The Junction

Why we like it.

These days the Junction has such a booming foodie culture, teeming with busy bars and restaurants that it’s hard to believe it was a dry district between 1904 and 2001. Since the law was repealed, the area has transformed into a haven for young families, artists and hipsters who are attracted by the low housing costs and the lively energy. Retaining a small town feel while a short distance from the city core; Dundas St W is home to galleries, funky boutiques and some of the best furniture shopping in Toronto.  We love the abundance of older buildings and gorgeous architecture – with mostly 3 and 4 story buildings, this area has a more human scale than other neighbourhoods that are full of new condo developments.

 

Avg House Price # of Sales Yr/Yr Change
Detached $1,003,520 27 25%
Semi-Detached $698,673 22 8%
Row $692,626 16 9%
1 Bedroom Condo $330,052 29 -9%
2 Bedroom Condo $443,111 19 4%

Best Eats.

Indie Ale House  
If you’ve read our other guides, you know that we love to kick back with a pint and great food, and the Indie Ale House makes us very happy indeed. The kitchen takes their food very, very seriously with some of the best brewpub dishes in the city, and their rotating list of brews has something for everyone. Can’t decide? Not a problem, they’re happy to set you up with a tasting flight so at least that’s one less tough choice you won’t have to make.

Cut The Cheese  
The five-year old us giggles at the name, the grown-up us just dives into the cheesy, melty goodness. Step up to the counter to get one of their decadent, over the top sandwich or mac’n’cheese creations (gluten-free and vegan options available).

The Passenger
The owners of nearby The Beet (see below) have added some 20’s glamour to the Junction with their Art Deco/Steampunk styled gastropub. Reviving the classic hors d’oeuvres plate (deviled eggs!) and maintaining their dedication to sustainable and local, their menu is well suited to being a neighbourhood favourite.

The Raw Chemist Juice Bar
More than just a spot for your daily greens, this boutique juice bar is focused on curing what ails you through good nutrition. Their on-site Holistic Nutritionist and super-knowledgeable staff will create the perfect blend to perk you up or calm you down.

Curry Twist 
Warm and inviting, Curry Twist has been a go-to for west-enders for over a decade. Chalkboard signs help customers to navigate the dizzying array of ingredients and preparations in the traditional Moghlai style dishes on offer.

Vesuvio’s Pizzeria & Spaghetti House
If the name strikes you as a bit old-fashioned, it’s because Vesuvio’s has been filling empty bellies since 1957 when they introduced New York Style pizza to Toronto. We can’t imagine our city without it’s trademark culinary diversity, but there was a time no so long ago when going out for dinner meant visiting a steakhouse! Clearly the city embraced the exotic pizza and spaghetti, and Vesuvio’s has been supplying the west end ever since.

3030
When you Google 3030, the first words you see are  junction, food, dinner, music, drink. If there’s a more apt description, we can’t think of it. Live music, games cupboard, cocktails, craft beer and unbelievable food earned them a (very rare) 5N rating from Now Magazine. We just love the laid-back vibe and rockin’ acts on the back stage.

Caffeine Fix.

Like all up and coming neighbourhoods, independent coffee shops fuel the residents of the Junction. You won’t have to go too far for a great espresso or cappuccino. 

Full Stop Coffee
Who can resist this retro cafe with it’s Lego wall and huge back patio? Not us, that’s for sure. Walking along Dundas West, it’s hard to miss the giant airplane on the wall and orange and white interior which inspires a detour for a coffee, fresh-baked pastry and fabulous people watching.

kaffebar
This little shop on the east end of the neighbourhood serves up perfectly pulled espresso, little snacks and in the summertime – Double Shot Slushies!

Cool Hand of a Girl 
This cosy spot is the perfect place to grab a quick coffee, or a leisurely all day breakfast. Sourcing as many ingredients as possible from Dufferin Grove Farmer’s market makes this the ultimate locavore cafe.

The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar
We all want good neighbours, don’t we? This cafe may be the ultimate neighbour, keeping you well-caffeinated while you enjoy the cosy room and friendly service.

Drink Here.

The Hole in the Wall
Tiny and loud, this may be the perfect place to get messed up on Saturday night and to recover over eggs on Sunday. Getting a seat depends a lot on luck and/or patience, but it’s well worth the effort. The kitchen party rule is in effect here, the smaller the room – the better the party!

