Junction retail locations being snapped fast. A new shortage?


A new look and use for the rear of Junction retail buildings, the image above glimpses how buildings rear facades can be reconfigured to become ''fronts''


More retailers in the Toronto area are opting for Junction locations.   The ongoing decades of recovery is sustaining, primarily from the influx of new residents and the higher density buildings being built. Moving this renewal along are new and exciting stores have cropped up in various sectors such as the furniture trade and an excellent range of full service restaurants and coffee houses.

Amid a tight supply of adequate retail space, new retailers and building owners are going to have to seek alternative locations such as expanding the strip to the east and west, areas that at one time were just as busy as what is now considered the core retail area.   Building density uses and converting some buildings to both front and back retail uses, with a shop fronting on the street and another fronting  the lane-ways.

Despite carrying greater growth now, however, Junction high-street retail must adapt to demand while facing competition from the new mall at St Clair and Weston Rd. which will offer multiple shopping options, more accessibility and easier car parking.

Recent retail studies have stated that high streets such as the Junction strip are increasing their power of attraction and more and more retail chains and well-known national and international brands are choosing this format. Starbucks is one in the Junction, but where are the others that have appeared in areas such as Leaside and Bloor West Village.  A strong Junction for the residents needs both independent retailers with a few nationals throw in can complete the shopping destination for non Junction residents and local residents.



It would be good to see the laneways get some commercial action going with some new storefronts softening the often ugly backsides of buildings. Some recent additions to existing buildings on Dundas look terrible when seen from the back, like that concrete block addition to a building near Dundas and Pacific viewable from the No Frills parking lot. Also, it would be good to see The Junction's other major street, St. Clair, become more small-scale retail oriented and develop more along the lines of Dundas or Bloor rather than a 905 suburb. Hopefully, the new retail centre will mark a transition away from development in the area consisting of one big-box store that turns its back to the main street.

A.R. wrote..St. Clair, become more small-scale retail oriented and develop more along the lines of Dundas or Bloor rather than a 905 suburb.

totally agree

Who would want to lease such a place? A store facing a lane will be out of sight to 90% of the public. What shortage of retail space are you referring to? Plenty of vacant stores in the Junction on Dundas.

HI Raymond,

Laneways are used in many cities around the world as proper retail high streets, I used to blow glass in a lane-way studio house in Tonder Denmark that was just this situation, along the way down the lane was a weaver and others.

people used to come into Kresges all the time in the late 70's from the laneway when i was a illegal – too young stock boy there.

Just imagine the laneways with many of the building with rear stores so much life, and a bit like Quebec city laneways.

I imagine that if this were to get off the ground, the most logical places in laneways for new retail in the beginning would be closest to major intersections and the intersections of the laneway with side streets where people could venture from the traditional high street. Retailers could get noticed with some advertising and temporary signs until they would get established. The Junction does still seem to have some vacant storefronts, but they're getting more and more scarce.

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