Local News



Patios on Roncesvalles Avenue

Photo: @bacantoronto

March, 2021

On March 20, the Ontario government announced changes to the Grey Lockdown level of Covid-19 restrictions for Toronto, and outdoor dining is permitted, subject to physical distancing rules and other public health and workplace safety measures.

Some sidewalk cafés and patios on private property can open immediately and others require permission from the City, particularly if they would like to install a sidewalk or curb lane café (on the road), through the CafeTO program.

The following rules apply:

  • A limit of 4 people can be seated together
  • Establishments must be closed between 10pm and 5pm
  • Alcohol can only be served between 9am and 9pm
  • All seated patrons must provide their contact details
  • A minimum of 2 metres or impermeable barrier is required between tables
  • Each establishment must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity (number of patrons) permitted.

The City of Toronto will install ramps to ensure that people using mobility devices can access cafés in the curb lane.

To find out which restaurants will be offering outdoor patio dining in Roncesvalles Village, you can access the Roncesvalles Village BIA directory, for details and updates.

More information on the City of Toronto’s CafeTO program can be found at Toronto.ca/CafeTO. The first round of registration for curb lane cafés closes on March 26, 2021. The second round of registrations will open on March 27, 2021 and will close in May 2021.


Muddy Crops Farmer's MarketMuddy Crops

March, 2021

Muddy Crops, a local organic food service known for its fruit & veggie boxes and outdoor pop-up shop at the corner of Roncesvalles and Westminster Avenue in the summer months, will soon open a permanent location in The Junction.

Nestled among local craft breweries like Shacklands, Rainhard and Junction Craft Brewing, the new market space at 100 Symes Road will open in April for curb-side pickup and delivery.

“We would be lying if we said we’d never thought about how cool it would be to be sitting on a patio, drinking local beer while eating local fruit. So we are making it happen,” Muddy Crops co-founder Steven Yoannou told blogTO.

The produce purveyors are known for their fresh Ontario berries and rare produce like paw paws, organic wheatgrass, Peruvian purple potatoes, blood peaches and goji berries. They are a zero waste company and offer free delivery on orders over $59.

For more information visit muddycrops.com


World Water Day at High Park

March, 2021

World Water Day (March 22) seeks to raise awareness about issues relating to water, such as conservation and sanitation. This year, High Park Nature Centre is hosting a World Water Day virtual event on Sunday March 21, 2021, with a focus on indigenous stories, songs and ceremonies.

Wyandot artist Taǫmęˀšreˀ, Catherine Tàmmaro of the Little Spotted Turtle Clan, will lead a session exploring our deep relationship with the Spirit of Water, through creative activation. Participants will create waterscapes using watercolour paint and paper.

Register for this free event, and you can pick up a watercolour kit (watercolour paper, gum tape and a paint brush) from the Nature Centre (curb-side pick-up) during scheduled pick-up times.

More information and registration here


Digital Main Street

February, 2021

AirQ, a Toronto-based air quality monitoring startup, has announced it is partnering with the Roncesvalles Business Improvement Association (BIA) to pilot an air safety monitoring solution in Roncesvalles Village.

“COVID-19 has presented tremendous challenges to main street businesses. Monitoring air quality could be an important part of the recovery process and we’re excited to test it out,” said John Kiru, Executive Director at the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.

As part of the project, AirQ will complete over 400 air quality measurements for small businesses in Roncesvalles. Twenty-five businesses will have their air quality permanently monitored through the installation of custom sensors that collect live air safety data, measuring levels of exhaled air and triggering fans or alarms if air safety drops. The presence of exhaled air, measured as CO2 parts per million, can inform businesses of the risks related to aerosol transmission of Covid-19 particles.

This pilot will leverage these indoor air safety measurements to support the success and recovery Roncesvalles local businesses.

Funding for the initiative was made available through the Digital Main Street Lab program, which seeks to pilot projects that help small businesses find innovative ways to attract customers. Further support was made available through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street platform and see innovative technology pilot studies like this one with AirQ, to help ensure health and safety and build confidence in our main street businesses,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.

