the General Manager of Transportation, Barbara Gray when we can expect to see the options for the long-term plans for Parkside Drive and when they will be shared with the community.

The following additional measures were recommended:

  • install a traffic signal on Parkside Drive at Geoffrey Street for pedestrians to safely cross from the Toronto Transit Commission bus stop; 
  • install a sidewalk on the west side of Parkside Drive between Spring Road and just north of the underpass;
  • install a sidewalk on the west side of Parkside Drive between Bloor Street south to High Park Boulevard; 
  • improve lighting in the Parkside Drive underpass 

For the upcoming Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting in May, Transportation staff will provide an update including conceptual ideas for the bike lanes and Complete Street design. They will also provide information on the timeline for implementation.

These recommendations aim to achieve Toronto’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan through a combination of short-term measures and a complete redesign of the street.

More information on the City Council motion can be found here.

CITY OF TORONTO ENVIRONMENT DAY – APRIL 2

environment day 2022March, 2022

This spring, do your part to create a cleaner, greener, and more liveable Toronto. Drop off reusable and recyclable items such as clothing, small appliances, non-perishable food items, and electronics. You can also drop off household hazardous waste for safe disposal and pick up free compost for your garden.

When: Saturday, April 2nd 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Sir Casimir Gzowski Park, 1751 Lakeshore Blvd West

For more details, visit the City of Toronto Website.

Local City Councillor Gord Perks will also be hosting three community compost days, where free leaf compost will be available for pick up. Please bring your own shovel and containers if you are planning to pick up compost.

Here are the details for the compost days:

  • Thursday, April 28th at Masaryk Cowan Community Centre (220 Cowan Ave.) 2:00 p.m – while supplies last
  • Saturday, April 30th along Wabash Ave. 10:00 a.m. – while supplies last
  • Saturday, May 7th at King George Junior Public School (25 Rexford Rd.) 10:00 a.m. – while supplies last

If you have any questions, contact Gord Perks’ office at 416-392-7919 or via email at councillor_perks@toronto.ca

RONCESVALLES VILLAGE SUPPORTS THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE

Donate to help Ukraine

March, 2022

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, communities and businesses around the world have mobilized to support Ukrainian people who have been displaced.

Locally, the Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Association and Social Justice and Anti-Racism committee have identified organizations people in the community can support that advocate for equitable safe passage and resettlement of refugees.

In addition, various shops in Roncesvalles Village have started their own donation drives and fundraising initiatives:

  • The Old Country Shop is collecting humanitarian aid donations items to be sent to refugees via Meest Canada. All packages will be delivered into Ukraine to Meest Humanitarian Fund in Lviv and distributed to selected Ukrainian charity relief organizations who will distribute goods all throughout Ukraine. Visit the Old Country Shop’s website for more information about what items to donate. Items can be dropped off at 355 Roncesvalles Avenue between 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
  • Pizzeria Defina (321 Roncesvalles Ave) is selling Ukrainian Prints by Studio Natt. All proceeds will be donated to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (or similar organizations in support of Ukraine).
  • Juniper Skin Care (219 Roncesvalles Ave. 2nd Floor) will donate 5% of sales from products & services until the end of March to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to help humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
  • Cookery (303 Roncesvalles Ave) is hosting Chef Sasha Gaponovitch for an evening of traditional Ukrainian food on March 25, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Ukraine war effort and the local Ukrainian community. More information: www.cookery-store.ca
  • Scooter Girl Toys (187 Roncesvalles Ave) is raffling off a 12” blue “Our Glowing Hearts” Neon Light to support the people of Ukraine. You can purchase tickets for the draw on their website or in store until 5 p.m. on March 20th. 100% of the funds raised will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal.

JOIN THE PARKDALE PEOPLE’S ECONOMY WORKING GROUPS

parkdale peoples economyMarch, 2022

The Parkdale People’s Economy invites members of the community to come together on April 4, from 6-8 p.m. for an evening of collaboration.

