Guide to Ontario’s Flea Markets: Shopping, Vendors and Items

Flea markets are popular destinations for shoppers and vendors alike. They offer a unique shopping experience, where you can find everything from antiques to crafts to second-hand clothing. In this guide, we will explore the world of local flea markets. We will also provide an overview of the most popular markets in Ontario, as well as highlight some interesting facts and tips for shopping and selling.

Canadian flea markets

What are Flea Markets?

A flea market is a type of market where vendors gather to sell a variety of goods, including second-hand items, antiques, collectibles, crafts, and new merchandise. Such markets have been around for centuries and have evolved over time to include a wide range of products.

Among the treasures found in the bustling aisles of Ontario’s flea markets, retro games hold a special allure for collectors and enthusiasts alike. The charm of sifting through dusty cartridges and vintage consoles at these outdoor bazaars is a cherished ritual for many. Yet, the realm of retro gaming is undergoing an exciting transformation. As much as these tangible tokens of nostalgia are sought after in the physical stalls of flea markets, there’s a burgeoning movement that’s breathing new life into these classics through digital means. For a deeper dive into how these classic games are making a resurgence online, away from the traditional flea market scene, read more in our detailed exploration. This article delves into the digital renaissance of retro gaming, showcasing how the classics are being revived for new and old fans alike.

Brief History of Flea Markets

The origins of flea markets can be traced back to the 18th century in Paris, France. The markets were called “marche aux puces,” which translates to “market of fleas.” The name referred to the fact that second-hand items sold at the market were often infested with fleas. Over time, flea markets became popular in other parts of Europe and eventually spread to North America.

Aberfoyle Antique Market

Flea markets are popular in Ontario for several reasons. Firstly, they offer a unique shopping experience where you can find one-of-a-kind items that you may not find anywhere else. Secondly, they are an affordable option for both shoppers and vendors. Finally, such markets are a great way to support small businesses and local artisans.

List of Popular Flea Markets in Ontario

Here are some of the most popular flea markets in Ontario:

Flea MarketLocationType
Aberfoyle Antique MarketGuelphOutdoor
Christie Antique & Vintage ShowDundasOutdoor
Downsview Park Merchant’s MarketTorontoIndoor
Pickering MarketsPickeringIndoor
St. Lawrence Antique MarketTorontoIndoor
The Junction FleaTorontoOutdoor

Comparison of Indoor and Outdoor Flea Markets in Ontario

Indoor and outdoor flea markets each have their pros and cons. Indoor markets are great for year-round shopping, as they are not affected by weather conditions. They also offer a more controlled environment, which is ideal for delicate items like antiques. Outdoor markets, on the other hand, offer a unique atmosphere and are great for finding bargains.

Indoor MarketsOutdoor Markets
Downsview Park Merchant’s MarketAberfoyle Antique Market
Pickering MarketsChristie Antique & Vintage Show
St. Lawrence Antique MarketThe Junction Flea

Flea Market Hours and Days of Operation in Ontario

Flea markets in Ontario generally operate on weekends and holidays. Here are some typical hours and days of operation:

DayHours of Operation
Saturday9 am – 5 pm
Sunday10 am – 5 pm
Holidays10 am – 5 pm

Special Events at Ontario’s Flea Markets

Many flea markets in Ontario host special events throughout the year. These events may include antique shows, craft fairs, and holiday markets.

Here are some popular events to look out for:

  • Antique Shows at Aberfoyle Antique Market and St. Lawrence Antique Market
  • Spring and Fall Christie Antique & Vintage Show in Dundas
  • Christmas Markets at Carp Farmers’ Market and Ottawa Antique Market

Benefits of Shopping at Flea Markets in Ontario

There are many benefits to shopping at these types of markets. Here are a few:

  • Unique finds: Flea markets offer a variety of unique items that you won’t find in regular retail stores.
  • Affordable prices: Items are often priced lower than in regular retail stores.
  • Support small businesses: By shopping at flea markets, you are supporting small businesses and local artisans.
  • Sustainable shopping: It is a sustainable shopping option, as it promotes reuse and reduces waste.
  • Fun and social experience: It is a fun and social experience. You can meet new people, discover new things, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
  • Great for collectors: Flea markets are a treasure trove for collectors of antiques, vintage items, and rare finds.
  • Flexible bargaining: Negotiating prices is often an accepted practice at flea markets, which can be a fun and flexible way to shop.
  • Indoor and outdoor options: Such markets in Ontario offer both indoor and outdoor shopping options, allowing you to shop comfortably regardless of the weather.

