Known in the 1930s as the Jewish Market, Kensington today is an awesome display of the city's multi-ethnicity. Here you will find shops packed with products from Europe, Middle East, South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia and you will hear dozens of languages spoken. A visit to this market is like taking a trip around the world! With more than 100 shops in all selling everything from second-hand clothing to fresh produce, from exotic pastries to art objects and furniture, you won't go away empty-handed.
The 'Food & Wine' magazine placed the St. Lawrence Market among the 25 best markets in the world. You won't find a better place in the town for fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. Not to mention exotic foods from every ethnic corner. The historic St. Lawrence neighborhood also has over 50 vendors offering some of the best delicatessens and restaurants in the city, with a wide range of specialty foods, deli meats, fish and seafood, baked goods and gourmet teas and coffees. Open hours differ for the farmers market and south market, so check website for details.
Although there are several Chinese districts in the Greater Toronto area, including the Don Valley Chinatown East, purists still refer to this one as the main Chinatown. On wide streets lined with bright lights, shops sell everything from medicinal herbs to take-out kung po gai ding. While some of the small shops hold form to more traditional ways, the Dragon City Shopping Mall at Dundas and Spadina is the ultimate East meets West shopping experience. The district is also restaurant rich and although some of them may look daunting to the uninitiated, the food is invariably excellent. Payment method varies by store.
Eaton Centre is a must visit place in Toronto. Even if you have no desire to shop, make sure to at least look around this six million square foot glass-roofed arcade. Located between Dundas and Queen on Yonge Street, it is as exquisite as it is vast. With five levels, over 320 stores and restaurants, you will need more than a day to make your way through this shopping wonderland. The center is conveniently sandwiched between two subway stations and is steps away from many of Toronto's hottest attractions.
Dr. Flea's Flea Market is touted to be the largest of its kind in the city. This weekend market was established in 1987 and features an indoor and outdoor shopping area. From collectibles to cosmetics, home products to clothing, comic books to records and food stalls to farmer's market, there is plenty to shop about. You will also find nail salons, hairdressers, bakeries, poultry and delis. With more than 400 vendors, you will get some great bargain deals here.
Just one street over from this trendy strip is the Ontario College of Art and Design. When young artists graduated and were desperate for cash, they would bring their treasures here to sell. Soon small shops stuffed with unique items began popping up on Queen Street West. Today, you can still find unusual gifts from cool clothing to antique comics either in the stores or from one of the many friendly street vendors. It's also a hot spot for restaurants and bars such as the Epicure Cafe, the Rivoli and the Queen Mother Cafe.