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Kensington Market

The Vibe

Nestled between College and Dundas (north-south) and Bathurst and Spadina (east-west) sits legendary Kensington Market—home to an eclectic collection of cafes, shops, restaurants, bars, and more.

The area is full of historical significance—once home to the cavalry troops of the British militia (1812), later home of many Jewish and Italian immigrants and the Jewish market (early 1900’s), later still it housed those fleeing from political conflict in the Azores (1950’s) and since it has become a culturally diversified mosaic of people from around the globe. In 2006, the area was identified as a National Historic Site of Canada protecting the land and history.

The Homes

While there are a handful of new developments, lofts, and condos—the majority of homes found along the streets of Kensington Market are crafted in the fashion of Victorian architecture, small Victorian row-houses built in the late 1800’s, staying true to the first people that colonized the small neighbourhood with George Taylor Denison. His original estate Bellevue, has been replaced with Kiever Synagogue but Bellevue Square Park still stands with a memorialized plaque to recognize his significance to the area.

Who Lives Here?

In terms of education, parents have limited options with few public schools and no Catholic schools directly in the market place. They do however have access to ample recreational facilities with Bellevue Square Park (complete with playground and wading pool), Cecil Community Centre, and Shaw College Public Library.

What's There To Do?

Other landmarks in the area include Number 8 Fire Station—the first fire station to acquire a motorized fire engine, Tom’s Place—a men’s fashion store established in 1958, and the market place itself full of vintage clothing shops and diverse cultural fare. Some hot spots include the Blue Banana, Courage My Love, and Good Egg along with the plethora of restaurants and counterculture cafes dispersed throughout. Nightlife can be found along the small café-by-day turned bar-by-night along Augusta and Baldwin.

What About Commuting?

The neighbourhood is pedestrian and cyclist friendly with public transit access such as streetcar service on Bathurst that connects commuters to the Bloor-Danforth line, and Spadina/Dundas/Queen streetcars take passengers to the Spadina station with access to Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists have easy travel to the Gardiner Express and Lakeshore.

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