Mission & Values
Bohemian, anarchic, quirky, cool, distinctive, unconventional, multicultural, eclectic, utopian, legendary. These are some of the ways people describe Kensington Market, the Toronto neighbourhood where Blue Banana Market and the idea for bbmgifts.com were born.
Kensington Market's distinctive history began in the early 20th century, when it became known as "the Jewish market" because of the presence of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, who transformed the area's Victorian homes into shops. Subsequent waves of immigrants—Italian, Portuguese, Caribbean, Latin American, Southeast Asian, and many others—made their own contributions to one of Toronto's most storied neighbourhoods, celebrated for its resilience, community spirit, and diversity.
Today the neighbourhood is dear to the hearts of both residents and tourists, with its array of ethnic street foods, its defiantly quirky specialty and vintage shops, its vibrant street art, and its protected historic features, such as the open-air display of goods (from produce to dry goods to accessories) on the boulevard.
Blue Banana Market
When Blue Banana Market opened its doors in 2007 it was an artists' market with stalls featuring the wares of different vendors. Since that time we've gradually transformed into a beloved retail gift and greeting card store with a distinctive layout, vibe, and character. We continue to support the local scene, serve the local community, and offer the finest and funniest souvenirs to visitors from all over the world. As of June 2021, we're proud to partner with over 70 local producers!
For directions to our store and hours, please click here.
Bbmgifts.com: Offbeat & On-Trend
We relaunched our website in 2020 with the mission of bringing our eclectic collection of gifts to the rest of Canada and the USA. We select our gift products carefully, always seeking the idiosyncratic.
We want to strike a balance between the well-known brands you expect to find and things you can't find anywhere else, and between the edgy and the warm and fuzzy. We've got a sense of humour, but we've also got a heart.
We're proud to support Ontario and Toronto artisans as well as other independent Canadian producers. If you want to find out what Canada's small producers have to offer, look here.
We also try to give back to the community through initiatives like Santa For Seniors and SickKids. If you have a program that could benefit from our involvement, firstname.lastname@example.org. Gift giving is about giving!
Blue Banana Market and bbmgifts.com are 100% woman-owned.