Friends of Kensington Market is a group of citizens who love Kensington Market and want to preserve its unique character and place in the fabric of the city.

Land Acknowledgement

We, as members of Friends of Kensington Market, are aware that we are a settler organization. Kensington Market sits in the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit (an Anishnaabe people), the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat and Petun Nations, land which is now home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon wampum belt covenant, an agreement by the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee to share resources equally and peaceably. It is also covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.

As settlers, we acknowledge that we have broken the treaties. Our work for the well-being of this territory must include accountability to our Indigenous relatives. 

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Our Mission

  • Community Awareness

    To increase public awareness of issues affecting Kensington Market and the community.

  • Provide a Public Forum

    To collect and disseminate information on Kensington Market to members on the community.

  • Community Preservation

    To defend the interests and preserve the built form and historic functions of Kensington Market, both proactively and by responding to issues of development as they may affect Kensington Market

  • Promote the Neighbourhood

    To promote and enhance the character of the Kensington Market neighbourhood in such a way as to promote the well-being of the community as a whole.

In The Press

Our Board

  • Serena Purdy - Chair

    Serena Purdy has lived in Kensington Market for 16 years. She’s a resident landlord, and a PhD Candidate studying policy at the University of Toronto. Serena sees so much beauty in Kensington’s unprecedented diversity and hopes to ensure that it remains a space where everyone is welcome. Her focus is mainly on affordable housing and livable cities initiatives. There really is no place like home. 

  • Nick Horton - Secretary

    Nick Horton is a local business owner in Kensington Market. He appreciates the long history of the neighbourhood and has true reverence for the markets’ role within the city; past, present and future. He is currently Secretary of FOKM.

  • Sylvia Lassam - Treasurer

    Sylvia Lassam has lived in Kensington Market since 2005. She is an archivist by profession and is the founder of the Kensington Market Historical Society.

  • Alix Aylen

    Alix has lived in a teeny tiny basement apartment across from Bellevue Square for 5 years. She has 10 years of professional experience working on community-centered initiatives in Toronto, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Social and Community Planning. Her main area of focus is finding ways to enable community control of community space.
  • Tara Boire

    Tara Boire lives in Kensington market.

  • Jaicyea Smith

    Jaicyea is an Inclusive Designer based in Toronto. She has extensive knowledge in Inclusive Design, AODA, WCAG, and accessibility. Recognized for her exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, leadership, and problem-solving, Jaicyea can handle and resolve issues with expediency. She resides in the Bloor West area but lived in Kensington for 4 years and continues to give back to the community. She was a founder and organizer of the Black women paint Baldwin #baldwinmural, a member of Tea Base in Chinatown, leads community projects with the skate community in Alexandra Park, and is involved in budding skatepark safety and community care initiatives. She loves the market and wants to keep it weird!!
  • Maggie Helwig

    The Reverend Maggie Helwig was appointed as the parish priest at the Anglican Church of St Stephen-in-the-Fields, at College and Bellevue, in May 2013. Before she became a priest, Maggie worked as a writer, editor, arts organizer, and human rights activist. She has been the literary editor of Canadian Forum, the co-coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair and the associate director of the Scream Literary Festival. Maggie has lived in or near Kensington Market for most of her adult life.

  • Twoey Gray

    Twoey Gray is a Kensington renter, artist, and friend. She believes strong communities make police obsolete. On the board, Twoey looks forward to representing youth and tenant voices.

Acknowledgment:

We will be forever grateful for Dominique Russell’s contributions as founder of FOKM and chair of the organization from 2014-2020.