Kensington Market – Vintage Heaven
Kensington Market has always been number 1 on my list to see in Toronto and it didn’t disappoint. There’s a great vibe about the place, a friendly atmosphere, more than a bit hippyish, full of free spirits and genuinely nice people, so I felt quite at home there!
Kensington Market is a very distinctive multicultural neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto. The Market is an old neighbourhood and one of the city’s most well-known, with an eclectic mix of cafes, shops and restaurants. In November 2006, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to its many historic Victorian townhouses.
Eclectic Mix of Shops in Converted Houses
- Street Art and Plant Filled Car
Have you seen a car like this before?
This area is vintage heaven and there were vintage shops galore, some better than others.
I got talking to a couple of lovely girls who run two of the best vintage shops there, Lilu in Vibes and Stephanie in Ego……….
Entering Vibes was like entering your front room, it was an old converted house full to the brim with an assortment of vintage items ranging from ladies’ clothing, shoes, accessories and Lilu’s gorgeous hand-made jewellery.
Vibes, Kensington Market
The décor was really funky and the displays made you want to take your time and rummage through all the goodies on display.
It was almost like looking at a hoarder’s bedroom but filled with stuff you want to take home!
Unusual Window Displays
Even the backroom had a romantic feel about it with pieces to enhance the mood….
Romantic Back Room
And here’s a photo of the lovely Lilu!
Lilu from Vibes
Ego also had a wide choice of vintage items, and the quality of the items was excellent. All the pieces were hand-picked by the owner.
- The shopfront at Ego
The clothing was all beautifully arranged and displayed with matching accessories. There were lots of vintage handbags and shoes ranging from the 1940’s up to the 90’s.
Fabulous dresses and coats
All the clothing and accessories were of exceptional quality and very cheap prices, dresses ranging from around $20 to £40.
Pretty Dresses on Display
There were also one-off vintage wedding dresses from all different eras
Vintage Wedding Dresses
Beautiful jewel coloured scarves for around $5
Fabulous Scarves to choose from
And here’s the gorgeous Stephanie!
Stephanie at Ego
Tips for Visiting Kensington Market
Getting to Kensington
Kensington is located just to the west of downtown Toronto, bordered by Spadina Avenue, Dundas Street, Bathurst Street and College Street.
4 streetcar lines provide direct access to Kensington.
From the Bloor Subway: take the Spadina or Bathurst streetcar south. Get off at College or one or two stops further south.
From Yonge/University Subway: take the College or Dundas streetcar west, getting off at Spadina or the next stop.
From Union Station: take the Queen’s Quay/Spadina streetcar. Enjoy the ride along the lake, where it turns north on Spadina. Get off at Dundas or the next couple of stops.
Parking is extremely limited in Kensington, especially on the weekend. Two Green P parking lots serve the area, though with limited availability.
Walking is the best way to get to Kensington if you are already downtown. As well, you will see so much more!
Generally, the Market is open 7 days a week excluding Christmas and New Years. The best time for shopping is between 11:00am and 7:00pm. Many of the grocery and fresh vegetable stores, however, are open earlier than 11:00. Of course bars, restaurants and entertainment remain open well into the evening.