Kensington Market Historical Society is inaugurated


For many decades, the colour and social tapestry of the Kensington Market has been a source of fascination for Torontonians and visitors alike. The above painting is from the collection of the City of Toronto. I saw the painting at the Market Gallery in the St. Lawrence Market many years ago and was charmed by its vibrant colours and interesting composition. Prints of this painting are presently for sale at the Market Gallery.

I have visited the Kensington Market for the past 50 years and have witnessed many changes during the decades. However, when I moved downtown in 2000, I began shopping there daily. I soon began documenting and photographing the evolution of this wonderful district. As a result, I was keenly interested when I discovered that a Kensington Market Historical Society was being created.  I attended its first meeting on March 20, 2013. A sizable crowd gathered at the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library at College and Huron Streets. It was a fascinating evening. The choice of guest speakers was inspired, since both of them have written books about the Kensington/Spadina area.  

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The first speaker was Jean Cochrane, whose insight into the Kensington Market was informative and entertaining. Her book, “Kensington” is an authoritative study of the history and development of the Market. I found it particularly helpful when I commenced my own studies of the market. It is a worthwhile book to purchase if you are interested in the Market.

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The second speaker of the evening was Rosemary Donegan, whose book on Spadina Avenue has been a constant source of reference for me as I study the magnificent buildings on this grand avenue. The book is a great addition to the library of those who are interested in the history of Toronto and its neighbourhoods. If the meeting on 20 March was any indication of the quality of the gatherings that the new society will be holding in the future, they will certainly have my support. They intend to hold about four sessions a year, as well as an AGM.

Anyone who is interested in the history of the Kensington Market area is certain to find this society’s gatherings worthwhile. For further information or to join the society, follow the link: Kensington Market Historical Society – Kensington Market Historical …

To view the Home Page for this blog:

To view posts about Kensington Market:

Architecture of the Kensington Market

A Kensington Market gem soon to disappear—Casa Acoreana

To view other posts about Toronto’s past and its historic buildings:

The historically significant intersection at Yonge and Front Streets

The historically amazing intersection of King and Simcoe Streets.

The historic 1885 bank building at Yonge and Front Streets

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

Toronto’s Draper Street, a time-tunnel into the 19th century

The Black Bull Tavern at Queen and Soho Streets, established in 1822

History of the 1867 fence around Osgoode Hall on Queen Street West at York Street

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

The opening of the University Theatre on Bloor Street, west of Bay St.

122 persons perish in the Noronic Disaster on Toronto’s waterfront in 1949

Historic Victoria Memorial Square where Toronto’s first cemetery was located, now hidden amid the Entertainment District

Visiting one of Toronto’s best preserved 19th-century streets-Willcocks Avenue

The 1930s Water Maintenance Building on Brant Street, north of St. Andrew’s Park

Toronto’s architectural gems-photos of the Old City from a book published by the city in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems – the bank on the northeast corner of Queen West and Spadina

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

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