ende
ende
menu
ende

You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Food-Touring Toronto: St. Lawrence Market, #KensingtonKrawl & Evergreen Brickworks

“We could go to St. Lawrence Market .. But Kensington, I hear, is worth checking out as well .. And have you heard of a place called Evergreen Brickworks?! No? Oh, I insist you go there Elena … Especially as the #foodlover traveller you are!”

Numerous were the pieces of advice my Toronto friends had for me ahead of exploring Canada’s largest city, at the north-western tip of massive Lake Ontario. But they all centered around one crucial aspect: In order to get a feel for modern-day, multi-ethical Toronto (considered one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the whole wide world, where even 911 responds in up to five languages), you really are best advised to eat your way through the city.

And this is exactly what we did.

 

A good place to start food-touring downtown Toronto, is the “food oracle” of  St. Lawrence (Food) Market.

Highly praised for their “peameal bacon”, St. Lawrence Market really counts as a #1 food market choice in town – and righteously so. It sticks out like a delicious little rectangular h(e)aven in the midst of otherwise impersonally high, sky-soaring buildings. We chose “The Culinary Adventure Co.” to guide & “story-tell” us around the market, and did well in doing so: Our guide Ian is commonly referred to as “the St. Lawrence Market guy” and really knows the many little backstories to one of Toronto’s most popular foodie attractions. Besides, him and his company offer a Food Tour called “VIP Early Access Tour of St. Lawrence Market“, starting at 8.30 a.m. It thus allows you a much calmer, more intimate tasting tour around the market ahead of most of the tourist crowds that follow. A piece of advice: Don’t drive there in the early morning hours. Walk and / or take public transport to the market: We know from personal experience, that Toronto traffic can be very crazy should you attempt to use your own vehicle!

Foodies fare (very) well in a place as multicultural, multi-faceted and multi-culinary as Toronto: Early morning access to downtown Toronto's St. Lawrence Market ...

Foodies fare (very) well in a place as multicultural, multi-faceted and multi-culinary as Toronto: Early morning access to downtown Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market …

 

... where we are immediately greeted to the market's famous "pea meal bacon" sandwich, a type of back bacon made from lean boneless pork loin and rolled in cornmeal.

… where we are immediately greeted to the market’s famous “pea meal bacon” sandwich, a type of back bacon made from lean boneless pork loin and rolled in cornmeal.

 

Lucky us: Ian knows where to take us, what food to get and which story to tell ...

Lucky us: Ian knows where to take us, what food to get and which story to tell …

 

... around a market where 78 out of all 80 local vendors are family-owned and operated, making it the most family-business focused one in the entire city.

… around a market where 78 out of all 80 local vendors are family-owned and operated, making it one of the most family-business focused in the entire city.

 

And quite unusual and experimental at that, too: Mustard early morning tasting it is!

And quite unusual and experimental at that: Mustard early morning tasting it is! Or did you know that 90% of all mustard grains worldwide were grown in (and exported from) Canada?

 

Still lingering on my mouth: The taste of this maple-cured, juicy salmon bite ...

Still lingering on my mouth: The taste of this maple-cured, juicy salmon bite …

 

... and as the tour slowly winds down, we gather for a final few (chocolate) bites in the "bowels" of the market, downstairs where interesting Street Art Graffiti abides ..!

… and as the tour slowly winds down, we gather for a final few (chocolate) bites in the “bowels” of the market, downstairs where interesting Street Art Graffiti abides ..! Thank you for such an interesting tour, dear Ian!

 

Next up, we find ourselves crossing downtown Toronto once more, allured by the promise of our #KensingtonKrawl Food Tour run by Savour Toronto.

What could be a more apt name for a food tour company than “Savour Toronto“, I muse ahead of my tasting experience with Cindy, our food tour guide for the day? Cindy, we learn, also runs her own food blog & tasty Instagram account and takes us on a tasting tour of a kind: A good dozen of food, drink & storytelling stops are included in Savour Toronto’s three-and-a-half-hours tour around Kensington Market and their many vendors, food shops & coops. Indeed, I am now confident to say, you cannot experience the neighbourhood of Kensington, Toronto, without eating your way through it. So, again, best hire your wittiest, most knowledgeable local guide for the day to guide you through.

Welcome to Kensington Market area ...

Welcome to Kensington Market area …

 

... greeted by beautiful scones & bread at a place named Blackbird Baking Co. ...

… greeted by beautiful scones & bread at a place named Blackbird Baking Co. …

 

... continued by more cheese ...

… continued by more cheese …

 

... and the delicious smile of local shop owners & vendors to go with.!

… and the delicious smile of local shop owners & vendors to go with.!

 

Browsing through the overview of our Food Tour with Savour Toronto, I am amazed at the manifold food, drinks & storytelling stops across Kensington ...

Browsing through the overview of our Food Tour with Savour Toronto, I am amazed at the manifold food, drinks & storytelling stops across Kensington …

 

... a rather (very) well developed foodie tour brought to us by Sue and Cindy, our passionate food tour guide for the day.

… a rather (very) well developed foodie tour brought to us by Cindy, our passionate food tour guide for the day.

 

Love the cured meats' tasting, for instance ...

Love the cured meats’ tasting at Sanagan’s Meat Locker, sourcing only the best & fresh in local Ontario meats for instance …

 

... as well as this delicious sandwich

… as well as this delicious, hearty Mexican-flavoured sandwich for “lunch” on our many little food tour stops …

 

... thank God almost, that the tour is also broken up by a little walk ...

