The Junction used to be the rowdiest neighbourhood in Toronto. It was a manufacturing area and the workers had their pick of bars after work. But it got a little wild and in 1904 residents voted to ban alcohol. It wasn’t until 2001 that the first drink was sold in the Junction since the ban took place.
Now the Junction is no longer dry and the neighbourhood is coming back to life. But it still has a quiet charm that is in part due to the prohibition of the last century.
Good Neighbour: This is a coffe shop to pull up a chair and get cosy in. Their cappucinos are rich and frothy and there’s a fireplace to curl up next to. Mmm.
Cut The Cheese: To all yee latose intolerant: take your pill now. Cut The Cheese is a mac’n’cheese and grilled cheese mecca. There are eight mac’n’cheese options on the menu alone: try the Southern Comfort. There’s sweet and hot peppers, corn and it’s topped with popcorn chicken.
Mjolk (mi-yelk): Apparently Scandinavians, Japanese and Canadians have great design in common. Mjolk is an exquisite storefront with some of the most beautiful furniture, décor and gifts in the city. Some of their pieces come from IKEAland but don’t expect IKEA prices (or quality!). So buy or browse, either way, it’s a stunning store to wander through.
Smash: You never know what you’re going to find in this oddity-filled antique shop. When we stopped by they had a canoe on display! Smash will help you upcycle your pieces, by designing something new out of that awesome something old and they also do custom furniture work.
Pandemonium: Used record and used books? Yes please! Pandemonium has a huge selection of vinyl, books, CDs and DVDs. They also stock the odd piece of music memorabilia, like a phonograph or two.
Sagra: This Italian spot has a wood-burning oven cooking up delicious pizzas and offers full pasta menu too. As of writing this they are still waiting for their liquor license but don’t let that stop you – there’re places to get boozed up after dinner. Give this one a try.
Hole In The Wall: This bar looks at first like what it sounds like. The front door is pushed back from the street, at the back of a short alleyway. It’s unlike any other doorstep in the city. Catch live music or buck-a-shuck oysters and $5 tallboys on Tuesday nights. Like almost everything else in the Junction, it’s a great low-key neighbourhood spot and a perfect place to end a perfect day.