AirQ’s air quality measurement testing will help identify areas with problematic ventilation, estimate safe occupancy levels and create a practical air safety plan to keep employees and customers safe.

At a time when both staff and customers are hesitant to enter indoor spaces as a result of the risk of Covid-19 transmission, AirQ’s data-enabled sensors and measurement capabilities can help manage the risks caused by poor air flow. While no setting can be deemed zero-risk, ongoing monitoring of air quality is an important step toward the identification of low-risk indoor settings and the ultimate goal of a safe return to indoor activities.

Preliminary air quality testing performed by AirQ has shown that 93% of main street businesses have high quality air.

More information about the Digital Main Street Lab program here.

More information about AirQ here.


Sorauren Park Rink

February, 2021

The volunteer crew that builds and maintains the natural ice skating rink at Sorauren Park, affectionately known as “The Hosers”, recently reached out to the community to share public health rules that have been adapted this year, due to Covid-19 health protocols.

Signs have been posted around the rink, but in case you have missed them, please note before you go:

  • NO SHINNY (provincial orders also prohibit practicing, no hockey sticks or pucks)
  • STAY 2 METRES APART (except for members of your own household)

The City of Toronto has passed the responsibility of monitoring compliance of the safe use rules onto The Hosers crew, and additional steps have been taken to prevent the potential for fines, rink shutdown or both.

The Hosers have re-designed the rink experience by creating a skating trail to encourage physically distanced skating and discourage shinny.

Read the full letter from The Hosers to the community here.


February, 2021

The City of Toronto and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have coordinated infrastructure upgrades in the area of King Street West, Queen Street West, The Queensway and Roncesvalles Avenue (KQQR). This includes the intersection at KQQR and roadway on The Queensway from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue, as well as Roncesvalles Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West and rehabilitation of the Parkside Drive bridge.

Beginning February 12, 2021, work crews will begin advanced preparation work on The Queensway and KQQR intersection, ahead of the closure of the KQQR intersection scheduled for March 31, 2021.

Work includes: Water main replacement; sewer re-lining and TTC track construction. The 501/301 Queen and 504 King streetcars have been replaced by bus services in the KQQR area.

In order to complete the work in a safe manner, there will be road and sidewalk restrictions within the work zone. A follow-up notice will be issued ahead of the KQQR intersection closure.

For more information, visit Toronto City Councillor Gord Perks’ web site, or toronto.ca/kqqr

Roncesvalles Construction Update

(With files from the City of Toronto and Councillor Gord Perks)


January, 2021

Toronto artists interested in making their mark in the Parkdale/Roncesvalles neighbourhood are invited to submit an expression of interest to participate in The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project — one of several initiatives to celebrate Toronto’s 2021 Year of Public Art on the theme Knowledge Sharing Across Communities.

The goal of this Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) is to obtain a roster of artists, from which a group will be selected and compensated to create a detailed design concept for the Lansdowne Underpass Art Project.

StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of programs designed to showcase, celebrate and support street, mural and graffiti artists and art throughout Toronto, create a more welcoming environment and a greater sense of belonging for residents and visitors, and reinforce Toronto’s reputation as a global centre of creativity and innovation.

The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project will transform the east side of the Lansdowne Underpass, south of Dundas Street West, with a collection of murals that share first-person perspective stories that speak to the rich ongoing history of the site as home to diverse plant and animal species and cultural communities, beginning with the Indigenous peoples of Tkaronto and Turtle Island.

The deadline for REOI submissions is January 20, 2021. Production is planned for the spring or summer of 2021.

For more information, visit the City of Toronto StART Underpass Program

(With files from the City of Toronto and Councillor Gord Perks)


January, 2021

Did you know that Toronto is home to hundreds of species of bees, butterflies and other pollinators? These insects contribute to a healthy ecosystem, but they are also under threat from habitat loss.

PollinateTO is a protection strategy from the City of Toronto, offering grants of up to $5000 for pollinator habitat creation projects that educate and engage the community.