Junction Craft Brewing 
We love this brewery so much, we asked them to stock our parties. A bit off the beaten track, the brewery is a great spot to pop in for a few samples, or pick up a growler for the weekend.

Grocery.

There are a few big name box stores in the area, but why not support your local grocers and pick up a few things on your way home? 

With a huge selection of tasty, well-priced, good-for-you natural foods, we love stopping in at the Sweet Potato whenever we’re in the Junction. Dedicated to the community, they’re passionate about supporting local farmers and producers who are eco and human friendly.
Gourmeats
Count yourself lucky if you live close enough to make this your regular butcher. Sourcing hormone-free meats from Waterloo, Ayr and Camden, this shop takes a holistic approach to serving customers. Instead of ordering pre-cut options, the owner provides you with a number of menu ideas, and will happily custom cut and marinade according to your wishes.

Bunner’s
The Junction is a great place for those who are on special diets, with gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free options abounding. Bunner’s checks all those boxes for anyone with a sweet tooth, and those who love decadent confections will gobble up every crumb.

Sweet Trolley
If old-school bakery is more your speed, make sure to stop in to Sweet Trolley. Their cinnamon buns are made from a hundred year old recipe, and may in fact be the best in the city! The friendly service and kitschy hand-written signs charm us every time.

 

Shopping.

The industrial heritage of the area informs a number of vintage and reclaim shops. If you like pieces with character and history this area is a must visit, so you can spend a whole day hunting for the perfect décor pieces. 

Articulations
This shop/gallery/studio/event space/workshop makes us wish we were better artists (but you should see our awesome stick men!). If you are hoping to be inspired, or need to pick up a few supplies, the knowledgeable staff will take their time to get you the right materials or just encourage you to pick up a pencil and draw.

Smash
Walking into Smash, you’re just as likely to see vintage mail sorting cubbies as you are an enormous CNE-style Ice Cream Sign with rotating lights. Stocked with reclaimed pieces, this is the perfect spot to indulge your industrial loft fantasies. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, they also do custom work.

Opticianado
Specializing in iconic unused vintage eyewear and contemporary independent designers, they may be the only Optician with their own YouTube channel. Hosting local musicians and exceptional artists when they’re in town, this is one hip boutique!

Mjolk
This beautiful gallery/store is home to Scandinavian and Japanese treasures designed to add elegance and delight to daily life.  Take a tour through their housewares to find pieces that will last a lifetime.

The Art of Demolition 
A recent stroll through this antique shop brought childhood memories flooding back. From early model Polaroid Cameras to favourite old novels to vintage movie posters this is the spot to find those finishing touches for your apartment or to round out your collection.

Sanction 
If you’re more the outdoorsy type, Sanction has you covered. Stocked with all the coolest board gear (skate and snow) they’ll get you outfitted in no time.

Culture.

Channel Zero
If you grew up in Southern Ontario, you’ll be familiar with CHCH TV. Channel Zero bought the station in 2000, and has kept it small and independent, they produce more local content than any other local station in North America. This media group’s offices are right on Dundas, so you can see what’s happening any time of the day.

Junction City
Even long time residents of the Junction may be unaware of this hip venue right under their feet. The unassuming doorway leads down into a den of live music, awesome DJs and the occasional pinball machine.

Well Being.

Rod, Gun & Barbers
You could go to Supercuts for a $6 cut that looks like it was done by a weedwacker, or you could visit this gentlemen’s lounge and enjoy a cut, shave and a bourbon (all of the highest quality of course) while enjoying the banter of a true men’s club. This place just might spoil you for other barbers forever, and make the ladies jealous that they’re not allowed.

Breathe Yoga Studio
No hipster ‘hood would be complete without a few yoga studios, we like Breathe for their beautiful studio, wide assortment of classes and on-site Infrared Sauna Therapy treatments.

RPM Total Fitness
If you prefer your workouts more hardcore than zen, RPM offers spinning and strength training in a clean, modern facility.

Schools.

Elementary Schools

Rating 6.6 – Indian Road Crescent Junior Public School

Rating 4.8 – Annette Street Junior and Senior Public School

Rating N/A – George Syme Community School

Secondary Schools

Rating 8.2 – Humberside Collegiate Institute

 

Transit.

Streetcar

512 St Clair – Map

Bus

40 Junction –  Map

41 Keele –  Map

71 Runnymede –  Map

30 Lambton –  Map