Walking Tours


Bringing Kensington Market’s Jewish History to Life

The Ontario Jewish Archives presents the first-ever virtual tour of Toronto’s historic Kensington Market. Scroll through all eight stops and watch the streets come to life though guided videos presenting the sights and sounds of the one-time Jewish Market. Learn about the history of Toronto's Jewish community and the challenges and opportunities they faced in the early twentieth century. Along the way you will discover stories of migration, employment, activism, community, culture and more. You will even meet the people of the market, including home-grown boxing champion, Sammy Luftspring!



Stories of Spadina tour. Photo: Jeremy Kohm, 2013
Stories of Spadina tour. Photo: Jeremy Kohm, 2013

Travel back in time to an era when Kensington Market was a thriving Jewish village teeming with kosher bakeries, synagogues, and social clubs.  On this tour, Jewish Toronto's past—biographies of its former inhabitants;  the sounds;  the smells;  Yiddish language;  religious, social, and political attitudes—is brought to life. Visits to the architectural gems that remain in the area today are supplemented by photographs from the holdings of the OJA as vivid reminders of a once vibrant community.

Stay tuned for 2021 tour dates.


Entrance gates to Pape Ave. Cemetery
Entrance gates to Pape Ave. Cemetery

The Pape Avenue Cemetery was established in 1849 and is Toronto's oldest Jewish cemetery. It is now owned by Holy Blossom Temple. Buried in this cemetery are many of Toronto’s earliest Jewish residents. By examining their individual lives, both the hardships and the triumphs of this formative period are revealed. The tour also explores the art and tradition embedded on these early Jewish burial stones.


Stay Tuned for our 2022 Tour Dates!

Tour begins at 11 am, rain or shine, and run for 1.5 hours in length.

Cost: $15 per person; $12 for students and seniors.

Private group tours for 10 to 30 people are available by request from April to October. Student groups are welcome.

Please contact us for more information or to book your group tour.