This unique neighbourhood is bordered by the CPR railway to the north and east, while Bloor Street runs along the south part and Keele Street to the west. The West Bend has the privilege of enjoying a rich history owing to its role as a manufacturing centre and settlement for new immigrants to Toronto. As more people flocked to this area for work or to live, the West Bend has carved out an identity for itself due to its unique and diverse character.
If you take a stroll around this neighbourhood it is possible to see its rich past reflected in the architecture of factories and residences built in the early 20th century. Currently, a revival in the neighbourhood is brewing among developers and potential residents.
Historically, the West Bend united the original City of Toronto and the Village of West Toronto Junction. Founded in 1884 at the intersection of Dundas and Keele Streets, the Village of the West Junction operated independent of the City of Toronto until it was annexed in 1909. Though both have grown together over the last 100 years the community remains loyal to their Village of West Junction identity.
From the trendy shops, cafés and bars that line Queen Street West to the beaches of Lake Ontario, Parkdale is a neighbourhood that has much to offer its residents. Many new immigrants to Toronto find their first home in Parkdale adding to the vibrancy of the neighbourhood. The budding presence of artists and galleries contribute to the distinct character of Parkdale and to the beautification of our public spaces. Besides the strong cultural presence, Parkdale also benefits from a dedicated cast of community groups. The combination of new immigrants, active cultural scene and community groups contribute to a robust and energetic public realm in Parkdale.
Roncesvalles is a predominantly residential neighbourhood that has a commercial strip running down the avenue with local shops and restaurants supported by the community. The business community has created a Business Improvement Area to promote the speciality shops, restaurants and cafés that abound on this charming street. Historically, Roncesvalles has been known as the heart of Toronto’s Polish community and host to the annual Polish festival. Roncesvalles is also home to a growing number of specialty food shops, cafés, bookstores and services. Whether on the streetcar or strolling through one of its parks it does not take long for one to recognize the charisma of Roncesvalles.
Sunnyside is a lakefront neighbourhood with a rich history and is home to a number of important cultural spaces. The waterfront in this area is made up of number of adjoining parks. Marilyn Bell Park was named in honour of Marilyn Bell, the first person to swim across Lake Ontario and next to it, Budapest Park, was named to commemorate the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This area was home to the Sunnyside Amusement Park, which was demolished in 1955. Still standing is the Sunnyside Pavilion, which after renovation in 1980 now houses a cafe with patio on the boardwalk. A neighbouring event venue, the Palais Royale, is host to regular ballroom events and available for private rental. The waterfront has changed much in the last hundred years and continues to evolve. The City of Toronto has recently launched a master plan for Toronto’s waterfront area. This plan aims at expanding and improving the beaches, creating more opportunities for recreation as well as improving pedestrian and bicycle access.
The High Park neighbourhood, which borrows its name from one of Toronto’s largest park is a stable residential community. Residents here enjoy the benefit of living close to this unique green space, while still being within walking distance of Bloor St. and Roncesvalles Village and only a short TTC ride from the downtown.