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What the Junction used to look like in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / February 6, 2013

Junction Toronto HistoryThe Junction might just be one of the most interesting neighbourhoods in Toronto. At once a place that's undergone profound change (a.k.a. gentrification) over the last decade or so, the former character of the area, particularly north of Dundas West has yet to fade completely. The pocket of streets just north of the sprawling Heinztman Place Condo project (where the eponymous piano manufacturer took root) — Junction Road, Mulock and Cawthra avenues, Old Weston Road — retain a messy measure of industry that's all but been eradicated elsewhere.

That said, even these streets show off the steady transformation of the neighbourhood. While the northern stretch of Mulock might still feel like it's perched on the edge of the world somehow, budding businesses like Junction Craft Brewing and Posterjack already call Cawthra Avenue home.

The presence of the former of these two companies offers up a sweet bit of historical irony given that the area was Toronto's last standing booze-free zone as late as 1997. We've already delved into this anachronistic manifestation of Toronto the Good (thanks, Ben!), but given that the Indie Alehouse has also recently opened near Dundas and Keele, it's worth considering, once again, just how different a place this has become in such a short span of time.

If you go back far enough, what we refer to today as merely the Junction was known as the city of West Toronto Junction, which was also its own federal electoral district. Post-amalgamation with Toronto in 1909, the West Toronto prefix of the former moniker (very) slowly faded into disuse, though it's not entirely uncommon to hear older residents refer to the area in such a manner.

Once the site of a confluence of Native trails — Indian Road, Indian Grove, Indian Trail — the history of the area as a transportation hub has continued through the 20th century and beyond with the presence of what's sometimes referred to as the West Toronto Diamond, the junction of multiple railway lines near the neighbourhood's main intersection.

Although West Toronto was subsumed by a rapidly growing city more than a century ago, standing at the crossroads of these two streets today, it takes little imagination to picture this stretch of Dundas West as the main thoroughfare of a town unto itself. As is the case with Roncesvalles to the south, there's an unmistakable drag-like quality that has stubbornly resisted the forces of redevelopment that chug away more rapidly than ever.


201326-dundas-keele-east-1912.jpgDundas and Keele looking east, 1912

201326-weston-rd-bridge-1919.jpgWeston Road Bridge, 1919

201326-dundas-glenlake-north-1922-s0071_it1693.jpgDundas West looking north from Glenlake, 1922

201326-dundas-edna-north-1922-s0071_it1694.jpgDundas West and Edna, 1922

201326-dundas-jerome-south-1922-s0071_it1696.jpgDundas West looking south from Jerome, 1922

201326-dundas-pacific-sw-1922.jpgSouthwest corner Dundas and Pacific, 1922

201326-dundas-west-clendenan-1923-s0071_it2819.jpgDundas looking west from Clendenan, 1923

201326-st-clair-mulock-east-1923-f1231_it1324.jpgSt. Clair looking east from Mulock, 1923

201326-keele-south-junction-rd-1923f1231_it1675.jpgKeele St. looking south from Junction Rd., 1923

201326-keele-south-st-clair-1923-s0071_it2791.jpgKeele looking south from St. Clair, 1923

201326-keele-south-dundas-1923.jpgKeele south from Dundas, 1923

201326-high-park-ave-1925-s0071_it3671.jpgRiding the bus on High Park Avenue, 1925

201326-weston-rd-bridge-1929.jpgWeston Road Bridge, 1929

201326-runnymede-bus-1929.jpgRunnymede bus stop, 1929

201326-st-clair-mulock-1931.jpgSt. Clair and Mulock, 1931

201326-lloyd-mulock-1931.jpgLloyd and Mulock, 1931

201326-maple-leaf-bacon.jpgMaple Leaf Bacon plant

201326-keele-annette-se-1946.jpgSoutheast corner Keele and Annette, 1946

201326-st-clair-keele-ne-1931.jpgNortheast corner St. Clair and Keele

201326-79-talbot-1938.jpg79 Talbot, 1938

201326-symes-incinerator-1934.jpgSymes Road Incinerator, 1934

201326-st-clair-laughton-no-date.jpgSt. Clair and Laughton (date?)

201326-420-quebec-ave-1946.jpg420 Quebec Ave, 1946

201326-119-121-annette-1952.jpg119-121 Annette, 1952

201326-dun-west-from-indian-grove-32.jpgDundas looking west from Indian Grove, 1932

2012228-Dundas-track-work-1923-s0071_it2820.jpgDundas West track work, 1923

2012228-keele-subway-1932-s0071_it9184.jpgKeele subway, 1932


Photos from the Toronto Archives



Alan / February 6, 2013 at 08:29 am
Love living here!
glenn storey replying to a comment from Alan / February 6, 2013 at 09:00 am
yep. me too.
the lemur / February 6, 2013 at 09:55 am
I think the 'Dundas & Clendenan' shot is actually at St John's Rd, given the angle.

The street sign on the corner of the house at Lloyd and Mulock is still there.

