Date: May 2019
Partner: Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre
Location: Kensington Market and ojastorefrontstories.org
Project Members: Amy Intrator, Casarina Hocevar, Erica Chi, and Evelyn Feldman
In partnership with the Ontario Jewish Archives (OJA), Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, Storefront Stories is co-curated by Amy Intrator, Casarina Hocevar, Erica Chi, and Evelyn Feldman. In the archival vaults of the OJA, exist many remarkable photographs of Jewish business owners posing with pride in front of their shops. With the guidance of the OJA, the team selected a series of images that highlight these stories to the Market’s visitors and businesses today.
Kensington Market is known today for its bustling businesses and connected community, whose history traces back to the early 20th century when it was better known as the Jewish Market. Storefront Stories pairs an online exhibit with nine posters in the windows of current Kensington businesses for May 2019, coinciding with Canada’s Jewish Heritage Month. Each poster highlights the Jewish-owned store that was once located at that very address.
By the 1910s, the Market was almost entirely composed of Jewish tenants and business-owners. The businesses that lined the streets ranged from kosher butchers to bakeries that used European recipes, to billiard parlours and bookshops that functioned as cultural hubs for the neighbourhood residents. Each landmark will tell you a bit about the store that was previously located there, and along the way, you’ll discover stories of family, food, entrepreneurship, and a sense of community that lives on in the neighbourhood today.
Visit our website and continue to explore the rich history of the Market at ojastorefrontstories.org.