Parkdale Vendors Market brings good stuff cheap—including, yes, grilled cheese—to the street
With the exception of St. Lawrence Market and the here-today-gone-tomorrow craft fairs that fill up old churches, it seems there aren’t a lot of—at least, not a lot of good—community vendor markets, also known by their generic name: places to get random stuff from people cheaply. Most people are keen to stumble upon a great yard or estate sale, but the ones with the best cheap antiques are tricky to get to when they’re on a Sunday and two hours from home—so when we heard about Parkdale’s outdoor flea market, we were curious, if not a bit skeptical.
Sarah Hamel, a champion of independent jewellery designers at her boutique Made You Look, saw a void and started the Parkdale Vendors Market to showcase the strip’s local businesses and at-home crafters. Aside from the yearly street fair Cowan Nation, Parkdale doesn’t really have much to make it a weekend destination for anything other than sometimes-good vintage shops or food at Parts and Labour. When it started on June 4, we weren’t sure if this market had any traction. But with each passing weekend, it’s proven even more buzz-worthy, gaining a steady following.
What we found: ShopGirls Gallery Boutique exclusively stocking Canadian designers; The Well of Alternative Medicine offering up $1-per-minute massages (beat that, Chinatown); homemade jams from The Rustic Cosmo; grilled cheese and treat heaven Mangez; and tons of vintage clothing and random kitschy knick-knacks direct from Parkdale storage closets. There’s definitely more treasure than trash, but we still encountered our share of screaming man A and semi-nude woman B along the way.
Parkdale Vendors Market, 1273 Queen St. W., every Saturday until September, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.