Bakers Dozen turning into Tim Hortons

The Baker's Dozen at 3157 Dundas St West in the Junction is in the process of being transformed into a Tim Hortons via The Grid.



The Sweet Potato - update

the sign is up, but seems like there is a delay in the opening scheduled for Jan 29

snow job Feb 1, 2008

10 Dream projects I would like to see realized at The Junction

This is a wish list and I hope that someday these or a variation of these ideas materialize. However, in the meantime, we can still dream about them and how they would change this community if they were to become reality.

1. Renewal of the intersection which the area is named after - The Junction at Dundas/Annette/Dupont starting with a preferably retail and/or residential development on the site of the Gasrite gas station (3449 Dundas St W) and the site of the Coffee Time located diagonally across. This will provide a stimulus for two orphaned streches of storefronts along Dundas from Jerome St to Humberside Ave and also to another neglected retail storefronts that stretch along Dupont from Dundas to Symington.

2. An RT/LRT (something similar to Scarborough RT) on existing or new rails along the Milton Railway Corridor running from Dundas West all the way to Scarlett/ Dundas/ St. Clair intersection. With stops along major streets such as Dupont, Keele/Indian Grove, Quebec, Runnymede, Jane etc. Every logical solution is bound to be expensive, if this can be done creatively and cost-effectively, it would be a model system that could potentially be extended all the way downtown along the rail corridor.

3. Footbridges over the railway tracks linking the neighbourhoods north of Dundas to the Stockyards, Clendenan Ave would probably be the ideal choice for this footbridge since geographically its the closest to Ethel Ave north of the tracks. This would reduce auto use and encourage pedestrian use of the streets in the Junction, which will lead to higher foot traffic and increased retail improvement along the Dundas retail stretch.

4. Extension of the Railpath idea all the way to Scarlett along the Milton rail corridor (not sure if there is enough of a right-of-way for this along this
stretch of the corridor), but it would make the entire community accessible by bike and walking trails to the downtown core.

5. Linking of the severed Old Weston Road from the Dundas/Annette/Dupont intersection to the rest of the street north of the tracks at Davenport and Old Weston by re-ercting the bridge that was demolished long ago. This will actually relieve a lot of the traffic congestion that now uses the Keele St jog at Dundas and Keele.

6. Creating a public square on the parking lot beside the Bank of Montreal building at Keele and Dundas. Free community-run wifi access for the square and park benches would increase pedestrian and community use of that area. The farmers market could still use the site on the weekends.

7. Re-development of the storage yard with two large smokestacks silos on the south side of Junction Rd, north of the railway tracks/the old Canadian Tire site. This site is currently being used as storage by NRI industries and St. Mary's Cement, but there is a lot of potential for it to be something a lot more community oriented.

8. A parkette on the south west corner of Keele and Vine, it is such a waste to have a piece land at such a good location, dedicated solely for the purpose having just one large billboard stand on it.

9. Re-development of the large warehouses on the south side of West Toronto Street, south of the Stockyards, north of the railway tracks. There is a large warehouse complex on this site, east of Rona. It could be redeveloped into a residential project, a park or a recereation center. It can be whatever, as long as its not another big box retail complex.

10. Recreate/redesign/renew the existing West Toronto lawn bowling club and the park adjacent to it on the northeast corner of Humberside and Keele. Increased uses for this park should be considered as well as free wifi access. It is a large enough space that can be used for small concerts, community events, festivals, picnics, art shows etc.


the discontinued section of Old Weston Road

as a follow up to my original post on the subject of transit reversal in Toronto, I found this link with a photograph of the original bridge that used to link the now severed section of Old Weston Road behind the Coffee Time at Dundas/Annette/Dupont to the existing section of Old Weston Rd, north of the tracks at Davenport. At one point up until 1981, there used to be a continuous street that linked the existing Old Weston Rd north of the tracks to the Dundas/Annette/Dupont junction

Take a look a the 3rd photograph towards the bottom of the page and you'll see what I'm referring to. Here is the link


The Junction on YouTube

I found this video posted on YouTube that captures almost every part of the Junction neighbourhood within 3min 31secs.

