Since I moved to Toronto I’ve been wanting to check out the Kensington Market area. I have been there a couple of times but just focused on what I needed to do without exploring the area the way I wanted. With the excuse of having to do an assignment for Food Theory class, I spent a whole Saturday walking around the market and enjoying the great atmosphere surrounding it.
Like S.A.A.R.A. in Rio de Janeiro, Kensington neighborhood received a lot of different immigrants from Italy, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southern Asia, etc throughout the 20th century. This huge mix of cultures is what makes Kensington such a beautiful and culturally diverse place.
You can find almost anything you want there: cheap clothing, vintage pieces, independent stylists, handmade products, tattoo and piercing studios, jewelry and accessories, bike items, army items, arts from other countries, musicians and artist performing in the streets, pubs and bars, traditional foods from a lot of different places and almost any type of ingredient, like exotic and regular meats, cheese, bulk grains, artisan breads, fruits, vegetables, healthy products, etc. You can even find a hostel there!
A friend once told me that if there is a place that a culinary student should definitely know in Toronto, this place is the Kensington Market, with a special highlight to the Augusta Fruit Market which he considers one of the top 10 places there. When you get there at first you wonder if you are in the right place. Since the store has a warehouse feeling I thought it was the back entrance for some other business. As I entered a guy told me that if I was there to buy fruits and vegetables I should take the stairs to the basement.
Everything up to this point seemed super sketchy but once you go downstairs you reach fresh products heaven! The place is definitely not the most nice-looking store but the fruits are gorgeous and everything is really fresh! I’m officially in love.
Bottom line is: this is definitely a trip worth taking if you are looking for a world of culture and food smack in the middle of Toronto. The Kensington Market is located between Spadina and Bathurst almost with Nassau Street and Dundas.
*all the photos belong to the author.