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Thread: The Junction

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  1. Default The Junction

    Well I'l be moving into the area in about a year or so, and i'm really excited about the area, fell in love with it the first time i saw it (which was pretty recent). So if there's any junctionian/junctionist people here i'd love to hear about current developments that u are observing, as it interests me.

    two things in particular i was wondering about the area...

    1. what is the status of that railway bike patch that was supposed to be from dupont and dundas to king and portland or queen and ossington or something like that? the information available seems outdated on the webpage and i was just wondering if this project was totally halted? its a shame because i can't wait to be living at the junction and riding my bike to the core of downtown...i already do walks...it takes about an hour and a half..

    2. saw a short written piece in this weeks Eye magazine, referring to "The Hole in the Junction" referring to a space that used to be McBride Cycle and the site was torn down for a condo, however that plan didn't fall through. so what is the status of this place?


  2. Default

    I haven't heard anything about the railpath, and I wouldn't be surprised if it stalled. There is that shortage of land in the southern part of the proposed path which would require removing tracks, or some kind of tunnel/bridge, but those options are frowned upon. And when a website isn't updated, it tends to be because the people aren't making any progress and have things on hiatus. As for the unfortunate lose of the old building McBride used, the lot was sold. They're probably looking for a developer.

  3. Default

    thanks for the info...damn thats too bad about the bike path...i was really looking forward to it...i guess biking down dundas it is!

  4. Default

    Interestingly, they have done some work on the northern parts (on land they already own). They've cleared brush and have a skid loader on site. Survey markings have been made. Also of interest, the former site of the Glidden paint factory on the west end of Wallace Avenue is currently undergoing remediation. When you see the giant trenches, mounds of dirt covered in plastic and shed with piping that hums 24/7, it's kind of disturbing because one would think that if such an elaborate process is necessary, than this site must have been contaminated seriously.

  5. Default

    The Junction used to refer to a much bigger area than it does today - it was the former town of West Toronto Junction and included what is now Bloor West Village and High Park north of Bloor as well as Carleton Village.

    When they talk about the Junction being trendy I think they're actually referring to Junction Gardens, which is officially part of the High Park neighborhood.

  6. Default

    The contemporary boundaries are ambiguous and vary by person it seems. But the mayor of the town lived in one of those large houses close to High Park (and Roncesvalles). I would say St. Clair still serves as the northern boundary and the southern boundary is Annette, but historically it would have been Bloor. Bloor West is too different these days.

    North of Dundas and south of the Canadian Pacific railway line is the grittier and less trendy Junction, but the houses are still Victorians, and there is a historic flavor in the narrower streets.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Junction area, t'other side of tracks
    Posts
    109

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sungs View Post
    Well I'l be moving into the area in about a year or so, and i'm really excited about the area, fell in love with it the first time i saw it (which was pretty recent). So if there's any junctionian/junctionist people here i'd love to hear about current developments that u are observing, as it interests me.

    two things in particular i was wondering about the area...

    1. what is the status of that railway bike patch that was supposed to be from dupont and dundas to king and portland or queen and ossington or something like that? the information available seems outdated on the webpage and i was just wondering if this project was totally halted? its a shame because i can't wait to be living at the junction and riding my bike to the core of downtown...i already do walks...it takes about an hour and a half..

    2. saw a short written piece in this weeks Eye magazine, referring to "The Hole in the Junction" referring to a space that used to be McBride Cycle and the site was torn down for a condo, however that plan didn't fall through. so what is the status of this place?

    It's my understanding that the tender put in was too high. Funding is still there but it's delayed waiting on new contractor tenders.
    Most likely looking at 1-2 years from now before completion.

    As for The Junction boundaries, there are the "official" boundaries, but then there are the boundaries recognized by the shopping district only (which was mentioned in this thread elsewhere). For any history buffs a good source for historical information, photos and maps is the West Toronto Junction Historical Society www.wtjhs.ca
    I myself live east of Keele just north of the CP tracks. If anyone asks me where I live I still say in the Junction area (considering if you walk to the end of my street you can literally see the junction of the railway tracks so I think that's a valid statement...lol!)

