How can it be the first Saloon since 1903? READ ON!
On April 6th, 1995, SHOXS opened its doors as a Cafe and Billiard Lounge. As a family owned and operated business, it ran quite efficiently, offering non-alcoholic beverages, billiards, and light meals. Sounds simple, right? Well just hold onto your horses…
Prior to the amalgamation in 1908 that officially created the city of Toronto, the Junction as we know it today was called Old West Toronto. It was different than the rest of the city because the businesses on Dundas Street between Indian Road and Runnymede Road were prohibited from selling alcohol.
You see, the area was elected DRY through a Local Option called a Plebiscite in 1903.
In the late 1800’s the Junction was quickly being developed and needed labourers. Men came to the Junction seeking work on the railway. Cowboys herded their cattle to the nearby slaughterhouses at Keele Street/St. Clair Avenue. These men needed temporary accommodations and Hotels/Saloons were introduced in the area. Between 1885 and 1903 the Junction was a popular place the “whoop it up” after a hard days work.
The residents in the area, however, were quite distraught by this rowdy behaviour. It was completely unacceptable and caused much grief to the families that lived in the area. The only solution was to prohibit the sale of alcohol and force the Saloons out of business. This was accomplished in 1903 through a vote by local residents.
The area east of Keele Street remained dry until November 2000 when local residents voted to change the Dry status to WET with an overwhelming 80% majority vote and allow the sale of alcohol. It was SHOXS that spearheaded the campaign in 2000, along with the support of local residents, that finally ended a century of prohibition. Hence, the name SHOXS was derived from the fact that our customers were SHOCKED to find out that they couldn’t enjoy a drink in our establishment.
Extensive renovations were completed in December 2002 and our name changed to SHOXS Sports Saloon. The choice to use Saloon in our title stemmed from the fact that the Saloons were the reason the sale of alcohol was banned in 1903, and today a Saloon was responsible for reinstating it. Of course, the Cowboys are all gone now…?
So, let us make SHOXS your LOCAL OPTION for food, sports and fun in The First Saloon Since 1903.