Aba Bayefsky: An artist’s market moments

Edra Bayefsky fondly remembers visiting the Kensington markets as a young girl, with her father, artist Aba Bayefsky.

by Beverley Tallon

April 19, 2011

Black and white photograph

“I began drawing in Kensington at the age of 16. I am now 68 and after hundreds of drawings it still stimulates … the market has been like a magnet — an irresistible attraction magnet for the past 50 years …”
Aba Bayefsky — Journal, July 26, 1991.

For decades, St. Lawrence and Kensington markets in Toronto have been centres of buying and selling a wide array of fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, and cheeses. From the 1930s through the 1950s they were also places for people to gather and exchange political views.

The busiest Toronto market day is Saturday. Edra Bayefsky fondly remembers visiting the markets as a young girl, with her father, artist Aba Bayefsky. Her recollections are featured in the June-July 2011 Canada’s History “Your Story.”

Here is a glimpse in to some of the portraits and market scenes done by a talented, and largely ignored, Canadian artist.

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