Junction Area

288 Annette Street
288 Annette Street
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This lovely heritage-designated home was constructed in 1889 and named 'The Birches'. It was built for Theodor Heintzman, who was the owner of the Heintzman Piano Factory, a prominent neighbourhood business. It is considered a fine example of Queen Anne Revival style Victorian architecture. The preservation of this building was integral in the formation of the West Toronto Junction Historical Society (WTJHS), who advocated for the historical importance of the home. The building was saved by a compromise whereby the developer preserved the facade of the building while creating new condominium units within. The WTJHS continues to advocate for the historical preservation of heritage buildings throughout the area, celebrating their fortieth anniversary in 2020.

Carleton Race Course Plaque
Northeast Corner of High Park Avenue & Humberside Avenue
Here along the sidewalk, a Heritage Toronto plaque notes the history of the Carleton Race Course, one of Toronto's most popular horse racing venues in the 1800s. The race track was a large oval bounded roughly by Glenlake Avenue to the south, High Park Avenue to the west, Pacific Avenue to the east, and Annette Street to the north. It was originally built by William Keele - whom nearby Keele Street is named for - on his farm in 1857, and it hosted the very first Queen's Plate horse race in 1860 with an audience of about three thousand people. The race course was eventually demolished in the 1890s after developer Daniel Webster Clendenan purchased the property and turned the land into what later became the Village of West Toronto Junction.

Former Victoria-Royce Presbyterian Church
152 Annette Street
*Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the street only. This gorgeous heritage-designated church was constructed in the early 1890s and has long been a neighbourhood landmark. Because of an economic depression that hit while it was being constructed though, the congregation was forced to worship in the basement of the church until enough funds were raised to finish the interior. It's an excellent example of Romanesque Revival architecture featuring a beautiful corner tower, oversized round-arch motifs, and ornate detailing. The church closed in 2006 and it has since been converted into condo units. The church has also been used as a filming location for two separate productions. It was featured as Walter Bishop's lab in the science fiction television series 'Fringe', and the church's basement served as the primary filming location for Canadian director Bruce McDonald's 2008 horror film 'Pontypool'.

Toronto Public Library - Annette Street Branch
145 Annette Street
A Heritage Toronto plaque at the northeast side of this heritage-designated library notes its historical importance. It was opened in 1909 thanks to a $20,000 grant provided by American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. James Ellis, a prominent architect who designed many other buildings in this area, designed the library in Beaux Arts style, including features such as Corinthian columns flanking the main doors. This is the second-oldest building among Toronto Public Library properties after the Yorkville branch at 22 Yorkville Avenue.

Baird Park
275 Keele Street
A small park with mature trees on Keele Street at Humberside Drive featuring a children's playground, a wading pool and an off-leash dogs area. The park is also home to West Toronto Lawn Bowling Club. It is named after WA Baird, who was the last mayor of the Town of West Toronto Junction before it was annexed into the City of Toronto in 1909. Baird's home is a heritage-designated house that lies just across the street from the park at 263 Keele Street. This address is private property - please observe the house from the sidewalk only.

Alexander Bacon and Quentin Rockford Mural
North side of Dupont Street (between Dundas Street West and Osler Street)
This spectacular mural painted by artists Quentin Rockford and Alexander Bacon is an homage to street art in two visual languages an Indigenous language and a street art language in balance and harmony, showcasing a forward-looking story for the twenty-first century in balance with the earth and in harmony with one another.

Kilburn Hall
8 Heintzman Street
This heritage-designated building was designed by architect James Ellis for developer Lucius Kilburn in 1891. Inside included a venue with a stage, a sloped floor and enough room to seat 800 people. It was often utilized for various performances and fundraising events. Kilburn Hall was also home to the local public library before it moved to what is now the Annette Street Public Library, and also housed the offices of James Ellis. After alcohol was banned in the area following a vote in 1904, Kilburn Hall became an important performance venue in the Junction area, helping to make the area a thriving theatre district. Today it is a mixed-use residential and commercial building. *Note: Parts of this building are private property. Please observe those areas from the street only.