  8. Default

    I would say that if you live east of Old Weston Road and south of St. Clair you're still in the Junction. It's great to have someone with some slightly more inside information on the railpath. They're not moving fast, but I noticed a couple of weeks ago that they do have some equipment that has cleared the weeds growing in the northern most part near Dupont. Lilibet- You mentioned that it will be done in 1-2 years, but does that include the part south of Bloor? This project has to make it to Queen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Junction area, t'other side of tracks
    Posts
    109

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by junctionist View Post
    I would say that if you live east of Old Weston Road and south of St. Clair you're still in the Junction. It's great to have someone with some slightly more inside information on the railpath. They're not moving fast, but I noticed a couple of weeks ago that they do have some equipment that has cleared the weeds growing in the northern most part near Dupont. Lilibet- You mentioned that it will be done in 1-2 years, but does that include the part south of Bloor? This project has to make it to Queen.
    Junctionist, I'm not holding my breath about the Railpath continuing further south of Dundas West/Lansdowne anytime soon. The portion that's being converted was purchased from CP Rail however the remaining portion south of this intersection is CN property and they're not planning to let go of it anytime soon as it is on a section that they intend to use for GO train expansion (and the controversial air rail link).
    It would have been amazing if the whole stretch was converted as it could have potentially linked up with the waterfront Martin Goodman trail but I guess the needs of bedroom communities take priority over the needs of city dwellers but if it helps keep more cars off the road then I should quell my bitterness...
    The time frame I mentioned is based upon what my source gave me.
    Given that tendering has yet to be completed, work will not likely begin until spring and then add on the length of time it will take to complete the task.
    A lot of the equipment and machinery that's on the railways lands north of Dupont is likely there because of the work that's also being done on the Georgetown Go line which is being tunneled from Dupont to St. Clair West.
    One thing I've been trying to find out about is the effect that the construction of the new housing division on Wallace is having on the path.
    There is remediation work being done and the section of the railpath between Macaulay and Wallace has been reduced to a width of about four feet, with safety fencing encroaching on the pathway which would make you think that even if they were ready to go, that would be an obstacle.
    Hopefully good things come to those who wait...

  10. Default Toronto Star article

    Here's an article from yesterday's paper about a store in the Junction: http://www.thestar.com/article/286723

    The article goes into a bit of detail about gentrification and how the neighbourhood is changing.

    Article:

    Forever Interiors' attitude: Reuse, recycle, rejoice

    Andrew Wallace / toronto star
    Forever Interiors’ Martin Scott is so green, says Rita Zekas, that he rivals Shrek. His Dundas St. W. store has been open for just over two years. Email story


    Dec 22, 2007 04:30 AM
    Rita Zekas
    Living reporter

    We hadn't been to The Junction, that outback at Dundas and Keele, since 2001, when we visited the set of the musical film Call Me Irrepressible starring Jason Priestley, whom we dubbed a "song-and-pants man" because of his inflated, draping, vintage trousers.

    Film-location people tend to gravitate to The Junction for its seedy, somewhat disreputable vibe. Now it's going the way of Parkdale and getting gentrified.

    Shops like Forever Interiors at 2903 Dundas St. W., headquarters for recycled furniture, decor and antiques, and Cornerstone at 2884 Dundas St. W., 40,000 square feet of fine furniture and antiques, are springing up among the quickie cash-your-cheques places.

    Throw in a Starbucks and Whole Foods and watch the yup-and-comers congregate.

    Forever Interiors' owner Martin Scott bases his business on reclaimed wood. Harvest tables are made from recycled wood, including old structural beams and ultra-wide roof boards. Custom-designed cabinets evolve out of a combination of salvaged furniture and reclaimed wood.

    He's almost Shrek green.

    We are captivated by a school of whimsical wooden fish in a variety of colours and species on the walls. "I cut them out and local artists paint them," Scott says. "...I get old tin that I use for the fish (fins) from a demolition guy in a truck."

    At $34.99, they are irresistible and ideal for last-minute gift giving. "Somebody from a film wanted to rent 10 fish for a trailer park," Scott recalls, offended, "and I said, `No way.'"

    Designers, movie-location scouts, movie people and regular folk make their way to Scott's shop.

    "I get spillover," he says.

    Rachel McAdams, who was in the area filming Time Traveler's Wife, bought one of his popular shelves with the vintage coat hooks priced from $39 to $99 and made from old roof boards.

