July 29, 2013

local love: Kensington Market

Every major North American city has a neighborhood known for its Bohemian-chic vibe. In New York it's the West Village. In Chicago it's Wicker Park. San Francisco has its Mission District. And Toronto has Kensington.

Like the rest of these well-known Little Bohemias, Kensington is a district with a remarkably intimate, communal feel against the backdrop of a bustling metropolis. Colorful brick buildings, prayer flags and front lawn kitsch are hallmarks of this unique neighborhood where counterculture runs wild.


Within this neighborhood is the Kensington Market, a collection of shops and restaurants, where the diverse cultures of the community converge. What began in the early 20th century as a Jewish marketplace has developed over time to include strong Rastafarian, Latino and Buddhist influences.

Family-run businesses and open-air produce stands are prevalent as the citizens have managed to stonewall big box stores such as supermarket chains and price clubs. And on Pedestrian Sundays - the last Sunday of the summer months (May thru September) when the market's main roads are closed off to cars - many Kensingtonians take to the streets in front of their homes to sell their wares, be them vintage China or hand woven hemp backpacks.

It's a community effort to keep Kensington cozy for its citizens and welcoming for its fun-loving visitors.










Kensington lives within the borders of College Street, Spadina Avenue, Dundas West and Bathurst. Most of the Market's cafes and shops are located along Baldwin Street, Augusta Avenue, Nassau Street and Kensington Avenue. 


11 comments:

  1. Gorgeous shots of Kensington. You really capture the mystery and beauty behind it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have so many more photos but I wanted to only use the ones that really showed off what it's all about.

      Delete
  2. I LOVE reading about Toronto through your eyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Taylor! Kensington Market is NOT short on cool things to photograph that's for sure.

      Delete
  3. Awesome photos. What a cool place. I love the bagel racks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally bought half a dozen bagels from that place. :)

      Delete
  4. How wonderful to read! we went to Toronto last Christmas and we did not get to see Kensington until the last day. I wished we would have gone there earlier because it was very lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great that you made it there though! I've only been a handful of times since moving to the GTA but I'm hoping to go more often. It's so much fun!

      Delete
  5. Great pictures. Those bagels look delicious and that banana looks like a fun guy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well it appears Kensingtonians are summering well!

    Thanks for the tour through this colourful neighborhood. The Rasta Pasta is da bomb. Have you eaten there?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't! It's 100% on my list of things to do next time I'm there. I got carried away with an onion bagel from Nu Bügel and was stuffed afterward!

      Delete

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain