Calling all Bohemians! Forget Greenwich Village—Toronto’s Kensington Market is one of the oldest, liveliest, and most eclectic neighborhoods on the eastern seaboard. Its diverse scenery offers historical architecture, trendy cafes, and street art that will give your posts an edgy and unexpected twist. Score bonus “likes” for captions, including tips on where to shop or clever facts about the neighborhood’s attempt to “Keep Kensington Weird.”
The area's first European settlers in the 1880s were primarily Irish, British, and Scottish, who built houses on the plot. In the early 20th century, Jewish immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe, and south-central Europe started to settle, and the district got the name Jewish Market. As the 20th century progressed, immigrants from all over the world began to arrive, and the area became Kensington Market.
Although developers have their eyes on the location, the neighborhood today is still a rich and colorful tapestry of independent shops and cafes. Despite an influx of new restaurants, locals and longtime businesses in the community have struggled long and hard to avoid gentrification and maintain the neighborhood's distinctive character.
Everyone loves food pics on Instagram, right? Check out Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. It’s been in the Market for over 20 years, and don’t let the name of the cafe fool you. They sell more than their famous handmade pastries. You can also get a home-cooked vegetarian lunch and coffee to go with your sweet treat or meal. Be sure to try Wanda's favorite, the Sour Cherry Pie, or a Butter Tart, a quintessentially Canadian dessert made with butter filling, walnuts, and raisins.
In the online news outlet Now Toronto, David Beaver, co-owner of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, describes Kensington as “a place for anarchists, gang members, and artists.” He says that with love and also calls the area “the heart and soul of Toronto.” Spread the love, and share your own version of heart and soul with your followers.
Kensington Market is west of downtown between Bathhurst, Dundas, College, and Spadina. Parking can be rough, so travel like a local and take public transit. The closest subway station is about a 20-minute walk to the St. Patrick stop on the University-Spadina Line. Although the summer crowd can be overwhelming, get your bearings, take your time, and find the perfect spot for your next fave post!
Cover image by Aurore Duwez is made available on Pixabay.