Neighbourhood Feature: The Junction
Case in point: the Junction and its neighbouring Junction Triangle. With the Junction’s small-town charm and the Triangle’s industrial grit, the area has seen a recent renaissance with colourful, creative enterprises, drawn in by the square footage and blank-canvas potential, setting up shop. And after decades of being famously dry (alcohol-free), it’s finally become a hub for craft breweries, restaurants and live music.
Here’s where to shop, sip, and snack in two of the city’s hippest ‘hoods.
The Drake Commissary
128 Sterling Road, Toronto; drakecommissary.ca
The latest addition to the Drake Hotel family, this 8,000-square-foot former condiment factory was overhauled into what they’ve dubbed a ‘creative culinary hub’—a café, lounge and dining room designed for staying awhile. With the Drake’s signature casual-kitsch filling every corner, it’s the kind of place where no one will bat an eye if you pulled out a laptop while snacking on miso cauliflower and duck confit.
Hale Coffee Company
300 Campbell Avenue, Toronto; halecoffee.com
From the lived-in, candy-coloured armchairs to the ebullient staff, Hale Coffee is one café you’ll want to spend more time in. Order a buttery pistachio croissant with your coffee of choice, or try one of their homemade iced teas, mixed with a drizzle of house-made blueberry or strawberry reduction. For further Jun-caffination, try Station Cold Brew next door or Propeller Coffee down the street.
2959 Dundas Street West, Toronto; mjolk.ca
Scandinavian meets Japanese design at Mjolk, a neighbourhood fixture since 2009. You’ve probably scrolled by their whitewashed wares on Instagram—Mjolk (it means ‘milk’) has been featured in Dwell, Monocle and Wallpaper. It’s minimalist without feeling antiseptic, draped with hanging plants and cozy textures—and whether you’re looking for a candle, a chair or just a spark of interior inspiration, slot in a few minutes to browse.
86 Miller Street, Toronto; katzmancontemporary.com
The Junction’s art scene is about to get a whole lot more destination-worthy with the opening of MoCCA—Toronto’s expansive new Museum of Contemporary Art—in spring 2018. But don’t let its arrival overshadow the little guys like Katzman Contemporary, a pint-sized playspace for artists, wedged between auto-body shops along Miller Street.
2766 Dundas Street West, A, Toronto; honestweight.ca
Just off Old Weston Road (not to be confused with Weston Road, of the flows Drake speaks of) is this 20-seat seafood restaurant with New England vibes and the best okonomiyaki in the city. With Sly and the Family Stone on the sound system and the smell of fresh-caught fish in the air, Honest Weight is a feel-good stop for a flaky fish sandwich or a bowl of their famous chowder.
247 Wallace Avenue, Toronto; halobrewery.com
Stroll just past the train tracks on Wallace and you’ll find Halo Brewery, where blackberry IPAs and Belgian tripels are paired with pepperette sticks and pretzels. This small craft taproom and bottle shop aims to be the first open-sourced Canadian brewery, meaning you’ll be able to find all its recipes online. And if you’re in the mood for more brew-haha, Henderson and Junction Brewery are both walking distance away.