Welcome to one of the city’s most well-known neighborhoods. Kensington Market is where different cultures and generations come together in one eclectic and lively blend.
Kensington was originally part of a 100 acre Park Lot granted to Captain John Denison in 1815. By the 1870s, this district had developed into a middle-class Anglo-Saxon neighbourhood with distinctive British street names such as Kensington Avenue, Fitzroy Terrace, Oxford Street, and Wales Avenue. The Kensington neighbourhood began to change in the early 1900s when Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, started to settle here.
Excluded from the Toronto business community, Kensington’s Jewish families opened stalls in front of their houses and sold goods to each other. This Jewish market was the start of an old-world marketplace in the heart of the Kensington neighbourhood. Since the 1940s, Kensington has attracted immigrants from all parts of the world, and it is now one of Toronto’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods.
The Kensington neighbourhood is defined by its popular outdoor market, which has become a hot spot for tourists and a popular Toronto shopping destination. The international flavour of Kensington Market reflects the diverse cultural mix of this vibrant and colourful Toronto neighbourhood.
Kensington Market is the most eclectic and vibrant outdoor shopping experience in Toronto. The sights and smells of Kensington will awaken your senses to a dizzying array of food shops, restaurants, curio shops, pop-up shops, artists, vintage clothing and jewelry, and more. Another unique shopping experience can be found along Spadina in the heart of Toronto’s oldest Chinatown district.
Chinatown features a plethora of fruit and vegetable markets with produce literally spilling out onto the streets. This is a busy market with lots of shoppers. There are also a large number of Chinese restaurants along with this stretch where you can sample authentic Chinese cuisine.
Kensington’s Victorian row- houses are small to moderate in size and feature many decorative accents. These houses were built between the 1870s and 1890s. The houses in the heart of the Kensington Market, have market stalls on their front lawns. Many of these houses are oriented to the rear of the property where tiny little laneways offer privacy from the hustle and bustle of the marketplace.
The Kensington neighbourhood is presently being revitalized by a handful of new housing projects. These new developments include Victorian-inspired townhomes that are situated on Oxford Street and the Kensington Market Lofts, a unique condominium project situated in three former George Brown College buildings on Baldwin and Nassau Streets.
The local park and meeting place for Kensington residents is Bellevue Square, which is located right in the center of the neighbourhood. This park has a tot’s playground and a wading pool.
Cecil Community Centre at Spadina and College features a large Hall that is used for theatre productions, sports, games, parties, and weddings.
The Shaw College Public Library serves as a community meeting place and offers reading material in a number of languages that reflect the cultural diversity of Kensington residents.
Streetcar service on Bathurst Street connects passengers to the Bloor-Danforth subway line. The Spadina, Dundas, and Queen streetcars travel to the Spadina station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists are already downtown and are just minutes from the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard.
Schools, Colleges, and Universities:
Jarvis Collegiate Institute
Address: 495 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2G8, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-0140 | Fax: (416) 393-0184 | Email: Jarvis@tdsb.on.ca
“Founded in 1807, Jarvis C.I. is the first public high school in Toronto and has a long tradition of academic excellence and student involvement. Jarvis is committed to providing a rich and varied program encouraging higher-order thinking as well as research and communication skills. Over 90% of our graduates attend university, including top schools like U of T, Waterloo, Dalhousie, and Queens. Over 53% of graduates are Ontario Scholars and 60% receive scholarships/bursaries. Situated in the ‘heart of the city’ at Jarvis and Wellesley, our school has a rich mix of students from over 100 countries of origin, integrated into one unified, vibrant community in which diversity is our strength!” As originally published by Jarvis Collegiate Institute
Collège français secondaire
Address: 100 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5B 1M3, Canada | Telephone: 416 393-0175
“Le Collège français sera un milieu de vie stimulant pour tes amis et toi. Toute une équipe est là, chaque jour, pour t’aider à découvrir de nouveaux horizons et à mieux comprendre le monde qui t’entoure.” As originally published by Collège français secondaire
É Élém Gabrielle-Roy
Address: 14 Pembroke St, Toronto, ON M5A 1Z8, Canada | Telephone: 416 393-1360
