How to spend a day in the Junction
The Junction is no longer just a weird historic rail yard area west of Dundas and Keele where all the streets seem to go wonky, a neighbourhood only locals and residing families really understood. Cool bars and microbreweries are starting to mix in with the organic cafes, farmers’ market and street fests, and the results are exciting.
Here’s how to spend a day in the Junction, from morning to late night.
When it comes to brunch in the Junction, you can’t beat Dirty Food. Their eggs bennies go way beyond the usual English muffins and ham, and they make Caesars with beet juice. If that ultra-healthy organic Junction vibe is what you want try Wilder, and for a quick cup of joe and homemade cafe fare hit up Cool Hand of a Girl.
You can get your day started with painting activities as early as 9 a.m. at Pinot’s Palette, though since it’s a paint and sip place maybe abstain from the wine until a little later. For a radically different seated group activity, go for a spin at RPM.
Spice lords can now test their mettle against Nashville hot chicken at Chica’s, though I’d recommend sharing the a giant-sized order if you want to get anything else done. For options that might offer more mileage, try deli sandwiches at When the Pig Came Home or tacos and burritos at Al Pastor.
This neighbourhood is home to one of Toronto’s cutest stationery stores, Take Note, as well as elegant home decor shops like Mjolk and Made by Madigral. Dress up like a Junction local in styles from Gerhard Supply and Opticianado, and pick up some records at Pandemonium and beef up on local art at Zalucky Contemporary to back up the look.
Bunner’s is a mainstay of the Toronto vegan community, and this Junction location of the popular bakery is stocked with your fave cupcakes, muffins and more. For a full-on lactose binge head to chocolate and ice cream purveryor Delight.
The spicy pad thai at Isaan Der is so authentic it’s on par with popular local Thai mini-chain Sukhothai. They also do a ton of other incredible Thai favourites, but if that’s not your thing check out Playa Cabana Cantina for elevated tacos or hit Indie Alehouse for a range of accessible pub options, and of course, locally brewed beer.
From there it’s a short trot to Shamone, where you can follow your Indie Alehouse beer with a beer cocktail. If you stuffed yourself on fried chicken, tacos and vegan cupcakes and just want a light nosh for dinner, arrive when they're open for free happy hour snacks.
As for bars, there’s also Famous Last Words for book/cocktail nerds, the uniquely cramped Hole in the Wall, Junction City Music Hall for live entertainment and 3030 Dundas West as a no-fail end-of-the-night spot.
Jesse Milns at When the Pig Came Home
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