GETTING INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT IN KENSINGTON: Courage My Love & My Memories of Christmas Past

No matter how cold it gets Kensington Market is always rocking the Reggae beats and juicy coloured apparel!

My maternal grandfather imported goods from Asia. I have inherited laughing Buddhas from China, beautifully carved wooden animals from the Philippines and a small mother-of-pearl table from Afghanistan or maybe it was Pakistan? That fact changes each time my great aunt tells me about its origins.

My grandfather’s office, a converted garage off the side of the house, was a place that as a child I knew magic existed. I would travel the world from the safety of his lap. The room smelled like sandalwood and his shaving soap. For a kid it was this cozy place that nurtured my desire to explore the entire world when I was all grown up.

Christmas time with grandpa was all about grab bags full of realistically writhing wooden snakes and finger puppets, tiny glass animals and strange candy.

And there is only one place I have found that totally embodies my grandfather’s spirit. As I walked off the snowy Kensington street into the warm lit space that Courage My Love ALWAYS is I missed my grandfather and those childhood Christmases with his grab bag full of surprises.

So if you are looking to stocking stuff in the most unusual of ways with weird, wonderful and low environmental impact purchases get to Courage My Love to snatch up their gift baskets, tin ornaments and upcycled goods. There are also beads and buttons, kimonos and kaftans, vintage leather goods and most likely a Panama hat somewhere in the mix!

The perfect antidote to the mall, Courage My Love is a place where magic still exists!

(Miss you Grandpa Nelson. Much love. XXO. L.)

“Kensington Market has been a market and a community in Toronto since the late 1800s. It has developed its unique character fed by waves of immigrants from all over the world and still feeds the city in various ways. The crowded streets host tourists on patios taking in the sights, food shoppers, artists, suburban sightseers, and in the 1980s the old houses on one of the market streets, Kensington Avenue, took on a new life as Jewish food and clothing businesses moved out and a mix of Portuguese food shops, Asian cafés and vintage clothing stores took over. The first vintage clothing store was Courage My Love in 1980.” read more about the history of Courage My Love…