Kensington Market- Toronto's Diamond in the Rough
As you Torontonians know, Summer is over and we’re now entering the Fall season. For some of you, this is an exciting time, and for others… well… not so much. I’m still not entirely sure about how this makes me feel, but as a Canadian you learn to cope. I guess pumpkin spiced everything and the crunch of fallen leaves aren’t so bad. The weather has been a little bi-polar lately, hence why this particular post is coming to you a little later than I desired. You can imagine how overjoyed I was to wake up last Saturday morning and see the sun peaking through the clouds. I decided that it was an opportune time to finally take a trip down to Kensington Market, and do a little shopping. What better way to spend my Saturday afternoon?
Kensington Market is located just off of Spadina and is one of the oldest area’s in Toronto, and not to mention one of the coolest places to hang out. It has a very bohemian hippie sort of vibe to it, and is an perfect place to score amazing vintage clothing.
This place is like a whole other world within itself… there are so many interesting and diverse people to meet here, and so many cool things to do. If you like jewelry booths, amazing cafe’s, delicious little breakfast nooks, bars, awesome thrift shops, bakeries, butchers, army surplus supplies, etc. then Kensington Market is definitely somewhere you should consider hitting up in your free time.
As I said before, it’s no secret that Fall is upon us, but Halloween is nearing and I know everyone is looking for the perfect costume- myself included. If you haven’t decided what wacky outfit you’re going to be wearing that night, or you’re still in need of the finishing touches, Kensington is definitely where I recommend you visit.
There’s never a shortage of fun things to do here and that’s one of the many reasons why it’s my favorite hot spot.
Kensington is considered more of a day-time hang out, but even as the night falls, there are still a few awesome after-dark spots to check out with friends. Beer being the choice bevy, of course. There are few more satisfying things in life than unwinding with a cold pint after a laborious work day.
Some Kensington favorites include Cold Tea, Poetry Jazz Cafe, Bungalow, AAA Army Surplus, Bikes On Wheels, Longboard Living, Astro, and so many more!
Historically speaking, dating back to the late 1800’s, Kensington has seen waves of immigrants set up shop and bring their culturally diverse creations and products to the market, and help add to the flavor of our wonderful city.
Fun Fact: Toronto’s first Bell Centre building was also established in Kensington, along with one of the very first fire halls – which was also the first to have it’s own motorized fire engine.
In conclusion, you’ll likely need a few solid hours to explore all of the streets in this magical place. There’s nothing more beautiful than diverse neighborhoods draped in street art and murals, celebrating multi-culturalism. I definitely give this place a 10/10 and invite you to partake in all of it’s glory!
Written by: Grace Shaw
Photo Sources: Jess Davidson (Toronto.com) and Change.org