The meeting will provide a space for residents and community partners to review the Parkdale Community Plan and determine priority actions.

The Parkdale People’s Economy, also known as Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Project, is a network of over 30 community-based organizations and hundreds of community members collaborating to build decent work, shared wealth, and equitable development in Parkdale.

The Parkdale People’s Economy is building just local economies through a participatory Community Planning Process; a Community Land Trust model; a local currency program Co-op Cred program;  a movement for Community Benefits; and a community-based food distribution and procurement initiative through Community Food Flow project.

Working groups include:

  • Affordable Housing and Land Use
  • Community Health
  • Community Finance
  • Cultural Development
  • Decent Work and Inclusive Local Economies
  • Food Security
  • Interspiritual
  • Participatory Local Democracy

For more information on the Parkdale People’s Economy and each working group, visit parkdalepeopleseconomy.ca

RONCESVALLES AND HIGH PARK RATED BEST PET-FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOODS FOR RENTERS

A dog at Sorauren Park – one of many parks and green spaces in the Roncesvalles Village neighbourhood.

February, 2022

Did you know that Toronto is recognized internationally for being a top pet-friendly city? A 2022 study by Luko revealed that Toronto was among the Top 10 most dog-friendly cities in the world.

The city is home to over 230,000 dogs, has more than 114 pet shops and 65 off-leash dog areas, with easy access to plenty of trails and parks. 

A new report from liv.rent reviews the most pet-friendly neighbourhoods in Toronto for renters. From the number of available rentals that will welcome you and your pet to the number of pet amenities in the area, the list lays out where you and your furry friend will be most comfortable.

High Park ranked #4 on the list, and Roncesvalles Village ranked #5. It’s easy to understand why, when both neighbourhoods offer plenty of green spaces, off-leash dog areas and trendy pet shops within walking distance.

“Roncesvalles enjoys a reputation as one of Downtown Toronto’s more renter-friendly neighbourhoods thanks to the sheer selection of rental properties available. The prime location means you may have to pay a bit more, but the good news is many of Roncesvalles’ apartments, detached homes and townhouses are amenable to pets,” the report says.

The neighbourhood has multiple animal hospitals like Roncesvalles Animal Hospital on its south end and Dundas West Animal Hospital to the north. As well, places like Kennel Café and Wholesome Canine ensure your pets have access to the same trendy businesses as you do.

Read the full report here.

THE REVUE CINEMA OFFERS SPECIAL SCREENING OF MALCOLM X FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH

malcolm x

February, 2022

In celebration of Black History Month, The Revue Cinema in Roncesvalles Village is offering a 30th Anniversary Screening of MALCOLM X on February 21.

The film commemorates the life and legacy of the late human rights leader and icon, who was also a controversial Black activist and leader of the struggle for Black liberation. 

Malcolm X hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s. He became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination on Feb 21st, 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.

The film is directed by Spike Lee and stars Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett.

The Revue opened in 1912, making it the oldest operating cinema in Toronto. Visit their Eventbrite page to purchase tickets.

TORONTO’S OLDEST HINDU TEMPLE TO GET A MAKEOVER

hindu-temple

February, 2022

Toronto’s oldest Hindu temple, on Fern Avenue in Roncesvalles Village, is about to get a major facelift.

While the building dates back to the late 1800s, from around 1910, it was home to the Fern Avenue Church of Christ until purchased by Hindu Prarthana Samaj. In the 1960s it became a place of worship for a group of Hindu families in the city.

Now, the Hindu Prarthana Samaj community wants the former church building to look more like a temple. They aren’t planning on tearing down the building or increasing the footprint. They will only demolish the front of the building and replace it with a more traditional Hindu structure.

On February 5 Hindu Prarthana Samaj performed Bhumi Puja to mark the official start of construction of the Temple, which will commence in March. 

