High Park-Swansea

Swansea Town Hall
95 Lavinia Avenue
This heritage-designated structure was once the main municipal building for the independent Village of Swansea. It is unclear how the area then became known as Swansea, though there are several unproven theories relating to a connection with Swansea in Wales. Swansea became large enough to be established as an independent village in 1926, and was the largest village in Ontario by 1936. Swansea Town Hall was built in 1960, and the village was officially annexed into the City of Toronto in 1967. The proud and independent traditions of the Village of Swansea were maintained and symbolized by this building, and it continued to be the centre of political, cultural, and social life of the area for many years afterward. Today, the building acts as a community centre, and is home to the Swansea Historical Society, who help promote and preserve the unique history of the area.

Journey's End (Former Home of Lucy Maud Montgomery) & Lucy Maud Montgomery Park
210 Riverside Drive & 222 Riverside Drive
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This heritage-designated home at 210 Riverside Drive was once home to Lucy Maud Montgomery, one of Canada's most famous authors. Montgomery - originally from Prince Edward Island - moved to Toronto in 1935 and quickly became active in the community, joining the local church, attending library events, and giving speeches and readings at homes, churches, and schools. She also notably wrote the last few sequels to 'Anne of Green Gables' while living at the house - which she nicknamed Journey's End. Montgomery struggled with depression for much of her life, and her mental state deteriorated greatly throughout the 1930s. Montgomery was found dead in her home on April 24, 1942, in what is suspected to have been a suicide. Montgomery's family kept the circumstances of her death secret for more than 60 years until 2008, when her granddaughter revealed the truth in the hope that it would help combat some of the continuing social stigma around mental illness. A park just north of the home is named in Montgomery's honour.

The Beginnings of French Toronto Plaques
8 South Kingsway, in the park adjacent to the parking lot
Several plaques in the park adjacent to the parking lot note the history of French settlement in this area between the 1660s and 1759. A fur trading post was built just north of here close to the Indigenous village of Teiaiagon to attract Indigenous fur traders coming down the Humber River along the Toronto Carrying Place trail. Another fur trading post - known as Fort Toronto - was constructed near the mouth of the Humber River in 1750. A second post known as Fort Rouille was built on the site of present day Exhibition Place shortly thereafter. The forts were burned and abandoned once the British took control of Lake Ontario in 1759. The French settlers who lived and worked here - including Jean-Baptiste Rousseaux, who is specifically commemorated on one of the plaques and is considered to be the first European to settle in the Toronto area - were Toronto's first European year-round inhabitants, and it is possible several of their graves may be nearby. A lovely view of the Humber River can be found by walking along the paved path down the hill from the plaques.

Stelco Steelworks Plaque
Across the street from 119A The Queensway
A Heritage Toronto plaque notes that this area was once home to a large industrial site. The Dominion Nut and Bolt Company opened a factory here in 1882. The site eventually became a facility for the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco), and it continued to produce a wide range of steel fasteners and other items until it closed in 1990. It was a key economic anchor for the Swansea area, employing about five hundred people. It also played an important social and cultural role in the area as it housed an early post office and funded local sports teams and educational initiatives. The complex was demolished in 2003 for residential development.

John McEwen 'Lake Iroquois' and 'Canoe & Calipers' Sculptures
105 & 107 The Queensway
These two public art installations across the street from one another were designed by legendary Canadian artist John McEwen, who has done many other works across the city and is a recipient of the Order of Canada. 'Lake Iroquois' is meant to evoke the ancient Lake Iroquois and the glaciers that used to cover this area. 'Canoe & Calipers' is meant to mark the meeting of two technologies: the caliper as a symbol of the old world, and the canoe a gift of Indigenous peoples, both of which were instrumental in the development of early Canada. McEwen considers these two pieces to act as a gateway to Lake Ontario.