The Gathering Space

here is a link from blogto.com to a new initiative to to use text, images, maps and visual art to create dialogue about life in the Junction


The Sweet Potato - Update

Looks like the scheduled opening for the Sweet Potato is Jan 29, 2008, thanks to this post from Veg.ca

Also you can apply for Job Opportunities at The Sweet Potato http://www.planetfriendly.net/gwd.php?id=5552

Previous post http://torontojunction.blogspot.com/2007/11/sweet-potato-organic-market.html



Toronto Life September 2007 Article: The Junction: the next High Park

here is the link to a pdf version of the article from Sept 2007 issue of Toronto Life

Benjamin Moore - Part 2

the bricks on this building have been sandblasted and cleaned up to their former glory, same building before it was cleaned up from a previous post

Toronto Life - Real Estate Guide

the following link in Toronto Life puts the border of the area as far north as Rogers Rd, most people just think of the stretch of Dundas from Annette to Runnymede or Jane as being The Junction, but it does include much more. What we need is a foot bridge over the railway lands disconnecting the Dundas strip from St. Clair and the Stokyards. A footbridge along Vine or Maria would get far more usage than the one that currently links Wallace and Dundas.

link to the Toronto Life: Real Estate Guide: Junction Area


transit reversal

this is a post from Spacing Wire blog, talks about the reversal of transit in Toronto, how great transit infrastructure in Toronto was reversed during the second half of the 20th century with the advent of the automobile.

Where Dupont meets Dundas meets Annette

Whats really interesting in the above article is the bridge that linked the two Old Weston Roads that we have today, to think that there used to be a bridge that went over the tracks from Dupont/Dundas/Annette intersection and linked with Old Weston Road at Davenport is surreal... all that traffic that we have today through the Keele and Dundas jog would be much more relieved if this bridge still existed. I just cant think of a reason why they would dismantle it.

Another sad loss is the old Junction railway station, imagine the commute time to Union if this still existed and the idea of reopening this station should be explored even though there exists another GO station down at Bloor and Dundas, but this site at Dupont/Dundas/Annette is more geographically suited for bus loops, drop-off stations and parking, where as the current station at Bloor and Dundas does not have that advantage, another reversal of transit in Toronto.

The Sweet Potato - organic market

An organic produce alternative to No Frills at 2995 Dundas St West, the storefront formally occupied by the short-lived Variety Thrift Store and High Value Discount before it. Signs just went up recently on the windows, scheduled opening date - early 2008. With so many organic joints going up, could the Junction some day be a destination for all things organic??

organic coffee shops and galleries

There is another new organic coffee shop coming up at Medland and Dundas - the Beet Organic Market at 2945 Dundas St West. The website claims that it will be open by the end of September, it looks like they're still getting ready for the launch. We've tried Rebas Cafe and Gallery at 3289 Dundas St West, which is just a few doors across the street from the Malta Bake Shop of pastizzi fame. If you do end up going to Rebas, the atmosphere is very mellow and the music is great, their sandwiches are a top hit. Dont forget to put yourself on their mailing list, they usually have a newsletter that goes out at least once a month with all their upcoming events and exhibits.


The Troubadour

There is a new pub/bar at 3071 Dundas West, The Torubadour, its nice to finally see a more cozy alternative to the Axis. I haven't yet had the opportunity to visit this bar, plan to check it out in the next few days... here is a review on the Eye Weekly.

lofts at Medland and Annette, more gentrification, more development

the Victoria Presbyterian church is being transformed into lofts at the corner of Medland and Annette, here is the link their website at Victoria Lofts. They had their sales office opening a few weeks ago.

The website refers to he neighbourhood as being High Park, not upper High Park or Junction but High Park, I guess the marketing team at Brad J. Lamb apparently still doesnt consider it market-ready for its traget gentrified client base to call it The Junction which is where it is technically... its just a matter of time folks

new condo projects in the Junction

Just a little over a year ago, the building at 2789 Dundas St which housed the landmark McBride Cycle business became vacant when the McBrides went under bankruptcy protection. Since then, the building had been vacant and just this past spring, it was demolished and there are rumours of a 74-unit condo go up.

here is the link for more info

Councillor Gord Perks broke the news back in Feb of 2007 on this link

Currently there are no signs on the site indicating an application or re-zoning or anything like that. It will be interesting to see what the NIMBY folks think about this..

new developments

I've had a 2-year break working on other projects and work in general. But here we are two years later and there are tons of new things going on in the Junction. I will post them in the next little while.


a though provoking quote

"You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are."
-Anna Quindlen, Essayist and Novelist

I came across this quote recently and it makes perfect sense I thought. I started thinking along the same lines a few months ago. Writing a blog or some other extra curricular activity that is complementary to what a person does in their daily job/career exercices a part of the brain that maybe under-utilized otherwise.

