The Winchevsky Kensington Market Tour

room 20 ECHOES

Note: You have to be on-location at Kensington Market to hear this soundwalk.

Kensington Market was historically one of the most multicultural neighborhoods in Toronto. In the 1920s and 1930s, however, so many Jewish immigrants moved to the Market that it became known as "the Jewish Market".

This was the third centre of Jewish life in Toronto, after the East End and The Ward, where today Nathan Phillips Square stands. When they moved into the Market, Jewish immigrants created many communities, congregations, and social centres. They opened dozens of shops from groceries to butcheries, tailors and textiles, and often sold goods imported from Eastern Europe, from which many of them came. At the height of Jewish life in Kensington Market, it became home to about 60,000 Jews and served as the centre of Jewish political, religious, and economic life in the city.

It was then that secular Jews came together to form the United Jewish People's Order, an organization that represents secular Jews in Canada to this day. The UJPO's Morris Winchevsky school is also home to the city's Jewish students who learn about the four thousand year Jewish civilization from a secular perspective, focused on Social Justice. In 2021 Winchevsky's teachers created this soundwalk about some of Kensington Market's Jewish history.

Special thanks to the MWS educators Sharoni Sibony, Lainie Basman, Miriam Brookman, Iris Benedikt, and Tal R. for writing and narrative this soundwalk. Sound editing by MWS Education Director Lia Tarachansky.


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