Two more neighbourhoods battle it out to win the title of Curbed Cup Neighbourhood of the Year Award. Last week, you voted and St. Lawrence won against the Junction. Similarly, the hip Kensington Market area beat out the Toronto's Harbourfront with its artistic stores, Wanda's Pie in the Sky Bakery, and independent coffee shops to grab a latte. Which market will be crowned today's best neighbourhood—St. Lawrence or Kensington? You decide.
Kensington Market: Just try to find a more loyal, involved community of residents than Kensington Market. Some even say the ghost of Al "King of Kensington" Waxman haunts Baldwin Street on moonlit nights. Narrow streets are packed with vintage shops like Courage My Love and Bungalow, and you'll find Latin American bodegas, clothing wholesalers, army surplus dealers, health-food stores, bakeries, cheese shops, fishmongers ... you get the picture. If you're hungry, check out El Trompo or Seven Lives for tacos, Amadeu's for Portuguese, or Supermarket for tapas and DJ sets. Since the Kensington Market neighbourhood is a National historic site, development is minimal; housing in the area is pretty much exactly as it was a century ago—mainly blocks of Victorian row houses.
St. Lawrence Market: Voted the world's best food market by National Geographic magazine, St. Lawrence Market itself is a dizzy-making mix of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, Portuguese sandwiches and peameal-bacon sandwiches and hot Italian sandwiches. The area which is about to get a major makeover is a mix of historic architecture, mixed market-rate/social housing, and new condo construction like the Berczy. Locals can catch a flick at the Rainbow Cinema, take visiting aunties to the jazz brunch at the Hot House, or peoplewatch on one of the many sidewalk patios. Bay Street suits converge on tiny Colborne Lane, home of long-standing pub P.J. O'Brien's and expense-account lunch spot Tom Jones Steak House (as well as newcomer Woods). Further south, Front Street brewpub C'est What has been serving up pints below street level since 1988.
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