209 Mavety Street
209 Mavety Street
Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the sidewalk only. Originally built in the 1950s, this building was home to Toronto Police Services' 11 Division until 2012. Since that time, the building has served as a filming location for several productions, perhaps most notably acting as a Boston Police station in 'Spotlight', which won the Academy Award for Best Picture for 2015. The building is currently empty, but there are plans to transform it into a community health centre.

3047 Dundas Street West
3047 Dundas Street West
This building was home to Toronto's first mosque. It was opened by the Muslim Society of Toronto in 1961, and served a small but diverse congregation where moderation was important and women fulfilled key fundraising and operations roles. Some of the activities at the mosque included public prayer services, dinners during Eid, and evenings featuring traditional Balkan line dancing. American civil rights activist and prominent Muslim Malcolm X visited the mosque in January 1965, and was presented with a gold-frame Arabic inscription from the congregation. The mosque eventually closed after differences between members of the congregation led to a number of splits into separate organizations.

Congregation Knesseth Israel
56 Maria Street
This heritage-designated synagogue was built in 1911 to serve a growing Jewish community along Maria Street. It was designed by the architectural firm of Ellis and Connery, with the hall of worship facing in the direction of Jerusalem. It also includes circular windows divided into 18 segments, which is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for life, 'chai'. At its peak in the 1920s, it served over 200 congregants. It is the oldest purpose-built synagogue building in Ontario that is still in use as a synagogue.

Malta Park
3179 Dundas Street West (Plaque is located on Dundas Street West outside the park gates)
This park is named to commemorate the large Maltese population that has historically resided in this neighbourhood. A Heritage Toronto plaque just outside the park gates on Dundas Street West highlights the history of the community in the Junction Area. Many Maltese settled in this area and worked in the meatpacking industry associated with the nearby Union Stock Yards. The Maltese-Canadian Society of Toronto was founded in 1922 to support the community, and helped build St. Paul the Apostle Church down the street at 3224 Dundas Street West - one of the first Maltese churches in North America (a newer church building was constructed on the site in 1956). The area became colloquially known as 'Little Malta' due to the large number of Maltese community organizations and businesses in the area. The park features an outdoor chess table, outdoor table tennis, and a playground.

Runnymede Park
221 Ryding Avenue
One of the largest parks in the area, featuring a ball diamond, drinking fountain, outdoor tennis court, parking lot, playground, sport field, and wading pool.

Symes Road Destructor
150 Symes Road
This heritage-designated building is a former garbage incinerator that opened in 1934. It was designed by architect J.J. Woolnough in Art Deco style, with prominent features such as horizontal banding, circular windows, and roof cornices. Though it was originally a garbage incinerator, it was used for a variety of other industrial purposes until being vacated in 1996 and then declared surplus by the City of Toronto in 2009. With the building falling derelict and its fate uncertain, a local student submitted a petition noting the architectural value of the building, resulting in its heritage designation. The building was ultimately restored to its previous Art Deco glory and transformed into a commercial space through a public-private partnership, and was awarded the Paul Oberman Award for Adaptive Reuse by Architectural Conservancy Ontario. It is now home to an event venue and a local brewery.

Josh Thorpe 'Flag Field'
20 Viella Street (in Maple Claire Park)
Arranged in two clusters, 'Flag Field' consists of 14 flags on flag poles, ranging from 8 to 15 metres high, and displays stylized graphic drawings of abstract patterns, animals and landscape elements.

Our Industrial Heritage Plaque
Gunns Road Streetcar Loop
This Heritage Toronto plaque sheds light on the industrial history of this area, particularly surrounding the Ontario Stock Yards, which used to be situated here. Many meat packing companies were located near the intersection of Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West when the stock yards moved here from downtown in 1903. Proximity to the rail lines fuelled the growth of this industry here, as businesses were able to easily reach national and international markets. The Ontario Stock Yards closed in 1994 (with many other meat packing businesses along with it) though a few facilities remain to the present day.

Explore Junction Area

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Kate Nankervis
Toronto Public Library: Runnymede Branch
2178 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S 1M8

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

Named for the intersection of two key railway lines, the Junction Area has a rich history, with some of the best preserved historical architecture in Toronto. The Junction Gardens BIA offers some outstanding local businesses - including lots of cafes, bars, and restaurants, mostly centred along Dundas Street West. The stroll features historic architecture, lovely green spaces, and thought-provoking public art.

