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The 6 best antique markets across South Central Ontario.

Guest Contributor July 30, 2018
Woman looking at an antique chandelier.

What better reason to hop in the car and hit the open road than with ‘shopping’ as the reason why!

And not just any type of shopping either, but vintage and antique shopping.  It really is a great way to decorate your home and find clothing without contributing to the fast fashion market.

While antiques no longer hold the value and prestige they once did, one might still from time to time experience the thrill of an incredible find – something meaningful or something worth significantly more than what you pay for it.

Close-up details of a vintage chair and table.

On very rare occasions, people make shockingly valuable vintage and antique discoveries. Here are just a few of these stories:

  • Vince Lombardi’s Sweater. Found at a Goodwill in Ashville, N.C. and paid for by weight at just $0.58 USD a pound. Later resold at auction for $43,020 USD.
  • A Chinese “Libation Cup.” (a communal ceremonial drinking vessel). Found at an “op shop” (what they call thrift stores in Australia) in Sydney, and bought for $4 AUD. The cup later resold through Sotheby’s for £80,000
  • Two Federico Del Campo Paintings. Found by staff at a Goodwill in Toronto, the paintings didn’t make it onto the sales floor, alas. They sold for $80,700 CAD and $78,400 CAD respectively at an auction house and the proceeds went to support Goodwill programs to assist those facing employment barriers.
  • Official Copy of the Declaration of Independence. Found in a Nashville, Tenn. thrift store and bought for $2.48 USD. Later sold at auction for $477,650 USD.
  • Photo of Billy the Kid Playing Croquet. Found at a “junk” shop in Fresno, Calif. and bought for $2 USD. The photo was said to be valued at $5 million. But we can’t find evidence that it was ever sold for that price.

Amazing, right? You just never know what you might stumble upon!

Antique watches, magazines, phones, suitcases and other retro products.

What to Keep Your Eye out For.

Obviously you’re unlikely to find such rare treasures. But you might! Plus, you can still find something wonderful that’s even worth a little bit of money. A few items to watch for:

  • Depression era glass
  • Art Deco, 1930’s ‘Bakelite’ jewelry
  • First edition books
  • Coloured Pyrex
  • Ornate frames
  • Designer bags
  • Silverware
  • China sets
  • Rare vinyl
  • Comic books
Close up of antique books on display.
There are a number of fantastic vintage and antique markets around Ontario. Here is a list of some of the best of these.

Aberfoyle Antique Market.

57 Brock Road South, Puslinch (Guelph), Ontario.

Sundays from April 29 to October 28, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Canada’s largest outdoor antique market has been around for more than 55 years. Aberfoyle hosts more than 100 quality dealers selling collectibles, folk art, furniture and more. Two Saturday Special Shows this year (May 12 and September 22) include another 90 or so dealers. Shoppers call this place “amazing” and “a gem”.

People at a market stall.

Waterford Antique Market.

80 B Alice St, Waterford, Ontario.

Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Established in 1999, the famously friendly Waterford Antique Market offers an incredible selection of furniture, pottery, tchotchkes, pottery and housewares. Reviewers have raved about the bird houses, record collection and the customer service.

Blues, soul, funk records on display.

Christie Antique & Vintage Show.

Christie Lake Conservation Area, Dundas, ON

Saturday, May 26, 2018, and Saturday, September 8, 2018.

The Christie Antique & Vintage Show attracts dealers and buyers from across Canada and the United States. Established in 1988, the show hosts hundreds of sellers showcasing a variety of items in 1,200 collecting categories, including furniture, stoneware, Native artifacts, folk art, rugs, jewellery, sports memorabilia and more. This show only takes place twice a year, so mark your calendar!

Man and woman looking through window of antique shop.

One of a Kind Antique Mall.

97 Wilson Street, Woodstock, Ontario.

Open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Housed in an 80,000-square-foot repurposed factory, the One of a Kind Antique Mall is a vintage treasure trove of furniture, toys, china, housewares, games and collectibles. The place is huge, so set aside some time.

Colourful antique tea cups.

Sunday Antique Market.

125 The Esplanade, Toronto, Ontario.

Open on Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

An authentic antique market right in downtown Toronto, the Sunday Antique Market recently moved from the St. Lawrence Market to the Esplanade. It’s has a great selection of finds from antique and vintage furniture to memorabilia and collectibles. Tasty food is also available.

People shopping inside an antique store.

Freelton Antique Market.

248 Freelton Rd, Freelton, Ontario.

Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Freelton Antique market houses more than 200 merchants and is open seven days a week, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Here you’ll find clothing and accessories, books, silver, furniture, glassware and much more.

silver teacups, pots, and serving dishes on display