What an amazing weekend of cultural festivals in Parkdale-High Park. On Saturday I had the pleasure of spending the day at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival on Bloor St. West. The festival attracts some 300,000 people each year, and it seemed they were all squeezed between Runnymede and Jane. It was great to see so many young people. I thoroughly enjoyed the perogies, Ukranian burger and all the amazing food (I’ll stop there, as listing the full array of items I ate over the course of the day would be embarrassing!). It was also extremely educational to learn from the Toronto Ukrainian Film Festival about the life and culture of Ukraine and Ukrainian Canadians here in Toronto.
On Sunday we left Bloor St. for Roncesvalles where the 2011 Polish Festival was taking place. Again, a major focus of the weekend’s events were focused on bringing out the youth. We got to see The Gypsy Rebels, the Cracovia Polish Dance Ensemble of Brampton and the New Direction Band. We were especially pleased by the new feature this year of the Military Garden, added in support of Canadian troops. These two festivals are a vital part of the life of the Roncesvalles and Bloor West neighborhoods, but they are also an important contribution to the diversity of our amazing city. What a great way to celebrate the nearing end of summer!