Kensington Market, 1978
William Sherman (1919 - ).
Watercolour over pencil.
Toronto Public Library, TRL, 979-6.
Kensington Market is a symbol of Toronto evolving role as a place of meeting for people of different cultures and origins. In the 19th century, the area was the country estate of the Denison family. By 1912, two-thirds of Toronto's Jews lived in the district. An outdoor market developed on Kensington Avenue and adjacent streets, where chickens, fruit, clothes, and other goods were displayed on barrows or stalls. Houses were gradually converted into small shops.
Over the years the area has changed, and merchants in the market are now predominantly Portuguese, West Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino, as well as Jewish. Their customers come from downtown neighbourhoods, but also from further afield, attracted by the picturesque atmosphere, the fresh produce, and the sometimes unusual goods offered for sale.