    McAdams is also tapping him for furnishings for her T.O. home.

    Scott depends on "bike guys," pickers on bicycles who ride around the area sifting through the garbage for broken items that he makes into new furniture.

    The bike guys are not kids.

    "Chester shocked the life out of me," Scott recalls. "He said he'd be 60 years old in a week. He spends 12 hours every day on a bike and supplies me and other people."

    Scott took a huge old door and made it into a hallway bench on which to sit while taking off your shoes. It's all found wood, with the door on one side, floorboards on the other and storage underneath. All that for $249.99.

    He'll take old five-foot-high mirrors that are refuse from apartment buildings or renos, attach them to old floor boards from century homes and price them at $195 to $395.

    Scott sells church pews from the neighbouring Victorian Presbyterian church for $350. "The church was converted (no pun intended) into lofts," he says.

    There is a magnificent armoire with a "sold" sticker marked at $4,900. "A moving company called me up (offering it)," Scott says. "It's not old – only 15 years old – but it costs $17,245 regularly."

    What is totally gob-smacking is a coffee table top made from a bowling alley floor that Scott obtained in collaboration with The Post and Beam Reclamation Ltd., several stores down at 2869 Dundas W. The Post and Beamers deal in reclaimed architectural materials and have been known to go all the way to Argentina to buy a church door, but the door is such a work of art, it's almost a religious experience.

    "They said, `C'mon, let's grab the wood' (from the bowling alley) and I helped them," Scott recalls. "They sell the raw material, I sell the finished products. If I'm lucky, maybe one of those bike guys will come by with a base for the table."

    Forever Interiors has been open for just over two years. Before that, Scott worked in marketing for a mid-sized software company. He was downsized.

    He is not necessarily artsy-craftsy, he demurs. "I learned right here," he explains. "My brother is a real estate agent and we reno'd houses. I sold my house and it became my stock. Then my brother bought a house under construction and it all ended up being in the store."

    A 100-year-old trunk priced at $195 bears a sign proclaiming, "Been to China and back." A trunk underneath it says, "Don't know where it's been" and sells for $65.

    Scott's price points are moderate: A pair of wooden candleholders is $7.50; a baker's table, metal with enamel paint, is $149; a great vintage floor ashtray is $65; a wonderful hobby horse is $58; lamps and chandeliers go from $27 to $87; a charming birdhouse is $35; and picture frames are $12 and up.

    "Art dealers come in and clean me out of frames," Scott says. "There is an art school around the corner."

    To replenish stock, Scott goes to garage sales, content sales and auctions. "And people call me up now," he adds.

    His client base includes some of the people in the 'hood, though they tend to stay put after dark. It is still somewhat dodgy, after all, and it gets dark before 5 p.m., when most people are still at their primary work stations, though Scott can be found toiling away in his shop renovating.

    "This is a very professional neighbourhood," Scott explains. "The problem is, they (customers) don't come to the street. We need coffee shops and produce stores. We need comfy, cozy places to hang out in the evenings."

    His philosophy is to steadfastly stay forever old.

    "The only thing new is the idea," he says. "It's as simple as one, two, three. One: nails. Two: screws. Three: glue."

  11. #11

    Default Junction Area Parents

    Hi, just registered

    Wondering if there are any Junction area parents on this forum..

    I'm 32, married, mom to two daughters, an almost 3 year-old and a newborn.

    I created a small website to unite all the local parents, it's a work in progress..

    http://junction-parents.blogspot.com/

  12. #12

    Default

    Maybe someday I'll be a Junction-area parent? That's a huge if though--will anyone wanna marry me?
    Canadian architecture I like: http://renderpornstar.com/

  13. Smile

    I can see myself as a Junction parent someday, so you have some time to develop that website.

  14. #14

    Default Ha

    I feel so old now

    I'll be adding more stuff to the site every day, I do welcome any input, if you feel like recommending a local blog/site/event..etc.. please let me know, it doesn't have to be parent/kids related

    I love reading this thread btw, there isn't much on Junction out there (internet).. sorry my English is slow.

    Irina

  15. #15

    Default

    You feel so old now? That's hilarious because I'm older than you and don't see myself getting married for another 5-10 years.

    Out of curiousity, are you Russian or Serbian?
    Canadian architecture I like: http://renderpornstar.com/

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