Funding applications are open to all resident-led groups and non-profit groups. Examples of eligible projects include:

  • community gardens in City Parks
  • school ground teaching gardens
  • faith-based gardens
  • Indigenous education gardens
  • rain gardens
  • multiple front-yard gardens on the same street that together create a pollinator pathway/habitat corridor

Applications are open and the deadline has been extended until January 18, 2021, and this year, priority will be given to projects located in Toronto’s 31 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. South Parkdale is designated as a Neighbourhood Improvement Area under the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy.

For more information, visit PollinateTO Community Grants here.

More about the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy here.


Paul Smith / CBC

December, 2021

Many residents in the Roncesvalles area gathered in Sorauren Park to witness the dramatic scene as a five-alarm fire broke out on December 27 at 1875 Dundas Street West, an abandoned tool rental building.

The building is owned by Metrolinx, Ana BailĂŁo, the Deputy Mayor of Toronto, said on Twitter. She added that it was purchased for the rail corridor expansion and it was set to be demolished soon.

Dundas Street was closed in both directions and Metrolinx temporarily stopped trains from running in the area. Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said that at the fire’s peak, 80 firefighters worked to put out the “difficult and challenging” blaze.

Portions of the building inside and outside collapsed due to the fire, however there were no injuries.

The City of Toronto partnered with Metrolinx to complete designs for the West Toronto Railpaith Extension in September 2020. The new multi-use trail will be aligned in the rail corridor from the Dundas Street Bridge to Queen Street West (east side of the railway corridor).

Subject to available funding, the City is working with Metrolinx to construct the railpath in coordination with the Regional Express Rail construction underway by Metrolinx. Funding for the estimated construction cost and property requirements is proposed to be included as part of the City’s 2021 Capital Budget process.

More information on the Toronto West Railpath Extension here.

(With files from the CBC)


Please take the time to fill out this survey on what is important to you for the new community centre.

The City of Toronto will soon hire architects to work on the final design for the Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park. This is exciting news, and the Friends of Sorauren Park is asking for your input on what you’d like to see at our new community centre.

Please take a moment to complete our survey.

This survey has been created by the Friends of Sorauren Park, a non-profit volunteer group dedicated to the completion and enjoyment of Sorauren Park.

The intention is to collect community input that can help inform the design process and construction of the new community centre planned for Wabash Avenue adjacent to the park.


Thanks to all who made it down to pumpkin patch on the Sorauren Park Town Square.  We raised $3,200 towards the renovations of the CG Williams Children’s Park on Wabash.  Left over pumpkins were donated to: Fern Ave Public School; Parkdale Public School; Holy Family Catholic School; Queen Victoria Public School; and Mary Mother of God Catholic School.


Please join me and my fellow friends of Sorauren Park on Saturday October 19th 9-12 at the Sorauren Park Town Square to get your pumpkin.  Bring the kids to the pumpkin patch for a morning of fun, face painting, hot apple cider and neighbourhood good cheer, and of course a wide selection of pumpkins for sale.  100% of proceeds go to to park improvements, there is no cost recovery as I donate all the pumpkins to the sale.

Come early as in previous years we have sold out.  over $30,000.00 raised so far thru the generous donations of the community.

Looking forward to seeing you all!


Martin Goodman Trail Improvement Project near the Royal Canadian Legion – Project Update: September 6th 2019

Good News! The city’s contractor has very recently confirmed that they will mobilize on Monday September 9th to begin the Martin Goodman Trail Improvements near the Royal Canadian Legion.

Signage to notify trail users of the upcoming works has also been installed along the trail and parks staff are currently coordinating with Cycling Infrastructure to send the message out via their social media networks in advance of the construction start.   The contractor is required to maintain access around the work zone throughout construction.

During Stage 2: Alternate access to the Legion Parking lot will be provided via Net drive.  The Net drive Parking lot will remain open as long as possible.  Work is being completed during off peak season in an effort to minimize these impacts.

For  questions or concerns please email  councillor_perks@toronto.ca or by calling  416-392-7919.

Environment Day – CHANGE OF VENUE

The City’s annual Community Environment Day is back! It will be held on Saturday, April 27th, 2019, from 10am – 2pm at Sir Casmir Gzowski Park (1751 Lake Shore Blvd. W.)