… thank God almost, that the tour is also broken up by a little (digestive) walk …

 

... a look around the town's famous Street Art Graffiti ...

… as well as a look around the area’s famous Street Art Graffiti …

 

... as well as time to sit down and socialise over (just) drinks in the beautiful autumn sun that day: Love our time chatting with Linda & Gordon from Calgary, talking about life, love, the universe and - "The Creative Traveler's Handbook" of course ...!

… plus time to sit down and socialise over (just) drinks in the beautiful autumn sun that day: Love our time chatting with Linda & Gordon from Calgary, talking about life, love, the universe and – “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook“, of course …!

 

Last but not least, it's Toronto Popcorn we stop at, for the very first, ever "Popcorn Tasting" in my whole life!

Last but not least, it’s Toronto Popcorn we stop at: The very first, ever “Popcorn Tasting” in my whole life I realise!

 

Thank you so much, dear Gordon, Linda, Cindy & Marc, for a wonderful foodlover's afternoon together! You guys - and #KensingtonKrawl Food Tour rock!

Thank you so much, dear Gordon, Linda, Cindy & Marc (from left to right), for a wonderful foodlover’s afternoon together! You guys – and #KensingtonKrawl Food Tour – rock!

 

Finally, follow a very good friend’s recommendation and head out to a place called “Evergreen Brickworks”. You will be surprised, and not only that: You will just love the foodie story that unveils there.

I do not remember having eaten such a good salad on all of my Canada travel adventures. So far, of course. Definitely, the fresh food at Café Belong in Evergreen Brickworks is not just prepared, but rather, “crafted”. Made with love. And utmost attention to detail, reflected in the tasty origin of all their flavoursome ingredients. Such is the story of #FeastON, a hashtag acronym used to “refer to the ‘Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance’. I have been at the forefront of developing this organisation many years ago, and I am please to tell you everything you need to know about your foodie trips around Ontario”, (or even the world!), Rebecca McKenzie tells me upon meeting her for the first time during lunch at Café Belong in Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto. Oh, Rebecca. I am SO impressed with your work, and cannot believe our paths crossed sweetly, and innocently, just now on Instagram. Little did I know, that Rebecca thanks to her many, many networks and contacts would still get me on a beautiful #foodlover #FeastON trip to Prince Edward County, and also explain the entire story behind Evergreen Brickworks and their spot-on commitment to organic, local, quality ingredients for their local cuisine. Check this out.

Talented, networked & gifted Rebecca McKenzie fills us in on the foodlover achievements of #FeastON and all its partners across Ontario ...

Sharp-minded, talented & very well networked Rebecca McKenzie fills us in on the foodlover achievements of #FeastON and all its partners across Ontario …

 

... while we enjoy our beautiful food creations at Café Belong ...

… while we enjoy our beautiful food creations at Café Belong: #FeastON yep …

 

... an initiative

… an initiative that runs on the premise of promoting locally grown, tasty (organic) ingredients across the province of Ontario. Find out more about their many activities here.

 

So nice to meet you, dear Café Belong chef Francis!

So nice to meet you, dear Café Belong chef Francis …

 

... as well as getting to know the entire (foodie) atmosphere around ...

… as well as getting to know the entire (foodie) atmosphere around …

 

... Evergreen Brickworks: Welcome to a place unique in history, and (now) food!

… Evergreen Brickworks: Welcome to a place unique in history, and now, food!

 

Yes to that: "Everything is possible", also turning around an abound brick quarry ...

Yes to that: “Everything is possible”, also turning around an abandoned brick quarry …

 

... all the way to making it one of Toronto's most well-known urban regeneration programs, including this "children's garden" here whose beautiful smell still lingers on my mind ..! If you have an afternoon's worth on your trip, really go here and enjoy.

… all the way to making it one of Toronto’s perhaps most well-known urban regeneration areas, including this “children’s garden” whose beautiful smell still lingers on my mind ..! If you have a morning or afternoon’s worth on your trip to Toronto, really make sure to come out here and enjoy this magnificent place. The souvenir shopping at the market is also extremely good!

 

More travel photos & recommendations on where to eat & travel your way around the city:

 

I have also produced a travel video that highlights some of my travel adventures in Western Canada, all the way from Vancouver to the vast open plains east of the Rocky Mountains. A fascinating, funky take on what has truly been a life-changing journey. Enjoy with sound & smile 🙂

 

Disclaimer: I have been supported on this trip to Toronto by Tourism Toronto & all their #foodlover partners. All opinions are my own.

Spread the love

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
Niagara Falls #Winelover Trip near Toronto, Ontario
#SeeTorontoNow: Where to stay & what to do on a first visit in Toronto.

2 Comments

  1. Suzanne Urpecz

    Hi Elena. Thank you for joining us on our “Kensington Krawl” food tour. We’re so glad you had a wonderful experience touring Kensington Market with Cindy. Wishing you many more delicious adventures. 🙂

    Reply
    • Elena

      Dear Suzanne,

      Thank you so much for all your assistance. You guys are doing an amazing job helping travellers like us getting to know Toronto through food – an experience I’ll definitely keep recommending!

      We will see you for your other tours next time,

      Best wishes,

      Elena!

      Reply

Leave a Reply


Follow me on my travels: