Editor’s note: Thanks to Anita one of our Facebook readers we have added a few addition at the end of the post.
In Toronto, a city that’s build like a grid, The Junction is shaped like a triangle, bordered by Dundas West, Annette Street and Runnymede Road. The neighbourhood is edgy, lively and anything but square. Over the last several years the former mostly industrial neighbourhood has been undergoing a transformation with many design shops, restaurants and bars sprouting up in storefronts that used to house used appliance stores, auto-repair shops and parts for the trades. Get to know The Junction neighbourhood in one day.
9:00 a.m: Organic Breakfast is Served
Start the day at the healthy breakfast joint, The Beet, for a veggielicious meal. Located on Dundas West near Keele, the restaurant offers a menu of granola, farm fresh eggs and seasonal fruits. Naturally, there are plenty of freshly squeezed juices and smoothies on the menu including drinks that detox, cleanse and increase immunity. The kids menu is appetizing as well with baby purees and bite-sized nibblers for those babies who love fruits, veggies and maybe some quinoa.
11:00 a.m: Time for Coffee
After a healthy breakfast, one needs to grab a coffee to start their day. There’s plenty of traditional options like Starbucks but for those craving an independent coffee shop experience try Crema Coffee. There’s only three locations in the city (the other two are near Bloor and Yonge Street and The Danforth), and the barista takes extra time for latte art.
12:00 p.m: Design Stores are Open
Now that you’re fed, it’s time to check out the neighbourhood’s array of design shops. Mjölk, a shop with a Japanese and Swedish flair, showcases custom furniture and cool knick·knacks for the home. Other nearby shops worth checking out include Metropolis Living for vintage industrial decor, Smash with their holiday pop-up shop and Post and Beam.
1:30 p.m: Entertain the Kids
If the kids are getting impatient, take them to the nearby Ontario Early Years Centre (it’s free and filled with activities!).
2:30 p.m: A Late Mexican (or Italian) Lunch
Tequila or pizza for lunch? Yes please! Time to check out Playa Cabana Cantina or the longtime Vesuvio’s Pizzeria, the oldest pizza place in Toronto. Everyone and their grandmother has dined at Vesuvio’s which opened in the 1950s.
4:00 p.m: Work off that Lunch
After eating and shopping, try a workout at the Loft Pilates Studio or RPM Total Fitness. If you choose to forgo the workout, head to Bunner’s, the heavenly vegan and gluten-free bake shop, instead.
7:00 p.m: Dinner at the Farmhouse
Describing itself as “a little bit of country, a lot of rock roll,” the Farmhouse Tavern serves up a family feast of brunch and dinner treats. The Toronto Star calls it a “little piece of country heaven in The Junction.”
9:30 p.m: Cocktails and Pints in the Neighbourhood
It’s time for drinks and music at the trendy 3030 Dundas West. It’s always packed and loud, which makes for a fun night out. Also try Indie Ale House, the upscale pub with its impressive list of booze. In an area where alcohol was once banned, there are tons of new pubs to choose from. The Junction once held a law prohibiting alcohol due to excessive fighting and recklessness in the neighbourhood. Thankfully, the law was lifted, but not until 1997.
Here are a couple of additional spots worth checking out:
If you are looking for additional restaurant recommendations you should check out Nado, Littlefish or, The Passenger.
If you need to pick up a few groceries go to Ko’s Foods, its a great green grocer.
If you are in the creative spirt you can check out Articulations for art supplies , classes and show s.
And if all you need to do is relax then The Calm is worth checking out for a fantastic therapeutic massage