The Junction

The archival image in this photo is from the Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244 Item 2550 was taken by William James Sr. in the early 1900s. 

From the West Toronto Junction Historical Society: 

"Originally the meeting place of two first nation’s trails, the Junction was on a portage route to a Seneca Village at Baby Point, in strategic location to hold control ofthe Humber River. After the American Revolution, Governor John Graves Simcoe carved out Yonge and Dundas Streets as supply routes to fend offthe inevitable American attack. One of the first estates, Aikenshaw, was near what is now No Frills on Pacific Avenue, just south of Dundas Street West. Legend tells us that its fields were cultivated by the hands of former slaves who had come up via the Underground Railway.

Ironically, given it’s later “dry years,” the early Junction consisted of a couple of taverns, slaking the thirsts of farmers coming to and from market. In the Upper Canada Rebellion, William Lyon Mackenzie and his rebels robbed the royal mail coach at the Peacock Inn, just outside of what is now Coffee Time Donuts at Old Weston Road and Dundas Street. For years, much of this area was given to sport. W.C. Keele laid out the Carleton Race Course: along Annette Street, down Pacific Avenue, onto Glenlake Avenue on to the home stretch up High Park Avenue. The first few runnings of the Queen’s Plate were held there and the first horse to win was named Don Juan.

And then came D.W. Clendenan. The King of the Junction as David Wencer’s article calls him in the Legends of the Junction portrait. D.W. Clendenan bought up the race course and adjacent lands and laid out a village that would become a town and then a city. He was first mayor of the village and the town, but like Moses didn’t make it all the way to the promised land of the city. Unlike Moses he left in a delicious cloud of scandal.

Canada came together at the Junction. While the hammering in of the last spike would complete the railway in the West, the CPR brought its Ontario and Quebec lines into the Junction to merge with the Toronto, Grey and Bruce, and its Credit Valley line. The country was complete from coast to coast." 



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