Kensington Market, Toronto’s most colourful neighbourhood, gets jazzier.

BY CHRIS METLER

The energy in Kensington Market is infectious. Vibrant, thoughtfully painted graffiti brings the buildings to life, while global fare and street performers further stimulate the senses. It’s a unique part of the city, and one that award-winning pop and jazz singer-songwriter Molly Johnson knows well. The vocalist was not only born here, but has twice lived in the neighbourhood and raised her kids here, too. “Kensington Market is such a wonderful community; it’s the melting pot for Toronto,” she says.

Now Johnson is giving back to her beloved neighbourhood with the launch of the first-ever Kensington Market Jazz Festival.

“What better place to hear really good music as you wander around eating great food? With so many live venues on Augusta Avenue, I cannot wait to remind Toronto—and show our guests—the coolness of Kensington Market,” says Johnson.

The three-day festival will host 100 artists and 80 shows at nine different venues, including the The Boat, Poetry Jazz Café, Handlebar, Trinity Common, and Supermarket.

Johnson is on a mission to remind Toronto what a fantastic slice of the city Kensington Market is. “No matter where in the world you’re from, you will find something here to devour.” 

Kensington Market Jazz Festival runs September 16–18. For more information, visit kensingtonjazz.com.

Molly Johnson