I’ve been wanting to try the Junction Flea since it started last year and yesterday I finally made it to Dundas West and Keele for Toronto’s hippest outdoor flea market. Organized by Paul Mercer (Smash) and Micah Lenahan (Russet & Empire), this is a flea market with a difference: from the tattooed, platinum blonde greeter at the entrance table (admission is $2) to the beer and super cool snacks (yummy tacos from ESÉ including vegetarian!), there’s nothing run of the mill about the Junction Flea.
The vibe on the lot was relaxed and friendly mostly stemming from the fact that the dealers are all so darn happy to be there. One after another reported that this is one wildly successful flea with cool customers who are there to shop and don’t worry much about haggling. Across the board I found the prices to be surprisingly low.
The morning felt like old home week as I reconnected with some of my fave dealers including Mercer and Paul Campbell, Liz from The Arthur, Leslie from Eclectisaurus, Mark from World Headquarters and Britton Smith from St. Lawrence Antiques Market. I have been avoiding these kinds of temptation destinations but there was a little something I needed, and of course I came home with a few something elses, as well.
Aside from the impossibly hip locals, the Junction Flea is happening because the dealers know where the decorating compass is pointing. Union Jacks have been hot for a few years and I saw them everywhere.
1940s kitsch? Check. Industrial shelving and lighting? Double check. Vintage sign lettering? You bet.
The world of hipster chic is also defined by a certain aesthetic, a sort of steampunk mishmash that caught fire with The Selby and has been burning ever since. Most of the stalls exhibited the style but none more so than Eclectic Pelican, below. If you want to see what the kids are up to, head to the Junction.
I’ve been needing a reading lamp and while I imagined a vintage gooseneck floor lamp that’s not what I came home with. My new old lamp has a compact base that takes up no room at all on the side table and it casts a surprisingly bright light across my Globe and Mail. And for $15 how could I go wrong?
I also made a little fashion purchase with these mint condition Dack brogues, so pristine the gold lettering inside the shoes is untouched. They’re “custom grade” incredibly well made shoes and for $35 per pair you can bet I came home with both.
If I had the wall space I would have also purchased the vintage tin artwork below, priced at just $50.
There was also a stall featuring original silkscreen prints suitable for framing.
You can see why my friend Nancy and I had such a great day yesterday. Perfect summer weather, a relaxed vibe and some wickedly good bargains — what’s not to love? The next Junction Flea is on August 11, save the date and I’ll see you there.