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The Junction: Exploring a Historic and Vibrant Toronto Neighbourhood

Collage of buildings in the Junction neighbourhood

Interested in visiting this neighbourhood? We offer a walking tour and photo walk. Please read on for more about The Junction and local events.

About The Neighbourhood

The Junction is a walkable, unique neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto, just north of High Park. Its history and name is based on its location near major railroad intersections (the West Toronto Diamond, a junction of four railway lines in the area.)

The main intersection is located at Dundas and Keele streets. The buildings on Dundas Street bring to mind a traditional old-fashioned main street as seen in many small historic Ontario towns.

Kilburn Hall, built in 1891 / designated heritage by City of Toronto / photo via Wikimedia

The neighbourhood originated as a village and then became an independent city called West Toronto Junction, that was also its own federal electoral district until amalgamating with the city of Toronto in 1909.

Due to the area’s proximity to High Park and Runnymede – Bloor West village, residents also identify with the neighbourhoods closer to Bloor St. Local commuters in the area use bicycles, cars, buses and the Bloor subway line to travel into downtown.

Junction with pedestrians and streetcar in 1906 (via Wikimedia)

Today, the term “The Junction” is generally applied to the area north of Annette, south of St. Clair, and between Runnymede Road and the Canadian National Railway corridor to the east which intersects with the Canadian Pacific Railway corridor at West Toronto Diamond.

Quirky Fact / Trivia: The elimination of the neighbourhood’s alcohol prohibition law in 2000 has led to a number of new restaurants and bars moving into the neighbourhood. Yes, long after prohibition which lasted throughout the 1930s, the Junction held on to its alcohol free status. Today there are many awesome pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Arts and Events

The local BIA (Business Improvement Association) works with residents, businesses and local artists to beautify the area and hosts art installations, murals, and artist events.

Recent events include:

  • Window Wonderland
  • AR Wall Murals
  • Butterfly Gardens
  • Junction Journey tour and photo walk
Junction Journey

Tdot Shots is leading a tour and photo walk of the Junction in June, 2024. On this walk we focus on architecture, history and photography. It’s sold out but stay tuned for a future event in late summer or fall.

Historical Mural

Check out the iconic neighbourhood mural at Pacific Ave. and Dundas Street West by artist Trevor Goodwin. It illustrates the local station – aka West Toronto Station – representing the start of trade to the area.

Location: 2978 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 2R4

Photo by Randy McDonald / Flickr

There was more than one rail station for passenger traffic in the West Toronto Junction area. The more prominent station was owned by CPR. This photo was taken CP’s West Toronto station is facing north-west, and was taken close to where Dupont Street now passes under the tracks.

West Toronto station in 1923 / Via Wikimedia and City of Toronto Archives

Photo Gallery

Victorian Houses

Many streets in the area have classic old homes dating to the Victorian era. Here’s a row of homes with the trademark Victorian style.

Victorian houses in the Junction neighbourhood / Photo by edk7 Flickr

Campbell Block Commercial Building

There are many significant buildings in the neighbourhood. Many have a heritage designation in recognition of their historical importance.

The Campbell Block is one such building. Located at Keele and Dundas, it represents an architectural style popular in the 1890s.

Campbell Block commercial building at Dundas and Pacific / Photo by Greg’s Southern Ontario / Flickr

West Toronto railroad allegory mural

Photo by edk7 / Flickr

West Toronto railroad allegory mural – Canadian Pacific Railway’s West Toronto Junction was site of major freight marshalling yards and huge rolling-stock roundhouse and maintenance shops complex, now demolished

Indie Ale House

Indie Ale House (interior) – a brew pub on Dundas St. West / Photo by Alain Quevillon / Flickr

More information

The Junction BIA

Website: torontojunction.ca

Social media @torontojunction

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Junction

Credits

Writing Credit: Article by Mike Simpson / Tdot shots

Photo Credits: Photos in the feature image courtesy of The Junction BIA
Other photos by the respective photographers credited in the caption.

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