Since it's prime lazy-summer-roadtrip season in Ontario, I figured it was also high time to share a list of our favorite places to go antiquing. Most of them are places you can stop into if you're on the way somewhere and need a break from the road, or you make them the whole purpose of your trip.
These are huge buildings/warehouses with many different vendors selling everything from vintage toys to fine china to rustic farm tools. Perfect for those who like to dig for treasures.
1. St. Jacob's Antique Market
St. Jacobs Antique Market is a good place to stop on a day-trip to the tiny, picturesque town of St. Jacobs. It's located right next to the town's famed farmer's market and has over 110 vendors.
805 King N, Waterloo, ON
2. Market Road Antiques
Another large antique mall in St. Jacobs with over 100 vendors and a little restaurant in the back called the Crazy Canuck. I find this market to be very similar to the St. Jacob's Antique Market in terms of what you will find there, but I think it's a little more neatly curated (read: you don't have to dig quite as much).
845 Weber Street, Waterloo, ON
3. Freelton Antique Mall
There are over 200 vendors in this huge barn/warehouse between Hamilton and Guelph. It's open 7 days a week, year round (except Christmas and Boxing Day). Make sure to dress warmly in the winter!
248 Freelton Road, Freelton, ON
4. Barrie Antiques Centre
The Barrie Antiques Centre wowed me the first time we visited. When you first walk into the store, it feels like you're entering an old general store. There's a huge antique cash desk, old signage, and walls filled with household products from the past. It feels a little like a museum you can shop in. Open 7 days a week except Christmas and New Year's Day.
272 Innisfil Street, Barrie, Ontario
5. Roadshow Antiques North
Located in Innisfil next to a huge flea market (open only on the weekends) and right off of the 400, this market is a really easy place to stop when you're on your way up to cottage country. With 32,000 square feet and more than 200 dealers, you can spend as much or as little time here as you want. For pyrex lovers like me, there are a few booths with some nice pyrex here. Open everyday except Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Note: there is a parking fee of $1.
2207 Industrial Park Road, Innisfil, ON
6. Southworks Antiques
Southworks is located in Cambridge, Ontario next to a big outlet mall and has over 30,000 square feet of antiques. Open every day except Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
64 Grand Avenue, Cambridge ON
7. St. Lawrence Market
If you're looking for a place to go in Toronto on a Sunday, the St. Lawrence Market is the spot. It's great for smaller items like jewelry, books, bags, prints, and knick-knacks. Unlike most of the antique malls, you'll be able talk to the vendors directly, so your chances of getting a deal or doing some haggling are good. Open Sundays from dawn to 5 pm.
92 Front Street East, Toronto, ON
8. Mrs. Huizenga's
A lovely store in the Roncesvalles neighborhood of Toronto. I like the welcoming atmosphere here and there's always something new and interesting to oogle. Open Monday to Friday from 11 am to 8 pm. Saturdays and Sundays open from 11 am to 6 pm.
Mrs. H also holds fun, relaxed auctions on the 1st Sunday and 3rd Thursday of the month. If you're ever around that part of the city when there's an auction, it's a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. Check out the previews on Facebook. Get there early enough to take a look and grab a snack or drink before the madness starts. We haven't been back in awhile because we always get caught up in the energy and, let's be honest, competition of it all and buy something. My favorite score was a lot of pyrex that S had to talk me into. I use it almost daily now!
28 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON
9. Christie Classic Antique Show
The Christie show is special because it only comes around twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. It takes place on 10 acres of the sprawling Christie Lake Conservation Area near Hamilton. It's extremely popular, so vendors tend to bring their best stuff. Get there early if you want the pick of the litter (and parking) and make sure wear comfy shoes because it's going to be a lot of walking!
Christie holds a special place in my heart because we bought our first big purchase there a couple of years ago. It was a beautiful, rustic drop leaf table with painted green legs. We almost missed out on it because it was the end of the day and I hemmed and hawed for far too long. When we decided to go for it, the dealer had just sold it to his friend, who was also a dealer. Thankfully the new dealer was kind enough to honor his buddy's price but he nearly choked when he realized how little he was going to make on it. Now we have a great story to go along with a piece we really love.