The Junction A Historic Neighborhood

Located just west of downtown Toronto, the Junction is a historic neighborhood that has been defined by the regional rail industry since the late 19th century. Having a strategic location for multiple rail lines, this community retains a classic character with strong industrial elements. In recent decades, the city transformed abandoned rail and industrial sites into functional retail and office spaces, such as the Stock Yards Village. Click to book your Toronto tour.

Background and History

The Junction in Toronto
The Junction A Historic Neighborhood
The village of West Toronto Junction was officially established in the 1880s as a small rural outpost just outside of downtown Toronto. It was integrated into the much larger city in 1909. In its early years, the neighborhood supported thriving manufacturing industries that provided plenty of jobs for immigrants from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe. The rapid development of rail infrastructure contributed to the economic boom in this district of Toronto. The Canadian Pacific Railway built and managed the tracks and other structures in the working-class community. Some major firms that operated facilities in the district include the Campbell Milling Company and Canada Packers. In the middle of the 20th century, the declining neighborhood was transformed into a major retail hub, especially on the northern side of the railroad tracks. The blocks south of the tracks are primarily lined with dense residential streets.

Culture and Highlights

The Junction in Toronto
The village of West Toronto Junction was officially established in the 1880s
The West Toronto Railpath is perhaps the most notable attraction at the Junction. Spanning just more than 2 km, this bicycle path occupies the former tracks of an abandoned elevated railroad line. Today, bicyclists can enjoy a pleasant ride between this historic neighborhood and the downtown core. Some of the bridges and other structures of the original rail line have been painted in a distinct orange color for aesthetic and safety purposes. The West Toronto Railpath is also lined with urban artwork, including murals, sculptures and other installations that interact with the surroundings. Notable attractions that are located along the bike path include the Museum of Contemporary Art and George Chuvalo Community Centre. Bicyclists and pedestrians can also stop and admire the views of the downtown skyline from the elevated trails. The northeastern corner of the Junction is home to the Stock Yards Village, a major shopping complex that's home to more than 50 businesses. Since opening in 2014 on former industrial and rail sites, this redeveloped hub has thrived beyond initial expectations. The Stock Yards Village essentially consists of multiple strip plazas with on-site parking lots and pedestrian-friendly walkways. More than a dozen food options are available at this bustling retail hub that's easily accessible by streetcars and cars. Click to book your Toronto tour.

Visiting The Junction

ArticleTitle in Toronto
A historic neighborhood that has been defined by the regional rail industry since the late 19th century
The Junction is bound by St. Clair Avenue on the north side. You can take the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) 512 streetcar line to this commercialized avenue that runs east and west. Some TTC bus routes that stop on St. Clair Avenue include the 189 and 313. Keele Street marks the district's eastern end, and Annette Street defines the southern border. Additionally, Runnymede Road runs along the neighborhood's western edge. For generations, multiple railroad tracks have cut through the heart of this mixed-used community. During the day, stationary freight cars stand on the tracks that roughly separate shopping plazas from residential zones. The nearest passenger train service is available at the Bloor Go Station, which is served by the Kitchener Line and Union Pearson Express. Located within walking distance of the Bloor Go Station, the Dundas West Station accommodates the Bloor-Danforth Line of the TTC subway. Click here to visit TheJunctionBia website.
By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-11-06
Updated On: 2019-11-06

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