Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Toronto Junction Arts & Crafts Neighbourhood: Wise Daughters' Story: Part 4

This is a final article of the Wise Daughters' Story: why we choose to do it in the Junction; it follows Part 1 – It’s the Story, posted March 31, Part 2 – In the Zone, posted April 17, and Part 3 - A Genetic Predisposition, posted April 29, 2009.

Part 4 - The Junction Vibe

"Vibe" is a kind of funny retro word for a kind of funny retro neighbourhood. We’re post prohibition (at last) but pre-chain stores (let’s hope that day never comes). And we’re mid-cultural renaissance, in my opinion. There are artists and crafters lurking everywhere in the Junction. Since opening Wise Daughters 4 months ago, I have met dozens of the quirkiest, most creative, talented people you could possibly find anywhere. Some are subversive crafters, quietly doing their own thing at home and rather tentatively venturing into the world of craft shows or retail to see what the public thinks of their creations. Others are more established artists with an appreciative audience. I’ve lived here for 20 years, but hadn’t even realized just how determinedly and deeply creative my community was.

Our strip of Dundas is of course well known for its restoration and framing businesses and independent galleries. There is a newer reclamation theme travelling along the road, very much in keeping with the global interest in all things recycled, repurposed and green. This is the perfect place to find something fabulous made out of something rather worn and unloved. Which describes the Junction itself rather well. From the empty storefronts of a few years ago to today’s superb taste treats and shops full of unique merchandise, the Junction’s transition has been a joy to observe.

Anchored by the arts festival and delightful programming offered by the historical society and library, this community is blossoming culturally. In fact, there is so much going on, it’s hard to keep track of it all.

In the interest of further sharing information and promoting all the wonderful cultural activities in the Junction, the Junction Resident’s Association has proposed the launch of a new cultural subcommittee, which I am happily incubating. Let’s engage everyone who lives here in this cultural explosion!

To get involved, please email me at, or join the discussion group on the JRA website An initial meeting to discuss what this committee can be and do will be called in the near future.

2009 © Mary Breen
Owner of the Wise Daughters Craft Market

Wise Daughters Craft Market
Local handicrafts and do-it-yourself workshops

3079B Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, M5P 1Z9
(facing Quebec Ave, just south of Dundas, behind Crema Coffee)
There is ample street parking on Dundas and Quebec.
Via TTC: Junction bus from Dundas West Stn,
Lambton bus (or 15 min. walk) from High Park Stn.

Part 1 - It’s the Story
Part 2 - In the Zone
Part 3 - A Genetic Predisposition
Part 4 - The Junction Vibe

Screenshot: Junction Residents Association Toronto: Who wants a JRA cultural committee?Screenshot: Junction Residents Association: It's Your Junction
Discussion Topic: Who wants a JRA cultural committee?
Posted by Mary Breen

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1 comment:

olga said...

"Hello craft fans,

A reminder that this weekend is the Bloor West Art Tour. Wise Daughters is hosting artist Mary Sims Friday 6 - 9, Saturday 10 - 5, Sunday 10 - 5.

While you're at Quebec and Dundas, you can also visit the studio of my upstairs neighbour, Sandra Muscat, who is holding her own show and sale with Rhonda Nolan. Both wonderfully talented Junction artists!

After the weekend and through the summer, the downstairs gallery will feature artwork by Jessie Frost, Victor Manzo and Linda Dohoo. A fabulously eclectic mix!

Just added to the June schedule is Operation Sock Monkey June 11 at 7 pm. This is in support of Clowns Without Borders, a volunteer agency collecting sock monkeys to use in programs in HIV/AIDS-ravaged communities in Africa.

And don't forget the June 13 Clothing Sale in support of the Redwood Shelter. The Mother's Day event raised over $500 - let's double that! A few volunteers would be much appreciated.

You are invited to come play at the June 7 Mosaics workshop, and the June 9 Crochet workshop.

June 3 Wo-Built presents a talk about renovation planning - avoid reno pitfalls!

The in-house Lending Library has grown, thanks to the donation of some marvellous embroidery and sewing books. Come take advantage.

Finally, some shameless self-promotion... Wise Daughters was given a lovely write up by Rita Zekas in the Toronto Star last Saturday. The link is

I've also been convinced to join Twitter, which is really kind of fun. If you Tweet, come follow Wise Daughters for instant updates."