Fall Christie Antique Show

On Saturday we went Christie Lake Conservation Area for the fall Christie Antique Show. It's one of our favorite day trips out of the city. Since it only rolls around twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, we make a point to go. 

Antiques. Antiques everywhere. 

Antiques. Antiques everywhere. 

First of all, I love the atmosphere of the conservation area. Wandering the huge field of tents next to a the lake reminds me of going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival when I was a kid. Since the show is biannual, it also feels like vendors up their game. So its 10 acres interesting finds. 


I love seeing how the show changes each season as trends come and go. When we first started antiquing, there were old factory carts all over the place. People were using them as coffee tables. Now it's a surprise if we see one. On to the next, I guess!


The "next" seems to be European/French linens. A couple of years ago, these grain sacks were rare. The first time I saw one, I fell in love with the idea of using it as a table runner. 

On Saturday, though, It seemed like every other vendor had some now that decorating magazines are featuring them in different ways. I thought the prices were high a year ago, but they've gone up a lot since then. I'm glad I ended up making my own runner out of a similarly striped table cloth!

I fell in love with the shape of this sleigh

I fell in love with the shape of this sleigh

It's also fun to see what people get excited about. The crowd is so diverse. Hipsters wandering around drinking beer. Yuppies buying up rustic furniture. Thirty year old guys excitedly pulling out every wrestling figure from large bins and showing them off to their unimpressed wife/girlfriend. An elderly couple buying a guitar. Kids pulling their parents over to see something cool. 

We almost always go with something in mind for ourselves. This time, we wanted to find a filing cabinet since I have a new-to-me desk. Try as we might, though, we almost never come home with the thing we want. Instead, we come home empty-handed or, on the best days, something unexpected will catch our eye. It ends up being fun no matter what.

A day spent antiquing? C'est la vie is right. 

A day spent antiquing? C'est la vie is right. 

This year, all I bought were two beat up calligraphy pens. I can't use the nibs, but I'm excited to try out the holders. We also now have a complete set of original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. They are currently fighting The Shredder on our TV stand. Bet you didn't see that coming! 


I already can't wait for the next show on May 23, 2015.



Interested in going? You should! It's $10 to get in. You can buy your tickets online to avoid lineups. Parking is free and there are plenty of shuttles to the distant lots. It's a long day, but the food and drink vendors will help keep you full, caffeinated, and hydrated for all that shopping. 


10 favorite antique spots in Ontario

One of our go-to things to do on any given weekend is antiquing. It's a chance to get out of the city (usually) and look at oodles of interesting stuff. We don't really go to buy anymore--a city apartment can only hold so much and neither of us want to become hoarders--as much as we go to look, spend time together, and see if anything wonderful jumps out at us. 

Aberfoyle Antique Market, Fall 2013

Aberfoyle Antique Market, Fall 2013

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. 

Antique Malls

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

An Auction

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

Outdoor Markets

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. 

Apple picking ladders at Christie

Apple picking ladders at Christie

The great thing about Christie is that you never know what you're going to see. This year I fell in love with some old apple picking ladders. 

Parking is free but admission is $10 per person. 

1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas, ON

10.  Aberfoyle Antique Market

Aberfoyle is our favorite seasonal outdoor market. It's open every Sunday--rain or shine--from 8 am to 4 pm between April and October. For a $2 entrance fee, you'll have over 90 vendors to explore. Thirty of those vendors are visitors and can change from week to week, but there are over 60 permanent vendors with little sheds and outbuildings throughout the property. One of my favorite booths is full of vintage toys. Tt's fun just to walk in and hear everyone ooh and ahh over the nostalgia. 

Aberfoyle also does two special Saturday shows, one in spring and one fall. The entrance fee goes up to $5 per person for these, but there are around 60 more dealers on those days. 

57 Wellington Road 46 S, Guelph, ON

So that's the list for now. I haven't included every antiquing spot we've been to or enjoyed, but this is a list of places we return to fairly regularly and know well.

Since we are going down to the Niagara region more often, I'm hoping we discover some new favorites soon. There may be a new list in the future!