Okay, so you’re in Toronto and you want to bring a gift back home. What do you buy? A Mountie hat? A stuffed moose? A jug of maple syrup? How cliché- you’re better than that. Skip the overpriced souvenir shops along Spadina Road and head straight to Kensington Market to visit Blue Banana Market.
Kensington Market is one of my favourite spots in the city- small fruit, cheese and seafood vendors co-exist with organic juice shops and little restaurants. It’s eclectic, a little bit hippie, and always lively. Blue Banana Market is one of the largest stores in Kensington, and it’s devoted to selling unique gifts from various artisans and craftsmen, many of which are locally based. The store is separated into little stalls, each with its own flavour. Leather goods, pottery, jewelry, candy, lewd greeting cards… it’s all here. You are bound to find something here for anyone on your list. There is a wide range of prices here, so there’s no doubt you can leave here with something unique, no matter the budget. You could spend an hour in there browsing.
I recommend spending a leisurely afternoon in Kensington, grabbing some food to go, and dropping into the Blue Banana. You’ll be so glad you didn’t buy your mother a Maple Leaf-emblazoned beaver.