My maternal grandmother who kept diaries year- over-year wasn't a consistent record-keeper but rather she made notes along the way whenever she felt like it or when the time afforded her. I was always told to keep a diary when I was younger and I did on and off for a while until my teens but other distractions took me away after that. Blogging is my new way of writing in a diary.

Since there is no point in sticking to a schedule of when and what I would put on the blog, I 've told myself that I would commit to making an an entry at least once a week. This way it will allow me to think of something to write about.

In other news, there's a new diner- Bridgett's Kitchen on the stretch between Vesuvios and The Friendly Thai. I use the word diner because it looks like more of a diner than a restaurant, and its the site of the former fish and chips restaurant. Talking to the owner, she mentioned that the food is mainstream Canadiana, sandwiches, fries and what not. It will be open for all brekkis, lunches and dinners and brunches during the weekend. From the sounds, I'm hoping they serve good breakfast, because that would definetly fill a void in the 'hood.

The old Recycling Depot between Martin's Flowers and the Book Store, even though the building changed hands back in the spring, I'm finally seeing some heav-duty renovations going on. I tried talking to the construction workers on my weekend walks but they just smiled and told me they couldnt reveal what was going in there. Post a comment if you know the big secret.

until later...


Discover Malta Village

These new street banners just went up last week in the Malta Village (from Glendenan to Runnymede)area of Junction with the slogan "Discover Malta Village". They're bright red and add some color to the otherwise greyish street fronts.


'Witch's brew' winds hit Toronto

I had the chance to take these pictures down by the lake around The Boulevard Club and Sunnyside Pool vicinity this afternoon. Today's "Witch's brew" winds as termed by Environment Canada meteorologist David Phillips produced some extraordinary waves along the waterfront. It was warmer than usual even though the winds were in excess of 80 km/hour. The wind was hurricane force without the hurricane rains, todays winds formed when air from the Rockies met with cool air from the north and picked up an energy boost from the Great Lakes.

It also took out power along St. Clair W, Keele St and other pockets around the city. Driving through the city was stop and go because of flashing red traffic lights.

Autumn in High Park

Haven't been here in almost a month, but its better late than never. This is the first year in the last 3 years we (my former fiance and current wife) did not make a trip to Algonquin to see the fall colours. So we decided to go down to High Park and take some shots of the gorgeous fall colours that are transforming as we speak. Enjoy the photos.


economic post

One of my favourite fields of study happens to be economics. While this blog has not much to do with economics, I just read a really interesting piece from the NY Times about the "Fed-Ex economy." While it deals with micro-recessions and the like, one of the most important point that I was able to get out of it is the fact that instead of adjusting production capacity to deal with demand and supply, modern economies are using shipping/transportation to deal with these fluctuations, which in the long-run produces a much more stable economy.

"It had been a busy day for Georgia businesses, and FedEx's regular nightly flights from Atlanta to the company's Memphis hub were overbooked with packages. So the local crew made a call to a sprawling, low-slung room here at headquarters, where people hunch over computer screens showing weather maps and flight plans, and asked for help from the five empty FedEx jets that roam over the United States every night.The recent birth of that small fleet, at a multimillion-dollar price tag, explains a lot about how the nation's economy has become so much more resilient. Think of it as the FedEx economy, a system that constantly recalibrates itself to cope with surprises. The United States has endured an almost biblical series of calamities in recent years - wars, hurricanes, financial scandals, soaring oil prices and rising interest rates - but the economy keeps chugging along at an annual growth rate of roughly 3 percent.

It has been able to do so with the help of technology that allows businesses to react ever more quickly to changes. But with little notice, those reactions have also created a new feature of the business cycle: the micro-recession."

And a more critical piece of info about the Federal Reserve chairman consulting Frederick W. Smith Fed-Ex's Chief Executive Officer on federal exchange rates policy changes.

"....Mr. Greenspan uses the company's vast reach to check in on the economy.
"He always asks, 'We still O.K.?' " said Mr. Smith, a part-owner of the team whose stadium suite abuts the one Mr. Greenspan uses.

More formally, Federal Reserve staff members rely on FedEx and the nearly six million packages it delivers every day for real-time data that helps set interest rate policy."

Full text version of the article here.


