Other cities in the world have districts within their boundaries that are similar to Kensington, forming small enclaves that maintain their unique character despite the passage of time. They too share common characteristics, but no two are ever alike. Although many have historic homes and quaint shops, nowhere is there another Kensington.
Kensington is “one of a kind”—a chaotic collage of diversity.
Richard Florida, in his book The Rise of the Creative Class, discusses places where the residents are seeking an environment that is open to differences, where highly creative people are welcomed, regardless of ethnic background, income, creed, or sexual orientation. They prefer locations where there multiplicity is accepted, where odd personal habits or extreme styles of dress are not only welcomed, but also celebrated. Unusual marital arrangements and varied partnership relations fail to attract any attention.
Kensington is such a place, and is truly “a village within.”
The Kensington Market is ever changing, as shops close and new ones open. Below are photos that were taken several years ago, depicting shops and signage that have either disappeared or been severely altered.
My Market Bakery has now relocated several stores to the west on Baldwin Street
Max and Son has now disappeared from Baldwin Street
Akram’s Middle Eastern shop no longer has the wonderful signage of former years.
A link to the Home Page and books about Toronto: https://tayloronhistory.com/ – – a link to the book “The Villages Within,” nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. This book includes a detailed study on the Kensington Market: https://tayloronhistory.com/the-villages-within/