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Toronto Communities Profile: The Junction W02
The Junction is a neighbourhood in Toronto, that is near the junction of four railway lines in the area known as the West Toronto Diamond. The neighbourhood was previously an independent city called West Toronto, that was also its own federal electoral district until amalgamating with the city of Toronto in 1909. The main intersection of the area is Dundas Street West and Keele Street.
The Junction was a manufacturing community that rose quickly during the late 19th century. Foundries, mills, furniture assembly, meat processing, nail and wire factories were established. Notable companies, such as Canadian Cycle & Motor Co., Campbell Milling Company and the Heintzman piano company set up in the area. Other firms came because land, labour and taxes were cheaper than in Toronto, and the Canadian Pacific established a major operation there, establishing yards from Keele Street as far west as Scarlett Road. In addition, the town acquired an official port of entry in the 1890s, allowing local businesses to clear their goods locally as opposed to using the downtown Toronto port. These factors also attracted many immigrant or second generation Irish Catholics to the area, many of whom moved there from then poor, crowded tenement housing in areas of the city such as Cabbagetown and Brockton Village during the 1880s. Many also came from working-class English industrial cities such as Birmingham and Manchester. They were soon followed by many from non-English speaking countries, including Italians, Poles, Macedonian and Croatian immigrants, many of whom worked in the meat industry.
The elimination of prohibition in the year 2000 has had a positive effect on the community, however. Rapid gentrification has meant new chic restaurants and bars have opened up along Dundas Street, attracting young people, while lower rents make the neighbourhood appealing to artists. Some see The Junction as the next big “hip place to live” with a surplus of vacated industrial space and warehouse loft conversion possibilities.
In 2009 the West Toronto Railpath opened, providing a direct link for pedestrians and cyclists from The Junction to the Dundas and Lansdowne area. There are plans to eventually extend the path further south to the Liberty Village neighbourhood.
Billed by many as the next West Queen West, The Junction is already attracting artists and entrepreneurs for its cheaper rents and converted industrial and warehouse spaces. The neighbourhood is also turning into something of a furniture and design destination.
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Disclaimer: Listings provided by AgentLocator. Some neighbourhood descriptions provided by Wikipedia