A love letter to my favourite Toronto neighbourhood

31 October 2017

Dear Roncesvalles,

It’s been five years since you turned this suburban girl into an urbanite. I still remember the day I put in my application for the tiny basement apartment on Geoffrey Street, the apartment that would eventually turn into my first home as a newlywed.

It was five years ago that I discovered that Toronto had so much more to offer than smokey Dundas Square and The Keg Mansion. I learned that Toronto is a big city made up of small neighbourhoods – each with their own hidden gems and devoted residents.

It’s on this street that I met ambitious entrepreneurs who traded in their corporate jobs to pursue their passion project. It’s where I developed friendships with hardworking families who work tirelessly at the convenience stores and food stands so they can put their kids through school. It’s where I learned to properly cook salmon and roast a chicken, from the people who sold me the fish and meat.

But the thing I am most grateful for, dear Roncy, is how you awakened the foodie within me. Chocolateria convinced me that anything can be covered in chocolate and that avocado makes a great ice cream flavour. Mabel’s Bakery showed me you can have European-grade croissants without going to Europe. La Cubana restored my faith in Cuban cuisine when all I knew was Cuban-resort food. And Lit Espresso made me realize that coffee can taste amazing without two creams and two sugars.

So I just wanted to say thank you, Roncy. You helped me discover a part of me that I didn’t fully realize before. It’s when I walk your street that I feel inspired to do what I love. I’ll always be your devoted resident, no matter where I live.

Photography by: New Vintage Media


  1. As someone who grew up on Sunnyside, i have very MIXED feelings about how Ronces has changed. I love to see the community actively using the street. I love to see the young families doing their daily chores. What I miss is the DIVERSIty that has slowly been forced from the area. This is not to say that the area has been utterly gentrified (and in some cases white washed), but I remember a village of recent Tamil immigrant families mixing with Polish families that had GIven the area it’s “little poland” designation (WHICH the area no longer exemplifies) mixing with other lower to middle class families from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The FAMILIes you speak of working hard at their cornerstores to put their kids through school, they would not be able to afford to be there if they had just arrived in Ronces now.

    I love the area I grew up in and always will, but I have reservations toward what you wrote because you don’t seem to see how inaccessible that area has become. Consider yourself extremely lucky and charish what you love about it, BECAUSE many of those who were raised there over the past 30-50 years can no longer afford to enjoy it as they did before and as you seem to do now.

    1. I did not mean to type the random capitals. The font with which our comments originally appear in the reply box are all caps and make it impossible to distinguish when I am and am not using them. PLease note that I was trying to WRIte my comment in the most grammatically correct way possible and please do not attach any meaning behind the random used of capital letters. Thank you.

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