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  Jewish Community

The Jewish immigrants in Kensington built a community in the midst of poverty and rejection: synagogues, schools, English classes, a medical dispensary, stores and tearooms that were gathering places for news and discussions. The first Jewish merchants sold their wares from pushcarts and horse-drawn wagons, and made stores out of the first floors of their homes, especially on Kensington Avenue and Baldwin Street. For years Torontonians called it the Jewish Market. It was like an Eastern European Market, with its crated chickens, live fish, pickles and cheeses made in the back room, and the smell of bagels and bread wafting over it all.

By the 1950's most of the Jewish population had moved out of Kensington, and the neighbourhood was filled with new immigrants including: Italians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, and people from the Caribbean. Immigrants came to Kensington because it was very friendly, secure and the strong community spirit reminded many newcomers of their homes.

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