Ethnography Lab / Kensington Market / Updates

Call for a Graduate Student or Post-Doc to Coordinate the Ethnography Lab Kensington Market Research Project

The University of Toronto Ethnography Lab would like to hire a graduate student or post doc to take on the duties of coordinator for the Kensington Market Research Project from end of January to April 2019, with possibility for extension to August 2019.

The Kensington Market Research Project (KMRP) is a long-term initiative that aims to produce an unprecedented body of ethnographic knowledge about Toronto’s most celebrated multicultural heritage district. Bordered by China Town and adjacent to the University of Toronto’s downtown campus, Kensington Market (KM) boasts the city’s best-known enclave of social diversity and counter-culture nestled in a backdrop of Victorian-era row-houses converted to street-level shops. Designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2006 for its colourful history of transformation from a 19th century immigrant refuge, to a Jewish market neighbourhood, to its current vibrant tapestry of independently owned shops and residences, Kensington Market is strongly valued both locally and nationally.

This project, the first of its kind, uses ethnography to study in-depth the market in an age of large-scale urban transformation. As downtown Toronto faces the encroachment of big corporate retailers, the impending conversion of public housing into private condominiums and short-term rentals, and the expansion of Toronto Western Hospital, the Kensington Market Research Project strives to document the inevitable changes to the market. The project also offers a publicly accessible archive of rich and detailed data, available for use in evidence-based policy decision making, and for making visible the social complexity of this unique Toronto site.

You can read more about our vision here:

Duties and Responsibilities:

The KMRP Coordinator will be responsible for:

  • Reading and comprehending the history and background of the market in a timely manner
  • Becoming familiar with previous research projects undertaken by the KMRP
  • Supporting and assisting with undergraduate ethnography in Kensington Market
  • Liaising between KM informants and contacts, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students associated with the KMRP
  • Updating and uploading documents to the KMRP Dataverse digital archive
  • Developing a personal project to contribute to the KMRP. This project could be, for example, compiling raw ethnographic data collected by the KMRP since 2015 into a publishable product, identifying areas of importance for future research in the market, or conducting a preliminary ethnographic research project.


The candidate for the KMRP Coordinator will have the following qualifications:

  • Obtained or be enrolled in a doctoral program in sociocultural anthropology or a similar discipline
  • Previous experience with conducting and reading ethnography
  • Experience with leading team research projects
  • Be an enthusiastic learner with strong leadership skills
  • Must be able to work with minimal guidance
  • Ability to collaborate with others


Candidates with the following traits will be considered an asset:

  • Speaks more than one language
  • Familiar with or a resident of Kensington Market or the surrounding area


Payment will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience and UofT employment rules.


Applications for the KMRP Coordinator role are due January 25th, 2019 at 6pm. Applications must include:

  • CV
  • Short bio (100 words)
  • A paragraph (max. 250 words) explaining your qualifications for the position.

Send all documents to the Ethnography Lab Coordinator Jessika Tremblay Shortlisted candidates will be contacted on January 26th.

More information about the Ethnography Lab can be located at




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