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Top 7 Local Spots in Toronto's Roncesvalles

Whenever i've sat down to write something for the dear HuffPost, truth is, I've always wanted to write about my own neighbourhood. Now that the NY Times has gone and done just that I figure, "Why not? Better late than never."

Whereas some may refer to this as "piggy backing on others' success/trends" I would like to think of it as... well, that's exactly what I'm doing. But here is where you need me: while the NY Times focused on shiny new businesses, I'd like to share some oldies:

1) The Local, 396 Roncesvalles -- Kitschy Grandma's house circa the 1950s. Live music every night. Good food (one of the best burgers i've ever had). Oh, and a supercute patio. Don't be deterred by their '90s website.

2) Victoria's Bakery, 173 Roncesvalles -- Best perogies. Better prices than most of the Polish bakeries/delis in the neighbourhood. Don't expect service with a smile.

3) Maple Produce, 225 Roncesvalles -- Cheapest veg/fruit market. Cash only. Always a long lineup. Celeb connection: I once spotted a Barenaked Lady here.

4) High Park Library, 228 Roncesvalles -- OK, it's not a business, but it's worth a pop-in. It's a beauty and one of only a few Carnegie libraries in Toronto. Dark wooden beams, cathedral ceilings and a fireplace.

5) Kennel Cafe, 295 Roncesvalles -- I buy my cat food here. my favourite thing about this place is that there are always cats (available for adoption) lounging around, along with the owner's aging mutt, always appreciative of a good pet!

6) The Chocolateria, 361 Roncesvalles -- I love the décor. I love that the old restaurant signage ("The Romantic Place"!) was left above the store front. I love that they started making ice cream this past summer and i love that you can take chocolate making classes.

7) Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles -- Dudes, it's been in the same location since 1912. It's worth a visit for the art deco design alone.

Roncesvalles is the only neighbourhood in Toronto where I feel comfortable leaving the house in my pajamas. It feels like an old friend who would never judge you for doing just that, or having snot fly out of your nose because you're laughing too hard.

As a bonus, I think it has to be the dog and baby capital of Toronto, always presenting you with an opportunity to "ooooh!" and "aww!" and giggle at cute things. Despite many Torontonians claiming to have never even HEARD of this neighbourhood or complaining it's "too far out of the way," I urge you to take advantage of this quaint village in our city.

So get your butts over here before Roncy is overrun with people who will judge me in my pajamas, before folks stop smiling at dogs and before the real estate prices skyrocket.

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