The Making of “The Market”
Eclectic. Avant-garde. Cultural. Vibrant. Alive. Blue Banana Market has found its perfect home in Toronto’s Kensington Market. With a foundation steeped in ethno-cultural history and an eye to the re-shaping of this diverse neighbourhood, Kensington Market is a favourite destination for city-dwellers and visitors alike.
Kensington Market — referred to simply as “The Market” — is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Toronto — and one of the most famous. English and Irish working class settlers first moved here in the mid-to-late 19th Century. Their influence still lives on today as Victorian houses line narrow, quaint streets.
Between 1905 and 1930, European Jewish immigrants brought an eclectic mix of storefronts, family-owned specialty shops and gave The Market the character that it’s still know for today.
More flavour was added to the already vibrant area when African, Afro-Caribbean, Chinese, East Indian, European, Latin American and South Asian newcomers made The Market their home after 1945.
Such a diverse past is what gives Kensington Market its distinct identity today. So much so that in November 2006 it was named a National Historic Site of Canada.
The Market Today
Everything seems to be more vibrant in The Market. Refusing to remain stagnant, this small section of Toronto is known as the city’s centre of cultural life. Home to artists, writers and musicians, the neighbourhood is as much inspiration as it is a tourist attraction.
Storefronts, restaurants, coffee houses and specialty food shops show the area’s diversity. Festivals, live music, dancing and street theatre fill The Market’s narrow avenues. Pedestrian Sundays, held sporadically throughout the year, gives visitors a chance to roam the car-free streets without a care.
Kensington Market has always made a statement — and today is no different. With a strong counter-culture clique, there never seems to be a dull moment. But there’s always reason to celebrate.
The addition of Blue Banana Market makes perfect sense since its very idea showcases The Market’s eclectic nature with a strong dose of sophistication and panache.