Kensington Market has a special place in Canada’s history, but also a special place in our food history.
The Market is a unique place where the otherwise British ideas and ideals of Toronto and its views on food and culture didn’t reign. New Canadians created a food oasis in the middle of a City that had a strong focus on fresh food, but has since lost a lot of it.
At the same time Kensington was evolving and thriving, Toronto planners created new car focused neighbourhoods that meant your food would now come from one of a couple corporations in a big box that you could only drive to. (That has become more and more out of reach of Torontonians with low incomes from other countries who don’t have cars).
But in Kensington you can still find some of the best in the City.
Toronto’s residents, planners, developers and now even others like Google need to consider how we need to plan places that allow things to happen and evolve, that we dont stifle possibilites, and that we plan for accessible local and diverse food at the centre of communities.
Tale a look at the Heritage Minute and let me know what you think in the comments.
The benefits of Kensington happened more in spite of than thanks to the often self-congratulatory Canadian nationalism often found in these shorts. It is the small space that was afforded to Jewish and other new Canadians. It’s important now as ever to centre and celebrate the contributions of immigrants.
*To those who are unfamiliar, Heritage Minutes were popular shorts funded by the Canadian Government to promote important tidbits in our history. They have now been revived with new ones like this being produced.