There’s no shortage of great things to do on a Sunday in Toronto but one of my favourites is a stroll through Kensington Market.  From Les Amis, it’s about a 30 minute walk west along the south side of College Street.  You’ll pass through the southern limits of the University of Toronto campuses then you will reach Spadina Avenue.  Continue on one more block, look up and you’ll spot the tall pillar

with a sculpture of an early Ontario pressed back chair (just like the two at Les Amis), seated on the chair is a large globe.  You`ve arrived!  But before you turn left to explore Kensington, have a peek at the village church, Saint Stephen`s


in-the-field just one block up at College and Bellevue.   Originally built in 1858, this charming little church is in the style of early English parish churches. It was designed by Thomas Fuller who also designed the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.   Sadly it burned to the ground in 1865 but was rebuilt with most of the original design features in 1866.  If you`re in town for a bit, the church offers free concerts on Wednesdays at 12:35 pm.  Just across the road you`ll see the clock tower of the No. 8 Hose Station.  In 1911,it was the first fire station to get a motor-driven fire engine.  In 1972 there was a huge fire that destroyed the station and it`s landmark clock tower.

 The station was then rebuilt as a replica of the original.


If, about now you`re feeling like chopped liver or maybe a knish, cross the road and grab a seat at Caplansky`s, it`s relatively new to the village but it boasts an authentic deli menu, just like the ones that used to be around when Spadina was the Garment District.


But don`t overeat, there are plenty of food stands and cafes to tempt you later.

Now you`re ready to explore the quirky, crazy, wonderful life of Kensington.

It`s an old part of the city.  Many of the houses with their tilting verandahs and well worn steps were built in the 1870`s and 1880`s.


If you`re from Europe, that might not impress you but it is old by Canadian standards.  Over the years, the market has been inhabited by successions of different immigrant groups… Jewish, Italian, Portuguese, Mexican, Cuban, West Indian the list goes on.  But through it all, it`s always been a village where people live, work, play and shop.

During the warm weather months,

the last Sunday of each month is car-free in Kensington. 

That`s when musicians set up their music stands, artists haul out their canvases,

artisans show off their jewellery designs, buskers trot out their newest crowd pleaser and restaurateurs set up everything from watermelon stands to barbeques. 

As you wind your way through the cafes, crowds and street musicians, you may spot an


``art car` with a green grass roof,

 grocery cart sculptures on a fence, a shop owner putting the final touches on his ``art on the wall

`` creation in fact, anything goes in Kensington, just look around, stare if you want and enjoy.

Don`t be afraid to wander down the little lanes,

 I did and discovered a fabulous country cottage

at the back of a lane what a treat! There are plenty of stores to take

in as well. 

 Daiter`s Kensington Creamery is closed on Sundays, but have a look, it`s been there since the 1930`s.  The fruit markets are always brimming with fresh produce.  There are cheese shops, fish markets, meat stores, bakeries.   And, if you love trendy, off-beat clothing

(new or second hand), Kensington is the place to shop.  Oops, I just about bumped into a fire eater.


Yes, you can enjoy Kensington any day of the week but Sundays … well they`re something special.

©P.-A. & Carol Buer 2013