The Junction

Discussion in 'Neighbourhood Node' started by sungs, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. sungs

    sungs Active Member

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    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 the information available seems outdated on the webpage and i was just wondering if this project was totally halted?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?
     
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  2. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    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.
     
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  3. sungs

    sungs Active Member

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    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!
     
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  4. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    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.
     
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  5. King of Kensington

    King of Kensington Senior Member

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    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.
     
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  6. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    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.
     
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  7. adma

    adma Superstar

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    I don't have historical maps immediately on hand, but from what I recall the municipality of West Toronto never extended as far south as Bloor--Bloor West Village is too far south, too far west, and probably answered more to Swansea than to West Toronto...
     
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  8. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    From Old Time Trains:

    "The town began when D. W. Clendenan and D.J.Laws, seized the opportunity created by the coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway to purchase an estate of 240 acres bounded by Keele and Dundas, Lake View Road (Evelyn Avenue) to the west and Bloor Street to the south."

    If you look at the CN tracks going northbound right at Bloor, there's a sign that reads "West Toronto". That page I linked also has a map.
     
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  9. King of Kensington

    King of Kensington Senior Member

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    The funny thing is the "Junction Triangle" was never actually part of West Toronto Junction.

    Another interesting thing about the Junction is its longstanding multiculturalism, even back in Toronto's more puritanical WASPy days (the other area was of course in present day lower Trinity-Spadina and to a lesser extent Cabbagetown).
     
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  10. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Oh, okay, so I was a little off--though I'm wondering how much the Bloor West zone had "urbanized" by the time West Toronto was annexed, since it never really "registered" as part of West Toronto...
     
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  11. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    King of Kensington- Toronto's first synagogue was actually built in the Junction. They were from Poland. Most Jews left the area after World War II, when the Maltese established a presence. And now there are Latin Americans, but the Italians and Portuguese have some presence, so diversity has a tradition here, like you've said.

    adma- That's an interesting consideration. Doing a quick search, I only found this page which states that urbanization began around 1909, when West Toronto was annexed. By that time, West Toronto was already very urban with many industries. And it's immediately apparent when comparing the streetscape (or from the "village" moniker).
     
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  12. ShonTron

    ShonTron Moderator

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    Urbanization was certainly earlier than 1909. West Toronto even had its own street railway distinct from Toronto's until 1923, when the TTC absorbed most of it. It was first the junction with CP's Toronto, Grey and Bruce , Credit Valley, and Ontario and Quebec railways and CN's Grand Trunk, and the attracted industry - the rail yards, elevators, stockyards, Willys-Overland, and nearby GE and Glidden, it was a booming town before annexation.
     
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  13. King of Kensington

    King of Kensington Senior Member

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    Junctionist, it's the oldest synagoue that's still operating. Holy Blossom used to be located downtown and dates back to the 19th century. But they moved uptown in the 1930s I believe, when some of Toronto's more established Jews were moving into Forest Hill (and that population grew very rapidly after 1945 when the Jews moved out of the Spadina corridor en masse). I had no idea the Junction synagogue was still around though - I don't think there's much of a Jewish community in High Park and I imagine they're highly assimilated. The biggest ultra-urban-secular-progressive Jewish concentration in Toronto is, of course, in and around the Annex, many of whom are "red-diaper babies" of J.B. Salsberg's old supporters :)

    Still, while small, there was a Jewish presence there (though I've yet to meet anyone Jewish Torontonian with roots there) . There were also lots of Italians and Slavs in the Junction in those days, and Irish Catholics as well, who worked in heavy industry. The Jewish working class was of course concentrated around Spadina in the garment industry, and since the Jewish community in the Junction wasn't that big and the kind of industries tended to be avoided by Jews, I imagine it was more of a community of small businesspeople.

    I've always wondered if the big Irish/Slavic presence was what drove Anglo-Protestant moralists to make the area dry.
     
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  14. adma

    adma Superstar

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    I'm not referring to West Toronto urbanization in general, I'm referring specifically to the Bloor West zone (i.e. W of Runnymede)
     
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  15. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    That is indeed what we were talking about ("By that time, West Toronto was already very urban with many industries"). Anyone with the slightest interest in the history of West Toronto notices quickly that the town was very urban by 1890 (and prior, but to a lesser extent) from the reading material available or even from the Toronto's inventory of heritage properties.
     
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