Canada Tours Travel Tips

A GUIDE TO TORONTO’S KENSINGTON MARKET

Kensington Market is one of Toronto’s oldest and most multicultural neighbourhoods. As colourful in real life as its history, Kensington Market is filled with quirky little shops and eateries. Everything from thrift shops to independent coffee spots and fresh produce galore.

During our time exploring Toronto a lovely guide from Urban Adventures spent a morning showing us around this eccentric neighbourhood. We learnt all the ins and outs and now want to share with you our quick guide to Kensington Markets.

Kensington Market

So, What’s Kensington Markets?

Kensington Market isn’t a market in the traditional sense of the word; rather than a heaps of stalls and stores shucked together in one super cool area, it’s basically just a really eccentric, very multicultural area of the city. The ‘market’ area is spread out over a few streets, with the majority being food and second hand stores, ranging from amazing finds to absolute junk.

Getting There

We find Toronto a very walkable place. From downtown Toronto it’s only a 20 minute walk to get to the markets, going along Dundas and then right along Spadina.

Four streetcar lines provide direct access to Kensington. From the Bloor Subway: take the Spadina or Bathurst streetcar south, getting off at College. From Yonge/University Subway: take the College or Dundas streetcar west, getting off at Spadina.

100A9457

100A9489

What To Do/See

Kensington Market is, first and foremost, a market so of course the number one thing to do is wander through the many shops scattered along the streets. The area is known for having the freshest produce in the city along with amazing vintage/thrift clothing finds.

On Sundays during the summer time the streets are shut down to motorists and pedestrians take over the streets! The area becomes very lively, with live concerts and art exhibits on display.

We also recommend walking through Kensington’s back streets as they are filled with incredible street art and graffiti.

100A9482

Where To Eat

If there’s one thing you should keep in mind when visiting Kensington, it’s that there is no local Starbuck’s. The area only allows for independent stores and restaurants, most family owned and run. There are a number of great places to grab a bite to eat…

My Market Bakery has some tasty fresh baked goods. Big Fat Burrito serves some delicious Mexican food, we highly recommend their Yam Burrito. The Grilled Cheese sells … well, grilled cheese sandwiches! Urban Herbivore is perfect for fellow vegetarians/vegans. Jimmy’s Coffee delivers the perfect cup of joe. Hibiscus sells delicious crepes and salads – all gluten free!

jimmys coffee

If you are interested in a guided tour of Kensington Markets we recommend checking out Toronto’s Urban Adventure’s Kensington Markets & Chinatown Tour. You can explore and learn about this famous neighbourhood for 2 hours while making note of all the unique places you want to head back to later.

If you want to see our experience wandering through Kensington Market check out our daily vlog below. 

What’s the most unique neighbourhood you have ever explored?

Special thanks to Urban Adventure’s for showing us around Kensington Market. Our opinion is, as always, our own. 

Stephen and Jess signoff

READ NEXT: GUIDE TO VANCOUVER NEIGHBOURHOODS

You Might Also Like

  • Cara’s Healthy Cravings

    I love that you visited Kensington Market and The St. Lawrence Market, such great places!
    Nu Bagel and Jimmy’s are two of my fav places. I lived in Kensington for about 2 years, so it’s fun to see someone else’s perspective of it.
    My other recommendation for Kensington would be Seven Lives Tacos, one of the best in the city, for sure.
    When at St Lawrence Market, the two top places for grabbing a bite to eat are probably Buster’s Sea Cove (amazing fish sandwiches) and Carousel Bakery (famous for their peameal bacon sandwiches).

    You had me laughing about your fascination with bagged milk, I guess ya just get used to what is “normal.” There are three bags of milk in that one bag you picked up…every house owns special jugs to put the bags into, it works 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your adventure!