Kensington Market is a truly unique neighbourhood in Toronto. One of the oldest areas, it is the definition of urban multiculturalism. You’ll find Caribbean patties, Mexican tacos, spices, vegetables, fish, cheese and great cafes. Not just food, though, the area has the best vintage shopping in the city and a large selection of contemporary crafts shops. The neighbourhood is congested, noisy, smelly and lively. You’ll see great graffiti and people from every walk of life.
The colourful history and heritage of Kensington Market is a rich vein for literary mining. One of the oldest areas of Toronto, Kensington started out as a neighbourhood for newly arrived immigrants fresh off the boat.
Two books that use Kensington as the primary setting are:
The Gnomes Eye by Anna Kerz
The Market Wedding by Cary Fagan illustrated by Regolo Ricci
Both are available at amazon.ca
One of the joys of living in a city like Toronto is the wonderful discoveries that you make during your daily routine. One of these discoveries was the walkable planets projects, an art installation in the Christie Pitts area. One of the sadder parts to living in Toronto is that the artist has taken the project down at the request of the city.
Artist Jode Roberts (more here) created a series of signs and installed them along Grace Street and Gore Vale Avenue. The signs were similar stylistically to typical street parking signs in an attempt to fly-under-the-radar with city hall because no permit was obtained. There was one sign for each planet in the solar system (except poor old Pluto who was bumped off the stellar list) and they imparted a quirky factoid about the relative sizes of the planet versus the sun.
The project spanned a two kilometre stretch of street scape with each sign’s distance from the next in proportion to the actual distances the planets are apart from one another. Clearly, I found and photographed these last summer.
Read more about the project in the Toronto Star here.
Happy Boxing Day! Oh, there are many ways that books bring joy to our day! Type books on Queen Street West in Toronto created a stop-motion video a while ago that is one of the most delightful things I’ve seen in a while. Head on over to their web site at typebooks.ca to view and enjoy! It is worth it, I promise.
Type Books 883 Queen Street West