Blame the hip­sters or maybe the demise of Hon­est Ed’s, but flea mar­kets are back and bet­ter than ever: whose hag­gling is health­ier?

North Toronto Post - - Table of Contents - www.leslieville­ www.park­dale­

Owner(s); year es­tab­lished:

Chris­tine Roberts and Brigid Elmy of Les­lieville Flea; 2013 Vince Luk and Joshua James of Park­dale Flea; 2013

On a scale of one to An­tiques Road Show, how big is your pas­sion for flea mar­ket finds?

Off the charts: like pull the car to a screech­ing halt, dive into a dump­ster, pick things up road­side, pas­sion­ate! I’ve car­ried home old sal­vaged wood mould­ings while I was nine months preg­nant. I’m al­ways look­ing for a good deal, and I live for Stor­age Wars! It’s great be­ing the or­ga­nizer be­cause I al­ways get first dibs on those unique one-of-a-kind items!

Is there a cer­tain “reper­toire” amongst the dif­fer­ent ven­dors?

They are all truly amaz­ing and sup­port­ive peo­ple. They help each other out and many have be­come good friends. It’s like a fam­ily, re­ally. The ven­dors are in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive of each other, and I al­ways see trades hap­pen be­tween them. It’s a great com­mu­nity to be a part of.

You gotta love the hag­glers! Do peo­ple still barter for the best deal?

Def­i­nitely! We get some re­ally hard-core bar­gain hunters, so it can get pretty in­ter­est­ing, but our ven­dors re­ally know the value of each item. Oh, they ab­so­lutely hag­gle! Es­pe­cially with the an­tique and vin­tage items. Not so much with art and hand­made crafts.

Strangest/cra­zi­est thing you’ve seen some­one buy/sell?

I’ve seen a stuffed iguana sold; a ven­dor get chased by a chicken. Some­one once bought a full-length vin­tage fur coat in mid July! I have ac­tu­ally seen some­one buy an­i­mal re­mains from a cab­i­net of cu­riosi­ties. No joke. There is lit­er­ally some­thing for ev­ery­one.

One’s trash is another’s treasure. Is it hard to find cool items and sellers?

We base it on the qual­ity and type of items they sell. Our main fo­cus is vin­tage and hand­crafted goods, but we al­ways strive for a wide mix of items be­ing sold. Dif­fer­ent is al­ways good! We try to get a di­verse range of ven­dors, lo­cal ar­ti­sans and young en­trepreneurs. We se­lect those that show com­mit­ment to the qual­ity of their prod­ucts and an en­thu­si­as­tic at­ti­tude.

What clas­si­fies as the “holy grail” of flea mar­ket finds?

Any item that has a unique story be­hind it and has peo­ple ask­ing, “Where did you find that?!” Some­thing that has the cus­tomer beam­ing with ex­cite­ment at the treasure they found.



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