Main Streets: Dundas Street West, Keele Street, St. Clair Avenue West, Annette Street and Symes Road
  1. 288 Annette Street
    288 Annette Street
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This lovely heritage-designated home was constructed in 1889 and named 'The Birches'. It was built for Theodor Heintzman, who was the owner of the Heintzman Piano Factory, a prominent neighbourhood business. It is considered a fine example of Queen Anne Revival style Victorian architecture. The preservation of this building was integral in the formation of the West Toronto Junction Historical Society (WTJHS), who advocated for the historical importance of the home. The building was saved by a compromise whereby the developer preserved the facade of the building while creating new condominium units within. The WTJHS continues to advocate for the historical preservation of heritage buildings throughout the area, celebrating their fortieth anniversary in 2020.
  2. Carleton Race Course Plaque
    Northeast Corner of High Park Avenue & Humberside Avenue
    Here along the sidewalk, a Heritage Toronto plaque notes the history of the Carleton Race Course, one of Toronto's most popular horse racing venues in the 1800s. The race track was a large oval bounded roughly by Glenlake Avenue to the south, High Park Avenue to the west, Pacific Avenue to the east, and Annette Street to the north. It was originally built by William Keele - whom nearby Keele Street is named for - on his farm in 1857, and it hosted the very first Queen's Plate horse race in 1860 with an audience of about three thousand people. The race course was eventually demolished in the 1890s after developer Daniel Webster Clendenan purchased the property and turned the land into what later became the Village of West Toronto Junction.
  3. Former Victoria-Royce Presbyterian Church
    152 Annette Street
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the street only. This gorgeous heritage-designated church was constructed in the early 1890s and has long been a neighbourhood landmark. Because of an economic depression that hit while it was being constructed though, the congregation was forced to worship in the basement of the church until enough funds were raised to finish the interior. It's an excellent example of Romanesque Revival architecture featuring a beautiful corner tower, oversized round-arch motifs, and ornate detailing. The church closed in 2006 and it has since been converted into condo units. The church has also been used as a filming location for two separate productions. It was featured as Walter Bishop's lab in the science fiction television series 'Fringe', and the church's basement served as the primary filming location for Canadian director Bruce McDonald's 2008 horror film 'Pontypool'.
  4. Toronto Public Library - Annette Street Branch
    145 Annette Street
    A Heritage Toronto plaque at the northeast side of this heritage-designated library notes its historical importance. It was opened in 1909 thanks to a $20,000 grant provided by American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. James Ellis, a prominent architect who designed many other buildings in this area, designed the library in Beaux Arts style, including features such as Corinthian columns flanking the main doors. This is the second-oldest building among Toronto Public Library properties after the Yorkville branch at 22 Yorkville Avenue.
  5. Baird Park
    275 Keele Street
    A small park with mature trees on Keele Street at Humberside Drive featuring a children's playground, a wading pool and an off-leash dogs area. The park is also home to West Toronto Lawn Bowling Club. It is named after WA Baird, who was the last mayor of the Town of West Toronto Junction before it was annexed into the City of Toronto in 1909. Baird's home is a heritage-designated house that lies just across the street from the park at 263 Keele Street. This address is private property - please observe the house from the sidewalk only.
  6. Alexander Bacon and Quentin Rockford Mural
    North side of Dupont Street (between Dundas Street West and Osler Street)
    This spectacular mural painted by artists Quentin Rockford and Alexander Bacon is an homage to street art in two visual languages an Indigenous language and a street art language in balance and harmony, showcasing a forward-looking story for the twenty-first century in balance with the earth and in harmony with one another.
  7. Kilburn Hall
    8 Heintzman Street
    This heritage-designated building was designed by architect James Ellis for developer Lucius Kilburn in 1891. Inside included a venue with a stage, a sloped floor and enough room to seat 800 people. It was often utilized for various performances and fundraising events. Kilburn Hall was also home to the local public library before it moved to what is now the Annette Street Public Library, and also housed the offices of James Ellis. After alcohol was banned in the area following a vote in 1904, Kilburn Hall became an important performance venue in the Junction area, helping to make the area a thriving theatre district. Today it is a mixed-use residential and commercial building. *Note: Parts of this building are private property. Please observe those areas from the street only.
