Kensington Market. *sigh* A known mecca within the student population here in Toronto as a place to go for cheap clothing and cheaper weed, I go not for the sketchy, strung out scenesters, but for the wholesale markets. Kensington is a dream come true for any foodie, with at least one, if not two or three specialty shops carrying anything and everything under the sun, from fruits and veggies to imported cheeses to fish and meat, even imported foods one cannot usually find, like Italian amaretti cookies and Mexican chipotle chiles in adobo. A neighbor to Chinatown, and not a far walk from Little Italy either, once near Kensington and College streets, you can get anything and everything your little heart desires.
Kensington Market only spans a few blocks, but within these confines, there are virtually no cars (most people park in Chinatown). Vendors stand in front of their stores, knowing that with all the choice out there, a typical shopper could have any of many assorted reasons for choosing a particular shop.
As for me, I am loyal to several vendors. I frequent Oxford Fruit for fruits and veggies, mostly because everything in front of the store is always so fresh-looking and bright, but also because when I buy enough food that I expect to be forking over at least $40, I end up paying no more than $25.
I like Global Cheese for cheese just for the sheer variety, although I have hit nearby Cheese Magic a few times.
Seven Seas Fish and Coral Fish are right next door to one another, but I usually hit Seven Seas, because it smells less fishy, and they usually have a better selection. Both stores, however, have large glass windows, and if I see something I like at Coral, I may duck in there.
I’m including a picture of the Augusta Egg Market to illustrate the extreme variety of goods found in Kensington. OK… that’s a lie. I’m including it because it’s hilarious. I went in once, just to confirm my suspicions. Yup. It just sells eggs.