List of Flea Markets in Ottawa and the Surrounding Areas

If you’re in the Ottawa area, here are some flea markets worth checking out:

Flea MarketLocationType
Ottawa Antique MarketOttawaIndoor
Russell Flea MarketRussellIndoor/Outdoor
Wakefield MarketWakefieldOutdoor
Carp Farmers’ MarketCarpOutdoor
Glebe Garage SaleOttawaOutdoor

Interesting Facts about Flea Markets in Ottawa

  • The Ottawa Antique Market has been around for over 30 years and is one of the largest indoor antique markets in Eastern Ontario.
  • The Russell Flea Market offers both indoor and outdoor shopping options and is open year-round.
  • The Wakefield Market is located in a picturesque village north of Ottawa and offers a variety of local products and crafts.
  • The Carp Farmers’ Market is one of the largest outdoor markets in the Ottawa area and is open from May to October.
  • The Glebe Garage Sale is a popular annual event where residents of the Glebe neighbourhood in Ottawa sell their unwanted items.

Types of Merchants and Vendors

Flea markets in Ontario offer a variety of products, which means that vendors also come from different backgrounds. Here are some types of merchants and vendors you may find at flea markets:

  • Antiques dealers
  • Vintage clothing sellers
  • Handmade crafts and jewelry makers
  • Food vendors
  • Second-hand and used item sellers
  • Artists and artisans selling handmade artwork and sculptures
  • Home décor vendors
  • Rare book dealers and collectors offering antique and vintage books
  • Toy and game vendors
  • Plant and garden vendors
  • Collectibles dealers offering a variety of unique and rare collectibles.
Flea markets in Ontario

Such markets attract vendors from different backgrounds and specialties, offering shoppers a wide variety of products to choose from. Whether you’re looking for antiques, vintage clothing, handmade crafts, or unique home décor items, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye at a flea market in Ontario.

Tips for Becoming a Vendor at a Flea Market

If you’re interested in becoming a vendor at flea markets in Ontario, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Research flea markets in your area and find out their requirements for vendors.
  2. Determine what type of products you want to sell and make sure they are allowed at the flea market.
  3. Make sure you have the necessary permits and licenses to sell your products.
  4. Invest in good-quality displays and signage to make your booth stand out.
  5. Offer competitive prices and friendly customer service to attract shoppers.

What Antiques You Can Find at a Flea Market in Ontario

Antiques and collectibles are popular items found at flea markets, offering shoppers a wide variety of unique and rare finds. Here, you can find a range of antique furniture and decor, including chairs, tables, lamps, and artwork. Vintage toys and games, such as classic board games and vintage action figures, are also popular at such markets.

Additionally, shoppers can discover old books and magazines, including rare and out-of-print titles, as well as vintage clothing and accessories like hats, scarves, and jewelry. Antique tools and machinery, including woodworking and blacksmith tools, can also be found.

In addition to these common items, Ontario’s flea markets also offer a range of specialty antiques and collectibles. These can include antique ceramics and pottery, vintage glassware, jewelry, clocks and watches, and vintage artwork. With such a wide variety of items available, these markets are the perfect destination for collectors, vintage enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a unique and one-of-a-kind item.

Reproduction Pine Furniture

Reproduction pine furniture is as well a very popular item at flea markets across the province. Pine furniture is known for its durability and classic look, which makes it a great addition to any home. Reproduction pine furniture is made to look like antique furniture but at a more affordable price point.

Do You Know That

  • Many reproduction pine furniture pieces sold at flea markets are made by local artisans.
  • Pine furniture is a popular item at Aberfoyle Antique Market, with several vendors specializing in reproduction pieces.
  • Reproduction pine furniture is a great way to achieve the look of antique furniture without breaking the bank.


What is a flea market?

A flea market is a type of market where vendors gather to sell a variety of goods, including second-hand items, antiques, collectibles, crafts, and new merchandise.

What are the best flea markets in Ontario?

The best flea markets in the province vary based on personal preference and location. Some popular markets in the province include Aberfoyle Antique Market, Christie Antique & Vintage Show, Downsview Park Merchant's Market, Ottawa Antique Market, Russell Flea Market, and St. Lawrence Antique Market.

Are flea markets in Ontario open on Sundays?

Yes, most of them are open on Sundays.

What are the hours of operation for flea markets in Ontario?

Generally, such markets operate on weekends and holidays. Typical hours of operation are Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, and holidays from 10 am to 5 pm.

How do I become a vendor at a flea market in Ontario?

To become a vendor at a flea market in Ontario, you should research flea markets in your area and find out their requirements for vendors. You will need to determine what type of products you want to sell, obtain the necessary permits and licenses, and invest in displays and signage to make your booth stand out.

Where can I find reproduction pine furniture at flea markets?

Yes. Reproduction pine furniture can be found at flea markets that specialize in antiques and vintage items, such as Aberfoyle Antique Market, Ottawa Antique Market, and Pickering Markets.