The distinctive multicultural neighbourhood of Kensington Market is undoubtedly among the most photographed areas of the city for tourists and is a source of great food and one-of-the-kind vintage pieces for locals. It boasts specialty stores whose owners are not afraid to walk the extra mile to deliver the best items from all over the world! From retro furniture and funky fashion to organic foods markets, bakeries, spice and dry goods stores, and cheese shops, Kensington simply has it all. We introduce the stories behind some of our favourite spots that can be found nowhere else but here.
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We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let’s have a look at Toronto through the lens of Roland Guballa!
168 Baldwin Street
The owner of this special store, Abi, started the business in 2009, after a friend of hers and an antique dealer offered the shop to her. She accepted and from then on she became a “Canadian Picker,” embarking on an incredible adventure all across Canada to find the perfect pieces and antiques for her shop. Endless rummaging through different barns, basements, and attics of various collectors throughout Canada brings excitement and a lot of travelling to her job. Funky Junky is living proof that one person’s junk is another’s treasure!
And what a collection it is! It features various art, furniture, glasses, old video games, shoes, magazines, and other random vintage decor that you can use to design you house. The best part is that most if not all of the items are still in mint condition and reasonably priced!
4 Life Natural Foods
257 Augusta Ave. (at Nassau St.)
This organic store started in 2003, distinguishing itself from the other markets in the area with lots of room for browsing and its super tidy (almost boutique-like) interior. Located right in the heart of the vibrant Kensington Market, it is a popular pick for vegans and people who are looking for a hearty and healthy diet. It carries a vast amount of exotic fruits and vegetables, hormone-free meat, premium juices, and a wide selection of bulk food such as beans and figs.
The store owner, Potsothy Sallapa, grew up in a farm family and because of this influence, he decided to start a business of his own. The friendly and festive atmosphere culminates every year with Pedestrian Sundays when he invites many friends from farms to display and sell their goods in his store. This place truly has all that every health-conscious person craves!
273 Augusta Avenue
Contact: (416) 598-0204
The owners, Paul Salsman and Jessica Zimmermann, began this business back in 2002. They are the faces behind the very stylish and unique clothing/furniture store found in Kensington Market. Before they started this business, both worked in the clothing business in their early 20s and were quite successful at it. They had this idea to combine furniture, housewares, and fashions of the past all in one! And they must have done something right, because today the vintage haven Bungalow has two locations (in the same street!). In fact, the other store (Bungalow West) is just across from the main store (Bungalow).
With more than 3,000 square feet available for the items, you’re sure to find all kinds of treasures among the exquisite collector pieces from the ’40s to ’60s, retro design, and unique fashion pieces. Bungalow is one of the few places in Canada that specialize in 20th century modern, with a focus on Scandinavian design. Too expensive, but oh, so beautiful? You can rent your piece of choice for a party and be a star! With these one of a kind pieces, you will definitely stand out in a crowd.
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Meet the Photographer
Roland Guballa is currently a Creative Arts student and an aspiring photographer based in Toronto. As a photographer, he believes in the saying that a photograph must reflect the truth. No lies. Just raw and honest. Like his inspiration Henri Cartier-Bresson, he strives to combine craft and fine art in his street photography—as well as his emotive/expressive portraiture. At the age of 22, he is trying to make a name for himself in the advertising and photography industry that he dreams of being successful one day. His love & passion towards photography is what makes him a proficient photographer in general.