Exploring Toronto : Some Shops and Sights on Roncesvalles

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In my last post (here) I wrote about spending some time looking around a neighbourhood that we’ve never spent much time in before — Roncesvalles Village. I spoke mainly about some of the restaurants that we saw and tried out, so today, I’d like to share some photos of the other things we saw there, including some great shops located on Roncesvalles Avenue.

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I think you’ll agree that there is a lot of charm in all the old buildings along Roncesvalles Avenue, and in how the merchants and residents have kept them looking very much like they did when they were first built, back at the beginning of the 1900s. Well, I would guess that in some cases the buildings were indeed changed during the past one hundred years, but now have been “unmodernized” and brought back to look like they originally did. The new development we saw, which of course is necessary to keep any area thriving, fit in nicely too. All in all, the street has a very “stepping back in time” feel to it.

One of the most important buildings there, from a historic point of view, is the Revue Cinema. Having opened in 1912, it has been continuously used as a movie theatre to this day, except for the year or so, 2006 – 2007, when it lingered after having been sold. The new owners did not intend to maintain it as a theatre, but residents raised funds and volounteered in an effort to keep it going, and today it continues to keep a regular schedule screening movies. So, it holds the honour of being one of the longest continuously running movie theatres in Canada. (There is a story about it and some cool old photos of it here.)

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Nick and I really enjoyed poking around in this shop, called Scout. It is a gift giver’s paradise, filled with a wide assortment of bright and interesting things.

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When I say “gift giver” I include presents for oneself too! Another shop, just a few storefronts over, called Likely General, would also appeal to someone looking for something for a friend or for themself.

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In fact, Roncesvalles Avenue is lined with places to purchase lovely unique things. I bet it’s a very pretty place to visit around Christmastime, and I’m putting a trip there in December on my “must do” list.

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I loved the gorgeous handmade wooden things on offer in this little shop, Putneys Wooden Bits. Everything is made for salvaged wood from Toronto trees.

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As mentioned in my previous post, there was a Flea Market happening while we were there, with many tables bearing pretty handmade and vintage things. I found myself a nice vintage tea towel to add to my collection.

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Adding the colourful motif of the street were the abundant produce markets.

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Nick popped into one to get some lemons.

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With good reason, Roncesvalles is a popular part of the city to live in these days, and now I’ve seen for myself exactly why this is true.

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Thanks for joining me on this virtual visit to a lovely part of Toronto. If you live in the city, I hope you’ll head there to enjoy it in person.

xo loulou

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