April 29, 2012
Named for the junction of four railway lines in the heart of the area, The Junction was a manufacturing community in the 19th century, and populated by immigrants from Italy, Poland, Macedonia, and Croatia. As of the 1920s the area is home to "Little Malta", due the large Maltese population. I was surprised to learn that until as recently as 2000, The Junction was "dry", meaning that the sale of alcohol was banned.
Today, The Junction is enjoying a renaissance of sorts as a destination for incredibly large warehouse spaces home to a litany of industrial salvage and antique dealers, as well as curio shops, and furniture stores. There were a few used book stores and a couple of galleries that also looked interesting. The Junction is being touted by its BIA and others as the next West Queen West, although from what I observed today it's not sufficiently infested by hipsters just yet to successfully wrestle the crown away from all things within an ironic stroll from the Gladstone or Drake hotels.
We started our adventure with an excellent brunch at Littlefish, a quaint eatery you could miss if you blinked. We then hit the 'hood, starting at Eclectic Revival, a store devoted to vintage lighting, then on to Metropolis Living, for those looking for vintage industrial merchandise to decorate their pads, a stop at Mjolk, home to stunning minimalist home accents from Japan and Scandinavia, and also Post and Beam Reclamation, home to reclaimed architectural details and fixtures. We enjoyed our exploration of this up-and-coming neighbourhood and look forward to visiting again.