The Junction started off as an independent rural Village in the west end of Toronto. It was near the junction of four railway lines and adopted the nickname The Junction. The Village was originally founded in 1884 at the intersection of Dundas Street West and Keele Street, eventually becoming annexed by the City of Toronto in 1909.
The original site was known as the Carlton Race Course from 1857 – 1876 and owned by the Keele Family. The very first Queen’s Plate premiered at this track. When the railways arrived in the 1880’s, the old racetrack and surrounding area was developed by Daniel Clendenan. An interesting tidbit is the approximate locations of the two main straight-aways of the track are today known as High Park Avenue and Pacific Avenue.
The Junction has weathered both times of boom and bust. During 1888 through 1890 it was prosperous then 1893 to 1900 it turned to poverty due to an economic recession. The long depression saw the closing of many of the factories and an end to construction within the area.
The Pubs and Taverns were popular with the railway and factory workers along with the cowboys taking their cattle to slaughter at the stockyards. By 1903 there was a serious problem with all of the wild drinking and whooping it up and The Temperance movement grew. By 1904 the frustrated neighbourhood had voted the area Dry, which they continued to enforce until as late as 2000. The Junction became the last area of Toronto to ban the sale of alcohol.
Once the neighbourhood was able to eliminate prohibition (in the early 2000's!!!), the community began to experience rapid gentrification. Suddenly they started seeing the beginning of new chic restaurants and bars opening along Dundas Street. Revitalized and abandoned warehouses and factory buildings are becoming converted to urban lofts attracting artists and creative hipsters, allowing The Junction to become one of the most popular pockets in west end Toronto to recently grow.
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