Colborne Lodge
11 Colborne Lodge Drive
Creativity and innovation inspired the original owners of Colborne Lodge, John and Jemima Howard, to leave High Park as a legacy that all Torontonians benefit from today. Commissioned by the Howards (two painters and one an architect and engineer), this Picturesque Regency-era lakeside summer cottage still holds original collections of their art, architectural drawings, and inventions as well as stories of their eccentric lives. From nineteenth century science, technology, and medicine, to illness, adultery, and reported hauntings, Colborne Lodge truly has a story to engage all visitors. Colborne Lodge engages in the inclusion of Indigenous narratives and stories through a partnership with First Story Toronto where Indigenous guides embark on a truth-telling journey through their own lens. Nearly two hundred years later, Colborne Lodge is an active hub for community events in High Park, with cottage and garden tours, special events, workshops, and more.

High Park Children's Garden & Teaching Kitchen
105 Colborne Lodge Drive
The Children's Garden is an organic garden planted, harvested, and maintained by children. It provides a variety of educational opportunities to help teach Toronto's children, youth, and community members about environmental, physical, and social health. It hosts a butterfly garden, a hedge made from edible plants, a hillside garden, and a variety of herb and vegetable beds planted to spell 'ABC'. Also located at the garden is the Children's Teaching Kitchen, which is a warm and inviting space that helps to bring children and youth together to cook and enjoy healthy, fresh food. It was completed in 2012 and was constructed using straw bales within the walls to provide superior insulation. It also features in-floor radiant heating to keep the building warm with minimal use of electricity, and its ceiling is a living, green roof. Fruits and vegetables grown in the Children's Garden are harvested and used immediately in programming or preserved for use throughout the year. Children and youth now have the opportunity to see their food grow from seed to table.

High Park Zoo
Deer Pen Road (in High Park)
High Park Zoo is Canada's oldest zoo, originally housing a deer pen and an aviary. The zoo was established in 1893 following John and Jemima Howard's sale of their home, Colborne Lodge, and its 165-acre grounds to the City of Toronto for use as a public park. The 11 paddocks at the zoo are home to animal species from around the world, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, capybaras, emus and sheep. Over 600,000 visitors come to the zoo every year. In the spring of 2021, the llamas and capybaras were gifted with a new pen, which was constructed thanks to years of planning, design, and fundraising led by the City of Toronto and Friends of High Park Zoo.

Black Oak Savannah
High Park
Although the pre-colonial landscape of the Toronto area was densely forested, this forest was also punctuated by large areas of savanna, characterized by relatively sparse tree cover, tall grasslands and many rare species of flora. Black Oak savanna, so named for its predominantly Black Oak tree cover, is particularly ecologically significant in Ontario because Black Oak is at its northern limit among the Great Lakes of southwestern Ontario. High Park, a large park in the city's west end, contains the last remnants of a once extensive Black Oak savanna which covered much of Toronto's west end, approximately from Roncesvalles Avenue to Royal York Road and from the lakeshore as far north as Lawrence Avenue. The High Park savanna is a direct legacy of First Nations land stewardship and development. First Nations people in the Toronto area, as in many other parts of Turtle Island, employed controlled burns to maintain and expand savanna lands, which were important hunting and medicine grounds. Many First Nations trails, including the Humber arm of the Toronto Carrying Place portage criss-crossed this savanna, testifying to its long use by local First Nations people. Unfortunately, many of the continent's savannas have disappeared or are threatened. These areas were frequently the first to be cleared and developed by European colonists for settlement and agriculture. Settler-colonial expansion also led to the suppression of controlled burns in lands formerly stewarded by First Nations and some savannas naturally succeeded to forest. Remaining savanna environments continue to be undermined by excessive human interference and the presence of intrusive plant species that tend to overtake savanna flora. Most of the remaining savanna lands in Ontario can be found on First Nations land / reserves such as Walpole Island, Six Nations, Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin Island and Alderville.

High Park Nature Centre
375 Colborne Lodge Drive
Established in 1999, the High Park Nature Centre is a charitable organization whose mandate is to, '...promote awareness and respect for nature through year-round, hands-on outdoor nature education and park stewardship.' Today they serve a diverse audience of over 14,000 people, and have assisted with park stewardship through activities such as planting native grasses, and removing invasive plant species. The group's headquarters are located in the historic Forest School building, which was constructed in 1932. The school was established in 1914 for students who had medical conditions in which doctors prescribed extensive time outdoors as a remedy. Over 250 students attended the school in the mid-1930s. The school was closed in the mid-1960s as advances in medical technology and sanitation meant that the students could more safely attend regular schools.

