Kensington Market is one of the older neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto and has actually been designated a National Historic Site in Canada. As the name suggests, there are various markets selling an array of multicultural food items as well as other goods such as arts and clothing. There are also a number of interesting restaurants offering anything from South American and European cuisine.
During the early 20th century, its residents were primarily of Jewish and Eastern European backgrounds. Over the years, demographics have changed with the influx of Portuguese migrants as well as Caribbean, East Asian, Central American and South American people. Today, the most prominent ethic group, in Kensington Market are of Chinese background (downtown Toronto Chinatown is right next to it).
Kensington Market is known to be “pedestrian friendly” which makes it a wonderful area to walk around. The multitude of shops, markets and eateries are primarily family run which gives it a unique and down-to-earth feel. There were plans to demolish rows of small houses in the neighbourhood in the 1960’s and replace them with high-rises but (for once) Toronto City Council came to its senses and the plan was cancelled.
The area is known to be an “artsy” area of Toronto and regular street festivals are held throughout the year. Some of these festivals have themes related to art, music, food and even beer! For more information on events and other things to do in the area, please visit the Kensington Market Community Site. If you are visiting Toronto for the first time, make sure you put it on your list and if you already live in Toronto, make sure you make a visit as well!
below are some photographs I have taken of Kensington Market over the years.