I love a good antique and/or flea market. Actually, I’m not opposed to a bad market either, whatever that is. I could spend hours sifting through VHS tapes and vintage issues of Reader’s Digest, while falling in love with each and every old typewriter, sewing machine, and rotary phone. Don’t even let me near any racks of clothing, unless you’re prepared to be there for the rest of the day… Or unless you’re Andrew and you have no choice (haha).
A dusty history
Historians have a few ideas about the origins of flea markets. The first recorded appearance of the term “flea market” appeared in 1922 and referred to outdoor markets in Paris that sold second-hand goods, some of which were so worn that many believed them to have fleas.
Another possibility is that when France began beautifying its cities, many alleyways that were home to these kinds of markets were demolished and vendors had to “flee” and reopen somewhere else.
You can read more in this article by Mental Floss if you’re interested!
A ton of treasure, a ton of junk
One of the first antique markets we went to was the 400 Flea Market in Innisfil, and it quickly became one of my favourites, so when we found ourselves in the area back in July, we had to make a pit stop! I don’t care too much for the section that sells phone cases and cheap clothing, though, I’m 100% here for the antique goodies.
I’ve never purchased anything because it’s so overpriced (though I would definitely make an exception for a rare pin or the like), but it’s always a fun time – especially if you think about it like a game of I Spy.
My favourite thing that I’ve seen so far? An old plastic hanger for $6.’
While I see almost everything in an antique market as treasure, the truth is that most of it is discarded junk, and that’s the beauty of it! Maybe you don’t see value in old bottles and gadgets that are long past their shelf life, but someone will. Each item in an antique market was part of a person’s life beforehand and could very well be part of another person’s life sometime in the future… And I think that’s pretty damn beautiful.
Almost as beautiful as seeing a totem pole, a creepy eagle, and an alien beside each other in the same stall.
Here are some more of my favourite treasures:
If you ever find yourself with a free afternoon, I highly suggest checking out your local antique market. You’ll get your dose of nostalgia, as well as disbelief when you see how much some of these things go for (ahem, the $6 hanger).
The antiques section at the 400 Flea Market is open 7 days a week, 10 to 5:30 pm!
Are you an antiques person? What’s the coolest thing you’ve found?