Plans also include renovations to the inside with columns with niches, decorative features, new washrooms, and a new dining hall. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.5 million.

SORAUREN PARK OPENS NATURAL ICE RINK

Sorauren Ice Skating 

January, 2022

Each year, local community group, the Friends of Sorauren Park, build and maintain a natural ice rink at the park with a spirited group of volunteers called “The Hosers”.

In another pandemic winter, such community initiatives are a way of bringing people together for some much-needed outdoor fun and connection.

“The value of the rink to our community is immeasurable. It’s always abuzz with kids of all ages learning to skate or tearing around, chasing and playing. There’s always a spirited shinny game, and we also get lots of teenagers and young adults out to have a bit of fun,” said Joël Campbell, Chair of the Friends of Soauren Park in a recent Toronto Life article. “Our mighty team of 50 plus ‘hosers’ who flood the rink every night has become quite the example of how volunteerism, teamwork and camaraderie can enrich and activate our park.”

The all-volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew floods the rink every night at 9 pm, with additional shifts at 7 am on weekends and when possible. Conditions will improve in the weeks ahead.

The rink is supported by local Roncesvalles Village sponsors, including myself, Chander Chaddah, Broker, Sutton Group Associates Brokerage, Scooter Girl Toys, and Evolve Chiropractic. To read more about the Sorauren Park rink, and find out the latest updates on rink conditions, or to join their group of volunteers, visit SoraurenPark.com

To read more about other community rinks in the city, view the Toronto Life story here.

COUNCILLOR PERKS HOLDS COMMUNITY BUDGET TOWN HALL

city of Toronto

January, 2022

The City of Toronto recently released the 2022 tax-supported operating and capital budgets, setting collective goals and determining the level of service provided to Toronto residents. The budgets also guide decisions on what City infrastructure will be purchased, built and repaired.

In a statement released by Gord Perks, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 4, Perks says the transit crisis, the shelter crisis, the affordable housing crisis, and the lack of movement on our environmental goals are not being properly addressed by the city.

He invites the community to discuss what is proposed, what is not included, and how you can be involved in moving the conversation forward at an online Community Budget Town Hall on Tuesday, January 18 at 7:00 pm. 

To register and take part, visit: https://bit.ly/Budgettownhall  

Residents can also share feedback on the staff-recommended budgets with the Budget Committee by registering to speak at its meetings on January 24 and 25, or by submitting written comments by email or mail. Speakers are asked to register by 4:30 p.m. on January 21 by emailing buc@toronto.ca or call 416-392-4666.

More information about the City’s budget, details on meetings and reports as well as how you can get involved is available at Toronto.ca/Budget.

SUPPORT THE PARKDALE COMMUNITY FOOD BANK THIS HOLIDAY

December, 2021

For community members wishing to spread joy and help others this holiday season, donations of non-perishable food and toys are being accepted for the Parkdale Community Food Bank at the Roncesvalles United Church until December 21. 

Drop off times are: Monday to Friday 10 AM – 3 PM and Sunday: 10 AM – 5 PM at the Wright Street entrance.

For those wishing to donate from home, Scooter Girl Toys on Roncesvalles has made it easy: Shop at their website, scootergirltoys.com and leave a note at checkout that the toys are to be donated to the Parkdale Community Food Bank toy drive.

The food bank has also made it easy to donate from home, with their “community cornucopia” initiative, which runs until December 24. Go to the website and choose which items you’d like to donate to fill the cornucopia. 100% of every donation assists the food bank with purchasing holiday food for the community. Help them reach their goal of $20,000 this year!

For community members wishing to use the toy bank, it will be hosted at The Parkdale Hall on the 22nd and 23rd of December (times TBA). Please check the Parkdale Community Food Bank’s social media channels.

The Parkdale Community Food Bank’s mission is to ensure barrier free food with choice, dignity and respect for all. They feed more than 3000 individuals every month.

