[PHOTO_133932]Between the colorful storefronts and brightly painted brick houses are gardens and green spaces that welcome tourists to explore the area. This unplanned neighbourhood started off as market of sorts in the early 1900s when Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland set up stalls to sell their wares in the front of their homes. Over the years, other immigrant communities joined the neighborhood so there’s no a healthy mix of Italian, Portuguese, Latino, Caribbean and Vietnamese in the area. This mutli-cultural mix makes for a great place to eat and shop.
With its muffins, croissants, and pastries, along with fourteen different types of herbal tea or freshly squeezed juices, The Kensington Natural Bakery is a great place to have breakfast. Lunch or dinner includes a variety of delicious Asian-inspired vegetarian dishes. One of the best Mexican restaurants is found here. Agave & Aguacate is located on the corner of Nassau Street and Augusta Avenue in a mini-food court style. If you’re interested in some great seafood in a casual setting, then the Portuguese restaurant Amadeu's is a good choice. For some creative and delicious far, be sure to visit the Bellevue Diner.
[PHOTO_133933]This is the place to pick up fresh vegetables and fruits as well as exotic cheeses, seafood and a wide variety of ethnic foods. Wandering through the stalls and soaking up the smells and colors can be a great way to spend an afternoon.
Kensington is also epicentre of the vintage clothing boom in the city and there are a number of stores that have become mainstays for fashionista locals. You can easily spend an entire day scouring through the stock at Courage My Love, one of the first stores to sell vintage clothing. Newer stores such as Ego, Exile, Dancing Days, Bungalow, Vintage Depot and Flashback offer a good variety of vintage stock as well . Check out the independent designers sold at Iki, Hardboiled Ink and Bubblegum. And then there's the Army Surplus store for all your practical needs. Vintage, retro, classic, old and new, Kensington sells it all.
If you're on a budget and would like to stay in the area, check out the Global Village Kensington Hotel. There is no better way to get into the heart and soul of Toronto than in Kensington.