The Junction is a neighbourhood in Toronto that is near the junction of four railway lines in the area known as the West Toronto Diamond. The neighbourhood was previously an independent city called West Toronto,until amalgamating with the city of Toronto in 1909.
Today, the term “The Junction” is generally applied to the area north of Annette, south of St. Clair, and between Runnymede Road and the Canadian National Railway corridor to the east, which intersects with the Canadian Pacific Railway corridor at West Toronto Diamond.
The Junction was a manufacturing community that rose quickly during the late 19th century. Foundries, mills, furniture assembly, meat processing, nail and wire factories were established. The Junction was prone to booms and busts during its tumultuous history; while the period between 1888 and 1890 was a prosperous one, the period between 1893 and 1900 saw significant poverty in the area due to an economic recession. The Long Depression caused the closing of factories and the end to construction in the area, and the municipality could not support its citizens because of a large civic debt.
Pubs and taverns became permanent fixtures in The Junction, as was the case with many railway and factory workers’ towns. By 1903, alcohol was such a serious problem for families and a public embarrassment (as drunks were visible from passing trains), that a temperance movementgrew in the area, led by the strong Methodist community. The town voted to go dry in 1904, and continued to enforce local option as late as 2000, at the time being the last area of Toronto to ban the sale of alcohol.
Toronto annexed The Junction in 1909 and the two have gradually grown together, though residents have retained their community identity and remained very loyal to the neighbourhood, despite further economic hardship.