'79 Talbot' should probably be 7-9.

Will / February 6, 2013 at 10:04 am
The Junction has come a long way.. The revitalization of the area, has been great. Still one of the last "dry" areas, in Ontario, until the early 2000's, when they were finally allowed to serve alcohol. The Junction has great personality. Many hidden gems, in the area.
W. K. Lis / February 6, 2013 at 10:10 am
The Junction was a lovely place to shop... until they ripped the streetcar tracks out.
Keith Hightower / February 6, 2013 at 10:26 am
I bought a house in the Junction three years ago. I am now the fourth generation in my family to have lived in the junction. I am very proud of that fact.
Brian / February 6, 2013 at 10:29 am
I hated that area when i was living in High Park, 5 years ago... It was a very sketchy area and I used to avoid it. I'm glad it's changing! i might consider moving to High Park again :)
Jason / February 6, 2013 at 10:33 am
Does the city sell prints of their old photos?
Yeah / February 6, 2013 at 10:40 am
It's good to know that 90 years later, the intersection of Keele & St. Claire is still a mess!

Really those, these photos are great.
Rob replying to a comment from Brian / February 6, 2013 at 11:00 am
You can't be serious.

Are you scared of old Portuguese grandmothers?
Brian replying to a comment from Rob / February 6, 2013 at 11:08 am
@Rob, not sure about grandmas (I can see you are very familiar) but say Keele/Dundas to Jane/Dundas was a terrible area... I'm not sure is any Salvation Army in that area but there's a lot of bums and junkies, you can't deny that!
Rob / February 6, 2013 at 11:19 am
Yeah, that's a trollin'.
Skye / February 6, 2013 at 11:29 am
Keele/Dundas was definitely in flux until just a few years ago. You'd have families on an outing on one side of the street, and crackheads fist-fighting on the other side. All part of what you'd expect from gentrification.
Rob / February 6, 2013 at 11:35 am
I lived on Mavety for 15 years. I don't remember any of this.

It was always a working class area, but I can see how someone "cultured" could mistake them for crackheads since they don't own MEC backpacks or eat local.
EC / February 6, 2013 at 11:38 am
Of course 420 Quebec Ave looks like a decrepit old crack house :P
j-rock / February 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Probably my favourite neighbourhood in Toronto. I left the west end nearly 2 years ago for midtown and I still miss it terribly.
j-rock replying to a comment from Brian / February 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm
Really? That's around when I first moved to High Park, and being a short walk to the Junction was one of the things I loved most about living there.
glenn storey replying to a comment from the lemur / February 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm
uuuhhh, well that's st. john's rd, but the picture is taken at clendenan. st john's rd is west of clendenan.
Boo / February 6, 2013 at 01:02 pm
Great neighbourhood - lived here 12 years and gimme a break, it was never THAT sketchy. Can't say I'm entirely thrilled with the gentrification. Try coming home from work on the Junction 40 nowadays. Nasty crowded!
Sousedbergin / February 6, 2013 at 01:11 pm
South West corner of Keele and Dundas West was full of addled fauna before, 40 years old looking 70, screaming at traffic. Not sure where they migrated to. Before I would walk down to Roncesvalles but now everything I need is in the Junction including Canada's best beers.
James / February 6, 2013 at 01:53 pm
They left because landlords realized they could charge people like you $1300+ for a one bedroom. There's also the very real possibility that the "fauna" didn't migrate anywhere. They may have just froze to death or ended up locked away at CAMH. Not that it matters though, right? Here's to great microbrew!
Rich replying to a comment from James / February 6, 2013 at 02:12 pm
James, sir, you are a turd of magnificent proportions to make up the tale you just did.

If you lived in our neighbourhood you would know the same group of transients still exist, still hang out at Crossroads for cheap brews and dirty women, and still pay for their room by the week at the "hotel" where the crosswalk is on Dundas.

Also, try paying $825 per month for a 700+ sq. ft 1 bdrm. steps away from Dundas & Keele. I do!

