September 21, 2015
Urban Adventures: Kensington Market & Chinatown
Written By Admin
Skip the generic, tourist-trap sights and join this Toronto tour to see two of the city’s coolest communities. Hit Chinatown to see where China and Canada collide, then visit the Kensington Market area for graffiti, vintage shops, coffee houses, comic book stores, and everything else decidedly hip.
- Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Toronto’s legendary Chinatown
- Explore the unique, bohemian atmosphere of Kensington Market – one of Toronto’s most famous and eclectic neighbourhoods
- Check out locally-owned and operated eateries, shops, and produce markets
- Walk the hidden lanes and alleys to discover amazing graffiti art
- Keep a tally of all the places you’re going to want to come back to later (trust us)
Ask any local and they’ll tell you – one of the best things to do in Toronto is to explore two of the city’s most colourful and multicultural neighbourhoods – Chinatown and Kensington Market. On this Toronto walking tour you’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with both of these local favourites, experiencing the rich history, vibrant cultures, and iconic uniqueness both Chinatown and Kensington Market are known for.
The streets around Chinatown and Kensington Market are often crowded, but always friendly. With a reputation for local and international delicacies, unique vendors, and specialty shops, there really is nowhere else like this in Toronto. Distinctively different, yet undeniably and inherently similar, these two neighbourhoods sit right next to each other, offering both a wonderful juxtaposition, and interesting compliment to one another – perfect for exploring together on this unique tour of Toronto.
In Kensington Market, you’ll learn how the neighbourhood has evolved from a working-class Jewish market into a working-class bohemian market. Several waves of immigrant settlement over the past century have splashed colours, sounds, and flavours from the four corners of the earth throughout Kensington Market, and yet there is not a McDonald’s or Starbucks to be seen. Large multinational corporations are decidedly unwelcome, and unlikely to migrate their way in anytime soon.
Aside from its aversion to corporations, the neighbourhood is known for its festivals (Pedestrian Sunday is a favourite), vintage shops, cafes, bakeries, hole-in-the-wall bars, and the many, many bare brick walls that have long been covered with graffiti murals (often at the request of the buildings’ owners). These murals are nearly all stunning, and have become one of the iconic features of the neighbourhood. Your local guide will be happy to elaborate on any element of the neighbourhood you find particularly interesting on this Kensington Market tour in Toronto – we all love this area a lot!
As we said, right next door to Kensington Market is Chinatown, one of Canada’s largest Chinese communities, and one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. One of the busiest areas in the city, there’s always something happening, and always tales to tell. On this part of your Toronto tour, your guide will enlighten you with some favourite local stories and intriguing history surrounding Toronto’s Chinatown. Along the way, you’ll also likely get restaurant recommendations, which can really come in handy for after your Toronto Chinatown tour – trust us, there are a lot of places to eat around here.
By the time your Toronto tour is over, we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll want to hang around Chinatown and pop back into Kensington Market on your own for a while to pick up some vintage or one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts, and to devour a truly delicious meal at any of the dozens of tasty spots nearby.
- Duration:2 hours
- Meeting point:SW corner of McCaul St. and Dundas St. West at the large Henry Moore sculpture beside the Art Gallery of Ontario.
- Starting time: 10.00 AM
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