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Junction Craft Brewing
Photograph: Junction Craft Brewing

What to do in the Junction, Toronto’s coolest neighborhood

The Junction boasts some of the best restaurants, bars and things to do in Toronto. Here’s our insider’s guide

Written by
Sandra Osojnik

What’s the deal with the Junction? 

Welcome to Toronto’s West Side. Lush, tree-lined streets and century brick homes make up the historic district of The Junction – a hip neighborhood that gets its name for once being the heart of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Bordered by the northern end of High Park and the trendy eastern arm of the Junction Triangle, this eclectic area offers a quiet place to call home, or a lively night out for visitors. The main street of Dundas West is alive with restaurants, bars, local boutiques and businesses, while St. Clair West offers more suburban amenities (lookin’ at you, Stockyards Centre) in an urban center of the city. Hop on a rental city bike and explore: you’ll find yourself amongst a multigenerational mix of trendy youths, urban professionals, young families, and low-key locals. The welcoming, familiar vibe makes The Junction instantly feel like home whether you’re here for the day, the week or a whole lifetime.

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Shop local

Check out neighborhood vendors such as minimalist homeware store Mjolk, or Beau and Bauble (and Beau for Men) for trendy threads and funky accessories. Indulge at Take Note – a modern, well curated shop specializing in notebooks, pens and stationery.  

Go outside

Walk 15 minutes (make sure to wear comfy shoes), hop on the street car or subway and head over to Toronto’s largest green space, High Park. Pick up some goodies in the Junction and have yourself a chill picnic in the park. 

Get cultured

Just a 20-minute walk away, take in some art at the recently opened Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), housed in an iconic Toronto heritage building. A little savings savvy tip – all throughout 2019 the Museum offers “Community Sundays” where admission for select exhibitions is free from 10am to 2pm. 

Eat here

Dig into some the city’s best ’zas and handmade pastas at Annette Food Market. Snag a bar seat and sip on the extensive list of amaro and vermouth. Then pop into The Good Neighbour next door for a post-meal coffee. 

Seafood lovers across the city get their fix at Honest Weight – part-fishmonger, part-local lunch and dinner spot. Try the daily selection of oysters, smoked or cured fish and seafood-centric plates. 

Stop by The Drake Commissary the Drake Hotel’s West Side offshoot specializes in made-from-scratch goods. Open early for bakery treats (try the sourdough matcha croissant) and throughout the day from brunch to late-night drinks. 

The Junction Local is a casual neighbourhood haunt for classic comfort eats and easy drinking brews or cocktails.

Drink here 

Blua, Toronto Blua Photograph: Courtesy Blua

Laidback and dreamy, Blua on Keele Street serves up an eclectic, Balkan-inspired tapas menu and crafted cocktails with an Eastern Euro twist. 

The Hole in the Wall is a cozy, dimly lit neighborhood spot to grab a drink with friends or break the ice (or some bread) with a date. Order chalkboard specials and enjoy local craft beers or stiff cocktails. 

The Junction Brewery, located a touch north of St Clair W., serves up local, rotating brews. Take a tour and explore the history and heritage of the Art Deco building that houses the brewery. 

A newcomer to Dundas W, The Alpine is a sleek “craft beer cabin” that’s become a neighbourhood fave. Pop in for dinner, drinks or catch a live show in the downstairs venue, The Cellar. 

How to get to The Junction

Coming in from the downtown core? Take the subway or street car and head west to Dundas West station. Walk or hop on the 40 Bus to get into the heart of the Junction. Ride apps are also an option – but can be pricey during peak times.  

What else is nearby? 

Pay a visit to nearby neighborhoods High Park, Roncesvalles and The Junction Triangle.  

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