shopping independently

Toronto's Kensington Market

I’m a really picky consumer.  I expect great service, quality products and reasonable prices.  Toronto’s Kensington Market is where I prefer to do my grocery shopping because I’ll always get the service, quality and value that I’m looking for along with a little something extra.  I do shop at my neighbourhood big name grocery store but really prefer shopping at mom & pop stores which is where most of the food in my home comes from.  I believe in supporting independent businesses where I feel like I’m appreciated as a customer and remembered as a familiar face not just a number. This is why Kensington Market is my shopping district of choice.  

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Location:  Kensington is bordered by Spadina Avenue, Dundas Street West, Bathurst Street and College Street.

Kensington Market Map

If you are looking for an actual “market” like say, St. Lawrence Market stop looking.  Kensington is a neighbourhood of multicultural shops, restaurants, bars, vintage stores as well as stores that you won’t find in most Toronto neighbourhoods like the army surplus store or a West Indian bakery.

Hours:  for the most part, Kensington’s stores, restaurants and bars are open 7 days a week closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  I shop there year round but particularly enjoy going there on Pedestrian Sundays when the market is closed to traffic.  This usually happens between the hours of  12-7 p.m. on the last Sunday of the month from May to October.  It’s Kensington Market’s equivalent of a block party complete with vendor booths and entertainment right in the streets.  It’s the day the market comes out to play and invites us to join in and celebrate life in the city!

Pedestrian Sundays website 
(currently showing 2014 PS calendar check back for 2015 dates) 

Kensington Market website

There are too many great spots to mention in just one blog so I’ll be featuring my favourites and exploring new-to-me Kensington businesses regularly and sharing my experiences with you.  Stay tuned for the best places to shop in Kensington Market.  Here’s a sneak peek at some of my regular shopping spots....

Global Cheese has been serving up great cheese and taking care of you like family since 1970!

Caribbean Corner has been part of the Kensington community for 37 years.

Rasta Pasta is a bit of a newbie with a presence since 2012 but they've already expanded to add a catering facility so I've no doubt that Mary & Magnus will be feeding us for years to come!

Where do you shop locally in Toronto?  Share some of your favourites with us.