And yes, here's to a GREAT local microbrew... several of them actually
Frank / February 6, 2013 at 02:29 pm
Love the area... Best place to drink in the city.
the lemur replying to a comment from glenn storey / February 6, 2013 at 02:33 pm
You'd have to be a lot closer to St John's than to Clendenan to take that view along Dundas.
Anna F. / February 6, 2013 at 02:45 pm
Derek - thank you for your posts on old Toronto. This one was particularly interesting. Keep up the great work!
Thomas Gonder / February 6, 2013 at 04:38 pm
I've lived in the Junction for roughly three years now, and have always liked the character of the neighbourhood. I'm right on the NE Corner of Dundas West and Indian Grove, and moved to the neighbourhood specifically for it's low rise, heritage buildings, tree-lined streets and proximity to High Park. Well served by transit, good pubs and restaurants, and there has definitely been come 'cleaning up' in the area since I moved here three summers ago...seems to be less drug dealing and prostitution going on (often right outside my bedroom window!). Up and coming area, I will miss it if and when it's time to move on.
James / February 6, 2013 at 05:04 pm
Ya Rich, watching homeless people die and then mentioning it on a blog site is just my way of telling a yarn. Ask any social worker about the negative effects of gentrification. Without an equal effort to establish afforable housing throughout a neighbourhood poor people get pushed out, and yes, they die. I can deliver you to quite a few graves if you like. And the reason you're paying $825 a month is because you've either occupied the same place for years or you're living in your parent's basement. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but anyone looking to move to the Junction right now will be hard pressed to find anything inhabitable for less than $1100. You have absolutely no clue who makes up the less fortunate in your neighbourhood and how they're coping with rising rents and the scorn of arrogant hipsters in search of the next best organic bruch bistro. Until you and others stand up for affordable housing in the neighbourhood your obsession with craft beer will be nothing less than blind self indulgence.
mmm / February 6, 2013 at 06:21 pm
James, the best neighbourhoods have a mix of classes and people working together. You accomplish nothing by trying to stoke a conflict between peoples who live in the neighbourhood (from the sound of it, I doubt you live there). Apartment rents are still quite reasonable in the area, although commercial rents have gone up quite a bit.

What's great about the junction, and why it will not turn into queen west, is that there's no streetcar or subway running through it, and it scares away a lot of dense development, thankfully. It's one of the only neighbourhoods I know of that still has landlords (actual people, not corporations) who don't mind renting apartments to people on ODSP and OW.

I love living here because it's so much less crowded. Whatever shops open up on dundas is just a bonus.
Hermano / February 6, 2013 at 06:32 pm
@james, actually there is attention being paid to affordable housing in the neighbourhood, in fact the whole Heintzman condo development happened because it affordable housing plans developed by options for homes, that allowed a lot of people to buy condos at cost, substantially below market price. 2 bedroom condos in that building were being sold for 200,000, bachelors for 100,000. Development has happened pretty intelligently in the area so far, and I don't think there's really a lot to complain about, I just hope it continues that way in the future.
Rich replying to a comment from mmm / February 6, 2013 at 07:51 pm
@mmm 100% agree with everything you said

@Hermano I agree, however I'm waiting to see how the old McBride's cycle lot (or more recently the Junction Flea location) gets developed. I've seen drawings of the condo proposal and as is it doesn't blend well with the low rise heritage buildings around here that Thomas mentioned above.
Adam Sobolak / February 6, 2013 at 08:25 pm
Note the Union Jack shield in the 119-121 Annette photo--this was when Toronto The Good was observing Elizabeth's succession to the throne...
Junction / February 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm
I love seeing all the old photos of the Junction! Thanks for that! What a cool neighbourhood..I have lived here since 2008 and love it! Great history in this neighbourhood, as it has ridden out many high and low points. I enjoy all the changes that have occurred in such a short time that I have been here,

I agree that the area has cleaned up a lot since I first moved in. I agree too that it can be a little rough from dundas/keele to dundas/Annette/Dupont. Crackheads screaming and fighting and prostitutes, drug dealers, etc. Strung out crazies having sex and doing drugs in my old laneway at Indian rd and Annette st. I found used condoms and drugs on many occasions! Would call the cops to come pick up baggies of coke and who knows what Because of these bizarre occurrences we ended up moving to the west side of Keele and it is much really don't see much of this stuff- @Rob-maybe this is why you didn't notice it??? I still walk my dog through this psuedo-sketchy section now, but I notice less and less going on, especially since the Heintzman buildings went up. Maybe also because it is winter...summer brings them back out onto the street....Lol. Call me an asshole but the more these troubled individuals relocate to other neighbourhoods, the happier i am.
Love live The Junction!!
James replying to a comment from Hermano / February 6, 2013 at 11:36 pm
You obviously don't realize that the poor that are left in your neighbourhood can't afford a $200,000 anything, let alone a condo. In order to reach that level of economic self sufficiency they need to be able to save money first. Try rent controls and subsidized apartments within buildings, not subsidized condos or buildings full of poor people. So much blindness, so much willful ignorance. But as the poster known as Junction said, let them relocate and or disappear (die) somewhere else. Not my problem. I just want craft beer. Sleep well.
AV replying to a comment from James / February 7, 2013 at 08:28 am
God James you are so self-righteous and assumptive it makes me chuckle. Easy now!
Keri / February 7, 2013 at 09:22 am
I have lived in the Junction for 17yrs, it has seen good times and not so good times. There is a lot of underground riff raff that people don't know about....there always has been, but it's like that anywhere. My family has 4 generations that have grown up in the Junction (me being the 4th). My grandfather was the #1 snooker player in the Junction and my aunt rented an apt for 100.00 back in the good ol days. I am proud to have such deeply sewed roots here in the Junction!!

