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Grocery Stores

Toronto Weston Flea Market

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on September 7, 2011

Toronto Weston Flea MarketToronto Weston Flea Market can be an intimidating place for a first-time visitor. The parking lot on a weekend may be overwhelming enough, but once you emerge from the safety of your car and approach the front entrance, you're immediately bombarded with calls of seduction for "FRESH TOMATOES!" and "PEPPERS: ONLY $0.99 A POUND!" Loudly and repeatedly. My friend and I had headed to the market keen on exploring some of its fresh produce, but we decided to duck inside first in hopes of avoiding much of the hollers.

Toronto Weston Flea MarketThe Toronto Weston Flea Market is a haven for collectors and entirely much too overwhelming for someone untrained to hone in on the good stuff. Since my partner and I, unfortunately, would fall into the latter category, we had to focus before moving forward, lest fall victim to the countless booths of classic Disney videotapes. No one needs that much Aladdin.

Toronto Weston Flea MarketToronto Weston Flea MarketToronto Weston Flea MarketThe indoor market is over 60,000 square feet of vendors offering housewares, games, clothing, discount electronics, and the odd ideology-laden heavy silver chain necklace. Alas, my collection of shiny things in the shape is dollar signs is at its brim, so I avoided the typical clothing and jewellery shops and went looking for something a little more interesting.

Toronto Weston Flea MarketToronto Weston Flea MarketAnd I found it on the north end of the building, past the seeming Bob Marley haven and obligatory Mr. Gold Buyer stand. There it was--Toronto Weston Flea Market's own spa. Or, uh, its flea-market-version of a spa. One man was getting his hair twisted in tight cornrows, while a few women sat in rows getting their nails buffed and polished. Eat your heart out, Stillwater. At least here spa-goers don't have to make a second trip to pick up socks. Or furniture, for that matter.

Toronto Weston Flea MarketToronto Weston Flea MarketThe area just before the food court (I had lost all sense of direction after about five minutes) hosts all sorts of interesting furniture pieces, from a blinding white three-piece sofa set for $999 to marble dining tables ($799). We strode past them to the food court, where the venders offer sushi, jerk chicken, and various takes on ethnic cuisine, including a great smoothie and juice stand where a man was hacking at stalks of sugar cane with an extraordinarily large knife. At least you know you're getting the real deal here.

Toronto Weston Flea MarketToronto Weston Flea MarketNext we stopped at one of the countless electronic stands and sorted through bins of old Sonic the Hedgehog games and classic Duck Hunt guns. If you're lucky enough to have a working Nintendo system circa 1985 (or want to try your luck at finding one here), this would be the place to stock up on games. The movies here run pretty cheap as well, though their origins are known to be, uh, questionable.

Toronto Weston Flea MarketBut the real draw for us was the aforementioned farmers' market, so we headed back outside to check out the goods. As soon as we did, of course, we were met with proclamations of each product's superiority, which included statements of "Mix and match, $5.00, very fresh!" and "What you know about broccoli? It's very good for your health!" The latter made me think of Epic Meal Time, but there was no bacon to be found.

Toronto Weston Flea MarketInstead, though, there were many atypical fruit and vegetable offerings including honey melon, Jamaican cho cho, and white yams. The colours were hypnotic, and as a result, we left with armfuls of broccoli, peppers, melons, and more. Sweeter than the honey melon, though, was the silence we soon found in the car.

Photos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

21 Comments

MrPotato / September 7, 2011 at 09:24 am
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Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
mark / September 7, 2011 at 10:32 am
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I've been curious about this place for awhile now, but is it a real farmers market, or just food terminal produce sold outside?
dnr / September 7, 2011 at 10:50 am
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Anyone know if there is a vinyl record guy at this flea market?
Fin / September 7, 2011 at 01:28 pm
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A hidden gem.
KPB / September 7, 2011 at 01:28 pm
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Worst market ever. It's really disgusting. @dnr: No record guy.
Yzziefrog / September 7, 2011 at 02:22 pm
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That place is close to where we live and we still prefer to trek up to the Downsview Market instead. Weston's is a noisy, messy maze and the parking lot is straight out of Death Race 3000.

I still haven't forgotten about the movie booth where, after turning around, I came face-to-face with Teen Asian Gang Bang 15 and Anal Sluts 7 on the shelf at eye level. I'm 5'2", so I'm guessing that children going by there are getting something of an education.



lj / September 7, 2011 at 03:19 pm
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who buys swords at a flea market anwyays?
SausageMofo replying to a comment from Yzziefrog / September 7, 2011 at 04:00 pm
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I thought Anal sluts 7 was still in the making?
chi chi replying to a comment from mark / September 7, 2011 at 04:04 pm
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its a farmers market. cheap prices for cheap quality.
A warmonger replying to a comment from lj / September 7, 2011 at 07:30 pm
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Warmongers mostly.
TD / September 7, 2011 at 08:49 pm
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Have they finally stopped selling dogs from puppy mills/backyard breeders or did the author just not post those pics?
drc / September 9, 2011 at 06:07 pm
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@dnr they do have a record guy (or at least they did last time I was there)

I am not fond of the market, it's a bit on the sketchy side.

Also the as per TD's concerns, the pet store area seems like a really bad place to buy a pet.

As for the food outside end of summer beginning of fall is the best time for veggies, good quality and cheap!
B / September 18, 2011 at 02:26 am
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Wow... all of a sudden, a food market becomes a discophile hangout. Yeah, that's what I want in a local market. "Market, market?... food for my fat ass or even better... records?"
Peter / January 5, 2012 at 08:26 am
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This place is a shit hole. Just avoid it. The products sold look like they've come out of a garbage bin. Even by flea market standards the place is filthy. It's so filthy that it reminded me of an episode of Hoarders. They really should clean, call an exterminator and then start over.
JoMama / February 18, 2012 at 01:55 pm
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Great place to hang out if you like buying crap from non-english speaking junk dealers. Avoid at all costs.
Matt King replying to a comment from dnr / March 10, 2012 at 12:35 am
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There is one guy with maybe 30 classic rock titles. Not sure about prices.
RE / January 23, 2013 at 08:26 am
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That flea market looks big, I look forward to visiting it this summer.
Rick / July 12, 2013 at 10:41 am
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I used to work security here - what a fucking mess.
The parking lot is a warzone, and the vendors for the most part sell utter junk (Possibly some decent finds tho) but the main attraction of this flea market is that it caters to the latino, carribean, and south asian crowd mostly. The vendors are acutally good people and just looking to supplement their income by hawking crap that someone will buy.

The benifits of this place are the chicks that come in wearing basically nothing, and how easy they are to pick up if you look like you remotely have a job.

If you go here prepare to be dissapointed and to hear a lot of "Kissing teeth" sounds as you walk through this shite hole.
Willie / October 30, 2013 at 01:07 pm
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How can I become a member of the flea market? Please advise?
fs / January 12, 2014 at 02:35 pm
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It's a doggone FLEA MARKET! If you're looking a more upscale/bourgeois market experience please make your way to the Sorauren Farmer's Market. Travel to any market in the world and you'll see that they're boisterous, unorganized messes. No surprise there.Toronto, are we becoming way too judgemental? If you don't like it, don't go. Sheesh!
P / April 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm
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I love this flea market ... my wife and I live close by so we don't have to deal with the "warzone" parking lot.

What no one has mentioned here are the guys who sell antiques at outrageously low prices - if you visit regularly you can find some real gems.

Also, sometimes you'll see a special sale of items like cheese and meats at great prices.

The produce isn't always the best quality, but the prices are adjusted accordingly and most of the staples are reliably fresh and available.

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