Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We Flea To The Aberfoyle Antique Market

Sick of your Ikea furniture? Does your pad need a little personality? Aberfoyle Antique Market is a rain or shine outdoor market with all sorts of flea happy finds. It's open every Sunday from Spring to Fall with about 100 dealers offering practically anything you could think of! You'll find true antiques, vintage pieces and everything in between. The dealers are set up both in booths and outside. Spend the day browsing the merchandise and haggle yourself a great deal.
Getting There
Pack some snacks and head out for a day trip by car. One mile north off 401 exit 299 near Guelph. The market opens up again for the season THIS Sunday April 29th until Sunday October 28th from 8 am - 4 pm every Sunday only. There are a few special Saturday shows, but check the website for the most updated dates.
Admission, Parking and Dogs
Admission is $2 to get in (per person) and parking is free (over 1000 spots available). If you buy something large, you'll receive a ticket to a loading area where you can pull up to load your purchase. Dogs are welcome to Aberfoyle as well, but it must be on a leash at all times. 
Before You Start 
It can be really easy to get absorbed in each stall. I find when people first arrive, they spend a LOT of time browsing each booth carefully. There is a lot to see and often they end up rushing through the last half of the stalls because they've run out of time. Make sure you get there earlier in the day if you want to spend a lot of time at each booth - remember, there are about 100 booths, if you spend ten minutes at each, it would take you over 16 hours!
What Will I See?
Furniture, tables, lamps, jewellery, paintings, dishes, instruments, hardware, tools, albums, books, collectible cards and toys and of course, knick-knacks!
Take the first couple hours to zip around to the stalls to look for that nightstand that catches your eye. You'll likely find a few that you like, so ask about the price, haggle a bit and find yourself the best deal. Then you can enjoy the rest of the day knowing you've already found your treasure and maybe find a few more.
Toronto vs. Aberfoyle
A perfect example of why Aberfoyle is a great place to shop is that it's priced a lot more fairly then so many Toronto antique stores. An example of this is when I was looking for a storm window to hang on my wall, and the prices I found along Queen West were anywhere from $125 - $250. I found what I was looking for at Aberfoyle for $15!
Take a picnic lunch, snacks and water to make your visit even cheaper. There are plenty of picnic tables over the 20 acre lot for you to sit and enjoy your lunch. The restaurant on site serves typical grill food like burgers and hot dogs, all at reasonable prices (approx $4 for a burger). You can sit inside to take a break from the sun, or take it out to one of the covered picnic tables. There is also an ice cream booth with lots of great flavours of ice cream and frozen yogurt. Unfortunately no non-dairy products were available except for cans of pop.
How To Pay
Cash is recommended as all the booths will accept it. There is an ATM on site if you fall in love with something and haven't brought enough cash. Some dealers may accept credit cards, but the safer bet (and better for you to not get too carried away) would be cash.
Final Tip
Bring sunscreen. You'll be outside all day. Soak it up and enjoy the beautiful weather.

The Aberfoyle Antique Market
A special thanks to our Guest Blogger, Kathryn Barlow for this fantastic piece. Photos are credited to her and Jason Soo.  Do check out Kathryn's website! She is also an extremely talented freelance web & motion designer based out of Toronto: www.kbarlowdesign.com

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