I would also like to say that I think it's hilar that the Junction is now some cool hipster/rockabilly hang out....people are funny with there styles and materialism!!
Junction / February 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm
@James-I think that you are being very assumptive. I really don't think that you understand what i am saying. There is a huge difference between poor folks and junkies/prostitues. No one has issues with poor people or low income housing. Its the ugly side that comes along with low income housing, the riff raff, and illegal activities, etc., etc. We want to have safety and feel comfortable walking on our own streets. Feel confident that when taking our kids, pets for a walk we wont be harassed, begged for money, cat called, offered drugs. Cause this has been my reality at times in the junction.
Do you get it??
Fairly put, I believe that like myself most of the residents of the junction that have moved in over the last decade are working class people...we aren't all hipsters that drink only craft beer and want the neighbourhood to become the next Dundas and Ossington. We don't!
Like some of the others have mentioned their families have sewn roots here...I think some of the rest of us would like to be able to do the same! We are grateful for the positivity in the neighbourhood in the recent years, including new businesses that seem to be doing well- ie new restaurants, clothing stores, and yes James also craft Yes it is nice to be able to stay in your own neighbourhood and have a it craft beer or Budweiser.

Rob / February 7, 2013 at 01:01 pm
LOL @ The Junction being some kind of Tenderloin district in the heat of the crack boom.

Get real.

Please do not import this disgusting American trend of "bigging up" your neighbourhood as being some kind of warzone that you were able to survive because of your perseverance. It's always the urban pioneers that do this too... irritating, boring, overeducated white people with no sense of anything outside of Apple products and craft beer.
Rob / February 7, 2013 at 01:03 pm
"I moved into the Junction because it was one of the few RAW areas of the city left, where one could see RAWNESS on the street and RAWNESS in the parks, but because I moved here and my shadow is so immense and amazing, all that RAWNESS is gone and it's a much nicer place"

That's seriously what you sound like.
Gina Farrugia / February 7, 2013 at 01:30 pm
nothing about this area being "Little Malta"?

Shame on you, hipsters. For all your 100 mile diet/craft beer consumption, up cycling and and vintage bike infatuations, I would hope you'd do a little more research.
Junction / February 7, 2013 at 01:37 pm
@Rob-you are such a brilliant moron!!
I actually moved into the Junction initially because I could afford to buy something are you talking about Rawness???" I thought that the area was quaint and had potential. And I was right! I love it here!
I was giving examples of some sketchiness that I have personally encountered. Not saying that the area is war torn? Or trying to turn it into some movie! Or saying fear for your life!
I'm saying that it is fucking annoying to have junkies and dead beats...hanging around and acting crude.

You are another poster who is a turd of magnificent proportions!!!
Doubt you live in this neighbourhood either!!!!

Rob replying to a comment from Junction / February 7, 2013 at 02:03 pm
You do realize you basically said what I did, right?

Nope, probably not. Better head back to your carob muffin.
James replying to a comment from Junction / February 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Perhaps our indigent would have less opportunity to degenerate in a downward spiral if new residents stopped justifying $1300 as a reasonable price for their basement rental units? Or maybe they'd feel a little less like shit everyday if they weren't being referred to as "junkies" and "dead beats". Look up the word empathy and then do something worthwhile with that privileged perspective of yours, like read a book about systemic poverty, drug addiction and mental illness.
John / February 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm
This article fails to mention that The Junction was also known as "Little Malta" and was home to the largest communities of Maltese people in Canada. The Junction was acutally quite a vibrant place in the '70's when I used to visit my Nana there. Then,in the early 1980's, that's when the Maltese people started moving out to the 'burbs & the area just died.
Norm / February 12, 2013 at 04:26 pm
My grandfather was a porter and moved his family to the junction in 1921. Lots of the small row houses in the area were built by CN to house it's employees - loaders, porters, yardmen. There was also a row of small houses just west of the stockyards on the south side of St. Clair for railroad men who had to lay over in T.O. because their homes were in Winnipeg or eslewhere in the country. The yards were a magical place to visit - I remebre being about 7 years old and watching the 'big boys'of 13 jump on the backs of rams to rodeo ride them - they usually ending up getting thrown off and skidding across the pens on the slick manure (very exciting!). I dont' miss the smell, or the choking coal smoke emanating form the round house that was at the corner of St. Clair and Runnymede, nor the poverty-stricken conditions of families that lived right by the stock yards, but life was a bit freer then as the junction was just a stone's throw from the countryside, and you could catch frogs and see wild ducks nesting in the valley north of the Swifts.
John is correct - the area was Little Malta and I went to school with Schwerbs and Micallefs. A neighbourhood phenomenon was hearing Maltese mothers purse their lips and pitch high whistles to call their kids in for supper - we were told Malta was very rocky and whistles would echo and and carry a long way. The mothers would lean out into the alleys between the houses and use them stone sound tunnels to amplify their whistling. interesting because there is a whistling language on a rocky Spanish island west of Malta.
Train Man / February 13, 2013 at 11:37 am
Great photos, the railway yards in the area were one of the main employers (imagine working close to where you live!).

