Kensington Market in Toronto | Kensington Market

Kensington graffiti

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 street art and people from every walk of life.

 Kensington market map

Kensington Market is located west of Spadina Avenue, east of Bathurst Street and south of College Street, north of Dundas Street West. The area is very congested especially on the weekends and there is very little-to-no street parking. There is a parking garage on Baldwin Street and a parking lot on Bellevue Ave.

Kensington market graffiti

Some of the highlights include the following:

Augusta Avenue

Longboard Living 202 Augusta Avenue Cruising on a skateboard says freedom. 416 901 7787

Kid Icarus 205 Augusta Avenue I found a true treasure trove of map inspired items (my obsession) among the range of really great crafts, sources are primarily Canadian. The real stand-out are the silkscreened prints and cards, the majority of which are printed by them. They also do custom design work for invitations and event posters. 416.977.7236

Blue Banana Market 250 Augusta Avenue It’s a department store of interesting finds, a fantastic mix of crafts. 416 594 6600 

Good Egg 267 Augusta Avenue There are some things that are made for each other… peanut butter and jam, eggs and bacon… the food metaphor is intentional and appropriate when describing Good Egg. A quirky, lovely store dedicated to food in a quirky, lovely neighbourhood. No food just food stuff and books. 416 593 4663

Bungalow 273 Augusta Ave. One of the best vintage stores in an area lousy with vintage. Not just clothes but furniture and housewares. 416 598 0204

Fresh Collective 274 Augusta Ave. Looking for a special dress that you won’t see on everyone you meet? FC is the place to go for pieces that are for the most-part locally designed and truly unique.  416 966 0123

Model Citizen 279 Augusta Ave. Silkscreening on-site, clothing, accessories, local designers. 416.703.7625 

Kensington market graffiti

Nassau Street

Lettuce Knit 86 Nassau Street  Inspiring little knitting shop with a range of supplies. Look for the yarn wrapped fence posts outside.  416·203·9970

Kensington market graffiti

Baldwin Street

Tom’s Place 190 Baldwin Street One of the best kept secrets of well-heeled Bay Street types. Discounted high-end business attire in Kensington since 1958. 416 596 0297

Hooked 206 Baldwin Street This seafood market was named in the “Best of the City” 2012 issue of Toronto Life magazine. They hold seafood prep and cooking classes including Sunny Dreams of Sushi, Summer Starters and Fish cooking. One of two locations, see the Riverside guide. 647 925 1835

Army Navy 199 Baldwin St. Great, sliding piles and stuffed racks of camo, uniform pieces, bags etc.


Kensington Avenue

By far the best vintage shopping in the city is on Kensington Avenue. There are so many shops on this street that naming them will take us a bit longer – vintage store after vintage store lines the street. The grand old dame of vintage in Toronto Courage My Love is located here.

$16 million in inspiration in the Don Valley | Inspiration in the Don Valley

For years I’ve looked at the rainbow painted tunnel south of Lawrence Avenue when we drive or bike the Don Valley and thought it was a charming Toronto landmark but not much more. Well, apparently it is more… $16 million more! 

Peter Doig’s painting Country-Rock (wing-mirror) based on this same rainbow tunnel was the centre piece of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on June 30, 2014. A link to that event can be found here. There is a video on the Sotheby’s web site that depicts a dreamy inspirational drive and that can be found here. The final sale price at auction was £8,482.500 British pounds or $15.46 million which includes the buyers premium. The buyer bid £7.5 million pounds and must pay the auction house a percentage in commission.

Doig’s painting The Architect’s Home in the Ravine (seen here) sold for $12 million in 2013 at a London auction  and when his White Canoe (seen here) sold at Sotheby’s for $11.3 in 2007 the sale set an auction record for a living European artist.

The subject matter for Country-Rock was originally created 40 years ago by mural artist Berg Johnson when he was 16. He arrived from Norway and noticed that “People in Toronto never looked up. They looked down. They never smiled too much.” The self-proclaimed “Caretaker of Dreams” decided to create an uplifting piece of art. Johnson rigged up a swing system to lower himself from the train track above to the grey cement tunnel. Great plan except the train promptly came along the tracks, sliced the rope of his swing and sent Johnson tumbling down the bank breaking his leg. That first attempt was painted over by the city back to the inspiring grey. In 1994, after four arrests and 40 attempts the mural was finally finished. The city now provides touch-ups as needed and the site was recently restored by a group of volunteers. See the Toronto Star’s story on the tunnel here.

So a piece art inspired by a piece of public art created to uplift the spirits of Torontonians for free,  has now been sold for tens of millions of dollars.


Home t-shirt | Home t-shirts

Home Tshirt

Are you feeling far from home? Are you feeling connected to home?

Either one… doesn’t matter.

These wonderful home t-shirts will cure your homesickness, declare your allegiance and make you stand tall. Made by a Truro, Nova Scotia company Beck & Boosh the shirts strike the perfect note of pride without being clichéd.

Home T-shirt

My son got this one from my sister for Christmas and I just love it.