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Montreal flea markets a meeting place for treasures and junk

April, 2009

Since the advent of ebay, we have come to believe that our junk is valuable to someone out there. Going to flea markets, you can see this for real. We are now afraid to throw anything out, since today’s garbage is tomorrow’s collectible.

The term ‘flea market’ has two different meanings. There are the real flea markets – where you may just find a flea – and then there are the wannabes that popped up in the 1980s selling new stuff but calling themselves flea markets as a way to skirt the no-Sunday-shopping law.

The true flea markets mentioned below sport tables and cabinets full of collectibles, antiques and junk all mixed up side by side. Browsing through them is fun, not only because you really score deals, but because they recall memories of your childhood in the cups your mother used, the black jaguar figurine from the breakfront, the radio in grandma’s house and loads of toys you played with.

If you’re about to clean out your home or that of your parents, here are some of the items I have noticed that are now selling as collectibles: ashtrays, cigarette lighters, fountain pens, penknives, kitchen appliances (toasters, mixers, blenders and such utensils as ice buckets and tongs), hard luggage, Frisbees, Schwinn bikes, change purses, tools, vacuum cleaners, and toys in their original boxes (sometimes the boxes are worth more than the toys inside!). However, when selling some I discovered I hardly got enough money to justify having stored them all these years.

Montreal North: Marché aux Puces, 7707 Shelley at St. Michel, side entrance at 3250 Crémazie, 514-721-7701. Hours: Open all year, Friday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. This newly enlarged building contains 100 stalls showcasing second-hand items and such collectibles as housewares, lamps, toys, guitars and amplifiers, kitchen items, vintage radios and sound equipment, records, jewelry (they do repairs, too) and furniture. There’s a snack bar on the premises.

Ste. Geneviève: Ste-Geneviève Flea Market, 15674 Gouin W., west of St. Jean, 514-626-4436. Hours: Open all year, Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. For antiques and collectibles, visit this little house and find 16 rooms filled with tools, glassware, jewelry, lamps, silverware, china and collectibles. There are also tables outside.

Le Faubourg des Antiquités, 15739 de la Caserne, west of St. Jean, 514-620-0505. Hours: Open all year, Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. When the Ste- Geneviève Flea Market downsized, many of the antique dealers moved across the parking lot to this newer location. You can have fun wandering through the kiosks visiting 30 friendly dealers who trade in porcelain, silver, antique furniture, jewelry, fixtures, dinnerware, pottery, trunks and collectibles.

Sandra Phillips is the author of Smart Shopping Montreal and Le Consommateur Averti Montréal, and you can find money-saving ideas on her shlog at



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