Parkdale Flea

Inaugural Parkdale Flea brings the kitsch to Queen St.

Parkdale is possibly the most idyllic mini-borough in Toronto to be hosting a flea market. This stretch of Queen West is already liberally speckled with antique stores, vintage clothing boutiques, and rambling junk shops. It only makes sense to rustle up some of those vendors, as well as more flea-oriented entrepreneurs, and put on a delightful summer yard sale. The inaugural flea was on Sunday at 1266 Queen St. W., at Dufferin (the same building as the Parkdale Legal Clinic).

If you're a vintage lover and you missed this, you can at least look forward to the fact that there's another one coming up. The stars that govern ethical commerce have smiled upon you: there will be another flea on August 4. Hoarders, go forth and rejoice! Here are my top picks from the vendors at the first round of the flea.

Flock accessories
In jewelry right now, so many designers have drawn inspiration from the same trends (feathers, teeth, spikes) that it's hard to find a piece that's truly unique. Flock is one few I've seen lately who makes the cut. If you grew up on a farm, you need to check out this shop: designer Lauren Ho uses fish skin instead of leather, and dyes horse hair and puts it on necklaces. She hand-dyes her own suede. She is awesome, and her creations are so weird (and beautiful) that they're a little story in themselves.


Fitzy makes classic leather accessories that I have been altered or morphed to have a more high-end, designer vibe, but the pieces are also really affordable. Highlights at ther table included a nude leather glasses case ($65) and a collection of small leather pouches, leather-embellished jewelry and key chains ($30).

Parkdale Flea

Joti Gill and Kristen Hiney just launched e79 jewelry, and I'm willing to bet they'll soon be well-known jewelry designers in Toronto. They make long gold necklaces with inch long charms that look like little magical telescopes, adorned with bright sapphires ($180). They also have precious bow rings (starting at $65), which seem to suit everyone so well right now, from tattooed rockabilly chicks to preppy, proper young ladiezz. Soon to open up shop in the Junction, e79 is not one to be missed if you have a girly gal in the circle of your heart.

Parkdale Flea

As always in our fair city in July, the weather was sticky and stifling on this particular Sunday, despite spastic bouts of rain. earth&city beckoned through the heat like a mirage, with a table full of fresh juices and healthy smoothies. I ordered a frothy potion of kale, strawberry and cinnamon, which sounds gross but actually tastes like the kind of breakfast you'd feed to a shrill and finicky child. Aka, delicious. It's also so nutritious I can feel it making up for the fact that I subsisted on cigarettes and bourbon for the preceding days of the weekend. They also make lemonade and beet juice, and their products are totally vegan. Nom.

Parkdale Flea

Nola Grimes
Nola Grimes is so ironic I'm almost convinced the shop isn't stylish on purpose. Seahorse necklaces. Cleopatra-inspired chokers. Lady-compacts complete with little rose patterns and mirrors. Leather lady-bags. Everything in here would pair perfectly with messy-ass hair and leather, just to add a bit of jokey femme and propriety to the situation.

Parkdale Flea

Noble Street Antiques
Noble Street was a standout participant at Sunday's flea. Their wares were displayed inside the building, and they essentially had anything any home decor connoisseur could wish for. There were Polaroids, vintage suitcases, antique windows repurposed as chalk boards. There were small just-because-i-love-you gifts, like horns ($5) and Coke jack-knives ($20). There was an actual pinball machine. Noble Street stole the day, boys.

Parkdale Flea

1% talent
These screenprinted tees are ideal for the geeks and fringey class-clown types in your life. They proudly feature strangely-shaped animals and mountains with faces, among a gamut of other choices, for about $30. There are different designs, too, including slim-fit tanks and loser-fitting tees. Weird for sure, but awesome.

Parkdale Flea

Violet Crown vintage
Violet Crown vintage deals in truly wearable retro finds. I spot a pair of Yves St. Laurent sandals that look straight out of 1994, a fringed cowboy vest in powder blue (on sale for $99), and a huge collection of wooly sweaters for chilly nights by the water (about $20 to $30). They've got a bit of a country vibe going on, and it makes for standout shopping.

Parkdale Flea

L&A Vintage
L&A Vintage sells a carefully selected collection of antiques. They have lots of great jewelry in the form of lockets and bright earrings, but the standouts are definitelypieces made out of wood. Standouts include canes to get your pimp on (or..prop yourself or a friend up if either of you needs it, obviously) and vintage wood shipping crates for about $20 to $50.

Parkdale Flea

Gotamago doesn't just churn out cards based on trends. Their designs are goofy, inspired by sumo wrestlers, maps, pho, and Toronto's architecture. Cards are created for all occasions, and they can be purchased online for a mere $5.43.

The next Parkdale Flea is August 4 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and it will again be set up at 1266 Queen St. W.

Photos by Jesse Milns

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