Hurricane cleanup

As I'm watching all the non-stop coverage of the hurrincane disasters on the American new channels, there is a huge factor that is being overlooked by most of the media - the so called "garbage" that needs to be cleaned up. The debris from all the houses, buildings and other man-made structures that will eventually make their way into landfills. I had a conversation about this with someone I know recently and we were talking about restaurant and home re-modelling, everytime someone remodels a home or restaurant or office space, a lot of the material just gets thrown out, most likely a good percentage of the material is still in good condition but the colour/style may no longer be current enough to warrant continued usage.

A news channel estimated in New Orleans alone, debris enough to fill 17 Superdomes will be sent to landfills. Now I don't think we should recycle/re-use everything, I mean some things just aren't salvageable but building materials that are still intact such as doors, brick, windows and other materials should be put through a recyling/re-use program at least to assist in temporary housing or non-profit housing. Not only will they save money but it will reduce the amount of payload sent out to the landfills. Everytime something made out of metal/plastic/wood in usable condition is sent to the landfill, the intrinsic value of that object is lost forever.

For example if you throw away a TV that still works, then all the minerals mined to make the wires, the chemicals used to mold the plastic etc etc are forever taken from earth and have been used for a very brief time (in perspective to the age of earth) and discarded to a landfil. The idea that we can continue mining more minerals and keep doing this forever is outright insane.


Medland Lofts has a retail tenant

I noticed the "For Lease" sign has been removed from the retail storefronts at Medland Lofts. The smaller retail space had flyer advertising a new studio "Artists Way" specializing in art classes for kids in drawing, pottery, origami etc.


A Wal-Mart with an artistic flair

Did anyone else notice the railway platform/extra-long bus-shelter like architecture on the St. Clair W side of the new Wal-Mart at St. Clair W and Runnymede. It looks like a long railway platform. It doesnt really serve a purpose on that stretch of sidewalk because there is no designated bus stop there. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time I've seen Wal-Mart attempting to mold their big-box type buildings to fit in with local history.

Christopher Hume - The Toronto Star architectural critic

Without a doubt, one of the most interesting and insightful architectural columnists in TO. Here is a quote from him

"The North American ideal, which in many ways is profoundly anti-urban, is based not on the family, as we like to think, but on the home. Home is a place, a man's castle, inviolate and separate from what's around it. In Europe, on the other hand, a man's castle is his city. It is living room, dining room, backyard and vehicle. The streets are his hallways and the parks his garden."

You'll find his most recent articles here (you may need to create an account on The Toronto Star's website to read them).

Nexxt Developments - The Canadian Tire Site

Kevin Rachman, Director of Development for Nexxt Developments confirmed today that the project for 403-417 Keele St at the old Canadian Tire site has been fully approved and will be going ahead as planned. They are hoping to start selling units in Spring 2006 and construction is set to begin soon thereafter. I've seen "for lease" sign on the property, looks like they're trying to maximize their returns by short-term leasing the site until construction begins. On a couple of occasions I've noticed movie crews and RVs parked in there.



Bakers Dozen for sale

The Baker's Dozen business (not the site) is for sale again. It was on sale previously when it was Coffe Time (I think) about 2 years ago. Asking price $138,000. This is one of the best sites in the Junction area in terms of location and parking. Its right at the corner of St. Johns and Dundas West across from this square. It'll be interesting to see who the new tenants will be. I can see this place from my window, hopefully it'll be a nice coffee shop, diner or a restaurant. As long as it brings in more liveliness and walking traffic to this stretch I don't care who comes in.


Toronto Life article on emerging neighbourhoods in Toronto

Junciton was mentioned in a recent article on Toronto Life Magazine on emerging neighbourhoods. Click on the image to read article.


Taylor Shoes (Dundas West & Medland)

A night shot of the display at Taylor Shoes at Dundas St. W & Medland.

Benjamin Moores at night (Dundas West and Pacific Ave )

Benjamin Moore Paints building at the corner of Dundas W. & Pacific Ave. (The Junction)


Hole in the Wall, no more.

another on bites the dust, The Hole in the Wall is no longer. There is a bailiff's notice posted for non-payment of rent. So what will we do for our beers, I guess its Shox by default.

There is however a newcomer next door Post and Beam - a decor/antique place where you can pick up great architectural pieces recovered from other buildings.


