This is one of my favourite photos from our recent trip, and every time I look at it, it makes me smile; I had not just one, but two awesome days wondering around Kensington Market in the snow, and it was one of the best parts of my time in Toronto…
Husband worked with a guy from Toronto quite a few years ago, and they became really good friends really fast; fortunately, they’ve also stayed in touch, and he was the big reason for our wanting to visit Toronto. We were there over New Years, and before the celebrations started that night, the boys went to watch a hockey game in the afternoon, leaving us ladies to entertain ourselves. As tends to happen when ladies are left to their own devices, we went shopping.
Kensington Market isn’t a market in the traditional sense of the word; rather than a heaps of stalls in a common area, it’s basically just a really cool, very multicultural area of the city. It seemed to pop up in every guide book I picked up on Toronto, and it sounded like a pretty cool place, so I was stoked when our friend’s girlfriend offered to show me around the area while the guys were at the hockey.
The “market” area is spread out over a few streets, with the majority being food and second hand stores, covering the full gamut from genuine vintage to absolute junk. When you visit, it’s best to go closer to lunch time, as a lot of shops don’t open up particularly early. Also, bring an appetite – there are so many tempting food spots in the area, particularly being so close to China/Korea town!
You can take the subway to the College stop, or if the weather is friendly and you’re feeling energetic, you can walk from downtown Toronto in around an hour, like husband and I did when we re-visited the area the morning we left. The “Kensington Market” area itself is bordered by Spadina Ave, Dundas St, Bathurst St and College St, not far from Chinatown (read: more good food!).
There are some really great finds if you have the time and patience to look, things like old sports jerseys, second hand leather shoes, hand made hair accessories and new winter coats. It’s a really great way to spend a morning or afternoon in Toronto, even in the cold and the snow – there are plenty of cute little cafes and restaurants to stop at and warm up/re-fuel in between treasure hunting. And the street art is amazing, too!