SEE THE NUTCRACKER LIVE AND SUPPORT THE PIA BOUMAN SCHOOL

Nutcracker_2021

December, 2021

It is 1896 and a young girl named Clara is given an old Nutcracker; after a harrowing challenge she is transported to the enchanted land of the Sugar Plum Fairy….

Toronto’s longest running Nutcracker ballet is back with in-person shows this year!

The Pia Bouman School for ballet and creative movement continues its 36-year tradition of offering the community the magic of its beloved Nutcracker created by Artistic Director, Pia Bouman and interpreted by the artistry and passion of the school’s young dancers, ages 6-17.

Show schedule:

Saturday, December 18th and Sunday, December 19th:
Matinee at 1:30pm and Evening performance at 7:30pm at the Pia Bouman Studio Theatre (225 Sterling Rd, Unit 103).

There are two ways to watch the performances:

Option 1 – In person at PBS Studio Theater at 225 Sterling Road; there are very limited in-person tickets available; the ticket price is $75. PBS will absorb all service and processing fees.

Option 2 – Livestream to the world; ticket price is $25. PBS will absorb all service and processing fees. If the live stream is a family and friends event, a donation equalling the number of people watching is appreciated (piaboumanschool.org/donate).

The 2021 Nutcracker will be danced by a Covid restricted cast, but each of our dancers is thrilled to invite you to join them on their creative journey. Ongoing and generous community support means so much to the school and the dancers.

To purchase tickets and view the cast information for each performance visit: http://www.piaboumanschool.org/nutcracker

CHRISTMAS CRAFT MARKET ON RONCY!

Sorauren_Market_xmas

December, 2021

On December 8, the Sorauren Farmers’ Market will host an extra special Holiday Craft Market at the Roncesvalles United Church.

Enjoy delicious food and fresh produce from more than 20 local farmers, and enjoy holiday treats and crafts from a talented selection of artisans. Get your holiday shopping done and support local!

There will also be live music by Conny Nowe and Rachel Melas.

The farmers market, which is held outdoors at Sorauren Park in the warmer months, has moved indoors to the Roncesvalles United Church at 240 Roncesvalles Avenue this winter. The hours are the same, 3-7 p.m., but the day is different – taking place on Wednesdays instead of Mondays.

Expect an array of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables and locally produced goodies. Follow @soraurenmarket on Instagram, where they post their vendor list weekly.

HIGH PARK ZOO CELEBRATES HOLIDAY SEASON WITH FESTIVE TREE-LINED SNOWFLAKE WALK

holiday trees at high park zoo

November, 2021

After a long closure through the Covid-19 pandemic, the High Park Zoo is once again open to the public and, from December 5 to January 8, 2022, decorated holiday trees will stand on parade l​​ining the road through the zoo for festive cheer.

The trees, which are all sponsored and decorated by local businesses, will be a prominent feature of High Park’s Snowflake Walk – a ticketed event taking place December 12 and 19th from 5-6 pm. This is a night time walk through the zoo to enjoy the sparkling trees. 

The event, which is organized by the Friends of High Park Zoo, is pay what you can, with a suggested donation of $10 per family. People can also vote for their favourite tree at highparkzoo.ca

After the event, the trees are recycled as enrichment toys for the enjoyment of some of the zoo animals who love to play with them.

The High Park Zoo’s 11 paddocks are home to a variety of animal species from around the world including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, wallabies, emus and sheep. The Zoo, which was established in 1893, is free to the public and attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year.

For more information about the holiday trees and Snowflake Walk, visit: https://www.highparkzoo.ca/holiday-trees/

PUBLIC SURVEY OPEN FOR WABASH COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTRE

Wabash Community Centre Design

November, 2021

On November 3, the City of Toronto design team presented and collected community feedback on a draft design for the new community centre planned for the Wabash Community Recreation Centre at Sorauren Park. 

