Kala Kendar opened in 1972 in Bloor West Village and relocated to the Gerrard India Bazaar in 1976. They were one of the very first South Asian businesses to move to Gerrard Street East, drawn by the crowds generated by the newly opened Naaz Theatre (the first Theatre in North America to exclusively play South Asian movies).
Harleen was born in and grew up in the Bazaar and the family lived above their store. When the family moved to Markham, they expanded their business to all three floors. Harleen’s father Kanweljit S Khorana is credited with overseeing the launch of and guiding the local BIA in its early years, forging strategic relationships with the community, local police and the City of Toronto.
Harleen runs the textile and clothing business on the main store while her brother Mickey runs an Indian music store upstairs. Their father still comes regularly to the store to supervise.
photograph by Bongo Kolycius © Village of Dreams Productions Inc.