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Kensington Market, Toronto

Kensington Market, Toronto (must see)

Kensington Market is a fascinating, multicultural neighbourhood, one of the oldest and best-known in Toronto. Described as “as much a legend as a district, photographed more often than any other site in the city”, this bohemian area attracts artists and tourists in great numbers to its indie shops, vintage boutiques and arts spaces, much as students and families who populate the local Victorian homes.

The place is home to a wide array of bakeries and specialty grocers selling merchandise from all over the world, as well as trendy bars, cafes and international restaurants frequented by hipsters and other colorful lot. Most of these are found along Augusta Ave. and neighbouring Nassau St., Baldwin St., and Kensington Ave.

During the early 20th century, the area became populated by eastern European Jewish immigrants, prompting a nickname "the Jewish Market". After the Second World War, most of the Jews moved north to the more prosperous uptown areas and suburbs. During the 1950s, the arrival of new waves of immigrants from the Caribbean and East Asia made the community even more diverse. The Vietnam War brought a number of American political refugees, adding a unique utopian flavour. The closeness of Chinatown makes the Chinese the largest ethnic group here. During the 1980s-1990s, substantial groups of immigrants also came from Central America, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Iran, Vietnam, Chile and other global trouble spots.

A unique architectural feature of the neighbourhood are the extensions built onto the front of many buildings. In recent years, the Market has seen a small explosion of upscale cafés, restaurants and clubs, replacing many of the older ethnic businesses. There has been much speculation that Kensington's long history as an immigrant working-class neighbourhood is near its end.

The annual "Kensington Market Festival of Lights", now known as the Kensington Market Winter Solstice Festival, is celebrated as a street parade during the Winter Solstice in December. Over the years, Kensington Market has been the setting for a number of television series, such as King of Kensington, Twitch City, and Katts and Dog, as well as the street riot scenes of the 1984 comedy Police Academy. It was also the primary location for Cory Doctorow's novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town.

In November 2006, Kensington Market was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Toronto, Canada within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Kensington Market on Map

Sight Name: Kensington Market
Sight Location: Toronto, Canada
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Toronto, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Toronto

Create Your Own Walk in Toronto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Toronto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Toronto Shopping Tour

Toronto Shopping Tour

There are many ways to enjoy shopping in Toronto. You can either walk along the oldest streets of the city, like Yonge street and visit the huge fancy shopping centers, or you can experience the atmosphere of the historic market of St. Lawrence. This tour has it all: from small unusual stores to big "all-mighty" malls. So don't hesitate to enjoy an authentic shopping experience by...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Toronto Introduction Walk II

Toronto Introduction Walk II

The provincial capital of Ontario, Toronto is a major Canadian metropolis renowned for its dynamic pace and a high-rising skyline comprising ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture.

The city boasts rich cultural scene and has a diverse array of public spaces, a multitude of green spaces, offering a wealth of entertainment and recreational facilities. A host of local museums and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Cabbagetown Walking Tour

Cabbagetown Walking Tour

Once a small community of Irish immigrants and one of the poorest neighborhoods in Toronto, Cabbagetown is also one of the city's oldest districts, established in 1840, east of downtown. In 2004, it was declared a historic district and presently claims to be "the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in North America". Attesting to this claim is Amelia Street...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Historic Buildings Walking Tour

Historic Buildings Walking Tour

Once an Anglo backwater, today's Toronto is the cultural and economic hub of English-speaking Canada. The city's architectural beauty is supplemented by its historical richness, with some of the buildings dating back as far as the late 18th century. This self-guided tour invites you to explore the most prominent of them, such as Gooderham, Daniel Brook Building, Massey Hall and others,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Top Religious Sites

Top Religious Sites

Because it is an ethnically diverse city, Toronto has different types of churches beginning with imposing Revival style Cathedrals to small postmodernist churches. This tour however aims to introduce you to some of the most famous religious structures in the city. While in Toronto be sure to check the ones listed below.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Toronto's Waterfront Walk

Toronto's Waterfront Walk

Toronto is located on the shore of Lake Ontario and it is more than obvious that the locals, as well as visitors to the city, cherish and admire the alluring views of the lake. Toronto's waterfront is one of the most picturesque places for walking, but it is also a great destination for those in search of entertainment. This walking tour will reveal all the pearls strewn along the quay....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles

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