Former Eden Smith House
267 Indian Road
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This was once the home of Eden Smith, a legendary architect who designed over 250 buildings in Toronto. Smith was a strong practitioner of the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized natural forms and working with local climate, geography, and materiality. This home was constructed in 1896 by Smith for his family along with several others nearby in what Smith intended to be an artistic colony for like-minded artists and arts supporters. It is a prime example of the English Cottage style that defined much of Smith's work, featuring a sweeping roof, front and side gables, and side entrance. He and his family lived here until they moved to the Wychwood Park neighbourhood in 1906. Smith designed many other houses across Toronto in a similar style to this one, and became one of the most prominent architects and designers in Toronto of his day.

Jami Mosque
55 Boustead Avenue
This mosque is the oldest Canadian Islamic centre in Toronto. It was originally High Park Presbyterian Church, serving a predominantly Anglo-Saxon Protestant community in the area. Many parishioners moved out of the neighbourhood after the Second World War, and the congregation elected to move to another church in the Swansea area. The building was then purchased by the Canadian Muslim Society in 1969, who converted it into a mosque. While most of the original architectural features of the old church remain intact, the church pews were removed and carpet was laid down and angled slightly so that prayer requirements could be properly accommodated. Many other mosques across the Greater Toronto Area can trace their origins to Jami, leading it to be known as 'the mother of all mosques'.

Revue Theatre
400 Roncesvalles Avenue
Dating back to 1912, the heritage-designated Revue Theatre is one of the oldest movie theatres in Toronto and Canada, and continues to be one of the most prominent buildings along Roncesvalles Avenue. It continued to operate as a movie theatre from its opening all the way up until June 2006, when it closed following the death of the building's owner. The theatre's famous marquee was destroyed in February 2007 after the weight of heavy snow caused it to fall to the ground. With the fate of the building uncertain, a group known as the Revue Film Society was formed with the intention of preserving the cinema. The group was able to fundraise enough to reopen the cinema in October 2007 with a screening of the 1950s classic film 'Some Like It Hot'. The theatre received an Ontario Trillium Grant in 2014 to renovate the lobby and interior, which helped to restore much of its Edwardian and Art Deco charm.

Toronto Public Library - High Park Branch
228 Roncesvalles Avenue
This heritage-designated library branch was designed by famous Toronto architect Eden Smith and opened on October 31, 1916. It was one of three nearly identical branches opened across the city thanks to a Carnegie Grant of fifty thousand dollars (the other two being the Wychwood and Beaches branches). This building is unique in that it did not follow the usual Classical designs of most other Carnegie libraries, and was instead designed in seventeenth century English Collegiate style by Smith. Notable architectural features include an upper floor modelled after a Tudor Gothic great hall, with a soaring hammerbeam ceiling and stone fireplace. A Heritage Toronto plaque noting the history of the building was unveiled as part of 100th anniversary celebrations in 2016.

St. Casimir's Church
156 Roncesvalles Avenue
This church is one of the main community hubs for the Polish-Canadian community in Toronto, which has historically been associated with Roncesvalles Avenue. Its origins lie in the 1940s, when a wave of Polish immigrants arrived in Toronto, many of whom settled in this area. The land was purchased for the construction of a new building in 1948, and the new church opened on Easter Sunday in 1949. It continues to serve the community to this day, with Roncesvalles Avenue as a social and cultural centre of the Polish-Canadian community (Polish is the second most popular language after English in the area). The annual Roncesvalles Polish Festival - held along the street each September - is the largest celebration of Polish culture in North America.

Explore High Park-Swansea

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Kate Nankervis
Toronto Public Library: Runnymede Branch
2178 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S 1M8

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

This stroll traverses a neighbourhood which encompasses what is perhaps Toronto's best known green space: High Park. It also includes the formerly independent community of Swansea, notable for its historic charm, quiet streets, and a bustling corridor of fantastic local businesses in the Bloor West Village BIA. The area also includes part of Roncesvalles Village, which is historically the social and cultural centre of the Polish-Canadian community in Toronto and hosts a large commercial strip along Roncesvalles Avenue. Unique local businesses and restaurants also abound in the Parkdale Village and Bloor By the Park BIAs.

