AAA Travel Tips / Off the Beaten Path in Toronto: Kensington Market

Off the Beaten Path in Toronto: Kensington Market

AAA/Patricia Miller
By AAA Travel Editor Patricia Miller
December 30, 2019
Just west of downtown Toronto lies a hip shopping district called Kensington Market, an energetic, colorful place to while away an afternoon or a day. When you’re looking for cool things to do as well as inexpensive places to shop in Toronto but don’t have lots of cash, this bohemian neighborhood is exactly where you want to go.
AAA/Patricia Miller

Blue Banana Market

250 Augusta Ave.
(416) 594-6600
Perhaps the ultimate gift shop in Kensington Market, this huge emporium is crammed with massive quantities of funky knick-knacks, most of which are well-priced and small enough to pack in a suitcase as a memento of your vacation. From funky socks, old-school candy and one-of-a-kind coffee mugs to moose-themed thingamajigs (think shot glasses and fridge magnets) and potholders with sayings that would make Aunt Gertrude blush, the quirky goods at this warehouse-size shop will appeal to all.
AAA/Patricia Miller


273 Augusta Ave.
(416) 598-0204
This nifty boutique will appeal to everyone from millennials to baby boomers as well as to anyone who drools over furniture, clothes, jewelry and bric-a-brac from the 1950s to the 1980s. When you want to add something unique to your closet, choose from Bungalow’s well-curated, reasonably priced collection of new and gently-worn vintage clothes–jeans, leather jackets, rock T-shirts and Hawaiian shirts, to name a few. Outfit your pad, too, with a fondue pot or a Dansk serving dish straight out of “Father Knows Best.”
AAA/Patricia Miller

Bunner’s Bake Shop

244 Augusta Ave.
(647) 350-2975
A flamingo-pink sign over Bunner’s boasts of its vegan and gluten-free pastries, including savory breads, aromatic muffins, fragrant cinnamon buns, giant cookies and velvety cupcakes. This is a great place to grab a scrumptious snack and refuel during your Kensington Market shopping frenzy. Find a bench outside where you can dig into your mouthwatering treats, whether it’s a butter tart, strawberry-cardamom cupcake, ginger molasses cookie or one of each.
AAA/Patricia Miller

Exile Vintage

62 Kensington Ave.
(416) 595-7199
Toronto fashionistas who love to shop on the cheap head to Exile Vintage, open since 1975. They also pop into Exile if they’re into cool graphic T-shirts with hilarious sayings. If they need a polyester disco dress from the 1970s and a lime green wig to match, they come to Exile, too. Racks inside marked “That 70’s Party” and “Seriously Ugly Xmas Sweaters” demonstrate the shop’s sense of humor and style, while signs outside proclaiming “Custom T-Shirts $24.99” and “Jean Shirts Starting at $14.99” show budget-conscious shoppers the kind of deals they can get.
AAA/Patricia Miller

She Said Boom Records and Books

372 College St.
(416) 944-3224
One of many record shops in the market, She Said Boom Records and Books stands out with bargains galore for the music maniac and literature lover. Inhale incense while you leaf through stacks of secondhand vinyl and books; you may find a new favorite in a bin of singles that cost only 50 cents. Inventory is always changing, so come back a couple of times while you’re on vacation and look for something to add to your collection.