Kensington Market

A visit to this vibrant area with its bohemian vibe and eclectic shops and cafes is a fun way to spend a day in downtown Toronto. Located just west of Toronto’s Chinatown, the narrow streets of Kensington Market are filled with independent stores, ethnic grocers and vintage boutiques. Leave the car behind when navigating this colourful neighbourhood, and arrive hungry as there are lots of merchants offering a wide variety of tasty treats from authentic empanadas to mouth-watering cheeses.

Food in the Market

Kensington Market is chock-full of multicultural grocers offering the freshest produce, fish, meats and cheeses, as well as many speciality items. Need to stock up on cumin seeds or fenugreek? Head to House of Spice on Augusta Avenue, a fixture in the market since 1971. Craving some salted cod or ruby tuna? The Portuguese fish shops on Baldwin Street offer everything from fresh skate to salmon, piled high on ice. Foodies looking for their next hit of smoked Gouda should check out Global Cheese Shoppe on Kensington Avenue, a wildly popular spot with locals that offers an outstanding selection of every cheese imaginable.

Dining Out in the Market

There are no chain restaurants to be found in Kensington Market. Rather, the neighbourhood is dotted with a diverse collection of bistros and cafes that will suit a wide variety of tastes. Dining in the market is truly a global experience and visitors can enjoy a glass of red at a classic French bistro like La Palette or indulge in the savoury tapas delights at Asian-fusion restaurant Supermarket, both located on Augusta Avenue. For more casual fare, stop at El Trompo for authentic Mexican-style tacos and cinnamon coffee, or try some genuine Chilean fare at the renowned Jumbo Empanadas. And when it’s time for something sweet, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is just one of the bakeries in the market that offer a mouth-watering selection of freshly-baked pies, cakes, cookies and more.

Shopping in the Market

A popular destination for fans of vintage clothing, fashionistas who enjoy shopping on a dime for unique finds will love the second-hand shops in Kensington Market. From hip retro jackets to stunning vintage frocks, Kensington Avenue is home to several boutiques bursting with stylish finds to suit every taste. Courage My Love, a favourite with locals since 1975, offers a constantly changing selection of quirky finds for men and women. Other shops such as Exile Vintage and Flashback are treasure troves of pre-loved apparel and accessories. And for those who prefer brand-new gear, Kensington Market houses several chic boutiques featuring never-before-worn designs. Famous for their funky hand-knit sweaters, Fresh Baked Goods on Augusta offers a colourful collection of trendy pieces by local designers.

Arts in the Market

Kensington Market is home to a very artistic and creative community. As a neighbourhood filled with spirit and character, there are many galleries showcasing the work of local talent and it is very likely to wander into a cafe or restaurant and happen upon a poetry reading or a live concert. Performance art venue Bread & Circus showcases emerging theatre, comedy and musical acts. The neighbourhood also hosts several events that attract both tourists and Toronto residents to the area. The annual Festival of Lights draws thousands of revellers to the market every December to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Also popular are Pedestrian Sundays, where the streets are closed to motorists the last Sunday of every month from May to October and are filled with musicians and performers.

Kensington Market

Kensington Market is located just west of Spadina Avenue in downtown Toronto and is bordered by Dundas, Bathurst and College Streets.

The main shopping streets of Kensington Market include Augusta Avenue, Kensington Avenue and Baldwin Street. Parking is available in the public garage off Baldwin, and four streetcar lines provide transit access to the area.

For a map of Kensington Market and more information on directions to the area and market hours, visit the Kensington Market website.

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