Nowhere else in the city can you find such a unique and eclectic neighbourhood like Kensington Market. From food galore, outrageous fashion, hippies and hipsters to counter-culture, here are a few reasons why we love the market.
Food Lover’s Paradise
The market is filled with a mix of food shops making it a fantastic place to go shopping for fresh ingredients to prepare a meal at home. If you would like to grab a bite to eat, there’s also many restaurants and eateries featuring a wide variety of styles (vegan, gluten-free) and cuisines (Mexican, Jamaican, Italian). If there’s one thing that’s certain about the neighbourhood is that you will not go hungry!
Rich History and Heritage
Kensington Market emerged during the early 1900’s, when Jewish immigrants settled in the neighbourhood. Throughout the decades, the market has gradually evolved and transformed as each new successive waves of immigrants left their mark on the community and added another layer of cultural diversity. In 2006, Kensington Market was officially recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada for its dynamic character and eclectic variety of architectural styles.
Funky Street Art
There are many examples of street art and graffiti in the neighbourhood. Almost every wall has some form of colourful and creative art work. A few of the most identifiable is a mural inspired by the famous Czech Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha on Augusta Avenue and a Mona Lisa knockoff on Kensington Avenue.
Unique Festivals and Events
Kensington Market has several great events throughout the year. In the summer, Kensington Market hosts several car-free Sundays (also known as Pedestrian Sundays), where the streets are closed to motorists. Live music, dancing, street theatre and games are among the special activities. During the Winter Solstice in December, the market hosts the annual Kensington Market Festival of Light, a carnival parade of giant puppets, fire-breathers, and stilt-walkers.
Kensington Market is second-hand mecca. You’ll find reasonable prices on fancy and funky vintage pieces including accessories and jewelry. It’s also a great place to shop for Halloween and party costumes. Rumour has it that even well-known fashion designers frequent the market to get inspiration for their designs.
It’s Totally Unique
Kensington Market is unlike any other market in the world. Where else can you find so many different establishments like a hemp shop or a restaurant serving a fusion of Hungarian Thai food within a few blocks of each other? With that being said, it’s the kind of place that everyone must experience for themselves.