Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hanging with the Cool Kids in Toronto - Part 2

On Sunday, when my sister and her daughter were visiting, we not only went to Chinatown, and did some rock climbing, we also visited Kensington Market in Toronto.  Kensington Market is such a unique area that I figured it deserved a post of its own.

Kensington Market is a multicultural area that has been designated a National Historic Site and, as a very popular tourist destination, is one of the more photographed areas of Toronto.  The area, one of the oldest in the city of Toronto, was settled by the British in the 1790s.  Since that time, Kensintogn Market has been constantly reinventing itself with wave after wave of immigrants from different areas.  In the early 1900s it was primarily a Jewish neighbourhood.  By the 1960s the area was primarily Portuguese and today the predominant group is Chinese, although there are more than 30 different ethnic groups living in the area.

It is an area of tightly packed Victorian houses and narrow streets.  In the 1920s the Jewish families would sell their wares from stands in front of their houses or stores on the main floor of their homes, which was how the market started.  Even today there are a wide variety of foods, eclectic cafes, and many second-hand shops in the area.

It's an area that brings out the inner-hippie in you.

I mean who doesn't need a petticoat (or are they tutus?),

or some rainbow tie-dyed harem pants?

Kensington market has everything from the sublime

to the ridiculous,

from the colourful,

to the crazy.

A perfect spot to spend a Sunday afternoon!


  1. Oh WOW I love markets and this one is very special. I love the petticoats, brings back memories. LOL I would love to wander around there, everything is so colourful.

  2. What a crazy awesome place! Thanks for the tour..

  3. Some of those places were far out (70's reference for the hippie inspired stuff). I have to say, the place with the red gate and red flowers growing over it is interesting. Although I love red, that's a little too stark for me but it is still really interesting.

  4. What an interesting market. Definitely my kind of place. Now I want to go to Toronto. Teehee!

  5. Grace... Thanks for adding the Earring giveaway information to your sidebar!

    The pictures in this post are incredible! Since my inner hippie has been alive and well since the 60s, I can see myself there.

    Thanks to your post, this is now on my "must visit" list!


  6. Omigosh, that looks like such a fun place to visit! So colorful and imaginative!

  7. Hi Grace, Thank you for leaving the comment on my blog about the tulip tree, I am repaying the visit and I am so glad I have, what a great blog you have.

    I love your house pictures all so neat and organised. I have become a follower so expect lot more comments from me!!

    Jackie in UK.

  8. Thanks for showing us around Toronto, great posts! It's on my must visit list..Rachaelxx

  9. Our grade 9 Geography students tour Kensington Market, Chinatown and visit the CN tower and central business district each year on a field trip. I have been on the trips several times and your pictures capture the lively colours for sure. A little too crowded for me, but certainly a lot of great history there.

  10. Great photos!
    I love the petticoats...did you buy one?

    That photo i posted was taken in Oosoyoos on our trip out here. Beautiful area.

  11. What an awesome tour! I have been to T.O. but never to Kensington Market. The next time I hit T.O., I will have to go there. I love visiting the 'grass roots' of a big city! Thanks for sharing! Wonderful post!

  12. Oh I have seen that on some show on TV where they had to redo stuff and then sell it there. Thanks for the tour.