ECLECTIC EXPLORATION | Kensington Market
On Saturday, the original plan was to wake up at 7am and head up north to Muskoka and try the ever so popular skating trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park (it's on my winter list). But of course, Bryon worked until the wee hours of the morning and it wasn't fair to rush him out of bed. Plus, I had plans on Sunday so it would have put a damper on our weekend and if we drove four hours somewhere (who am I kidding, I totally would have napped the whole car ride) I want it to be worth while, and I don't want to feel rushed.
Instead, we decided to do brunch in Kensington Market. I had never been and I really wanted to go. I had heard so many cool things about it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find them when we got off the streetcar and walked into the neighbourhood that it exceeded my expectations. From the vibrant graffiti art covering the buildings and sometimes sidewalks of store-fronts, to the busy fruit and vegetable stores and crowded sidewalks, it is such a cool place. Although I've only been living in Toronto for a little over a month now, I'm pretty dumbfounded that this was my first time here. The weather on Saturday was also exceptional. It was warm, and even you still had to bundle up a bit to stay outside, I was comfortable, which made wandering the outdoors totally bearable.
We had brunch at Eative Film Cafe, the coffee is meh, but the food is great. I had the Captain's Croissant, and had zero complaints. We opted to sit at the bar that had a window in front so we faced Augusta Street - I was in the mood for people watching, but there is also the option to choose a table that allows its guests to enjoy an old film or cartoon, I thought that was cute. Everyone loves Saturday morning / afternoon cartoons. After finishing brunch we decided to wander around and explore the neighbourhood a little. My favourite places:
Toronto Popcorn Company: I have this over-the-top obsession with popcorn. And this place has so many different kinds to choose from it's ridiculous. They present you with jars of flavours so you can sample them all. I just went to town on them, sampling left right and centre. We decided to go home with Cupcake and a small bag of kernels so we could make our own on the Wok.
Jimmy's Coffee: We actually didn't go here, but there is a Jimmy's close to our condo in the Bay Street Corridor area. They have really great coffee...so if you're going to get caffeinated while you're in the market, we both love Jimmy's.
Bungalow: This is a fun vintage / new store. They sell fun vintage clothes to sift through, and some new clothes as well, including backpacks and beanies from coveted brand Herschel. Bryon got me a Bob Marley tee and a pair of cute sunnies.
Film Cafe: As I mentioned up top, this is where we brunched. We both loved it, but felt so-so about our cappuccinos.
Trinity Common: This is basically what did us in for the day. They have an inviting patio at the front, and on a warm day in January, when there is a patio fire burning you do not walk by. They have a generous selection of craft brews and ciders, and we both started with our personal choices, but when we finished and went for our second, I actually got the best drink ever. I recommend their hot cider with bourbon...I drank TWO!
Cocktail Emporium: The charming pink Victorian home is NOT a bar, for the record. When you go inside you will NOT find a selection of fancy cocktails to choose from, but what you will find is a collection of adorable swanky cocktail accessories to make your boozy experience more classy and expensive. It's sort of become an iconic landmark in Kensington (just check Instagram), but it's a fun place to take a look at. And while you're on Kensington Avenue, you can enjoy all the vintage shopping that is available.
(above: view from Film Cafe's window seating)