In keeping with our decision to stay and explore Toronto this past long weekend Christina – a recently new resident of Toronto’s downtown core – Mom, and I decided to head down to Kensington Market. Initially thunderstorms threatened our adventure, but luckily the sun broke through and we roasted while walking through the closed off streets of the Kensington Market area.
This is the 2nd of 3 days we spent in the heart of the city.
I have visited Kensington Market before and this is going to sound idiotic, but I could never place it geographically. In relation to getting there… I didn’t know how. This trip made it clear. For us (Mom & I) coming from Finch we got off at College, and with our transfers hoped on the 506 streetcar westbound getting off at Spadina. It only took me a couple of years and Christina’s guidance to figure it out. This is odd for me because I usually have really good instincts when it comes to direction, and my surroundings.
I also hadn’t realized how community oriented some of the activities are. These three attractions could not have existed without a communal effort.
As you can see that little yellow bucket is empty. The road had accumulated messages, pictures, and symbols. The ease at which people participated made me feel hopeful, and happy.
2. Scrabble. I can’t explain how much I love this game. I have the “Words with Friends” app on my Iphone 4 and I am constantly playing with my friends and family. This is where I learned the word “QI”. Qi is a chinese dynasty. If you look at the photo I took you can see the “Q” and over where “MIND” is on the board one could use that “I” to spell “QI”. At first I was a hesitant because I didn’t think anyone would believe that “QI” was a word. I played it anyways. When asked by an elderly women what the word meant I used my Iphone to look up the actual definition and read it out load to the crowd that had accumulated. Everyone thanked me for educating them, and I walked away pretty impressed with myself. I think this is genius! Everyone was participating and adding words to the board as they passed by.
3. Communal pet? Walking amidst the crowd was an older couple and they both had pet Iguana’s with them. They were letting everyone pet them and see the tricks they could do. We were even told about their diet! These Iguana’s love banana’s and other fruits apparently? What a sight to see… it was like being at the zoo all over again.
It’s not everyday you see an Iguana instead of a dog, and so you can imagine the crowd that began to form around this couple. They were kind, and nice enough to let everyone have a turn to look, touch, and ask questions if they wanted to.
Every time I visit Kensington I go to two specific stores. They remind me of my trip to Hong Kong and the street markets there. Both have inexpensive and trendy clothes. I don’t know the names of the stores, but I know them when I see them. Maybe this will help?
You can barely see them, but those two triangular entrances are them! You can sort of see the clothes hanging along the inside perimeter of both tunnels. Last summer they had tons of good finds! I bought a navy blue, faux silk one-sie and a faux silk floral printed mini dress. This year I found a green animal print tube top dress with a small zipper down the front – only covering the span of my boobs – and for only $15.00! I love it.
There are tons of local artists with booths up and down the streets. I was super intrigued by this one woman who was selling “one-of-a-kind and limited edition watches”. This Canadian company called May 28th.ME produces watched with sleek bands, and different images in every face. I was going to buy one, but I felt confused and overwhelmed looking at all the different styles. I took her card and have been browsing ever since.
I had a wonderful time walking around and shopping. I even managed to pick up ANOTHER pair of feather earrings. It’s an addiction what can I say? I love them and the feathers are black which is different form the ones I own. If you are a tourist or a local Kensington Market is a hot spot in the summer months, and now you know how to get there!