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Kensington Market & ChinatownGeneral Info | Photo Gallery | Traveller Feedback
Skip the generic, tourist-trap sights and join this Toronto tour to see two of the city's coolest communities. Hit Chinatown to see where China and Canada collide, then visit the Kensington Market area for graffiti, vintage shops, coffee houses, comic book stores, and everything else decidedly hip.
- Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Toronto’s legendary Chinatown
- Explore the unique, bohemian atmosphere of Kensington Market – one of Toronto’s most famous and eclectic neighbourhoods
- Check out locally-owned and operated eateries, shops, and produce markets
- Walk the hidden lanes and alleys to discover amazing graffiti art
- Keep a tally of all the places you’re going to want to come back to later (trust us)
Tour style:Food & Market Visit, Local Life & Culture, Heritage & History
Local English-speaking guide.
Snacks, beverages, souvenirs, tips & gratuities for your guide.
Group size:Maximum 12
- Duration:2 hours
- Pickup location:
SW corner of McCaul St. and Dundas St. West at the large Henry Moore sculpture beside the Art Gallery of Ontario.
- Pickup Time: 10.00 AM
- Drop off location:
Dragon City Shopping Centre (SW corner of Spadina Ave. and Dundas St. West)
Additional information :
- Voucher exchange details:
Please present your voucher to the local guide at the beginning of the trip.
- Confirmation of booking:
Please contact Toronto Urban Adventures to confirm your trip 24 hours prior to departure.
- Additional information:
This tour finishes with plenty of time to travel to the “Beer Makes History Better” tour's starting point if you wish to do both in one day.
- Dress standard:
Summers can be hot and humid, spring/autumn can be cool, and winters downright frigid with snow. Dress according to weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Child policy:
This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour. Children younger than 6 are permitted at no extra cost, but please make sure you inform our guides of this before you take the tour.
- Language: English
Ask any local and they’ll tell you – one of the best things to do in Toronto is to explore two of the city’s most colourful and multicultural neighbourhoods – Chinatown and Kensington Market. On this Toronto walking tour you'll have the chance to get up close and personal with both of these local favourites, experiencing the rich history, vibrant cultures, and iconic uniqueness both Chinatown and Kensington Market are known for.
The streets around Chinatown and Kensington Market are often crowded, but always friendly. With a reputation for local and international delicacies, unique vendors, and specialty shops, there really is nowhere else like this in Toronto. Distinctively different, yet undeniably and inherently similar, these two neighbourhoods sit right next to each other, offering both a wonderful juxtaposition, and interesting compliment to one another – perfect for exploring together on this unique tour of Toronto.
In Kensington Market, you’ll learn how the neighbourhood has evolved from a working-class Jewish market into a working-class bohemian market. Several waves of immigrant settlement over the past century have splashed colours, sounds, and flavours from the four corners of the earth throughout Kensington Market, and yet there is not a McDonald's or Starbucks to be seen. Large multinational corporations are decidedly unwelcome, and unlikely to migrate their way in anytime soon.
Aside from its aversion to corporations, the neighbourhood is known for its festivals (Pedestrian Sunday is a favourite), vintage shops, cafes, bakeries, hole-in-the-wall bars, and the many, many bare brick walls that have long been covered with graffiti murals (often at the request of the buildings’ owners). These murals are nearly all stunning, and have become one of the iconic features of the neighbourhood. Your local guide will be happy to elaborate on any element of the neighbourhood you find particularly interesting on this Kensington Market tour in Toronto – we all love this area a lot!
As we said, right next door to Kensington Market is Chinatown, one of Canada's largest Chinese communities, and one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. One of the busiest areas in the city, there’s always something happening, and always tales to tell. On this part of your Toronto tour, your guide will enlighten you with some favourite local stories and intriguing history surrounding Toronto’s Chinatown. Along the way, you’ll also likely get restaurant recommendations, which can really come in handy for after your Toronto Chinatown tour – trust us, there are a lot of places to eat around here.
By the time your Toronto tour is over, we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll want to hang around Chinatown and pop back into Kensington Market on your own for a while to pick up some vintage or one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts, and to devour a truly delicious meal at any of the dozens of tasty spots nearby.
Want to check out what other travellers think of their Urban Adventure experience? See below for our traveller feedback.
- Your overall experience ...................................................................................... 4.95
- Your guide’s enthusiasm, local knowledge and communication skills........................................................................................................................ 5.00
The level of opportunity to learn more about the culture, interact
with locals, and experience their way of life......................................................4.74
The Responsible Travel philosophy implemented on your
Urban Adventure................................................................................................... 4.89
- Did the trip match your expectations?.............................................................. 4.84
Mr. Robert H.
USA ~ 24 Aug 2013[back to top]
James was amazing. I can't wait to take our next tour the next time we visit Toronto.
