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Taste your way through Toronto's most unique and eclectic market from local to international dishes. The original Kensington Market Food Tour since 2013.
Kensington Market emerged during the early 1900’s, when Jewish immigrants settled in the neighbourhood. Many of the residents began selling their goods and wares from pushcarts and horse-drawn carriages. Within the boundary of a few square blocks located west of Spadina, a bustling area with narrow streets of residential complexes comprising of small stores and colourful awnings was formed to create an open-air market. Throughout the decades, the market gradually evolved and transformed as each new successive waves of immigrants – European Jews, Italians, Portuguese, Chinese, Jamaican – left their mark on the community and added another layer of cultural diversity.
Today, the market is a tapestry of cultures, mouth-watering cuisines, along with uniquely independent shops. Many community groups have helped to keep the market local and have successfully prevented chain stores from infiltrating the neighbourhood. In 2006, Kensington Market was officially recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada for its dynamic character and eclectic variety of architectural styles.
For our “Kensington Market Food & Culture Tour”, you will have the opportunity to enjoy select tastings in the market including from a cheese shop, bakery, butcher shop, Mexican eatery, chocolate shop, spice shop, and more. You will meet with local merchants and shopkeepers whenever possible during your excursion. Your guide will offer you a background on the history and heritage of this vibrant neighbourhood, with memorable stories and anecdotes. You will discover why Kensington Market is truly a one-of-a-kind place!
|Meeting place:||Near Baldwin & Spadina (exact location given when registered).|
|Capacity:||Up to 12 guests for public tours. Please contact us directly for inquiries regrading private tours with larger groups.|
|Themes:||Local food and drink, history and heritage of the market, cultural influences.|
|Physical Demands:||Walking at a leisurely pace – total distance is approx. 1.3 km, standing room only for most stops.|
|Weather Impact:||Tour takes place rain or shine (tour will be adjusted to the weather).|
|Food:||8 generous tastings are done within Kensington Market including from a cheese shop, bakery, butcher shop, Mexican eatery, spice shop, sweet shop, and other food establishments.|
|Dietary Substitutions:||Substitutions can be made for vegetarians and a non-alcoholic option. Unfortunately at this time no substitutions can be offered for any other food allergies or restrictions such as gluten-free or dairy-free.|
FAQ about Kensington Market Food & Culture Tour
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
You must purchase your tickets in advance. To maximize your chances of getting the tour date and number of tickets you prefer, please book well in advance.
Will I receive documentation when I book a tour?
Once you book a tour or event online through our registration system, you will automatically receive a confirmation of your reservation by email. It will contain all the information needed in advance of the tour or event.
What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Amex.
Is it secure to enter my credit card number?
Savour Toronto uses a secure payment processing system for all transactions. Our system is PCI-certified meaning all data is encrypted and verified during the entire registration process and no credit card information is stored by Savour Toronto.
Is there a booking fee?
There is no booking fee.
Do you have gift certificates?
Tour and Event Logistics
What is the average group size for your tours?
Most tours have an average of 8-12 guests. Some of our food tours can operate with as few as 2 guests. This allows us to make the experience more personal and enjoyable for everyone. During peak periods such as dates surrounding the holidays (Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, etc.) most of tours can accommodate up to 16 guests.
Please review the tour details for more information.
How do I know what a specific Savour Toronto tour or event is like?
On the “Our Tours” section, there is a summary of each available tour or event. To know more details about a particular tour or event, click the “more info” button to view the full details.
How much food is served on your food tours?
Most tours have between 5–6 tastings. A tasting is a generous sample showcasing the very best establishments in the neighbourhoods we visit and within their categories. Many of our tastings are comparable in size to regular items listed on the menu of the restaurants, eateries, and food shops we visit. Each tasting has been carefully selected based on it’s culinary merit and paid for by the staff at Savour Toronto. We are proud to support Toronto’s vibrant food scene!
Do you offer food substitutions? Are you able to accommodate dietary requests?
When booking your reservation, please select the available substitution offering for the tour (e.g. vegetarian, non-alcoholic, etc.). If you do not see your particular dietary request from the list, this means that we cannot fully guarantee that substitutions can be provided for the entire tour. It may mean that some tastings will meet your dietary request but others may not.
We have curated each tour to highlight signature and unique foods from each establishment and try to accommodate as many dietary requests as possible. Unfortunately not all our partners can always meet the special dietary needs of each of our attendees (e.g., finding a dairy-free option in a cheese shop or a sugar-free option at a bakery). Please make special note that unfortunately at this time, we cannot provide any exclusive gluten-free or nut-free substitutions for an entire tour at this time. We truly appreciate your understanding in this matter.
For any questions about dietary needs, please Contact Us in advance to booking.
Does the tour leader accept gratuities? Are they included in the ticket price?
Gratuities are not included in the ticket price. Gratuities, while not mandatory, are graciously accepted by our tour guides. The standard gratuity in the service industry in Toronto is 15%-20%.
What happens if it rains or snows?
Our tours and events are held rain, shine, or snow. We advise you to check the weather conditions for your scheduled date and dress appropriately. In the rare case of serve weather in which a tour or event needs to be cancelled, you will be notified in advance and a full refund will be issued.
Do your tours and events run all season long?
Absolutely! We tailor all of our tours and events to the season and have specialized itineraries for the fall, winter, spring and summer. We fully embrace the season and feature tastings and activities best suited for the occasion.
What if I arrive late and miss part of the tour?
Please let us know if you’re arriving late by contacting us as soon as possible and we’ll advise you on where you can meet with the group. We don’t provide refunds for any food tastings or activities that you’ve missed.
What is your cancellation policy?
The following is our cancellation policy surrounding our tours and events:
- No refunds for cancellations
- Rebookings prior to 7 business days before the tour or event will be granted
- No-shows are not permitted and result in the forfeit of the full amount of the ticket at the start of the tour or event
- In the rare circumstance that a tour or event is cancelled due to an extreme weather advisory or other factor, a full refund will be provided
Do you offer special rates for children?
Children six and under are free. Children six and up must purchase a ticket when accompanying an adult on a tour. Please let us know in advance when bringing a stroller, so we can make the necessary arrangements.
Are pets allowed on a tour?
As much as we love pets and think they would be a lot of fun to have on a tour, we regret to say they’re not permitted in the restaurants and food establishments that we’ll be visiting.
Is there parking near the tour meeting point?
Yes, there is parking located near the meeting point. Specific parking details are included in the meeting location directions provided after purchasing ticket(s).
Are cameras allowed on the tour?
Are tours and events only offered in English?
We only offer our tours and events in English at this time. As we continue to expand in the future, we hope to be able to offer our services in other languages.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any additional questions and we will be glad to answer them for you!