Main Streets: Roncesvalles Avenue, Bloor Street West and Ripley Avenue
  1. Swansea Town Hall
    95 Lavinia Avenue
    This heritage-designated structure was once the main municipal building for the independent Village of Swansea. It is unclear how the area then became known as Swansea, though there are several unproven theories relating to a connection with Swansea in Wales. Swansea became large enough to be established as an independent village in 1926, and was the largest village in Ontario by 1936. Swansea Town Hall was built in 1960, and the village was officially annexed into the City of Toronto in 1967. The proud and independent traditions of the Village of Swansea were maintained and symbolized by this building, and it continued to be the centre of political, cultural, and social life of the area for many years afterward. Today, the building acts as a community centre, and is home to the Swansea Historical Society, who help promote and preserve the unique history of the area.
  2. Journey's End (Former Home of Lucy Maud Montgomery) & Lucy Maud Montgomery Park
    210 Riverside Drive & 222 Riverside Drive
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This heritage-designated home at 210 Riverside Drive was once home to Lucy Maud Montgomery, one of Canada's most famous authors. Montgomery - originally from Prince Edward Island - moved to Toronto in 1935 and quickly became active in the community, joining the local church, attending library events, and giving speeches and readings at homes, churches, and schools. She also notably wrote the last few sequels to 'Anne of Green Gables' while living at the house - which she nicknamed Journey's End. Montgomery struggled with depression for much of her life, and her mental state deteriorated greatly throughout the 1930s. Montgomery was found dead in her home on April 24, 1942, in what is suspected to have been a suicide. Montgomery's family kept the circumstances of her death secret for more than 60 years until 2008, when her granddaughter revealed the truth in the hope that it would help combat some of the continuing social stigma around mental illness. A park just north of the home is named in Montgomery's honour.
  3. The Beginnings of French Toronto Plaques
    8 South Kingsway, in the park adjacent to the parking lot
    Several plaques in the park adjacent to the parking lot note the history of French settlement in this area between the 1660s and 1759. A fur trading post was built just north of here close to the Indigenous village of Teiaiagon to attract Indigenous fur traders coming down the Humber River along the Toronto Carrying Place trail. Another fur trading post - known as Fort Toronto - was constructed near the mouth of the Humber River in 1750. A second post known as Fort Rouille was built on the site of present day Exhibition Place shortly thereafter. The forts were burned and abandoned once the British took control of Lake Ontario in 1759. The French settlers who lived and worked here - including Jean-Baptiste Rousseaux, who is specifically commemorated on one of the plaques and is considered to be the first European to settle in the Toronto area - were Toronto's first European year-round inhabitants, and it is possible several of their graves may be nearby. A lovely view of the Humber River can be found by walking along the paved path down the hill from the plaques.
  4. Stelco Steelworks Plaque
    Across the street from 119A The Queensway
    A Heritage Toronto plaque notes that this area was once home to a large industrial site. The Dominion Nut and Bolt Company opened a factory here in 1882. The site eventually became a facility for the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco), and it continued to produce a wide range of steel fasteners and other items until it closed in 1990. It was a key economic anchor for the Swansea area, employing about five hundred people. It also played an important social and cultural role in the area as it housed an early post office and funded local sports teams and educational initiatives. The complex was demolished in 2003 for residential development.
  5. John McEwen 'Lake Iroquois' and 'Canoe & Calipers' Sculptures
    105 & 107 The Queensway
    These two public art installations across the street from one another were designed by legendary Canadian artist John McEwen, who has done many other works across the city and is a recipient of the Order of Canada. 'Lake Iroquois' is meant to evoke the ancient Lake Iroquois and the glaciers that used to cover this area. 'Canoe & Calipers' is meant to mark the meeting of two technologies: the caliper as a symbol of the old world, and the canoe a gift of Indigenous peoples, both of which were instrumental in the development of early Canada. McEwen considers these two pieces to act as a gateway to Lake Ontario.
  6. Colborne Lodge
    11 Colborne Lodge Drive