Mr. Timothy N.
USA ~ 31 Jul 2013[back to top]
Met James at 10 am on a Saturday and gave us a great tour of the local neighborhood and afterward g gave us some local places to eat which were good. Well worth it, great way to see the city.
Ms. Mila R.
Canada ~ 02 Jul 2013[back to top]
I was very pleased! I learned about the gritty side of TO which is what I asked for! It was amazing to learn about the underground graffiti scene in Kensington Market! And Jason's local knowledge is fantastic! First time trying butter tart made it a memorable experience.
Mr. Michael H.
USA ~ 20 Jun 2013[back to top]
Mike is a great guide
Ms. Carole Ann D.
Canada ~ 31 Oct 2012[back to top]
Jason is an amazing tour guide. His enthusiasm is real and he's full of fun facts. We had a wonderful time on this tour and were happy to find out that Jason would be our guide for the Beer Makes History Better tour as well. A great day getting to know our city better. Thank you! :)
Mr. Andrew c.
Canada ~ 22 Oct 2012[back to top]
I've had the chance to do these tours a few times now, and everytime the tour exceeded my expectations. Whenever I have friends visiting from out of country, more often than not, I have them take part in these tours, and the feedback they give me is always positive. Plus, it's always great to spend time with these guides who share my enthusiasm for Toronto! I always like learning (and re-learning) more about my own city. The three tours I've taken part in: Beer Makes History Better, the Street Art Tour, and the Kensington/Chinatown tour were all exemplary.
Jason, you continue to impress! Keep up the good work!
Mrs. Sabine S.
Germany ~ 13 Oct 2012[back to top]
Thank you for a great tour!
I appreciate that you do your tours even if there is just one person booked;so I had a really personal one.I was so glad when Jason showed up, because two days before on a tour with another company nobody met me at the given meeting point. I travel a lot and from now on Urban Adventures will be first on my list to check for available tours.
Mr. Hameed A.
USA ~ 13 Sep 2012[back to top]
Dave was wonderful. He really knew how to show us a great time and was the perfect tour guide. I would definitely recommend that everyone take this tour at least once. Great job!!!!!!!
Mr. Margaret W.
Canada ~ 27 Aug 2012[back to top]
This was a great chance to learn more about my own city. Very informative and Jason proved to be a charming ambassador for Toronto.
Mrs. Tanya K.
Russian Federation ~ 20 Aug 2012[back to top]
We were so happy we took this tour. The guade was awesome! Great experience. Thanks so much.
Mrs. Nickie P.
Australia ~ 17 Aug 2012[back to top]
Jason was a great guide. He was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. My husband didn't even know what Kensington Market was and he gained a lot of new information. Thanks for a fun experience.
Mrs. Tani A.
Canada ~ 11 Aug 2012[back to top]
We spent a great informative 2 hours with Jason wandering the streets in Kensington Market and Chinatown. We definitely heard some stories and learned some interesting history. We're planning to go back on our own to try a couple of the restaurants. Thanks Jason!!!!!!
Mr. David L.
Canada ~ 01 Aug 2012[back to top]
Really enjoyed the experience! Dave was a great guide who pointed out some interesting spots for us to come back and visit.
We moved to the Toronto area 6 years ago and this was definitely a great way to get to know our new "neighbourhood". Looking forward to the beer tour next.
Mrs. Sharon M.
Canada ~ 01 Aug 2012[back to top]
We had a wonderful Kensington market tour with Dave on Saturday July 28th at 10am.
Walt and Sharon
Mr. Rosemary A.
Australia ~ 16 Jul 2012[back to top]
It was a great way to spend the morning to learn something that I wouldn't have known about my own city. I would recommend the tour to native Torontonians and tourists alike. Jason was very enthusiastic and informative.
Mr. Bryan L.
Canada ~ 24 May 2012[back to top]
We really enjoyed our tour - only wish we had had time to sample some of the delicious food that was available in the area!
Mr. Daniel V.
Canada ~ 11 May 2012[back to top]
We were particularly impressed with our guide Silvia. She was very knowledgeable,accommodating and completely charming. She also speaks so many languages she was able to answer in-depth questions from everyone in our group. Silvia is definitely an asset to your team!
This trip is offered on a "join-in" basis. Maximum group size is 12
If you are happy with the services provided by your local guides, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid Urban Adventures destinations. Please consider this when budgeting for your extra expenses on this trip.
- Cancellations made more than 2 days prior to travel receive a full refund
- Cancellations made 2 days or less prior to travel attract a 100% cancellation fee.
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Wherever we go in the world, we take a responsible attitude with us. That means travelling in a way which both respects and benefits local people, their culture, their economy, and their environment. Please read on for more information on our Responsible Travel policy and how you can be a responsible traveller for your entire journey.