Profile


Please contact info@kmclt.ca for more details and our media package.


Kensington Market Community Land Trust is a community based nonprofit corporation. We were formed through years of neighbourhood wide planning, co-development and community-led design, and incorporated in 2017. We have hundreds of members, with more signing up everyday, over 50% of which either work or live in Kensington Market. Dozens of our members are extremely active through our board and committee structure, advising our staff and consultants on everything from membership engagement to real estate acquisition.

We own and directly operate a mixed-use building with 12 residential units at a wide range of affordability. In 2022, we were announced as a recipient of the Canadian Housing and Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s National Demonstrations Project featuring land assembly and community land trust (CLT) solutions for affordable housing provision across Canada. 

We are the founding community partners of FairBNB Canada, receiving the proceeds of their booking fees as a social enterprise alternative to other short term rental platforms in Canadian cities. We are also partners with Tapestry Community Capital, successfully receiving grant funding to explore the potential of community bonds as enablers of the CLT model. For the past five years, we have been partners with the University of Toronto’s School of Cities, and the Affordable Housing Challenge Project, receiving multiple rounds of research grants together.

We are active members of the Canadian Network of CLTs, and are supporting their development of a groundbreaking CLT technical assistance program in order to scale other CLTs around Canada. The Toronto based group of CLTs own hundreds of housing units, nationally CLTs own thousands of housing units. This deeply collaborative network provides a ride range of expertise, support and stability to its member CLTs.

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Brief History

The Kensington Market Community Land Trust (KMCLT) was incorporated as a community-based non-profit corporation in December, 2017, after several years of discussion and organizing led by Friends of Kensington Market.

In April, 2018, KMCLT sponsored a Community Visioning session, bringing together a wide range of neighbourhood residents and business people to develop a vision and principles to guide the redevelopment of the City-owned parking lot on Bellevue Avenue.

In 2021, KMCLT bought its first building - 54/56 Kensington Avenue, after a year of neighbourhood organizing to resist the renoviction and displacement of the existing residents.

Since that time, KMCLT’s staff and neighbourhood residents been working with the City of Toronto and a team of community organizations to make the Bellevue site available for redevelopment, as well as pursuing other opportunities to maintain Kensington’s character and preserve and expand affordability.
Our Mission

The Kensington Market Community Land Trust is incorporated to acquire and provide for the management of land, in perpetuity, in or near the area bounded by the west side of Spadina Avenue, the south side of College Street, the east side of Bathurst Street, and the north side of Dundas Street, (Toronto’s Kensington Market).

It removes property from the pressure of the commercial real estate market, with the overarching goal of land use for local community benefit, including but not limited to:
  • the provision of affordable housing
  • maintenance of the historical built form and eclectic mixed-use nature that characterizes the neighbourhood
  • the continued presence of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds in the residents and businesses populating the area

Click here to read our organizational bylaws.

Click here for our 2019 AGM Minutes.

Click here for our 2021 AGM Minutes.

Click here for our 2022 AGM Minutes.

Current Board Members



Members can contact the Board Co-Chairs at info@kmclt.ca.

Board Members are elected once a year by KMCLT members at our Annual General Meeting, and serve a term of two years.

Su Alexanian
First elected 2017, Community Member
Su Alexanian is the current chair of KMAC (Kensington Market Action Committee), and also volunteers with Friends of Kensington Market. Su works for good development that continues to anchor the neighbourhood in its roots–being inclusive–for artists, newcomers and visitors. Su works in the arts, making music, soundtracks, and films. Su raised her family in Kensington and continues to make Kensington her home. 

Alix Aylen, Secretary
First elected 2023, Community Member
Alix Aylen has been a tenant in Kensington Market for 7 years (in 3 different houses). She has been involved in numerous community organizing initiatives in the neighhourhood, as a member of the KM Tenant Network, Development Committee Chair with Friends of Kensington Market, and just as a keen neighbour. She has worked within Toronto's nonprofit sector for 15 years, with her work focusing on community grant program development and nonprofit management, in the realm of transportation equity & community-based nonprofit capacity development. Alix is currently working as Program Lead for the University of Toronto's Social Purpose Real Estate Accelerator program, through the Infrastructure Institute, and has a Masters in Community & Social Planning from York University. She's hopeful that the KMCLT's work will achieve more long-term housing stability and affordability for the tenants that make the market what it is!