More Junction/West Toronto railway history can be found here:
nevenka / April 7, 2013 at 01:02 pm
I have been living in the junction over 55 years and a lot has changed, there used to be a movie theatre just east of Pacific, Woolworthes, Kresges and Louises were the place to buy all your needs, I remember Indovina is where my mother would do all her main shopping because they delivered and we had no car. when we moved from Maria St to Mcmurray ave my elderly neighbour recalled there being a watering hole for the horses in front of her home and the sidewalks made of wood, that I would have liked to see but, she was in her 80's when she talked about the area, shes been gone for over 30 yrs.
Richard replying to a comment from Junction / April 7, 2013 at 03:10 pm
I gotta agree with James, hes the only one out of all these commenters, and the author of this article, who hasn't been mesmerized by the fallacies of gentrification. You dont mind the 'poor' but you dont like the 'ugly side' that comes with them. Well thats a contradiction if I ever heard one. Financial depravity doesn't tend to bring out the best in anyone, you, me, your grandma or that hooker on the corner of Indian Rd. Crescent and Dundas. You sound like an elitist prick to me. These people established themselves in the neighborhood long before the invasion of the urban bourgeoisie. Its crazy to see people advocating the displacement of the poor. Out of sight out of mind. You know what boggles my mind, people come to these areas seeking 'the urban lifestyle' yet they want it sedate, sterile, clean, so their bratty 3 year olds and pampered pets can roam the streets without being glared at by a 'sketchy' looking homeless man. Man get the hell out, leave the inner city to the people who can handle it. You want clean, sterile, and safe move back to the suburbs and small white towns you came from.
CK / April 18, 2013 at 06:16 pm
Its utterly foolish to have dismantled the Old Weston Road bridge, would like to find the reason why it had to be removed. Every vehicle heading to Keele or Weston or St Clair or Black Creek now has to make the right turn at Keele and Dundas. Even if the bridge was too old and narrow for modern day vehicles, the least they could've done is left it as a foot bridge/cycling path. The removal in analogous to closing the new Dufferin under pass at Queen St West and going back to using the old Dufferin jog over at Gladstone and Queen.
Raymond / April 18, 2013 at 07:06 pm
You are absolutely right about the dire need for routing traffic away from Keele & Dundas. It is the only way north/south for far too much traffic. Old Weston Road bridge was condemned fro auto traffic but continued on for some years for pedestrians only until this too was closed due to improvement of GO train service by easing the sharpness of the curve. This was the same project that caused the demolition of the CPR West Toronto depot against the wishes of the historic community. Clearly, the bridge should have been rebuilt but the City had no money to do so. They missed a great chance to put in an underpass with the current rail work being done to eliminate the railway diamond where tracks cross each other. At minimal expense the tunnel could have been widened to include a street. Old Weston Road would go south under the east/west tracks and cut into Dundas. Great way to improve traffic to bad nobody could see this.

john / May 21, 2013 at 11:26 am
Im 40. Lived here in junction all 40. i remember woolworths and kresge's and bi-way and the Canadian tire and the fish and chips place beside it on the side street. Mcbrides cycle, feingolds optometrist, Busket bakery, 4 pastizzi
places(now only Charlie), 11 division, blockbuster,
Deborah / May 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm
I grew up in the Junction at 496 Clendenan Ave and I remember Woolworths and Kresge's and my grandmother renting our attic rooms to boarders...That was common at the turn of the century in urban centers - not so much in the 1960s. "Thanks" to Derek for taking the time to post these great images. Around 1905 I believe alcohol was banned in the area until 1998? - a Hell of a long time to go without a damn beer. Does anyone remember The Mercury Club around Dundas and Bay?
Moaz Ahmad / September 24, 2013 at 04:40 pm
The Junction is a very interesting post-industrial neighbourhood. I lived further west along Dundas for 16 years (1981-1996) so I'm very familiar with the area from walking around, taking the bus, cycling and driving through. The neighbourhood and the people living there are shaped by the industries and the railway. These will always have significance even after the factories close (replaced by big box stores) and the railway becomes electric, fast and quiet.

