Turning the city into a research lab
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For the University of Toronto’s Ethnography Lab, which studies and records the customs of people and cultures in locations around the world, the cultural diversity of Kensington Market in downtown Toronto made it the perfect subject for a large-scale research project that aims to document the role the neighbourhood plays in a city that’s constantly growing and transforming.

The Kensington Market Research Project was born as a classroom assignment in which undergraduate students who were doing a course in research methods put data they had been collecting into a digital archive. Since then, the neighbourhood study has expanded to include Master’s and PhD students who are finding different and creative ways to present their research, and the university hopes to create a network of ethnography labs across Canada so students across the country can have urban-based research experiences.

“A lot of people feel very strongly about the neighbourhood, a lot of people have been living there a long time – they’re really invested in it... They have things they really want to say and want to share so I think it’s good they have a wider platform for doing that.”
Bronwyn Frey
Graduate anthropology student
Kensington Market Video Project

Kensington Market was used as the location of a large-scale research project for University of Toronto students documenting the role the neighbourhood plays in a city that’s constantly growing and transforming.

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