Toronto, Canada: Kensington Market

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A Vibrant Bohemian Village 

Calling all Bohemians! Forget Greenwich Village. Toronto’s Kensington Market is one of the oldest, liveliest, and most eclectic neighborhoods on the eastern seaboard. Its diverse scenery of historical architecture, trendy cafes, and street art will give your profile an edgy and unexpected twist. Bonus “Likes” if your caption includes tips on where to shop, or clever facts about the neighborhood’s attempt to “Keep Kensington Weird.” 

If you like street artists and musicians, you’ll love Kensington Market!

Locals in the neighborhood struggled long and hard in recent years to avoid gentrification. The first European settlers to the land in the 1880s were primarily Irish, British, and Scottish who built houses on the plot. In the early 20th century, Jewish immigrants from Russia, eastern Europe, and south-central Europe started to settle, and the district gained the name of the Jewish Market. As the 20th century progressed, immigrants from all over the world began to arrive, and the area became Kensington Market. Although developers have their eyes on the location, today the neighborhood is still like a rich and colorful tapestry. The preservation is thanks in part to long-time cafe owners who actively organize themselves against development efforts. 

It’s Like a Quirky Jungle to Hunt for Food 

Everyone loves food pics on Instagram, right? Check out Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. It’s been in the Market for over twenty years, and don’t let the name of the cafe fool you. They sell more than their famous handmade pastries. You can also get home-cooked lunch and strong coffee. In the online news outlet Now Toronto, David Beaver, who runs Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, describes Kensington as, “a place for anarchists, gang members, and artists.” He says that with love, and also calls the area, “the heart and soul of Toronto.” Spread the love, and share your own version of heart and soul with your Followers. Kensington Market is west of downtown between Bathhurst, Dundas, College, and Spadina. Parking can be rough, so travel like a local and take public transit. The closest subway station is about a twenty minute walk at St. Patrick on the University-Spadina Line. Although the crowd in the summer can be overwhelming, get your bearings, take your time, and find the spotlight for the next favorite post.

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