Roncesvalles Renewed

RoncyWorks was rooted from Roncesvalles Renewed, a community group initiated by the Roncesvalles Village BIA in 2005, four years before construction began on our main street.

People sitting around a table at a meeting for Roncesvalles Renewed

Members of Roncesvalles Renewed at one of the many meetings held at the home of John Senders and Ann Crichton-Harris on Indian Road.

Roncesvalles Renewed included reps from the BIA and three local Residents Associations, other local residents with particular interests or expertise in urban planning and renewal, business owners, local institutions and political representatives. We saw this reconstruction as an opportunity to try a new model for how communities collaborate with the City on major infrastructure projects of this kind.

Beginning in June 2009, Roncesvalles Avenue underwent a major reconstruction. The sewers were rebuilt, followed by the water mains, streetcar tracks and sidewalks. It meant digging, dust and detours for about two years. It also presented a number of opportunities, not least of which was to create a thriving canopy of trees along Roncesvalles.


The group’s key priority had been to ensure that the reconstruction included the conditions necessary for trees to flourish. Until recently before the reconstruction, the requirements for constructing roadways and sidewalks were at odds with successful tree growth. Fortunately new construction methods and materials made it possible to do both.

Along with a healthy tree canopy, we also worked to create better sidewalks, beautiful public spaces, and a ‘buy local’ campaign to help our businesses survive this major reconstruction of Roncesvalles.

After the street was officially reopened to streetcars on July 23 2011, a few volunteers from Roncesvalles Renewed turned their attention from planning and community outreach, to preserving and enhancing the collective investment in our shared public space.

Nine months later the volunteer group that had coalesced was rebranded RoncyWorks by top notch designer Tony Enns who was from the neighbourhood. It was evident that the spirit of community engagement, which had driven the efforts of Roncesvalles Renewed, would be manifest in a series of a new volunteer initiatives along Roncesvalles Avenue.

As we work towards completing the evolution of RoncyWorks into its own bonafide entity, we gratefully acknowledge the vision and intent of those who gave their time and energy to Roncesvalles Renewed and its related community initiatives.


Abby Bushby
Ann Crichton-Harris
Brian Torry
David Oleson
Dieter Heinrich
Elisa North
Eric Turcotte
Gail Shillingford
Judy Josefowicz
Mark Ellwood
Martha Goodings
Mary Wiens
Meg Graham
Peter North
Veronica Feihl


John Bowker, Chair, RVBIA Beautification Cmte.
Keith Denning, BIA Coordinator
Kevin Healey, Chair, Roncesvalles-Macdonell RA
Brian Torry, Co-Chair RMRA
Mark Campbell, Co-Chair RMRA
William Montague, Chair, RMRA Greening Committee
Jeff Derksen, Chair, High Park RA
Michael Craig, Chair, Sunnyside Community Assoc.


Peter Simon, Urban Forestry Services
Robert Mays, Project Officer, Clean & Beautiful City Secretariat
Daphne Wee, Project Eng., Transportation
Councillor Gord Perks, Ward 14
Patrick Chung, Spec. Proj. Eng., Toronto Water

1 thought on “Roncesvalles Renewed

  1. Pingback: Taking it to the Street | RoncyWorks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s