Cheers, Moaz
annalee orr / September 24, 2013 at 05:26 pm
My parents bought their first home in the Junction on Drury Street in the early 50s! It cost $2,500. at the time, they got a loan from friends and relatives to help cover the down payment of $500. We lived there for 4 years! I remember hearing the shunting of the trains (they were steam back then) and falling asleep with the sound of hissing engines and whistles. I had nightmares of a 'ghost train' that was coming down our street to get us! The snow was always speckled with soot (I thought snow was like salt & and white) I developed TB from the dirty air in the my parents sold the house and we moved out to the country that is now Mississauga!! It was a whole NEW world for me!!
I still have vague memories of the Junction area, the old Woolworth's stores, family bakeries, a lot of raggedy, scary men hanging around the streets from the war years, coal, ice, and milk deliveries by horse drawn wagons, and learning to swear in Italian from the new kids who were moving into the area. It was a like growing up in a Scorsese film cliché!!
M.Lips Benz / September 25, 2013 at 08:52 am
Thanks to all the Inputs soo much history of the old TO , I do love it, being away from TO for almost 40 yrs. Sitting in Europe and still homesick for my TO
jerry / November 23, 2013 at 01:49 pm
hey yeah....its good to know after 90 yrs YOU STILL STRUGGLE WHEN YOU HAVE TO SPELL "ST CLAIR" LMFAO
jerry / November 23, 2013 at 01:57 pm
hey junction.....HUSH YOU YUPpie!!! hey rob....WELL SAID!
Josie Portelli replying to a comment from EC / December 12, 2013 at 10:36 am
I lived at 495 Quebec avenue in the 60-70's you should see how beautiful some of the homes are on quebec avenue now.
Josie Portelli replying to a comment from John / December 12, 2013 at 10:45 am
hey John, i was part of the Maltese community, yes most of the maltese moved to Mississauga, I remember also the Alps Restaurant being almost on the corner of Keele/Dundas
Josie replying to a comment from nevenka / December 12, 2013 at 11:02 am
hey Nevanka found you again,
Norm B. Moore / December 20, 2013 at 04:08 am
My Grandparents purchased property on Clendenan Ave., N. in the
early 30's and are still living there. My grandfather, John A. Barber was a Yard Master for the C.P.R. I believe all of my
uncles were married in St. John's Church. I really love the photo's.
Dave Burke / January 19, 2014 at 09:16 am
We lived above a Scotty's store on Dundas I think around 1962-3. I think across from Woolworths but I can't figure out where on google earth or what it is now. Went to Indian Road Cresent School that year.
chris / February 17, 2014 at 07:24 pm
i'm 33 and was born in the apartment building on the south east corner at dundas/keele. still in the hood and man i love it so much. kresge's, biway, junction billiards- i miss the grit and blue collar charm it once had. i'm probably one of the last blue collar generations that will be able to afford living here. these photos are amazing!
Don / March 7, 2014 at 05:25 pm
My grandparents bought a home on Glenlake Ave near Indian Rd about 1915 and lived there until the 1970's. When I was a kid I spent many weekends and sometimes weeks in the summer at their place and have fond memories of Mr Bolton the barber who cut my hair, the corner store on Indian Rd where I would go for penny candy, tobogganing in Towne park, the rickety wooden bridge over the tracks that was I believe for Weston Rd, the west Toronto train station where I took the train on several occasions, the horse drawn milk and bread wagons, the coal man, the rag and bone men and the peddler with the pop corn push cart with the steam whistle going to let you know he was coming. It was a wonderful place for a young kid to play in the late 40's and early 50's!
gj / April 9, 2014 at 03:00 am
Luv this place. Made TO for me.
Keith / April 21, 2014 at 09:13 pm
Nobody has mentioned Jumbo Burger!! This grease pit is a staple of the junction neighborhood at Runnymede and Dundas and has probably one of the best burgers in the entire city!
d / May 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm
In the 70s the Junction was pretty sketchy ... except you HAD to order your pizza from Vesuvios ... it was AWESOME!
d replying to a comment from Don / May 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm
Don, my dad grew up on Glenlake in the late 30s, early 40s I think. But I remember the rags and bones man from the early 60s ...
Lol / May 29, 2014 at 11:44 pm
@junction has a point though..It is not wrong to want to live in an area not saturated in crime and illegal activity-that is not just a "suburban" phenomenon.
Charlie Grech / June 5, 2014 at 05:47 pm
I lived right outside of the Junction (Runnyemede and St. Clair), back in the 50's, 60's 70's and 80's it was full of Maltese people and the Maltese culture was very much alive. My father moved here in 1953. Sadly most of them moved out of the community. I remember it very well, Jumbo Burgers, 7 Eleven, Jays Burgers, Canadian Tire, McBrides, BiWay, Kresseges, Woolworths and more.

