Are you searching for a vibrant urban community with a quaint, homey vibe? If so, consider the Junction. On the one hand, the trendy bars, eateries, and boutiques in this buzzworthy west-end neighbourhood have quickly made it a Toronto hotspot. On the other, it’s just as well known for its tranquility. From tree-lined residential streets to family-friendly cafes, the Junction offers a true retreat from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Residents take in starry skies on clear nights, and they’re well acquainted with the whistle of passing trains. In other words, the Junction provides the best of both worlds: a convenient city lifestyle and a healthy dose of small-town charm. Simply put, it’s come a long way since its days as a manufacturing hub.
If you’re thinking of making the Junction home, here are five things you should know to make the most of your new community…
1) There’s no shortage of hip local businesses
Looking for something fun to do? Why not check out the Junction’s eclectic boutiques—and grab a bite while you’re at it? For shoppers seeking unique women’s wear, Coal Miner’s Daughter and Naked Red are fantastic bets. The Beau and Bauble sells not only stylish apparel, but delicate jewellery and fun trinkets. Its masculine equivalent, Beau Men’s, is the local go-to for vintage-inspired barware and personal grooming products. When it comes to recent additions, one of my favourites is Type Books—where you’ll find a carefully-curated selection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and more.
If you’re a brunch lover—and who isn’t—you’ll adore the Junction’s cozy eateries. Try Grasshopper for creative vegan breakfasts, Dirty Food Eatery for perfectly-prepared classics, and 3030 Dundas for a rich (and, if you so desire, boozy) brunch. What about when dinner time rolls around? Nodo’s got you covered for modern Italian, while the Hole in the Wall is the perfect go-to for upscale pub fare. If Indian food is more your thing, be sure to visit Leela Indian Food Bar—a recently-opened hotspot for traditional staples and innovative street food.
2) You can get an incredible cup of coffee
If it’s the perfect caffeine fix you’re after, there’s no shortage of options in the Junction. Crema is a neighbourhood favourite, and it’s easy to see why. This cozy nook serves up some of the best espresso-based drinks and baked goods in the city. Nearby, UB Social is a true community hub. Visit this colourful, family-friendly space for a cup of coffee or a home-cooked meal. Head to Annette Street to find yet another comfy local cafe—the Good Neighbour. What really sets this place apart is the unique caffeinated creations (on any given day, they could contain rose petals, lemon meringue, or lavender).
3) You’ll be close to the city’s largest green space
At 161 hectares, High Park is the mother of all Toronto green spaces. And for Junction residents, it’s just a short jaunt from home. With its majestic trails and pristine wooded areas, High Park is the place to be if you’re a nature lover. Massive off-leash areas are perfect for relaxed dog-walking sessions, while the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground is a great spot for kids (you’ll be just as enchanted by this magical, castle-like structure as your little ones are).
Are you or your family members into playing sports? If so, check out High Park’s recreational facilities, which include an outdoor pool, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and multi-purpose sports fields. Put simply, there’s no better place for Junction residents to stay active.
4) It’s ideal for furniture shopping
While there are all kinds of boutiques in the Junction, the neighbourhood is especially well known for its furniture shops. One of the most unique in the area—and in all of Toronto—is Mjolk. Set up like a gallery, this decor shop features the work of Scandinavian and Japanese designers. If you’re a fan of internationally-inspired pieces, you might also want to check out the colourful stock at Haveli Home—much of which has a distinctly Persian feel.
Searching for well-made basics? Equilibrium is a great local spot for custom Canadian furniture, while Cornerstone sells a little bit of everything. With so many great options in the Junction, your next home-decor shopping trip will be anything but a chore.
5) The gallery scene is ramping up
There are a lot of creative types living in the Junction, so it’s no surprise that the neighbourhood is home to a burgeoning gallery scene. When you’re in the mood, I suggest popping into ILLEGALLERY. This small, clean space provides a glimpse into the world of contemporary post-urban art. Walk a few minutes east, and you’ll find Zalucky Contemporary. This little Dundas West gallery is easy to miss—but if you’re a fan of engaging local works, failing to notice it would be a mistake.
In addition to the new galleries springing up in the neighbourhood, you’ll find a well-established scene in the nearby Junction Triangle. Most notably, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) on Sterling Road is a must-visit for local art lovers.
Looking for your perfect home in the Junction? You can check out recent listings in the neighbourhood here. If you have any questions about the area, feel free to get in touch!