A perfect day on Roncesvalles

Yesterday was a perfect day on Roncesvalles, and a great opportunity to capture the beauty of our new streetscape.

Ever since construction wrapped up in July, the new Roncesvalles has been widely praised. “The result is quite marvellous,” wrote the Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee, and the New York Times wrote: “the rejuvenated ‘Roncey’ now makes for one of the city’s most engaging strolls.”

Here are some examples of what they are writing about.

Passengers boarding a TTC streetcar on Roncesvalles Ave., Nov. 2011The new streetscape features several new trees, planted in healthy growing conditions. Instead of ugly concrete “tree coffins” that usually kill trees within 5-10 years, the trees are protected by attractive guards and grates. Soon, Roncesvalles will boast a lush green canopy that will cool our street, absorb greenhouse gases and pollutants, and provide natural beauty. The unsafe “two-step” sidewalk has finally been levelled, and unit pavers provide an attractive surface covering the underground soil trenches that give our trees access to uncompacted soil, air and water. The new tree guards are intended as multi-use street furniture that you can rest against or lock your bike to.

IMG_2025-sThe TTC stops are intended to be more than just places to wait for a streetcar. They have been conceived as “outdoor living rooms,” with benches, gardens, pedestrian lights, and room in some cases for displays or patios. An innovative, raised bike path allows cyclists to pass by the TTC stops without being caught in the streetcar tracks.

Multi-purpose TTC bumpouts on Roncesvalles Ave.Roncesvalles now has the most accessible streetcar stops in Toronto, allowing direct boarding from the sidewalk.  At 30 metres long, the stops have been optimized for Toronto’s new fleet of hi-tech LRV streetcars, which will begin entering service in 2014. These low-floor streetcars will be fully-accessible, air-conditioned, and will allow boarding from all four doors with the new Presto cards.

Two friends enjoy a walk up the tiled sidewalk on Roncesvalles Ave.The end result is a street that is full of vibrancy and life – not just a way to pass through, but a destination in itself. Roncesvalles is a pedestrian-friendly place where neighbours can meet friends, stop to chat, and yes, to shop.

Cross-posted with the Roncesvalles Village BIA website

Photos: John Bowker

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One thought on “A perfect day on Roncesvalles

  1. On Sunday morning I had to go to Liberty Village and then spent the afternoon on Roncesvalles. I moved into the neighborhood earlier this month it was my first time walking around while the shops were open. I cant stop telling my friends how much I love the neighborhood and how friendly everyone is!

    The warmth and uniqueness of the stores and their owners was a great juxtaposition to the cold cookie-cutter feeling of LV.

    I look forward to living here!

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