    Creativity and innovation inspired the original owners of Colborne Lodge, John and Jemima Howard, to leave High Park as a legacy that all Torontonians benefit from today. Commissioned by the Howards (two painters and one an architect and engineer), this Picturesque Regency-era lakeside summer cottage still holds original collections of their art, architectural drawings, and inventions as well as stories of their eccentric lives. From nineteenth century science, technology, and medicine, to illness, adultery, and reported hauntings, Colborne Lodge truly has a story to engage all visitors. Colborne Lodge engages in the inclusion of Indigenous narratives and stories through a partnership with First Story Toronto where Indigenous guides embark on a truth-telling journey through their own lens. Nearly two hundred years later, Colborne Lodge is an active hub for community events in High Park, with cottage and garden tours, special events, workshops, and more.
  7. High Park Children's Garden & Teaching Kitchen
    105 Colborne Lodge Drive
    The Children's Garden is an organic garden planted, harvested, and maintained by children. It provides a variety of educational opportunities to help teach Toronto's children, youth, and community members about environmental, physical, and social health. It hosts a butterfly garden, a hedge made from edible plants, a hillside garden, and a variety of herb and vegetable beds planted to spell 'ABC'. Also located at the garden is the Children's Teaching Kitchen, which is a warm and inviting space that helps to bring children and youth together to cook and enjoy healthy, fresh food. It was completed in 2012 and was constructed using straw bales within the walls to provide superior insulation. It also features in-floor radiant heating to keep the building warm with minimal use of electricity, and its ceiling is a living, green roof. Fruits and vegetables grown in the Children's Garden are harvested and used immediately in programming or preserved for use throughout the year. Children and youth now have the opportunity to see their food grow from seed to table.
  8. High Park Zoo
    Deer Pen Road (in High Park)
    High Park Zoo is Canada's oldest zoo, originally housing a deer pen and an aviary. The zoo was established in 1893 following John and Jemima Howard's sale of their home, Colborne Lodge, and its 165-acre grounds to the City of Toronto for use as a public park. The 11 paddocks at the zoo are home to animal species from around the world, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, capybaras, emus and sheep. Over 600,000 visitors come to the zoo every year. In the spring of 2021, the llamas and capybaras were gifted with a new pen, which was constructed thanks to years of planning, design, and fundraising led by the City of Toronto and Friends of High Park Zoo.
  9. Black Oak Savannah
    High Park
    Although the pre-colonial landscape of the Toronto area was densely forested, this forest was also punctuated by large areas of savanna, characterized by relatively sparse tree cover, tall grasslands and many rare species of flora. Black Oak savanna, so named for its predominantly Black Oak tree cover, is particularly ecologically significant in Ontario because Black Oak is at its northern limit among the Great Lakes of southwestern Ontario. High Park, a large park in the city's west end, contains the last remnants of a once extensive Black Oak savanna which covered much of Toronto's west end, approximately from Roncesvalles Avenue to Royal York Road and from the lakeshore as far north as Lawrence Avenue. The High Park savanna is a direct legacy of First Nations land stewardship and development. First Nations people in the Toronto area, as in many other parts of Turtle Island, employed controlled burns to maintain and expand savanna lands, which were important hunting and medicine grounds. Many First Nations trails, including the Humber arm of the Toronto Carrying Place portage criss-crossed this savanna, testifying to its long use by local First Nations people. Unfortunately, many of the continent's savannas have disappeared or are threatened. These areas were frequently the first to be cleared and developed by European colonists for settlement and agriculture. Settler-colonial expansion also led to the suppression of controlled burns in lands formerly stewarded by First Nations and some savannas naturally succeeded to forest. Remaining savanna environments continue to be undermined by excessive human interference and the presence of intrusive plant species that tend to overtake savanna flora. Most of the remaining savanna lands in Ontario can be found on First Nations land / reserves such as Walpole Island, Six Nations, Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin Island and Alderville.
  10. High Park Nature Centre
    375 Colborne Lodge Drive
    Established in 1999, the High Park Nature Centre is a charitable organization whose mandate is to, '...promote awareness and respect for nature through year-round, hands-on outdoor nature education and park stewardship.' Today they serve a diverse audience of over 14,000 people, and have assisted with park stewardship through activities such as planting native grasses, and removing invasive plant species. The group's headquarters are located in the historic Forest School building, which was constructed in 1932. The school was established in 1914 for students who had medical conditions in which doctors prescribed extensive time outdoors as a remedy. Over 250 students attended the school in the mid-1930s. The school was closed in the mid-1960s as advances in medical technology and sanitation meant that the students could more safely attend regular schools.
