Kensington Market. That crazy patchwork of kitch and colour. One of the few authentic places left in the city where those in favour of progress and development haven’t managed to smooth out the rough edges and wipe out the old with the new.
Flanked by the chaos of Chinatown to the south and the hallowed halls of the university to the north. An artery drawing Latin blood from Little Italy and Little Portugal. This area reigns as the epicenter of Toronto by location, culture and tradition.
What draws people to this place? Is it the fair trade coffee shops or the vintage clothing stores? Do they come in search of the city’s best gluten-free empanada or vegan ice cream? Maybe they’re shopping for a gas mask – take your pick from a bin in front of the army surplus store. (They even come in children’s sizes.)
Perhaps they’re lured by the sounds of jazz or folk spilling out of the open doors of the cafes.
It’s a little slice of life that never changes over the years and despite the trends. It’s a constant, a place safe from viral gentrification. Here it’s fashionable to shun fashion. There is no room for homogeneity.
It is the stronghold and the safeguard of a community ready to do battle against the theat of a powerful enemy, the antithesis of all that it stands for…