Canada

Treasure Hunting at Aberfoyle Antique Market

Is it time for another day trip? Why not experience something new with an old twist. That’s right, perhaps going treasure hunting at Canada’s largest outdoor antique market. The Aberfoyle Antique Market, less than an hour from Toronto, is open spring until fall. It features a Sunday exclusive market with over 100 of the best antique dealers, with an additional 30+ guest dealers.

Each dealer pride themselves in tapping into private sources from estate sales and out-of-the-way auctions to find the best items. You’ll find a wide variety of high quality pieces. From vintage jewellery to antiquarian books, from fine art to architectural salvage, and from collectible ceramics to lighting. It is bursting with the eclectic, including valuable antiques and sought-after vintage.

Who goes to Aberfoyle Antique Market?

Whether you are a regular or a one-time visitor we all share the same common goal – to find something special. It’s the thrill of the hunt isn’t it? Whether it’s a unique statement piece or a bit of nostalgia from our past. Since 1961, the Aberfoyle Antique Market has been welcoming the:

  • young and hip looking for something that’s different to stay ahead of the trend,
  • sharp-eyed collector on the hunt for their next treasure, 
  • savvy designer who always finds creative inspiration in those diamond in the rough items, or
  • day tripper, like me, who just loves to experience new places. 

What are some tips for treasure hunting?

Bring Cash. Almost all vendors are not set up with electronic payment options. Make sure you take out more cash than you think you’ll need, but there is a ATM on site. 

Do a Walk About. Start by doing a quick scan, making a mental note of the vendors that interest you. Take a quick photo on your  phone of the vendors you want to return to.   

Ask Questions. Vendors are a great resource and love to offer any information they have. Ask… Where did it come from? Does it have a story attached? Are there any tips for restoration or conservation? 

Pace Yourself. There is a lot of ground to cover and you don’t want to  experience sensory overload too quickly. Take a break. Grab something to eat at one of the food vendors. 

Keep an Open Mind. Bring a running list of items you might be looking for, without setting your intention on a specific item because chances are you’ll never find it. Dig deep, a lot of vendors have piles of treasures just waiting to be discovered. 

Negotiate Price. Simply ask “What is your best price”. Or, think of the price you would pay, then offer a bit less. Chances are vendors will meet you in the middle. 

Love it? Don’t Leave it. If you find the perfect item, don’t wait, buy it. Chances are it might not be there when you return. 

Where is Aberfoyle?

Aberfoyle is just 3km from the city limits of Guelph, about 45 minutes west of Toronto. The address of the Aberfoyle Antique Market is 57 Brock Road South, Puslinch (Guelph), Ontario.

The market is also dog friendly! Just adjacent to the parking lot is a massive grassy area for them to run around to blow off some steam (or do their business) before going into the market.

When is it open?

The market is only open on Sundays, April until October, from 8am until 4pm. Visit their website for their annual opening and closing dates. There is a $5 admission fee, but parking is free. 

The Aberfoyle Antique Market also features 2 Saturday Special Shows, one summer and one fall, each year. These special shows add an additional 90+ guest dealers.  Aberfoyle Antique Market say they draw massive crowds, but are worth it. The cost for these 2 special shows is $10, again parking is free. 

As a holidaymaker…

Adding a bit of vintage items to your home décor is very much on trend now. It adds a bit of interest and age to a space. Not to mention it saves items from going to the landfill. So, why not plan your next day trip to Aberfoyle Antique Market for a little treasure hunting. Your special item is just waiting to be discovered. 

30 Comments

  • Jennifer Prince

    Ok, I totally love antiques! I seriously would go to Canada just for the Aberfoyle Antique Market. I love hunting for treasures – my house is filled with them!

  • Anda

    I love treasure hunting in antique markets! Just reading your post makes me want to go to Aberfoyle. I wish we would have something like that in Los Angeles, but we only have fancy antique stores which charge a lot of money for their stuff.

  • Alice Mola

    I totally agree with the tip about bringing cash, this can help you negotiate as well! If you’re willing to present the cash for an item upfront, the seller may be willing to take a slightly lower rate than they originally wanted. I love vintage and thrift shopping and so happy to see it’s spreading more and more to local markets around the world.

  • Natascha

    I love strolling through flea and antique markets. I used to go every weekend, but I cut down, because I accumulated too many things. I would absolutely like to visit the Aberfoyle Antique Market (and buy more things)!

  • Barry Till

    I’m not big into buying antiques although I love to wander and browse these types of places just for the atmosphere of days gone by. I know a friend who would adore this however, so I would take them here as a surprise day out! The number of dealers there is huge so it must be quite an event. Never knew about Aberfoyle before – I must visit when I’m next in Toronto.

  • Paul Healy

    This market looks like such a great thing to do and it sounds like there are some treasures to be discovered. Great tips for having a strategy around your purchase as well, I always suck at haggling!

  • Agnes

    I add the Aberfoyle Antique Market to my bucket list when I will visit Toronto. I love old items, especially cameras, books, glasses. I also love their smell, texture, and materials. Even if I don’t buy because I don’t have space in my luggage, I often visit such markets during my travels. Negotiations are a great part of that kind of trip.

  • Linda (LD Holland)

    I do love to wander around antique markets. It looks like Aberfoyle is a good one. Some good tips here to be successful at getting what you want. Especially important to pick up something you love when you see it. We have been disappointed when we think we can go back.

  • Trisha Velarmino

    When I go to antique markets such as this, I really love to be surprised at what’s waiting for me. It’s not easy to find treasure in this day and age. I don’t mind digging through antiques and other things vintage in a place like this. This place is a true gem and I’m bookmarking it!

  • Annie H

    I was thinking, I don’t remember anything like this in Aberfoyle . . . . then I got to the bit that says Aberfoyle is 45 minutes west of Toronto. Aah, that explains it – wrong continent 🙂 I only know Aberfoyle in Scotland! Never been to an antique market either, but it sounds like an interesting experience.

  • Debra Schroeder

    I’m not a big shopper but I do love browsing and looking at antiques. This sounds like a fantastic time. I can’t wait to visit, hopefully we will still be able to next spring. I’ll remember to bring cash. Bummer that you can’t use credit cards or electronic payments.

  • Emma

    Definitely going on my next Ontario itinerary, I love discovering antique markets. There’s something really fun about finding these often unique items, and the fact that this place is so big makes me really excited to visit

  • JoJo Hall

    This is such a cool little antique market place! It’s always so much fun to walk around and explore antiques and old treasures. When I make it back to the Ontario region, I’ll be sure to check it out!

  • Emma Earthwanderer

    Ohh I just love unique antique finds! Aberfoyle Antique Market looks like a lot of fun, but treasure hunting really can be exhausting work. You’d definitely need to allow time to sit down and have lunch, while you take stock on what you’ve seen or bought. I agree, if you see something you love, don’t walk away! Murphy’s Law will make sure it’s gone by the time you get back.

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