- The Kensington Market is so much more than a market. This artsy, diverse area of Toronto is filled with specialty shops, international restaurants, trendy cafes, and unique bars. There are many vegan and vegetarian dining options among the Hungarian, Thai, Indian, Mexican, and Latin restaurants. Vintage clothing, popcorn, hardware, bakeries, fresh cut flowers, candles, tattoos are only a few of the many shops in this colorful market. Street parking is available, but may require walking a couple blocks.
The Vog Vault
- John Fluevog Shoes relocated to a former bank in 2015 on Queen Street West. The bank’s vault was transformed into the first gravity defying Vog Vault. The vault is located inside the store and free to experience.
- A Short walk from the Kensington Market is Market 707, a street lined with vendors selling international food from shipping containers. Come hungry because it’s hard to choose between Thai, Jamaican, Colombian, Filipino, Japanese, Halal, Canadian, American, and more. Note: Adjusted winter hours of 12:00pm – 5:00pm.
The Monkey’s Paw
- The world’s first randomizing vending machine for old books can be found at The Monkey’s Paw. With 112 million titles, every book from the Biblio-Mat is a surprise, but is guaranteed to be old and unusual. According to an employee, the strangest book he has seen dispensed was a 1920’s guide to the London railway system, including departure and arrival schedules. Tokens for the Biblio-Mat can be purchased for $3 at the checkout counter.
- There is parking dedicated to the pedestrian only Distillery District, once home to the Gooderham & Warts Distillery, the largest distillery in Canada. The area now is home to over 40 boutique stores, art galleries, upscale restaurants, and more.
- Graffiti Alley is almost 3 blocks, over half a mile long of constantly changing art work. The entrance at the corner of Rush Lane and Portland Street is easy to miss. The alley can become crowded in the afternoon. We recommend visiting earlier in the day. Graffiti Alley is an active road, so be mindful of traffic.
- Located in Little Portugal, we recommend arriving to The Lockhart early. There were 14 eager muggles in line when the doors opened Friday at 5:00pm. The bars slogan: All Was Well is the last line of the Harry Potter series. If you’re feeling immortal order The Dementor’s Kiss, served with a warning: not recommended for human consumption.
- A property group approached the owners in a section of row houses and convinced all but one to sell. Refusing to move, the house was cut in half along a load bearing wall. Since, the Half House at 54 St. Patrick’s Street has become a Toronto attraction.
St. Lawrence Market
- The St. Lawrence Market consists of 3 buildings. The 2 story South Market (pictured above) is open Tuesday – Saturday. Here more than 120 specialty vendors sell wine, baked items, produce, meats, cheeses, coffee, and more.
- The North Market, currently undergoing construction, will be 5 levels. This building holds the Saturday Farmer’s Market and Sunday Antique Markets.
- St. Lawrence Hall no longer operates as a market and now holds retail business and offices.
- Chris’ Cheesemongers specializes in Canadian and European cheeses, olive oils, vinegar, biscuits, jams, and olives.
- St. Lawrence Pizza & Pasta has been in its current location since 1996. All pastas are made on site. Pizza dough and ingredients are available to take and make at home.
- Paddington’s Home of the Oink, is the only full service restaurant in the St. Lawrence Market.
Traveling Gingerbread Note: Peameal is a type of bacon made from pork loin , wet cured, and rolled in cornmeal. Unlike the crunchy, greasy bacon made from the belly of the pig, Peameal is lean, tender, and more closely resembles cooked ham than bacon.
- Toronto is overflowing with breweries and distilleries. Check out these 11 breweries we visited while in Toronto.
The Tchotchke House
- The Tchotchke House, also known as the Doll House, is located on Bertmount Avenue. Seasonal decorations, baby dolls, Disney and Pixar characters, M&Ms, Barbies, and cartoon characters cover the fence, the porch, and are staked throughout the yard.