Toronto’s CaféTO program returns to the Junction for its second consecutive year. From June 11 to November 1, 2021, the Junction will be transformed into a patio lovers paradise with 52 unique patios and over 17,000 square feet of additional outdoor dining space and immersive activities.
Known for its eclectic charm, the Junction stretches along Dundas Street West between Indian Grove and Quebec Avenue. The Junction is proud to participate in CaféTO, following an immensely challenging time for its community. With the support of the City of Toronto, the Junction’s CaféTO program is a safe and family-friendly outdoor event that everyone can enjoy, allowing for social distancing by following Ontario’s health and safety guidelines. CaféTO is the perfect opportunity to showcase the Junction’s walkable and beautiful neighbourhood, foster member connectivity, and support local businesses alike.
“We understand the struggles that small businesses have faced over the past year and a half, and now more than ever, we need to support local retailers and bring back our bustling community that makes the Junction shine,” said Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Junction BIA. “Working closely with the City of Toronto, we’ve doubled our footprint and enhanced our offering for visitors, residents and workers. It’s our mission to continue bringing forth new and innovative programs, such as CaféTO, that foster creativity, unite the community, and continue pushing the boundaries to make the Junction a one-of-a-kind destination.”
“We’re thrilled to participate in CaféTO and welcome patrons for a delicious French-Moroccan-inspired meal that they can safely enjoy outdoors with family and friends amidst the hustle and bustle of city traffic,” said Sean Devereaux, General Manager, ATAI Bistro – a new addition to the Junction. “To create a unique space for guests to indulge, we’ll be transporting guests to an outdoor tropical oasis through the use of lush plants, candles, pops of colours, textures and much more!”
In addition to patio expansions and beautiful summer landscaping, the Junction will also be jazzing up the neighbourhood’s main streets with groovy 60s themed pop-art and transforming four public parklets complete with white picket fencing, picnic tables, umbrellas, solar lights, landscaping and trendy designs to explore safely. Additional outdoor furniture, including 40 Muskoka chairs, will allow residents to dine and relax in these dynamic, art-filled outdoor spaces.
To welcome back residents and bring a renewed energy to the streets, the Junction will be launching various activations and displays, including:
- Augmented Reality Mural
Toronto’s first-ever interactive augmented reality mural, designed in partnership with local artists and internationally acclaimed AR app, ARTivive. Situated at 2853 Dundas Street West, the mural’s overarching theme will celebrate summer in the Junction, showcasing the neighbourhood’s art-centric community with 60’s retro-inspired psychedelic pop art. The mural will bring bright, bold colours to the Junction, supporting the summer patio program and bringing joy to visitors following the Covid pandemic era.
- Transformed Parklets:
Four bright and trendy parklets designed and sponsored by local community partners: NAK Design Strategies, Evans Real Estate & Toronto Mortgage Financing Services, Sidorova Inwood Realty and Stu Sells Realty.
- NAK Design Strategies: Created a vibrant and dynamic parklet they’ve entitled “Come Away,” designed to elevate the pedestrian experience by inviting residents to pause, reflect and relax. The space evokes a sense of spontaneity and a fantastical atmosphere with abstract art and a bonfire sculpture made from birch trees, which ties the art pieces together, suggesting a place of gathering, connectivity and shelter.
- Evans Real Estate & Toronto Mortgage Financing Services: Believes that life is better at the beach! The team designed a parklet that invites residents to grab their favourite drink and some local eats and enjoy their time spent under the sun! With an ocean backdrop, breezy and refreshing palm trees and tiki umbrellas, pedestrians can sit back and relax in one of their brightly painted Muskoka chairs and enjoy all the Junction has to offer.
- The Junction Butterfly Garden: Toronto is home to more than 360 species of bees and over 100 species of butterflies. Pollinators play an integral role in contributing to urban biodiversity, support healthy ecosystems and are a crucial component of a sustainable city. Launching in-time for Pollinator week (June 21 – 27) the Junction Butterfly Garden (2859 Dundas St W.), is a riot of colourful blooms and visitors have the chance to watch butterflies progress through their lifecycle, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult butterfly. By planting this butterfly garden, the Junction is increasing the vital space for these beautiful and threatened creatures.
- The Wishing Tree: A tree that is used for offerings and wishes. People are invited to come to the 6-ft free-standing tree located in front of Latitude 44 Gallery (2900 Dundas St. W.) to write down their hopes and dreams for the future and attach them to the tree.
Some of the local restaurants participating in CaféTO and creating unique patio spaces include ATAI Bistro (new!), Indie Alehouse, Kanto by Tita Flips, Decò Ristorante & Wine Bar, Isaan Der and many more.
Featured image: With more patios than ever before, immersive activations and dynamic spaces, CaféTO brings vibrancy back to the Junction. Photo credit: Erin Leydon (CNW Group/The Junction BIA)