  11. Former Eden Smith House
    267 Indian Road
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This was once the home of Eden Smith, a legendary architect who designed over 250 buildings in Toronto. Smith was a strong practitioner of the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized natural forms and working with local climate, geography, and materiality. This home was constructed in 1896 by Smith for his family along with several others nearby in what Smith intended to be an artistic colony for like-minded artists and arts supporters. It is a prime example of the English Cottage style that defined much of Smith's work, featuring a sweeping roof, front and side gables, and side entrance. He and his family lived here until they moved to the Wychwood Park neighbourhood in 1906. Smith designed many other houses across Toronto in a similar style to this one, and became one of the most prominent architects and designers in Toronto of his day.
  12. Jami Mosque
    55 Boustead Avenue
    This mosque is the oldest Canadian Islamic centre in Toronto. It was originally High Park Presbyterian Church, serving a predominantly Anglo-Saxon Protestant community in the area. Many parishioners moved out of the neighbourhood after the Second World War, and the congregation elected to move to another church in the Swansea area. The building was then purchased by the Canadian Muslim Society in 1969, who converted it into a mosque. While most of the original architectural features of the old church remain intact, the church pews were removed and carpet was laid down and angled slightly so that prayer requirements could be properly accommodated. Many other mosques across the Greater Toronto Area can trace their origins to Jami, leading it to be known as 'the mother of all mosques'.
  13. Revue Theatre
    400 Roncesvalles Avenue
    Dating back to 1912, the heritage-designated Revue Theatre is one of the oldest movie theatres in Toronto and Canada, and continues to be one of the most prominent buildings along Roncesvalles Avenue. It continued to operate as a movie theatre from its opening all the way up until June 2006, when it closed following the death of the building's owner. The theatre's famous marquee was destroyed in February 2007 after the weight of heavy snow caused it to fall to the ground. With the fate of the building uncertain, a group known as the Revue Film Society was formed with the intention of preserving the cinema. The group was able to fundraise enough to reopen the cinema in October 2007 with a screening of the 1950s classic film 'Some Like It Hot'. The theatre received an Ontario Trillium Grant in 2014 to renovate the lobby and interior, which helped to restore much of its Edwardian and Art Deco charm.
  14. Toronto Public Library - High Park Branch
    228 Roncesvalles Avenue
    This heritage-designated library branch was designed by famous Toronto architect Eden Smith and opened on October 31, 1916. It was one of three nearly identical branches opened across the city thanks to a Carnegie Grant of fifty thousand dollars (the other two being the Wychwood and Beaches branches). This building is unique in that it did not follow the usual Classical designs of most other Carnegie libraries, and was instead designed in seventeenth century English Collegiate style by Smith. Notable architectural features include an upper floor modelled after a Tudor Gothic great hall, with a soaring hammerbeam ceiling and stone fireplace. A Heritage Toronto plaque noting the history of the building was unveiled as part of 100th anniversary celebrations in 2016.
  15. St. Casimir's Church
    156 Roncesvalles Avenue
    This church is one of the main community hubs for the Polish-Canadian community in Toronto, which has historically been associated with Roncesvalles Avenue. Its origins lie in the 1940s, when a wave of Polish immigrants arrived in Toronto, many of whom settled in this area. The land was purchased for the construction of a new building in 1948, and the new church opened on Easter Sunday in 1949. It continues to serve the community to this day, with Roncesvalles Avenue as a social and cultural centre of the Polish-Canadian community (Polish is the second most popular language after English in the area). The annual Roncesvalles Polish Festival - held along the street each September - is the largest celebration of Polish culture in North America.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are viewable from the street, including those found in High Park. However, please note that other areas of High Park outside of the featured points of interest include unpaved trails, steep hills, stairs, and narrow passageways. Also, the interior of Colborne Lodge is partially accessible.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.