Bruce Cockburn & Toronto: A Historical Tour

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St. Andrews/ Kensington intersection

(#3) Direct Song References: Kensington/St. Andrew

From Cockburn's 1981 song You Pay Your Money And You Take Your Chance:

"Woman cry -- chase man down street, crying "No Chuckie, no, please don't"
Another girl comes they run along St. Andrew, turn south on Kensington
Meanwhile Chuckie beats it down the alley by the chicken packer's
By the time I reach the corner they've all vanished
Just a deaf kid talking like Popeye to a large fleshy laughing man in a blue shirt"

The chicken packer's?

The Kensington/St. Andrew intersection is about a block west of Spadina. It's pretty much right in the Kensington Market section of Toronto - an area where street vendors and storefront sidewalk displays sell all manner of foods and other items.

Bruce lived here at the time the song was written, next door to the chicken packer's mentioned in the song. Interestingly, Gene Martynec, producer of many of Bruce's albums, was in a band called Kensington Market in the late 1960's, one of the first bands that Bernie Finkelstein (see True North entry) was involved in promoting.

On the early November morning that I took the picture (above right), it was quite cold and not many people were walking around, yet the merchants and stores were still a buzz of activity with produce displays being set up and trucks delivering fooditems. I'm sure the area is especially jumping on a sunny summer weekend.

This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.