“Local Tours” — A Travel Series by Driftscape

Episode 1: Kensington Market, Toronto — PART 1


With the help of its partners, Driftscape, a mobile app designed for travelers and curious locals, brings to you, “Local Tours” — A Travel Series by Driftscape.Join us as we explore Toronto’s unique local culture and history.


In this, the first episode of the series, Driftscape explores Kensington Market.Located in the heart of Toronto and designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2006, Kensington Market is one of Toronto’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhood. A walkable bohemian place that draws artists and tourists to its indie shops, vintage boutiques and art spaces. One occasionally meets students and families living in the Victorian houses along tree-lined streets of this wonderful neighbourhood who share amazing stories of the area.


With the Driftscape app as our local guide we’ll explore stories from Track Toronto, Heritage Toronto, Cancarta Historic Sites, NOW magazine and Queerstory. Rest assured, you’ll get a unique perspective and a peek into the true tales that lie among the streets of Kensington Market.

“It was almost like as soon as you walked inside that boundary of College on the North side and Spadina on the East side you were in a different city.” Says Andrew Cash former resident of Kensington Market, and Member of Parliament.

We start our exploration at ST ANDREW AND SPADINA. This is the first stop on Track Toronto’s Hear Kensington Tour — which uses music as the lens for this neighbourhood tour. You’ll hear from many musicians including Ron Hawkins and Jason Collett who lived in and wrote music about Kensington Market. It’s also the location of the former Labor Lyceum, located at the southwest corner of Spadina Avenue and St. Andrew Street, at 346 Spadina. The Labor Lyceum was an epicentre of political activism for Toronto’s textile workers for nearly 40 years and an important cultural centre through which the collective identity of Jewish Torontonians was forged.

J.B. Salsberg, a lifelong labour activist, wrote that “no single institution and no single building on Spadina — the main street of Jewish Toronto — was more important in the refashioning of the Jewish immigrant into an actively involved Canadian Jew then was