Cross-posted from the Roncesvalles Village BIA website:
Please join the Roncesvalles-Macdonell Residents’ Association on Tuesday February 28th for a presentation and community discussion about the Dundas-Roncesvalles Peace Garden. This initiative aims to green and beautify the triangular space at Dundas and Roncesvalles, and to commemorate its role in the War of 1812 and the resistance of local aboriginal warriors to the landing of the American fleet in Humber Bay.
The BIA is very excited by this proposal. The beautification of this space was identified as a major streetscape priority under the BIA’s 2003 Streetscape Strategy, which considers this intersection be the northern gateway to Roncesvalles Village. The BIA is also excited at this opportunity to take part in the War of 1812 Bicentennial, which will take place over the next 2 1/2 years.
The Battle of York started just south of the foot of Roncesvalles, about where the Boulevard Club stands today. In 1813, Americans landed there and marched east. In preparation for the expected battle, Canadian/British engineers needed a road that connected Fort York to the west, near to the likely American landing point. As a result, plans showing a road running straight across what is now High Park had to be scrapped in favour of a road that could be built more quickly. In order to avoid all the creeks and marshes of the Humber/High Park system, the road took a sharp turn and then circled around the park. And that is why Dundas suddenly turns north at Roncesvalles. The entire layout of Toronto’s west end was determined by the expediencies of war.
Also, Canada would not have existed after the War of 1812 without the help of First Nations allies, whose local presence is remembered in street names such as Indian Road and Algonquin Avenue.
The Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden Group is a committee of the RMRA, in partnership with the Roncesvalles Village BIA and the City of Toronto. Other community partners include the Roncesvalles Village Historical Society, Roncesvalles Renewed, and the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto.
The meeting will be held on February 28 at 7 pm at Fern Avenue Public School, 128 Fern Avenue.