You can drop off unwanted items for donation, recycling and safe disposal. Free bags of leaf compost will also be available for pick up. For more information on the event see the attached posted or visit toronto.ca/environment_days

Councillor Perks will also be hosting three community compost days in Ward 4, where free leaf compost will be available for pick. The compost will be available from 10:00am, while supplies last. Please bring your own shovel and containers.

Here are the details for the compost days:
– April 20th, 2019 at Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre, 220 Cowan Avenue
– April 27th, 2019 at Runnymede Public School, 357 Runnymede Road
– May 25th, 2019 at Indian Rd Public School, 285 Indian Rd Crescent

Parkdale Public Library News

Parkdale Library has been a valued part of our community for over 50 years; well loved, well used. Now it’s time to refresh and renew.

Parkdale Library will be closing for approximately 3 months to redesign and revitalize the main floor. This includes enhancements to the Musical Instrument Lending Library, added flexibility to deliver programs, new carpeting and more public seating.

Join Toronto Public Library for a Community Open House to meet library staff, who will answer questions and listen to your feedback

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Drop in time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location: Parkdale Library
Address: 1303 Queen Street West
Phone Number: 416-393-7686

TTC  track work Queen and Roncesvalles – note from Councillor Perks

The TTC will be reconstructing the intersection at King / Queen / Roncesvalles / Queensway (KQRQ) in 2019. The construction will take place in three phases as outlined below. This is a joint project by the TTC, Toronto’s Transportation Services and Water Division.

Overall Scope of work – Starting in April 2019
* As part of the state of good repair work, the aging sewer and track around the intersection needs to be replaced

* Relocating the eastbound centre platform streetcar stop to the far side of the intersection
* Realigning the King Street West leg to create a better intersection angle and increase green space
* Modifying / constructing street car platforms at Glendale Avenue
* Continue the bump-out treatment on Roncesvalles at this intersection

As part of the Sunnyside Community Association area traffic study that was completed in 2008, the city will also be:
* Modifying the signal at Glendale Avenue and Queensway
* Adding dedicated eastbound – left – turn lanes at Sunnyside Avenue, Glendale Avenue, and The Queensway
* Signalizing intersection at Sunnyside and The Queensway
* Modifying the streetcar track vertical alignment (slope at Claude Avenue that will visually and physically enhance the existing right-in / right-out at Claude Avenue)

Time Line
This work will take place in three main stages.
* Stage 1: Roncesvalles (from Harvard to The Queensway / Queen Street West)
o March 31st, 2019 to August 4, 2019
* Stage 2: Queen Street West and The Queensway (Sunnyside to Triller)
o August 4, 2019 to Winter 2020
* Stage 3: The Queensway (Parkside to Sunnyside)
o April 2019 to October 2019

Road Closures
* Roncesvalles will be closed to Thru-Traffic March 31 to August 4 2019
o Grafton Ave Closed (Traffic must circulate using Laneway to Harvard Avenue
o Access to Queen Street Laneway Closed
o 1 Lane to remain open on Harvard Avenue at all times
o Bump-out retrofit to coincided during this time
* South Side of the Queensway (Parkside Bridge to Sunnyside) April 10 to August 4 2019
o Access to Toronto Pump Station required at all times
o Southside Parkside Bridge to coincide during this stage
o Cross Over required at Colborne Lodge
* Full King – Queen – The Queensway – Roncesvalles intersection closure August 4 to October 7 2019
o Queensway to be local access only to Glendale
o Intersection opens October 8 (All legs of the intersection open, reduced lanes East and West)

More details on each phase of construction will be provided as we approach the specific dates. There will also be a link for this project on my and the City’s website. As with all construction related projects timelines may be slightly altered.

This project will improve public transportation and realm, pedestrian environment, and traffic circulation in this area.

If you have any questions about this project, please do not hesitate to contact my office.


Councillor Gord Perks’ Office
Ward 4 Parkdale – High Park

100 Queen Street West, Suite A14
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
(t) 416-392-7919
(f) 416-392-0398
twitter: @gordperks
Facebook: @GordPerks

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.