“L’école est composée d’une équipe dévouée, compétente et engagée dans la réussite et le bien-être des élèves. Le personnel de l’école travaille tout en comptant sur votre appui, votre soutien et votre engagement comme parents partenaires dans l’éducation de vos enfants. Ce sont des éléments essentiels pour la réussite de tous et de chacun. Pour y arriver, la communication ouverte, continue et positive, entre l’école et la maison, est encouragée et soutenue car c’est le moyen le plus efficace pour assurer le développement et les progrès de vos enfants.” As originally published by É Élém Gabrielle-Roy
Downtown Vocal Music Academy of Toronto
Address: 96 Denison Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2N1, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1340 | Fax: (416) 393-1337 | Email: DowntownVocalMusicAcademyofToronto@tdsb.on.ca
“Singing, performing, and learning about music and performance are at the core of the VMA for boys and girls with a passion to sing and perform. Students will experience music from around the world and learn about the musicians and music that have shaped our world. Also, music will be integrated into many other areas of the curriculum.” As originally published by Downtown Vocal Music Academy of Toronto
Kensington Community School
Address: 401 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1S9, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1290 | Fax: (416) 393-8113 | Email: Kensington@tdsb.on.ca
“Kensington is located centrally on College Street, just east of Bathurst Street in downtown Toronto. We are very near Kensington Market, this being one of many interesting sites that our classes visit easily on field trips. We offer Kindergarten through Grade 6 and are very proud of our excellent academic and co-curricular programs. At Kensington School, we provide a learning environment that stresses a balance among disciplines and program areas. We develop our student’s literacy and numeracy skills and offer a Physical Education program through our gymnasium and on-site swimming pool. We have a large, current library, and our teachers provide rich instruction in the arts.” As originally published by Kensington Community School
King Edward Junior and Senior Public School
Address: 112 Lippincott St, Toronto, ON M5S 2P1, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1320 | Fax: (416) 393-1319 | Email: KingEdward@tdsb.on.ca
“King Edward is a K- 8 school offering the regular English program in Grades 1-6 and a triple track program in Grades 7-8. The 3 tracks are Regular English, French Immersion & Gifted.” As originally published by King Edward Junior and Senior Public School
Harbord Collegiate Institute
Address: 286 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M6G 1G5, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1650 | Fax: (416) 393-0654 | Email: Harbord@tdsb.on.ca
Since 1892, Harbord Collegiate Institute has had a long tradition of academic excellence and a faculty committed to preparing students well for postsecondary studies and for their role as responsible and productive members of our society. The school has a current enrolment of 1100+ students and a staff of over 95. Harbord offers many university and college preparation courses leading to a wide range of postsecondary destinations. Our focus on social justice, equity and the environment sets the framework for a dynamic education. More than one-third of our teachers and support staff speak multiple languages, reflecting Toronto’s rich diversity. Staff and students work together to promote a safe and nurturing environment.” As originally published by Harbord Collegiate Institute
Orde Street Public School
Address: 18 Orde St, Toronto, ON M5T 1N7, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1900 | Fax: (416) 393-0864 | Email: Orde@tdsb.on.ca
“Orde Street P.S. is located in central Toronto, just east and north of Chinatown. Our school was built in 1914 to accommodate the influx of immigrants into the community and it continues to represent the diverse population of the global community that is Toronto. The school has just celebrated its 100th Anniversary. Students come from over 30 countries, representing many different languages and cultures. Orde Daycare is located on-site and provides excellent before and after school child care. Orde offers daily instruction in Mandarin as part of the TDSB International Languages Integrated Day Program. Our school is used by our local community for many activities such as the Toronto Japanese School on Saturdays with over 200 students.” As originally published by Orde Street Public School
Ryerson Community School
Address: 96 Denison Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2N1, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1340 | Fax: (416) 393-1337 | Email: Ryerson@tdsb.on.ca
