Toronto came out in droves for Kensington Market's first Pedestrian Sunday of 2022
Kensington Market's beloved Pedestrian Sundays event came back with a bang this weekend after a painful public health-induced hiatus, and the people of Toronto didn't waste a single second of 2022 getting back into the car-free groove.
First organized in 2004, Pedestrian Sundays are unique on the Toronto event scene not only for their longevity, but for their vibrance, originality and true community roots.
From live bands and free food samples to one-of-a-kind artisan goods, there's not shortage of things to do during Kensington Market's monthly street festival.
The event is always held on the last Sunday of every (warm) month and involves closing off all of Kensington Market's major streets to motor vehicle traffic.
This year, the first Pedestrian Sunday of 2022 fell on May 29 amid gorgeous weather conditions, with nothing but sun in the sky and even relatively low (for Toronto) humidity levels.
Also known as "PS Kensington," the series is described by the Kensignton Market BIA as a "monthly community street festival" — but it's so much more than that.
Without cars in the mix, visitors and residents of the famously diverse neighbourhood can roam the streets with joy and confidence.
Local artisans can set up shop outdoors to introduce their wares to a wider audience.
Business owners get the chance to host sidewalk sales and take advantage of significantly increased foot traffic.
Artists abound, offering visitors plenty of different opportunities to interact and try something new.
From live painting demos...
To custom portraits, created on the spot.
But, like on any other day in Kensington Market, what many people come to Pedestrian Sundays for (aside from the dancing and friendly ambiance) is food.
Some of Toronto's finest cusines can be found in the market, with even more representation apparent when restaurant owners can take their delicious snacks out into the streets.
You'll find plenty of hand-held, easy-to-walk with treats at Kensington Market on the last Sunday of every month (or pretty much any time, really).
And the prices are notoriously nice, when contrasted against other parts of the city.
"The streets of Kensington Market are yours and open in celebration throughout the market," reads the BIA's description of the event series. "Human beings feel at their best in vibrant, human-scale, friendly environments. Pedestrian Sundays allows us all to flourish in just such a space."
People really do seem to flourish on warm, sunny, car-free days in the market neighbourhood, found between College and Dundas Streets just west of Spadina.
"While Pedestrian Sundays don't permanently change the streets, they will forever change the way you perceive them!" say organizers, who boast that the monthly festival is about "celebrating community, culture and ecology."
It's a fantastic place to be for fans of free live music and dancing in the streets.
Not to mention the many local musicians who come to enterain guaranteed crowds.
While the first Pedestrian Sunday of 2022 has come and gone, there are at least five left this year for your perusing pleasure.
The schedule for this year's remaining monthly Kensington Market street festival is as follows:
Don't forget to bring some sun protection, an appetite, shoes you can dance in and an open mind — there are so many cool things to explore in this unique corner of the city, especially when cars can't invade the space.
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