Kensington Market

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.

3 thoughts on “Kensington Market

  1. Hi Emily,

    You have a great blog and I’m glad you stopped by mine to introduce yourself!

    I completely understand your feeling towards Kensington. It’s a great place and it’s unfortunate that Toronto doesn’t have more food shopping districts like this one.

    As I mentioned in an e-mail to you ,you may want to give the St. Lawrence Market a try!

  2. We live pretty close to the lake but love Kensington Market as well and often make special trips (bicycle) to the Augusta Egg Market and St. Andrew Poultry. Have you seen those amazing hot Shepherd peppers at the Oxford store yet? They usually have them in September only. The vegetable stores in Chinatown are great as well, don’t you think? The handy thing about that area is that it is quite accessible by streetcar – either the College or Dundas car.

    As Ivonne said, St. Lawrence Market is a good alternative but it is a little pricier than Kensington. Alex Farms (I think that’s the right name) at the back of the south St.Lawrence market has fabulous cheese – a zillion times better (in my opinion anyway) than any of the Cheese stores in Kensington. And there is a shop on the east side of St. Lawrence (sorry can’t remember their name) that sells excellent Moroccan style olives, as well as very good cheese. The mustard guy is great too.

    -Elizabeth

    P.S. found you via Ivonne’s Cream Puffs in Venice blog…

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