Kevin Barrett, Co-Chair
First elected 2017, Community Member
Kevin Barrett is a guitarist, producer, musical director and composer based in Toronto, Canada. He has lived and worked in the Kensington Market area for most of the past 30 years. Kevin performs as a band leader, side musician and musical director at jazz festivals, clubs and concert venues across the country and internationally while maintaining a continuous presence on the Toronto scene. Outside of music, Kevin has also been a long-time organizer in community housing and civic issues. 

Ebony Davitt
First elected 2023, Community Member
Ebony has lived in Kensington Market for 10 years and works in the nonprofit and public policy sector. Her work has focused on researching and advocating for Community Wealth Building initiatives across Ontario and working with local and municipal governments and organizations to develop meaningful policies around land-trusts, community benefits agreements, and heritage designations. She is passionate about protecting the Market’s unique culture through empowering and supporting the community and all its residents. Ebony holds an MA in History from the University of Toronto and in her downtime enjoys yoga and reading. 

Maggie Helwig
First elected 2017, Community Member
The Reverend Maggie Helwig is an author whose novel, Girls Fall Down, was chosen as the Toronto Public Library’s One Book Toronto in 2010, and was the executive director of the Scream Literary Festival from 2004 to 2009. Rev’d Helwig has been the incumbent priest at St Stephen-in-the-Fields, in Kensington Market, since 2013. She has served on the boards of PEN Canada and the Kensington-Bellwoods Community Legal Services and continues to serve on the board of Friends of Kensington Market. She chairs the Social Justice and Advocacy Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and is actively involved in homelessness and housing advocacy in that capacity, and as a member of the Toronto Drop-In Network. 

Eric Jensen
First elected 2021, Resident MemberLongtime resident Eric Jensen has been a bartender, builder, and frequent background contributor to many neighbourhood endeavours. He presently helps deliver services to the marginalized and under-housed of our community at St Stephen’s Community House. 

Michael Petrasek, Treasurer
First elected 2017, Community Member Michael Petrasek has lived and worked in Kensington Market for 25 years. Born in Toronto, he graduated with distinction from Concordia University in Montreal with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, (Specialization in Theatre Performance). After a couple of years performing, he took a position with the Playwrights Guild of Canada, where his responsibilities eventually included national and international promotion of Canadian plays and playwrights; negotiating and monitoring the collective agreement between the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres; representing the Guild on the board of the Canadian Copyright Institute, as well as other creator copyright coalitions; and co-supervising a script publishing and distribution service. In 2004, Michael founded Kensington Literary Representation, an agency focused on representing playwrights. He serves as treasurer on the board of the Kensington Market Community Land Trust. 

Dominique Russell, Co-Chair
First elected 2017, Community MemberDominique Russell is a writer, activist, scholar and teacher. She founded Friends of Kensington Market in 2013 and is also one of the founders of the Kensington Market Land Trust. She is the author of Instructions for Dreamers (Swimmers Group); Kensington, I Remember (Russell Creek Press); Taking the Waking Slow (Balmer Press); and the editor of Rape in Art Cinema (Bloomsbury). Dominique holds a PhD in Hispanic Studies from the University of Toronto and has taught at UBC, York, Western and Brock University. 

Click here for the Board Elections Nomination Form.
Click here for a description of a Board Member’s duties.

Committees



Our staff and board are supported by highly engaged members who volunteer on our committees. Reach out at info@kmclt.ca if you are interested in starting a committee, or joining one of the following committees:

Finance & Fundraising Committee [Recruiting!]
Chair: Michael Petrasek | 
Community Investment Campaign Working Group

Governance & HR Committee [Invitation Only]
Chair: Kevin Barrett 

Acquisitions Committee [Invitation Only]
Chair: Zack Bradley | Bellevue Parking Lot Working Group

Membership and Outreach Committee [Recruiting!]
Chair: Dominique Russell

Building Affairs Committee [Invitation Only]
Chair: Helen Davies | Tenant Advisory Meetings | Tenant Selection Access Working Group | Capital Planning Working Group


Research Committee [Recruiting!]
Chair: Amanda Stein

JOIN A COMMITTEE = BECOME A MEMBER︎︎︎

Land AcknowledgementWe, as members of the Kensington Market Community Land Trust, 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, the 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 a settler organization concerned with land ownership, we acknowledge that we have broken the treaties. Our work for the well-being of this land must include accountability to our relatives.
Our Contact

Mailing Address:
103 Bellevue Avenue,
Toronto, ON, Canada

Email:
info@kmclt.ca