Crowds were undeterred by the threat of rain as I arrived in the Junction for the Summer Solstice Festival on Saturday afternoon. At Dundas and Keele, a lineup was forming for the Ferris Wheel and the intersection was abuzz with face-painted children, smiling volunteers, and a hint of live music coming from what I would soon learn was the beer garden.
Strolling west along Dundas, each side street had been closed to car-traffic and transformed into a hub for themed events. As I walked and watched, I passed stilt walkers, musicians, synchro swimmers, zumba dancers, and an entire street filled with pint-sized hula hoopers.
Possibly my favourite part about The Junction Summer Solstice was the street food vendors. Festival-goers had their choice of pakoras and pad thai, roti and ribs, and for a little bit of veggie love – tempeh sliders from The Beet. I opted for a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with butternut squash and caramelized onions from a soon-to-be Junction restaurant called Cut the Cheese. T’was delish.
As twilight drew near, I reversed course and headed east to the Night Flea at Indian Grove and Dundas. Not surprisingly, the place was grooving with many of its usual vendors, plus some new ones offering S’mores, vintage carpentry tools, and cold brew from the Indie Alehouse. I opted for an espresso from the folks at Manual Labour Coffee because apparently, I wanted to be awake for another 8 hours. There, I sat sipping my cuppa under a thousand Christmas tree lights strung across the Flea site, with yet another reason to love The Junction.