Kensington is a comprehensive pictorial history of Toronto’s Kensington Market and area, from its beginnings in the 1800s right up to the year 2000.
It has been a settlement area for successive waves of immigrants — European Jews, Italians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Portuguese, Asians, Blacks, Latin Americans, and others — who made the “market” their home, workplace, and town square, transforming the neighbourhood into one of the most unique urban experiences in North America. They slowly converted their traditional two-storey homes into a hodge-podge of shops that now offer a diversity of foods and products that is perhaps unparalleled in any other city neighbourhood. Seemingly chaotic at first sight, one is quickly captivated by the old world ambiance as the market moves to its own rhythms with fish mongers, cheese shops, cafes, chocolate shops, street vendors, and specialty emporiums for every taste.
Kensington was published to mark the 25th anniversary of St Stephen’s Community House, in the heart of the neighbourhood. The book includes biographies on such historic figures as the Denison Family, and over 200 historical and contemporary photographs, maps and diagrams of Kensington Market, some dating back to pre-Confederation Canada.
Vincenzo Pietropaolo has been photographing the neighbourhood since the early 1970s, including a house-by-house documentation in 1981.
–2002, Fred Landon Award for the best historical book depicting a neighbourhood.
–2001, Toronto Book Awards finalist.
Text by Jean Cochrane.
Hard cover, b&w, 160 pp., 8.5x11 in.
Publisher: Boston Mills Press, Toronto, 2000