Photo fun at the Flea Market

Beloved wanted to do one thing on our summer vacation this year, and no, it wasn’t painting the bedroom an extraordinary shade of yellow. He wanted to visit the Antrim Flea Market, the country cousin of our dearly missed Stittsville Flea Market, gone now for many a years. Unfortunately, in this summer of never-ending rain, it seemed to rain hardest on Sunday mornings, the only time the flea market is running. For four Sundays in a row, he was thwarted in his flea market pinings.

And then, this Sunday, the sun shone down with a vengeance! It was hot, bright, and sunny — a perfect day for a flea market road trip. I’m not a huge flea market consumer, but I do love to browse. And take photographs! This one is my favourite – look closely, it’s dozens of shiny, sparkly self-portraits!

209:365 I've lost my marbles!

It’s rare that I actually buy stuff at a flea market. The boys love to search the boxes for toys, and we usually let them choose a small trinket or two. Last year, it was all about the Star Wars toys. This year, it’s all Pokemon all the time. Me, I just like to browse. And touch. I loved this collection of keys, although if I bought them they’d only sit in a box somewhere.


I wonder if any of the keys would work with any of these locks?


I came very close to buying this violin. I don’t play, and I’m not sure a flea market instrument is the way to start, but I’ve always loved the colours and curves in stringed instruments.

209b:365 Violin

(I liked this picture so much that I thought a B&W version would be nice to showcase the shadows and contrasts. What do you think?)

Violin in b&w

This 1956 VW Beetle was in near-mint condition. It wasn’t for sale, but it was up for raffle. Beloved bought a $5 ticket and promised that if he wins, he will give the car to his Dad, who has apparently loved a few VW bugs in his time. (Oh look, there I am again! Who, me, narcissistic? No, just in love with shiny things!)

1956 VW bug

The thing I like about flea markets is the nostalgia. I showed the boys a couple of those old black rotary-dial telephones and told them about the days when phones said “rrrrrrrring” instead of “oolooloolooloo”. We found a Mrs Beasly doll just like the one I had when I was seven (rats, forgot to upload that one to Flickr!) and a neat vintage tin lunchbox that I *almost* bought (circa 1975) and a carton of 8-track cassettes that would have worked in the station wagon I learned to drive on when I was 16.

Coke sign

I almost picked up some pyrex dishes, too… pretty AND functional. But I didn’t. The fun is in the looking, and not in the having. And, of course, in the photographing. I knew Beloved had completely capitulated to the idea of my 365 project when he started pointing out props I could buy to make interesting shots, or finding interesting objects I could photograph.

I don’t know whether it was the light, or the warm summer day, or kismet, but everywhere I looked there was interesting photographs and most of them turned out better than I’d hoped. I kind of wish I could save some of these pictures and use them as the picture of the day over a week or two!

209c:365 Trucks

(There are yet more flea market pictures in a set on Flickr, if you like!)

What about you? Are you a flea market fan? Or do you find other people’s cast-offs more trash than treasure? Got a favourite flea market find or, even better, another flea market to add to the list of Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

9 thoughts on “Photo fun at the Flea Market”

  1. I was never a flea market fan. My parents dragged me to ours every weekend, and I hated it. It was smoky (this was the ’80s) and we lived in a very religious town, so going to the flea market instead of church meant we kind of stood out.

    Now that I’m an adult, though, I love the treasure hunt. I’m even getting into garage sales. There’s great stuff, cheap. And nobody’s allowed to smoke indoors anymore so it’s much more livable.

    Great pics!

  2. That is a great group of pics… I love the first one. Like so much. Like, hang it on my wall and pretend it’s mine. 🙂

  3. My hubby is a flea market fan from a long way back. He used to live in Carp and would bike to the Stittsville flea market as a young boy. Can you imagine letting your boys bike along a country high way for 20K. HA, how times had changed.

    We were at the Antrim market a few weeks ago. The weather wasn’t great and I think a lot of vendors were absent, but I got myself some fresh produce and enjoyed the browsing.

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