  8. 209 Mavety Street
    209 Mavety Street
    Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the sidewalk only. Originally built in the 1950s, this building was home to Toronto Police Services' 11 Division until 2012. Since that time, the building has served as a filming location for several productions, perhaps most notably acting as a Boston Police station in 'Spotlight', which won the Academy Award for Best Picture for 2015. The building is currently empty, but there are plans to transform it into a community health centre.
  9. 3047 Dundas Street West
    3047 Dundas Street West
    This building was home to Toronto's first mosque. It was opened by the Muslim Society of Toronto in 1961, and served a small but diverse congregation where moderation was important and women fulfilled key fundraising and operations roles. Some of the activities at the mosque included public prayer services, dinners during Eid, and evenings featuring traditional Balkan line dancing. American civil rights activist and prominent Muslim Malcolm X visited the mosque in January 1965, and was presented with a gold-frame Arabic inscription from the congregation. The mosque eventually closed after differences between members of the congregation led to a number of splits into separate organizations.
  10. Congregation Knesseth Israel
    56 Maria Street
    This heritage-designated synagogue was built in 1911 to serve a growing Jewish community along Maria Street. It was designed by the architectural firm of Ellis and Connery, with the hall of worship facing in the direction of Jerusalem. It also includes circular windows divided into 18 segments, which is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for life, 'chai'. At its peak in the 1920s, it served over 200 congregants. It is the oldest purpose-built synagogue building in Ontario that is still in use as a synagogue.
  11. Malta Park
    3179 Dundas Street West (Plaque is located on Dundas Street West outside the park gates)
    This park is named to commemorate the large Maltese population that has historically resided in this neighbourhood. A Heritage Toronto plaque just outside the park gates on Dundas Street West highlights the history of the community in the Junction Area. Many Maltese settled in this area and worked in the meatpacking industry associated with the nearby Union Stock Yards. The Maltese-Canadian Society of Toronto was founded in 1922 to support the community, and helped build St. Paul the Apostle Church down the street at 3224 Dundas Street West - one of the first Maltese churches in North America (a newer church building was constructed on the site in 1956). The area became colloquially known as 'Little Malta' due to the large number of Maltese community organizations and businesses in the area. The park features an outdoor chess table, outdoor table tennis, and a playground.
  12. Runnymede Park
    221 Ryding Avenue
    One of the largest parks in the area, featuring a ball diamond, drinking fountain, outdoor tennis court, parking lot, playground, sport field, and wading pool.
  13. Symes Road Destructor
    150 Symes Road
    This heritage-designated building is a former garbage incinerator that opened in 1934. It was designed by architect J.J. Woolnough in Art Deco style, with prominent features such as horizontal banding, circular windows, and roof cornices. Though it was originally a garbage incinerator, it was used for a variety of other industrial purposes until being vacated in 1996 and then declared surplus by the City of Toronto in 2009. With the building falling derelict and its fate uncertain, a local student submitted a petition noting the architectural value of the building, resulting in its heritage designation. The building was ultimately restored to its previous Art Deco glory and transformed into a commercial space through a public-private partnership, and was awarded the Paul Oberman Award for Adaptive Reuse by Architectural Conservancy Ontario. It is now home to an event venue and a local brewery.
  14. Josh Thorpe 'Flag Field'
    20 Viella Street (in Maple Claire Park)
    Arranged in two clusters, 'Flag Field' consists of 14 flags on flag poles, ranging from 8 to 15 metres high, and displays stylized graphic drawings of abstract patterns, animals and landscape elements.
  15. Our Industrial Heritage Plaque
    Gunns Road Streetcar Loop
    This Heritage Toronto plaque sheds light on the industrial history of this area, particularly surrounding the Ontario Stock Yards, which used to be situated here. Many meat packing companies were located near the intersection of Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West when the stock yards moved here from downtown in 1903. Proximity to the rail lines fuelled the growth of this industry here, as businesses were able to easily reach national and international markets. The Ontario Stock Yards closed in 1994 (with many other meat packing businesses along with it) though a few facilities remain to the present day.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are viewable from the street. Runnymede Park has some unpaved paths.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.