Flea markets in Toronto
Toronto flea markets are treasure troves of awesome. Each one brings out tons of local artisans, antique dealers, vintage clothing collectors, and snack shops. Dr. Flea's Flea Market is one of the longest-running setups, but now there are Brooklyn Flea inspired flea markets cropping up across the city, from the Junction to Parkdale to Leslieville.
Aside from the vendors, the best thing about Toronto fleas is the energy. People are usually in a hurry to get from one place to another in our vast metropolis, but at flea markets, they just slow right down and go with the flow.
Here is a list of all of the top flea markets in the Toronto area.
The Junction Flea
The Junction Flea has been going down since last summer, and it takes place on the second Sunday of each month. In the warmer months, it's hosted outdoors in a lot at Dundas and Keele, and in the winter it takes over all three floors of The Great Hall. The focus here is on transporting us back to our grandparents' slightly musty but treasure-filled basements: the Junction Flea is usually brimming with especially trendy antiques like type writers, records, furniture, art and other time-trippin' goods. Admission is $2.
The Gladstone Flea
The Gladstone Flea is a civilized affair. Held in the first-floor bar area of the Gladstone Hotel, the Gladstone Flea is a phenomenal spot to hunt for vintage clothing and gifts made by local artisans like home decor designers Said the King and She Said Jewelry. The Gladstone Flea is held once per month. Admission is free.
The Parkdale Flea
The inaugural Parkdale flea went down last weekend, to great success. Vendors served up everything from mini-doughnuts to vintage dresses and oldschool Polaroids. The nostalgia factor was accompanied by a fair selection of new, locally made clothing and accessories, too, from horsehair necklaces made by Flock to 1% t-shirts with funny screen prints. The Parkdale Flea takes place at 1266 Queen St. West and admission is free.
The Leslieville Flea
Many treasure hunting, antique collecting Leslievillains used to be sad that they had to treck all the way to the Junction to hit up that excellent hood's flea. Now, their spirits are eased, as they started up their own flea market this summer, taking place on the third Sunday of each month. The first one was just a few weeks ago, behind The Duke at Queen and Leslie. Creative folk selling everything from vintage and reclaimed goods to locally made art made the day a smash hit. Vendors included the likes of She's Crafty, Province Apothecary, and Beach Girl Art. Free admission.
Dr. Flea's Flea Market
Founded in 1987, Dr. Flea's in Etobicoke (at Highway 27 and Albion Road) bills is a sizable affair, with 400 vendors and about 10,000 visitors each weekend. There's an outdoor produce market, an international food court, cosmetics, baby stuff, car products, collectibles like stamps and coins, clothing, nail salons, hairdressers, and...lingerie? This place is basically a flea-mall, and well worth the drive to Etobicoke. Dr. Flea's is open on the weekends from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and parking and admission are both free.
Toronto Weston Flea Market
The Toronto Weston Flea Market has more of overal "things" than some of the other fleas. It's a massive indoor market in a humongous, sprawling building at Old Weston Rd. and St. Clair Ave. W. If you decide to check it out, you might want to bring comfy shoes, as it's over 60,000 square feet of...well, countless items. Produce is a major draw for many, but you'll also find such myriad items as kids' toys, shoes, jerk chicken, carpeting, machetes and furniture. The Weston flea is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., admission is free, and it operates year-round.
Merchant's Flea Market
The Merchant's Flea Market at Eglinton and Warden is kind of a ratchety flea, focused on its bargainness in much the same way as Honest Ed's. This flea is pretty comprehensive, though, I have to say. You'll find everything from a nail salon to a pet store, as well as clothes, toys and electronics. You can play poker at Merchant's Flea, or divine your future by visiting a psychic. Over 250 vendors hawk their various wares every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. For a further glimpse of this northern flea, check out their Facebook page.
Downsview Park Merchant's Market
The Downsview Park Merchant's Market is home to 600 vendors each weekend, and those vendors sell an incredibly wide range of services and...items. Everything from massages to sportswear to luggage to furniture to iPods and sewing machines is on offer each Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Don't miss the delicious food court at the back. Admission is free.