Named so because it is near where four Toronto railway lines meet, The Junction was once a manufacturing community and many of the industrial architecture remains, but has now been turned into artists’ studios and loft spaces. In the late 1800s the area housed a large number of railway workers and the area was rich with watering holes to cater to them. The popularity of which led to the residents banning alcohol in the area until 1998. Its introduction in 2001 is credited with revitalizing the area. Rapid gentrification led to restaurants and art galleries springing up, showing creative types were attracted to the area’s cheap rents. The neighbourhood runs from Annette in the south to St. Clair Avenue in the north, from Runnymede in the west to the train lines in the east. It boats large Victorian houses and is within walking distance from one of Toronto’s most desirable areas: High Park. Via public transit it is accessible by the Bloor-Danforth subway line to Dundas West and number 40 bus.
Credited with introducing Toronto to New York-style pizza in 1957, the Pugiliese family still own Vesuvio’s which is a local landmark where you’ll find all kinds (even off-duty police) lining up for a slice. Meanwhile the Indie Alehouse has a huge variety of beer and well-received gastropub fare. Coolhand of a Girl is popular example of the area’s thriving organic brunch spots.
Vesuvio’s, 3010 Dundas St. W., vesuviospizza.com
The Indie Alehouse, 2876 Dundas St W., indiealehouse.com
Cool Hand of a Girl, 2804 Dundas St,. W. coolhandofagirl.com
Throughout the summer collectors and curators flock to the monthly outdoor Junction flea, selling everything from hand-painted signs to vintage purses and records. Year-round design stores like Mjolk draw artsy crowds and homeowners alike to admire the Scandinavian influenced furniture, clothing and ornaments. Elsewhere art-supply stores punctuate the area.
Junction Flea, Sterling Road just north of Dundas St W, junctionflea.com
Mjolk, 2959 Dundas St W, http://store.mjolk.ca/