It was a fourth virtual public meeting about the project, and City design consultants, Diamond Schmitt Architects and PMA Landscape Architects, released the draft designs for the exterior, interior and landscaping for the new centre, to be built on the site of the former Canada Linseed Oil Mills.

Through consultation with community members, Indigenous representatives, and the City’s operational staff, the Angler option was selected as the site design that will be further developed.

The latest online survey gives community members an opportunity to share feedback on the draft design. Concepts for net-zero energy usage are also included.

The survey is open till November 17 and all responses are anonymous. For more information, visit toronto.ca/WabashCRC

A recording of the Nov. 3 meeting will also be posted to YouTube with automatic closed captions in many languages.

THE JUNCTION COMES ALIVE WITH WINTER WONDERLAND OUTDOOR ART EXHIBITION

Junction Winter Wonderland

November, 2021

Returning to The Junction neighbourhood this year is the 2nd Annual Window Wonderland, transforming businesses along Dundas Street West into an outdoor gallery that is interactive, engaging, and magical. 

The exhibition, which takes place November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022, incorporates the work of 40 local and international artists and Augmented Reality (AR) to create an impressive public art display. 

Window Wonderland is a safe and family-friendly outdoor public art experience that everyone can enjoy, allowing for social distancing by following Ontario’s health and safety guidelines. 

In partnership with international tech company ARTivive, 20 interactive painted windows and a mural can be accessed through their AR app. Visitors can download the free ARTivive APP, activate the AR camera and watch our windows come alive!

For more information on the experience, links to download the App and a map of participating locations, visit: torontojunction.ca/window-wonderland-2021

CITY SEEKS FEEDBACK ON WABASH COMMUNITY CENTRE

October, 2021

A fourth round of public consultation for the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre planned for the site of the former Canada Linseed Oil factory at Sorauren Park is scheduled for Wednesday November 3, 2021.

The virtual public meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30pm and the City of Toronto will present the draft design, which was developed based on previous rounds of community consultation, reflecting the project vision, design principles and big moves.

“The Angler” option was chosen as the general site layout after previous consultations. The City and its design consultants, Diamond Schmitt Architects, will present a draft design and seek community feedback.

Construction for the project is anticipated to take place from Spring 2023 to Spring 2026.

The meeting will be recorded and posted to YouTube, for those who cannot attend. Community members can also review and provide feedback on the draft design in an online survey between November 3-17, 2021.

For the link to the survey and further information about the new community centre, visit toronto.ca/WabashCRC

For additional information, or if you require accessibility accommodations to participate, contact: Ashley Wilson, Senior Project Coordinator: 416-392-4289; ashley.wilson2@toronto.ca

LOCAL GROUPS ASK COMMUNITY TO BAN SINGLE USE PLASTICS

Roncy Reduces

October, 2021

This October, Waste Reduction Week (Oct. 18-24)  is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Canada, and local community group Roncy Reduces is hosting a pop-up event at Wright & Roncesvalles on October 20th from 3:30 – 5:30pm to remind residents and businesses that it is ok to say “No Thank You” to single-use plastics.

Stop by to chat, get info, sign up for news and check out their unique reusable Market Bags made from upcycled upholstery fabric that was destined for landfill. A limited number will be for sale to support future Roncy Reduces projects.

On the same day, another Reduces Group in Toronto, Green Wave West, has a similar event happening in the Bloordale area. You can learn more by visiting their website or emailing hellogreenwave@gmail.com.

Both initiatives are part of the Green Neighbours Network, a group fostering collaboration among diverse, action-oriented organizations working in Toronto to prevent climate breakdown, strengthen climate resilience, and advance climate justice.

For more information on efforts to protect and sustain our shared environment through evolution and innovation in waste reduction, visit the Waste Reduction Week website.

“There is no such thing as a small real estate deal, each one involves significant life decisions. Whether it happens quickly or over an extended period of time, working with a real estate practitioner who never loses sight of -it’s about you, is of paramount importance.

Let me help…”

– CHANDER CHADDAH

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