Egerton Ryerson, the founder of Ontario’s public education system, founded Ryerson Community School in 1877. Ryerson studied various education systems in the U.S., England, and Europe and combined the best of these to develop his own system in Ontario. Today, Ryerson Community School is a vibrant and diverse K to 8 school, both culturally and linguistically. We celebrated our 125th Anniversary Celebration in 2002. Our motto is “Ryerson Community School…Where you belong.”” As originally published by Ryerson Community School
Westside Montessori School
Address: 95 Bellevue Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2N9, Canada | Telephone: (647) 430-5321 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Westside Montessori School, in the heart of downtown Toronto’s Kensington Market, is conveniently located near Queen West, College Street, Dundas West, Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Annex. We are a nurturing and educational childcare environment for Toddlers (18 to 30 months) Children (2½ to 6 years old, including JK & SK), and Elementary students aged 6 to 12 (Grades 1-3). Maria Montessori created the Montessori teaching philosophy, emphasizing the importance of “following the child”. At Westside, we respect and nurture our students, thereby enabling them to achieve their fullest potential; our students radiate self-confidence and exhibit a love for learning. Westside Montessori School is the ideal childcare facility for your urban family. Your child will eat fantastic meals and snacks, as we are catered by Real Food for Real Kids (RFRK). In addition, we offer before and aftercare programs, Summer Camp, and March Break Camp to fully support your family year-round.” As originally published by Westside Montessori School
Cornerstone Preparatory (Toronto Campus)
Address: 177 Beverley Street, Toronto, ON M5T | Telephone: (416) 977-1204
“The mission of the Children’s Primary Centre and Cornerstone Preparatory School is to educate students who, for the glory of God, are capable of achieving at or above grade level with reasonable effort in a traditional learning environment that prepares students for higher education while developing and implementing a Christian world view that permeates all of life.” As originally published by Cornerstone Preparatory (Toronto Campus)
“Braemar College is a private secondary school located in downtown Toronto, near the University of Toronto. Our programs are designed to ensure students realize their academic, personal and social potential. The college provides support to each student to assist them gain admission to universities and colleges across North America, and indeed, across the ocean: our graduates have gone on to study in the United States of America, United Kingdom and other countries.” As originally published by Braemar College
ÉÉC du Sacré-Coeur-Toronto.
Address: 25 Linden St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1V5, Canada
“L’école élémentaire catholique du Sacré-Cœur a 125 ans d’histoire! C’est avec enthousiasme que travaille une équipe dynamique. L’école accueille plus de 150 élèves de la maternelle à la 6e année. La langue française et la catholicité sont des priorités chez nous. Aux niveaux académique et personnel, nous rassemblons nos efforts en vue de permettre aux élèves d’atteindre leur plein potentiel.” As originally published by ÉÉC du Sacré-Coeur-Toronto
Address: 330 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Y1, Canada
“L’école secondaire Saint-Frère-André est une école accueillant les élèves de la 7e à la 12e année. Notre but premier en tant qu’établissement d’éducation est avant tout l’apprentissage et le développement de votre enfant dans un milieu francophone catholique stimulant. En vue d’offrir un enseignement de qualité et un choix intéressant d’options à nos élèves, nous offrons toute une panoplie d’activités parascolaires, ainsi que des programmes d’enseignement. «Offrir à l’élève une éducation de qualité dans un milieu de vie catholique et francophone où le respect de la personne, le sens d’appartenance à la collectivité franco-ontarienne, la promotion de l’excellence et enfin l’équité sont des valeurs visibles et essentielles à son épanouissement ». C’est non seulement la mission du conseil scolaire mais aussi celle des enseignants.” As originally published by ÉSC Saint-Frère-André
St. Mary Catholic School
Address: 20 Portugal Square, Toronto, ON M6J 3P2, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5205 | Fax: 416-393-5781
“St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School is a vibrant community dedicated to nurturing the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. The students of St. Mary’s have common needs and a variety of differences. They range from three-year-olds in junior kindergarten to fourteen year-olds in grade eight. The children reflect a full range of skills and abilities and all are maturing in their awareness of both their strengths and things that need to be worked on. The mission of St. Mary’s is to educate each student. Every day can bring challenges and opportunities for all and ultimately the goal is to become a better person through these experiences.” As originally published by St. Mary Catholic School
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