Kensington Market is one of the oldest and best-known districts in the city of Toronto. Like so many of the neighborhoods and districts in the provincial capital of Ontario, Kensington Market in Toronto is comprised of a multi-cultural population from the likes of the Caribbean, China, the U.S., Somalia, to name just a few. Although the neighborhood was established primarily by Jewish settlers who lived in the “Ward” (a poor neighborhood roughly in the same area), over the years, it became a more diverse place for immigrants of all stripes as the largely Jewish population began moving to more affluent northern suburbs. The result is a wide selection of Kensington Market restaurants, shops, and markets that serve traditional favorites from virtually every corner of the globe.
Kensington Market is undergoing a gentrification process that is virtually inevitable when traditional neighborhoods become tourist attractions and the envy of artist types who tend to move in for the low rents and cost of living. The gentrifying has already begun as the Kensington area has seen several corporate and brand name stores move into the neighborhood, something that would have been nearly impossible just a few short years ago. This is not necessarily an inherently bad situation, as long as the development that takes place within the neighborhood does not spoil the authentic Kensington Market attractions and the genuine feel of the district that has made it unique among other areas of Toronto for so long.
The streets of the popular district of Kensington Market in Toronto are filled with an exhaustive collection of vendors and street markets that sell everything from fresh produce to a wide selection of meat and fish. You will find specialty shops that sell cheese, wine, and many stores that sell uniquely ethnic food goods. Many of the shops along the street in Kensington Market have extensions built on to the front of the building where the goods are oftentimes placed on display for people walking by to easily view and buy. One of the most alluring parts of spending the day in this historic district in Toronto is simply walking around and taking in the many Kensington Market attractions, whether it be the restaurants and arty, cool cafes, or the independent bookstores and used clothing shops.
In 2006, Kensington Market in Toronto was named a National Historic Site, and for good reason. There are literally hundreds of Kensington Market restaurants and shops, and the vibe in the neighborhood is distinctly multi-cultural, and distinctly Toronto. You will have no problem finding a cool café, a place to have an amazing bite to eat, or plenty of awesome shopping destinations. Once you have decided on which of the Kensington Market restaurants you are going to enjoy (and be prepared, there are a lot to choose from) you can set out on the rest of your journey to explore the very best of the neighborhood. The vintage clothing shops and independent music and bookstores are some of the best in the city. For an exciting day of shopping and eating in one of Toronto’s most historic districts, be sure to check out Kensington Market.