Off the Beaten Path in Toronto, Canada

toronto gingerbread

Kensington Market

Kensington Market grafitti in Toronto

Kensington Market Toronto

  • 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

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.

Market 707

Market 707 Toronto

  • 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

Monkey's Paw Toronto

Monkey's Paw Biblio-mat

  • 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. 

Distillery District

Gooderham & Worts Distillery District

Peace Sign Toronto

Locks of Love Toronto

  • 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

Graffiti Alley Toronto

chicken graffiti in graffiti alley

view in graffiti alley toronto

  • 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.

Graffiti Alley trash.

block of graffiti alley

poker graffiti in graffiti alley

The Lockhart

The Lockhart

The Lockhart Toronto

  • 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.

Halfway House

Half House Toronto

  • 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

North 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

  • Chris’ Cheesemongers specializes in Canadian and European cheeses, olive oils, vinegar, biscuits, jams, and olives.

Lawrence Market pizza and pasta

  • 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.

market meats

st. lawrence fish market

Paddington's Home of the Oink

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. 


Bandit Brewery Toronto

The Tchotchke House

Tchotchke House Toronto

  • 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. 

April 2019

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

The Traveling Gingerbread is a place for us to share budget travel tips for people with full time jobs, fun facts, itineraries, and where to find the best craft beer. We have been traveling together since 2013. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, experiences, and local breweries. We can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. In 2019, we brewed our first beer and were hooked, although, we have no intentions of brewing more than small batches. We'll continue our self appointed roles of professional testers and creating craft beer trails.

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