What is a Community Land Trust?

The Community Land Trust (CLT) model focuses on the acquisition of donated or purchased land within a defined geographical area of a city to serve the needs of community residents, with an emphasis on social justice.

CLTs are non-profit organizations that work with and on behalf of community residents to identify uses for the land based upon participatory planning exercises and collaborative decision-making.

Most often, the use of land is geared towards affordable housing provision as a commonly identified community need. Buildings on CLT land can be owned or rented by individuals and families.

A central aspect of the role of CLT organizations in countering gentrification is the emphasis on the de-commodification of land through its removal from the speculative property market.

The contemporary origins of the CLT lie in community organizing by Black tenant farmers in the southern United States as part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

In Canada, several CLTs, such as Colandco in Toronto and Communauté Milton Parc in Montreal, have been in existence since the 1980s.

While land acquisition for affordable housing and other community uses remains a core part of CLT work, more recent CLTs in Canadian cities, such as the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, Hogan’s Alley Society in Vancouver, and the Kensington Market Community Land Trust, reach beyond this to raise public awareness about the impacts of gentrification, affordable housing constraints, displacement and eviction.

Click here for the Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts.

Watch our collaboration with About Here and Tapestry to learn more about CLTs.

Read & Watch KMCLT 

Here is a list of places KMCLT has been featured in news media:
December 18, 2023  CTV News︎︎︎ - Amid little short-term rental enorcement, Toronto community group books room for evidence
October 26, 2023 - The Breach︎︎︎ - This Airbnb alternative won’t destroy Canada’s housing market
October 14, 2023 - Global News︎︎︎ - Community Land Trusts: Can they be an answer to the housing crisis?
March 31, 2021 - BlogTO︎︎︎ - City of Toronto to decide whether Kensington Market residences stay affordable
March 30, 2021 - The Toronto Star︎︎︎ - ‘It’s got grit, it’s got life’: Kensington Market land trust steps up to rescue affordable housing in the heart of the market

We worked with  the University of Toronto to create this docuseries telling the story of how the KMCLT came to be through the University of Toronto’s School of Cities. The first part can be watched below, and the full playlist can be watched on YouTube here︎︎︎

We partnered with About Here Productions Inc. and Tapestry Community Capital to create a video explaining what Land Trusts are, and how they can be financed through Community Bonds. Watch the video below, and check out About Here︎︎︎ and Tapestry︎︎︎ as well!

Our Co-Chair Dominique Russell gave a presentation on the history of the KMCLT from the initial stages to its acquisition of 54-56 Kensington Avenue, focusing specifically on the community activism from which it originates.

Neighbourhood Change Indicators

The KMCLT understands the boundaries of Kensington Market to be delineated by College Street to the north, Spadina Avenue to the east, Dundas Street to the south, and Bathurst Street to the west.

Data from the 2021 census shows that rental households make up the majority of dwelling occupancy within Kensington Market, and that when compared to Toronto Census Metropolitan Area the neighbourhood features an above-average percentage of renters in the neighbourhood. In addition to this, the median household income of $58,400 in Kensington Market-Chinatown was recorded to be significantly lower than the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area’s median household income of $97,000.

This information provides a snapshot of the prevalence of renters and low-income households in the neighbourhood.

While there is certainly variation, there is no doubt that pressures on housing security and tenure are keenly felt within our community. Kensington Market is made up of the following Dissemination Areas according to Statistics Canada:
35201437, 35200894, 35201436, 35200889, 35200890, 35200892, 35200893 

Average Gross Rent

Statistics Canada data sourced from Statistics Canada, 2021 Census of Population
  • 1996 Average Gross Rent: $598
  • 2006 Average Gross Rent: $840
  • 2016 Average Gross Rent: $1078
  • 2021 Average monthly shelter costs for rented dwellings: $1618

Occupancy Statistics





% Rented

*Total number of occupied private dwellings
**Number of dwellings occupied by property owners
***Number of dwellings occupied by renters

Statistics Canada data sourced from The Canadian Socio-Economic Information Management System ​(CANSIM) and Statistics Canada (StatsCan)

KMCLT Newsletters

Here is the archive of past newsletters KMCLT has sent over the years. To get these updates as they happen, sign up to become a member!

Newsletters 2024

New Unit Vacancy + Upcoming Consultations - January 11, 2024

Newsletters 2023

AGM 2023 Reminder - November 13, 2023
AGM 2023 Announcement - November 3, 2023
Upcoming Events With KMCLT - October 13, 2023
Kensington Market in the News - July 26, 2023
Letting Go of 27 & 29 Kensington Ave. - June 28, 2023
Community Acquisition of 27 & 29 Kensington Avenue - May 19, 2023
Community Strategy Meeting re: Major Land Assemblies for Sale - March 31, 2023
Parking Lot Meeting Summary + Recording, Upcoming Members Event - March 17, 2023
Bellevue Parking Lot 2023 Public Meeting - February 21, 2023
Reminder Special Members Meetings Jan 14 - January 3, 2023

Newsletters 2022

Board Elections Jan 14 - Special Members Meeting - December 1, 2022
AGM 2022 Details - New Members - November 3, 2022
AGM 2022 Details - November 1, 2022
Voting Day Reminder - October 24, 2022
Election Information - October 13, 2022
All Candidates Meeting Notice - October 2, 2022
Updates to members - Summer 2022 - August 18, 2022
Special Members Meeting - April 23 - April 11, 2022
Call for local contractors/services + outreach volunteers - March 23, 2022
New Year’s Message - January 8, 2022

Newsletters 2021

Webinar Nov 2021 - November 25, 2021
Available Studio Unit at 54 Kensington Ave - October 22, 2021
AGM 2021 Package - September 3, 2021
Seeking new board members Aug 2021 - August 27, 2021
Summer Meet and Greet on Aug 12, Save-the-date for AGM on Sept 11 - August 6, 2021
Member update June 2021 - June 2, 2021

Newsletters 2019

Child care notice - November 29, 2019
November 20 AGM notice and nominations - November 20, 2019
October 29 AGM Notice - October 29, 2019
June 2019 - June 11, 2019

Newsletters 2018

Visioning Summary - September 3, 2018
First Contact - April 20, 2018

Contact Us

Please reach us at the below email addresses or by using this sidebar︎︎︎

For any general queries, contact info@kmclt.ca

For queries related to acquisitions, contact zack@kmclt.ca

For questions related to our Kensington Community Bonds, contact invest@kmclt.ca

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.

More Community Groups
Friends of Kensington Market
Kensington Market Historical Society
Kensington Market BIA
Kensington Market Action Committee

Our Contact

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