Explore Toronto’s most fascinating features at the sensory Kensington Market

For residents at The Davies, memorable experiences are standard. The new luxury condo is conveniently accessible to the Kensington Market where residents can explore a fascinating living-history tour of the immigrant communities and population who built Toronto. This unique neighbourhood maintains its diverse charm through eclectic multicultural mix of sounds, smells and shops from Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, South America, Asia and much more. A trip to the Kensington Market is like taking a leisure sensory trip around the world in a maze of narrow streets and alleys for a unique counterculture journey.

From its humble beginnings the early 1800’s, the Kensington Market area has been the stage where the hopes, dreams and struggles of generations of immigrant labourers to Toronto have co-habited together. By the early 1900’s, Jewish and Italian immigrants from Russia and Europe moved into the area and became known as ‘The Jewish Market’. Small houses were built on tiny lots and peddlers began to bolt their pushcarts in front of their houses to sell their wares, a business practice still reflected today in the architecture of house extensions built right out to the sidewalks in the neighbourhood. After World War 2, the Jewish population moved uptown and a wave of immigrants from the Caribbean, Hungary, Ukraine and East Asia residents settled down before another new wave of Ethiopia, Sudan, Vietnam, Iran and Latin American immigrants escaping troubled homelands in the last quarter of the 20th century. This multifarious history and collection of cultures is what gives Kensington Market its unique bohemian vibe and was officially recognized as a national historic site of Canada in November 2006.

5 not-to-miss attractions at Kensington Market for downtown condo residents in Toronto

Silhouette of Kensington market sign

The Kensington Market is where Old World charm meets New World vitality. Give yourself ample time to explore the bargain shops and genuine ethnic cuisine that make up the vibrant bustling atmosphere reminiscent of a European Street market. This list is just an excerpt of highlights worth checking out in this fascinating living-history Toronto neighbourhood.

  1. Warm up the winter: Every December, Kensington Market hosts a Winter Solstice Festival where cars give way to pedestrians and a grand parade celebrating the pagan celebration of the longest, darkest night of the year takes over this historic Toronto market. Held annually for over 25 years and formerly called the Kensington Festival of lights, don’t expect to just watch passively from the sidelines. Pay-what-you-can lantern making workshops are hosted a week beforehand to bring the community together and help people hand-make an elaborately fun masterpiece. On the day of the festival, playful families are whisked into the crowds and onward into the luminescent lantern-lit procession along several attractions with a myriad of performers and giant puppets in this funky celebration.
  2. Pedestrian Sundays: Busy week at the office and ready to leave your vehicle in the secure underground parking garage at The Davies? Celebrate Pedestrian Sundays, run on the last Sunday of the month between May to October at Kensington Market to celebrate community, culture and ecology in the unique neighbourhood from 12 pm noon till 7 pm evening. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore the sights and sounds of the eclectic market without parking and traffic woes on a beautiful weather weekend. Enjoy street sized board games, buckets of child-friendly chalk, amazing musician performances, hand-made art and endless varieties of street food during the monthly vehicle-free streets at the Kensington Market. Perfect summer activity with friends and family before settling into a cozy intimate dinner at your favourite restaurant nearby in Summerhill.
  3. Cafe and Croissants: Ready to fuel up after a peaceful morning on the exquisite rooftop lounge while enjoying the reading gardens at The Davies? Head over to the Kensington Market for their bohemian selection of indie cafe shop to explore the buzz-worthy organic and fair trade varieties. From the lavender white-hot chocolate at Fika, the freshly roasted coffee beans at Moonbeam Coffee or the perfect hipster people-watching patio experience at Café Pamenar, there’s something for every coffee lover at Kensington Market.
  4. Vintage Clothing Stores: Dancing to a different beat from the exclusive Yorkville shopping scene not far away, you will find an assortment of quirky independent boutique with some of the best vintage clothing stores at Kensington Market. Check out the reconstructed vintage pieces for men and women at Courage My Love or swanky vintage furniture or clothes at Bungalow or Exile, a local landmark in business for over 30 years. Other local favourites include Fashion Old and New for shoes, Vintage Depot for classic and contemporary purses, Urban Catwalk for sport jerseys and King of Kensington or Flashback for the perfect vintage cape or unique pea coat that’s guaranteed to stand out back at the office.

Kensington Market offers a unique cultural, commercial and culinary perspective of Toronto unlike any other neighbourhood for residents of The Davies. Make sure to call The Davies sales office at 416 873-0862 during your search for condos for sale in downtown Toronto to discover why it should be at the top of your list today.

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