Junction demographics

ever wonder, who really makes up Junction, who really lives here? We see people on the street and around us, but how do you know who makes up the social composition of Junction. I found a City of Toronto link that has demographic information on every neighbourhood within the city limits, this link is for Junction. check it out

Toronto Demographics

ride the TTC more efficently

heres a link to make your daily commute on the TTC much more efficient, it shows all the exits/entrances to the subway stations, the map of all the subway cars in relation to the exits. Its even got a pocket guide you can print off and put in your wallet for on-the-run reference.



renovations spotted

What used to be The Recycling Depot in the stretch beside Martin's Flowers and The Book Store is going thru some renovations. So is the the building which used to house the High Value Discount store across the street from North of Bombay, anyone know whats coming in??

a Blockbuster buster

another new face beside the Axis, its Big Daddy DVD shop, havent been in there yet, but I hope to check it out soon.

New faces on Dundas West

There are some new faces cropping up on Dundas West. I will be posting pictures of these storefronts in the next few posts.

First there is the West Toronto Music store which is bringing some new life into a neglected strip of storefronts across from the Bakers Dozen at the corner of St. Johns and Dundas. It seems like a continuation of the stucco-fication of some of the old red-brick storefronts which originally started with the Bamboo Spa.

You know a neighbourhood is about to take off when a chain restaurant with a high cool-factor moves-in. The Friendly Thai is opening up right beside the Curry Twist at the intersection of High Park Avenue and Dundas. The decor looks very modern and clean, lets hope more of the same calibre restaurants move-in.

The old Kings and Queens who left us for Queen West has been replaced by a new tenant Forever Furniture.

Also, in the Gleaner the other day, I came across a project thats being planned along the railway corridor behind Dundas, a pathway that would run parallel to the railway lines and link the Junction to Downtown Toronto. A 6.5 Km long trail, this looks like an awesome idea, but the current plan calls for it to terminate at around Dupont and Dundas. Check out this website www.railpath.ca and write to the appropriate decision makers to see if we can extend it all the way to Scarlett.


a photography studio just opened up at Clendenan and Dundas W. they do wedding and children's photography.


Posted by Hello

another recent retail addition Junction Mode on Pacific/Dundas


Posted by Hello

this space in front of the Baker's Dozen coffee shop at the intersection of St. Johns and Dundas West would make a great public square if the city can put some tables on the cobble/brick stones, the benches are not conducive enough for a group gathering. Ideally, a coffee shop in one of the those store fronts and an extended patio into the main cobble/brick area would bring some life into this empty space. maybe even some tables with built in chess/checker boards? Posted by Hello

the building housing the Recycling Depot between Martin's Flowers and The Book Exchange just sold recently, looks like there is some preparation for new tenants, lets hope its a new coffee shop, we need a good one so badly! one that opens early and closes late and doesnt have irregular hours. (hint hint: to the management of the only other decent coffee establishment in Junction). On the other hand, if you dont mind a good walk, the new Caldense Bakery across from Tim Hortons in front of the Beer Store/LCBO is pretty good, although its a long walk for a coffee it also has good sandwiches and pastries reasonably priced and the service is excellent. Posted by Hello

Shai's Cafe on Baldwin, the newest addition to Kensington Market. Its a 60s style bohemian-chic all-day brekkie place, have to check it out one of the weekends. Posted by Hello


choo choo Posted by Hello


new face on Dundas

new businesses cropping up this spring: Hair Sprung, a new hair salon just came up across Axis, the prices looks reasonable and the place has an artsy feel to it.


Posted by Hello

the junction - street signs

new street signs with the railway motif Posted by Hello

cheques cashed... not sure who the original tenant/owner was

Dundas W/Keele St, another great corner building.Posted by Hello

cheques cashed.... the former Dominion Bank (TD Bank Building)

yet another one at Dundas W/MedlandPosted by Hello

cheques cashed...

building at Dundas W/Quebec

Great buildings, not so great utilization: I went on a shooting rampage today with my newly acquired buddy Fuji Finepix, I think I got a little too trigger happy. Anyway, shooting in and around Junction again, I decided to shoot the great architecture that looks like it probably used to house some important commercial/financial offices but now they play hosts to the cheque cashing business, I found at least 3 examples of buildings, that look like they were former banks, and are now being used by the cheque cashers. The one on Keele & Dundas is definetely a gorgeous building, with art-deco influence. I guess they give the cheque cashing businesses a stately air, while I'm glad they have some form of activity going on in them than sitting vacant, I hope this is just a temporary transition to other uses in the future. Posted by Hello