Visit Kensington Market to shop at fashion boutiques, sample food from around the world and enjoy free cultural events. The district started out in the 1920s when Jewish families would sell goods from stands set up outside of their homes. Walk along the narrow streets today and you’ll find influences from Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America, among other regions. You will also find elaborate street art and quirky humor on shop signs.
Vintage clothing lovers will enjoy shopping for alternative clothing with original prints on Kensington Avenue, where colorful Victorian houses double up as independent boutiques. Along nearby Augusta Avenue you’ll find more vintage shops as well as one-off jewelry items and home décor goods.
You can also visit Kensington Market to sample food from a range of cultures. Find everything from Mexican burritos and Indian tapas to Italian ice cream and coffee. Experience the sights and smells of exotic spices, fruits and vegetables in the covered fresh-produce market.
Go to Bellevue Square Park to truly appreciate the diversity of the district. Don’t be surprised to see an aging hippy chat to a Rastafarian while street performers execute their daily routines and children play on the swings and slides. Take a seat on a bench and enjoy this cultural melting pot.
Come back for cultural events such as free concerts and dance performances. Take cooking and yoga classes on Pedestrian Sundays, when culture spills out onto the streets without the disturbance of traffic. Dance to the beat of a samba parade during Kensington Karnival’s celebration of the winter solstice. Art enthusiasts will enjoy Nuit Blanche, an all-night contemporary art festival that takes place in October. Find full event details on the market’s official website.
Located just west of downtown Toronto, Kensington Market is a 20-minute walk from the CN Tower. Parking is limited in the neighborhood, especially on weekends. Public transport, such as the bus and streetcar, is a more convenient option.
The Kensington Market is open daily, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Visit the market’s official website for the opening times of individual businesses.