I really miss the Junction and wiss to be back home
Rudy / June 27, 2014 at 07:04 pm
The Junction is a very interesting neighbourhood to walk about with all sorts of eclectic establishments. I just wish they would clean it up a little because the sidewalks are cruddy with bird poop.
jp replying to a comment from Gina Farrugia / August 8, 2014 at 09:23 pm
Finally!! someone Ive grown up and still live around the Junction/Bloor west village area ( lived on glendonwynne, indian road, keele and bloor and now keele and glenlake) . Growing up and hanging out in the Junction ( St.cecilia's -Western Tech) It wasnt a until a few years ago that little malta really faded away ( i think theres the melita social club, st pauls church and a few maltese bake shops left..sad that you almost have to go to etobicoke to get pastizzi) The Junction did have share of problems though with prositution and drugs. The main source of the problem was a place called mimo's? ( not 100% sure on the name), and yes there still are problems in the area , most specifically on dundas east of keele where you have the sal army womens shelter, and a few deecript building ( 2762 dundas st w i belive) where slum lords continue to screw people who are on odsp/ow. The bia for the area has worked hard to really improve the area , and there are still some great holdouts from the past (you cant deny vesuvios still makes some of the best pizza in the area if not the whole city..yeah its pricey but you get what you pay for) . Losing petes sunny bar was sad ( annette and clendenan) which was a big lunch and afterschool hangout for the underagers for over 30 yrs. Axis has been around for close to 10 yrs and still has great music..Yes the Junction had its diversity of classes as well ( how many people remember Borje Salming of the Maple Laughs err leafs living on high park ave or Alan Sheppard of the Toronto Blue jays?? Its said that even Alex Lifeson lived on Quebec Ave ( not sure how true it is but it does make some sense as below the junction..bloor west village had a healthy Ukranian population..think unkranian fest between runnymede and jane on bloor usually in september)and who knew about the many IRA safehouses in the junction area..surprised?) What I find really interesting are the landlords in the have to wonder at inflated prices ( my parents bought their house on glendonwynne in 1970 for 69k ..its currently worth 1.6 m+) how can even people afford this (two income family making 200k a year would still take over 30 yrs to pay it off ) so many people rent out rooms or converted basements..but many people dont know what it takes to be a landlord..its not as simple as splatter some-plaster sand and paint) but there are decent landlords in the area too who are helpful ( hey i pay 600 for a pretty decent bach all in)..anyways junction bloor west high park ronces yeah im not planing on moving out of the area any time soon
jp replying to a comment from Richard / August 8, 2014 at 09:31 pm
LOL Richard..but of course..what do you expect from people who booted their parents into seniors homes and took over their homes!! at the going avg rate of 900k for a detached 3 bedroom...
Ev / October 7, 2014 at 05:41 pm
I grew up in the Junction and went to Public and High school from 1938 to 1955. The best years.
Just hop on a street car at Keele and Dundas to go downtown. I thought it was a wonderful place to grow up. Used to go to the Beaver Theatre every Saturday afternoon. Anyone out there remember
Downyflake donuts at Dundas and Mavety? Lots of great memories. Went to the Apollo Show
on Tuesday night to see Charlie Chan movies with my Grandmother.
Tim / January 24, 2015 at 12:45 am
Is it really necessary to bash "The Junction" with some of the hardcore comments here. There are other areas in the city that are and were much worse

Even though I never lived in the area, it's only a 40 minute walk from my front door to Keele & Dundas.

I did work there for 39 years, and never had any problems.

My in-laws have lived on Keele St north of Dundas St from the early 1940's. Some worked with the CPR, others worked at the Stockyards. I also have long time friends who did the same, yet I never heard negative comments from any of them.

As a kid, my parents would take us kids to The Junction to shop and eat. It was great. It's too bad the big stores such as Woolworths, Kresges, and a few others are gone, although Good old Canadian Tire is still hanging in.

My parents used to go bowling in the building that later became McBride Cycle.

The Junction always had, and still has a great variety of places to shop, be entertained, take care of financial business, and have a leisurely meal.

The ethnic mix in the area also provides a means of enjoying cultural experience.

For me, the good of the Junction far outweighs the bad.

Even now, I visit the area several times a month, and always have a great time.

"GO JUNCTION," you're my home away from home.
Helen Parsons-Parpoulas / March 24, 2015 at 09:15 pm
I loved looking at the pictures of the junction and area. I grew up on Miulock ave and my husband grew up on Bodwin avenue in the juction. It was my families tradition to walk to the junction and shop on Saturdays we would go to Woolworths and have lunch and as kids I remember going to breared park or high park for the day and in those days we walked or we would all ride our bikes there. I went to Davenport school as did most kids on mulock and area then on to Older my husband went o Indian grove then to Annette from there to West Park. Miss those day we didn't have.much but yet we had a lot . we both still keep in touch with our friends we grew up with. And we drive back and see the area every time we are in toront. I remember Georges restaurant I think the real name was country kitchen.I would fall asleep to cows at night. I remember one time my uncle came to visit from cape Breton and the cattle train went buy and he thought it was an earth quake because the house shock although wenever felt it. I could ytalk through the walls to my friend next door.. I thought it was the best place in the world to live. We would go play ball in the summer at George Bell park MD in the winter go skating or watch a hockey game.they were great times wish it was still like that there life was good. My parents paid $8000.00 for our house on mulock ave in 1958 Andi see a house five over sold for like $500.00 that's crazy. Oh well I will stop by and hope the old home is still standing when I go back.
Danielle / March 26, 2015 at 10:25 am
I live here and love it. I love it because of the mix of people. Really enjoyed the old pictures, but kind of wish everything posted in this city didn't turn into a weird argument about everything wrong with it. Could be worse guys. Focus on the good or maybe consider moving somewhere more suitable?
Diana / April 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm
I grew up in the Junction and lived there until 1974. This was my grandparent's house on Indian Grove that they purchased in 1939. Before that they rented a home on other streets in the Junction. I attended Indian Rd. Crescent School, Annette Public School, and then Western Tech. and Commerce. We played tag and hide and go seek on the street, went ice skating at Baird Park, went tobogganing at Oakmount Park on Keele St., walked to school, went swimming at Sunnyside, went fishing and exploring in High Park. We attended Victoria Presbyterian Church and the church was packed each and every Sunday. There were 35 kids in my Sunday School class. Once in a while one of the bulls from the Stockyards would escape and run down Keele St. into the Junction causing mayhem and much excitement. In those days the Junction was always the best place to shop. This was before the malls were built. People would drive or take the bus from Weston further north and other areas of the city just to shop in the Junction because there were such excellent stores there. In the 1940's, 1950's and '60's all of the popular shopping stores were there - 3 movie theatres, ladies dress shops, 4 shoe stores, 3 grocery stores, several hardware stores, jewelery stores. We would take the street car downtown to shop on a Saturday to Eaton's and Simpsons (this was before the Bloor Subway was built and before the Eaton Centre). After Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens Malls were built, the area began to deteriorate. People moved out to the suburbs and many of the houses were turned into rooming houses. This was now the early 1980's and yes there were many rundown homes in the area and seedy looking characters hanging out on the street corners. Many of the stores were vacant or had become junk or adult video stores. My children were small then and we lived elsewhere and we visited my parents who were still living in the same house - the Roselawn Bowling Alley had become McBride's Cycle and Woolworth's and Kresge's(the two large department stores) were long gone. The Lucky Strike Bowling Alley had become a Co-op Craft Mall - a sign of the times - and one of the few good places to shop. The Junction was not the best place to live or shop then. But things have now changed and the Junction has become a vibrant shopping area once again and the homes have mostly been renovated to open concept design but keeping the old woodwork. There are many young families moving into the area and many interesting new stores and restaurants to visit. It has become a wonderful place to live and raise a family. My mother still lives there and we visit her often. It's so nice to see the Junction becoming a great place to live and shop - It's just like it used to be but with a modern twist. I would move there again in a heartbeat!
dave / May 16, 2015 at 11:31 pm
I lived in the junction in the eary 70s and loved the neighborhood. My favorite shopping destination was Elliots hardware store on Dundas, east of Keele. This was possibly the best small hardware store in the city. Mr Elliot could always find the nut or bolt I needed even if we had to go deep into the basement to find them. With the stock yards gone the area is changing, probably mostly for the good, however I still miss the old flavour of the 70s blue collar neighbourhood.
Mike replying to a comment from Josie Portelli / July 26, 2015 at 07:07 am
Hey Josie... I lived there in the early 70's... I lived at 511 Quebec ave....
Linda / February 4, 2016 at 06:16 pm
Grew up on Old Weston Road between St. Clair and Davenport.
Walked to the Junction with friends to shop at Kresges, Woolworth, etc.
Lee / February 14, 2016 at 02:12 am
Lived on Medland went to Saint Cecilia's remember Mcbrides cycle went to St Pauls Church moved out in 1970
michael replying to a comment from Josie Portelli / February 27, 2016 at 09:53 pm
i remember the alps rest.
i use to live in the old campbell block apts in the late 70's
i see they are turning the building into hi end lofts...
to bad they didnt incorp. the old ballroom and stage on the third floor from the old hotel glory days...circa 1900's
its kinda sad to see the building gutted for loft apt's
but the ext. looks great again....
michael replying to a comment from michael / February 27, 2016 at 09:54 pm
oh and the old kreeski store mother would shop
michael replying to a comment from dave / February 27, 2016 at 09:58 pm
me too..
i bought my first motorcycle from mcbrides....
was fun back in the 70' glad they r fixing uo the old campbell not to sure of the hi end lofts...from one extreme to the
i use to love in there in the 70's
i wonder if they incorp. the old ballroom and stage on the third floor from the hotel glory days 1900's....prob not...
michael replying to a comment from michael / February 27, 2016 at 10:07 pm
oh ya
Tim S / March 3, 2016 at 07:54 am
Salming actually on ridout across from Jim mckenny, Leo rautins live across from OAKMOUNT park...not park Lithuania ...Amos was great Canadian Chinese food, Power grocery store, the golden wing restaurant at pacific, just up from the best variety store..mighty midgets....mcbrides for bikes...hell we even had a records on wheels across from the fire station....and last but not least the junction bargain house....."memories of the way we were"
Eddie replying to a comment from the lemur / March 26, 2016 at 01:09 am
I Do Believe that You are Correct on That One ,,
Sincerely ,, Eddie Lawrence ..,,
J / March 30, 2016 at 01:10 am
Moved to the west junction about 3 years ago but my father grew up all around the neighborhood after the family immigrated from Malta after the war. They lived all over the place. Laws, Annette, Dundas and eventually on St John's. My neighbor is an elderly Maltese couple in their 80s who often tell me stories of people in the neighborhood who used to go to bars in the area and get involved in some pretty sketchy stuff. They'd often tell me stories of renters getting in fights and getting murdered. We live down by Runnemede so it's not exactly the junction but close enough. Still some retail down on this end that hasn't really changed much. I love how there is still some character but also some great new places opening all the time.
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