Kensington Market is Toronto’s most diverse and fascinating neighborhood. This means a lot considering that Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The city has many ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Italy, and Little India. While these enclaves are mainly occupied by a specific ethnic group, in Kensington Market they all mix together resulting in a weird and unique place.
The history of the neighborhood starts in the 1880s when small houses were built to accommodate Irish and Scottish immigrants. In 1910, the area received a massive wave of Jewish immigrants. The area became known as ‘The Jewish Market’ because people used to sell things in front of their houses. After World War II, the Jewish population was replaced by immigrants from Caribbean, the Middle East, South America and Asia. Each wave of immigrants contributed to add more color and diversity to the area we see today.
Kensington Market is a celebration of Toronto’s multicultural heritage. Its charm derive from its chaotic scenery. The remaining Victorian houses are painted in vibrant colors. There’s beautiful graffiti everywhere. Second hand clothes stores, burger joints, organic fruit stands, vegan ice creams, and tattoo shops coexist side by side. The area is filled with strange and wonderful shops, cafes and restaurants.
Chinatown is located close by, on the intersection of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West. The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) has nothing less that seven distinct Chinatowns and this one is the biggest. The neighborhood grew and was influenced by other Asian cultures like Korean and Vietnamese. It’s a popular place to eat a tasty Dim Sum at affordable prices. The malls Dragon City and Chinatown Centre complex, located in Spadina Avenue, are great places to find cheap food.