Archives: antiques


It’s a different world just a short 30 minute drive away from downtown Hamilton.  Straight up Upper James for a few kilometers, and you will hit the small and quaint town of Caledonia.  I had no idea it was so close!  We wanted to check it out over the weekend for the city-wide garage sale.  However, leaving the house after 10am meant that we had basically missed most of the good deals and sales.  With the rain managing to hold off for the afternoon it was still worth the trip to discover some of these Caledonian gems.

Caledonia, Grand River, Ontario, railway bridge, fishing

Searching the residential back roads for good sales we came upon a stretch of road along side the river, and when we came upon this I couldn’t help but gawk at the old Grand River Mills.  What a building!  It was a wheat flour mill built in 1853.  Powered by the flowing river, it milled wheat into flour from 1857 until the 1960′s! Currently you can’t enter the building, but since it is a designated historic building you can rest assured that it is being preserved.  There are plans for its eventual reuse that I believe are currently in the works.

Old Grand River Mill, Caledonia, Ontario

After scouring a few more garage sales and coming up empty handed we decided to make our way.  Our first stop before crossing the river back to town was at this antique shop at the old Haldiman House, which just so happens to have been built by James Little, who also built the flour mill by the river.

Caledonia, Ontario, antiques

Next to the antique store was an 85 year old snack bar called the Oasis.  We grabbed an ice-cream there for our first of what was to be several Caledonia treats.

Oasis, old burger joint, Caledonia, Ontario, old signage

Heading back over the bridge I spotted Jones Bakery.  Another old establishment still baking with a brick oven!  We sampled a butter tart, and some bread.  Prices for treats in Caledonia sure can’t be beat.  Steve made a payment of less than $2 and it covered everything.  We should have bought a fresh rhubarb pie.

Jones Bakery, Caledonia Ontario, Brick Oven, Established 1904

Jones bakery had a fine selection of candy too, beautifully displayed in that old-fashioned way.

 Jones Bakery, Caledonia, candy and baked goods

Well, we left Caledonia empty of garage sale finds, but I left feeling satisfied having explored a new area that I’d never been to before.

ottawa street

The past few weeks has seen lots of action on Ottawa Street.  Just 2 weeks back on September 16th Ottawa Street hosted Sew Hungry: Food Truck and Restaurant Rally 2011.  I heard about the event the day of, when I saw this poster at Downtown Bike Hounds.  I was already on my way out for a lunch date so I was sad that I didn’t get to sample all of the latest gourmet trucks that have been popping up around the city and around southern Ontario.

Apparently the first Sew Hungry Food Truck event saw 8000 people attend!  The rally featured local trucks; Gorilla Cheese‘s gourmet grilled cheeses, Sweetness Bakery and Cupcake Diner‘s gourmet cupcakes plus a whole slew more of out of town speciality food trucks.  If you’re into the latest food truck craze that’s been hitting the hammer, you’ll also be happy to know that there is also the super amazing Sweet Ice snow cone stand/trailer, which made their appearance at this year’s Supercrawl. Sweet Ice  is hosting a dance party event this Saturday, October 1st at Vasco Da Gama; 175 James St. North, featuring DJ Donna Lovejoy on the 1′s and 2′s, plus there’s promise of a giant lite brite AND mixed drink snow cones!

Sew Hungry, BIA, Ottawa St.  Hamilton, Ontario, food trucks, Gorilla Cheese,

There’s been big changes happening on Ottawa Street the past few years.  I remember when I was a kid, when Ottawa Street was primarily known as a garment district.  I’d come down with my mom to get fabric and supplies for extravagant dance recital outfits.

Things have been changing over the years and it appears as though Ottawa Street tells a similar story to that of how Locke street looked a few years back (when the street consisted mainly of antique shops, many of who have moved on down to Ottawa Street where the rent is more affordable).  There are still some fabric stores complemented by upholstery shops, a giant wallpaper store, restaurants, delis, and an art gallery.  The storefront landscape is for sure evolving .

I recently visited the strip for some antiquing.  My first stop was to the latest edition to the block; Steel Town Pickers at 180 Ottawa St. north.

Steel Town Pickers, 180 Ottawa Street North, Hamilton, Ontario

There are more antique stores on Ottawa Street.  More than I can count on my fingers these days.  Below are some photos from various antique stores on the strip.

vintage paintings, flock of geese, Ottawa Street, Hamilton, Ontario, antiques

Ottawa Street, Hamilton, Ontario, antiques

antiques, Ottawa Street, Hamilton, Ontario, vintage cocktail glasses

Antique Avenue, which is my favourite antique store, opened up nearly 9 months ago with a huge stock of antique and vintage that came primarily from one man’s personal collection. To read the story click here.

Every time I go by this store I always make sure to pick up a little something.  It’s a great place to buy super unique gifts.  There’s an amazing selection of vintage magazines, books, tins, jars, dishes, toys, furniture, frames, tools etc.  You name it they’ve got it.  The owner’s of the store Tom Watson and Adam Hughes always give out great deals too.

Earle Stanley Gardner, mystery novel, vintage books, The Case of the Golddigger's purse, Ottawa Street, antiques, Antique Avenue

Antique Avenue, antiques, Hamilton, Ontario, Ottawa Street, ceramic squirrel sitting on giant nut

vintage hulk hogan lunch pale, antique avenue, hamilton ontario, ottawa street

Welcome Back Kotter, vintage doll, Antique Avenue, Ottawa Street, Hamilton, Ontario, antiques

Ottawa street is also home to a weekly farmer’s market, the first Tim Horton’s ever, a super record store, and regular and awesome sidewalk sales.

*Antique Avenue, 329 Ottawa St. north, Hamilton, Ontario, 905.547.7168

antiques & breakfast

Antiques and greasy breakfast go so well together.  While we were in Kingston to see the Wolfe Island Music Festival, we visited  friends, went to the antique market at Market Square, and dined at the Right Spot for a delicious greasy breakfast.

Kingston antique market, view finder

Kingston antique market, antique tins

Kingston antique market, antique tricycle

Kingston antique market, antique stadium seats, antique theatre seats

Kingston antique market, bicycle

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

I ordered French toast and home fries (sorry no picture). Their home fries are thinly sliced medallions, griddle fried in bacon grease to a crisp golden brown perfection. My French toast was crispy and savoury (from bacon grease) on the outside, but soft and sweet, melt in my mouth on the inside.

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

The owners are a sweet couple that run the place (just the two of them).  I will be sad if I ever come to Kingston and I see that they’ve retired and the place is closed down.  I hope that there’s someone to carry on their delicious tradition of making the yummiest, cheapest, greasy breakfast in town.

*Right Spot, 171 Wellington St, Kingston, Ontario. 613.546.0767


Last weekend we visited the Aberfoyle Antique market on a hot and gorgeous summer day.  For the small price of $2 per person we were granted access to more antiques than you could ever dream of.  There were some good bargains, while some vendors were looking to fetch a pretty penny.  We bought some old postcards to add to our growing collection, a steel grate that we will use as our cold air return floor grate (we were happy for the find because old grates are hard to come by), and two steel outdoor chairs that I love.

Aberfoyle Antique Market

blue metal antique chairs, Aberfoyle Antique Market

We picked up these 2 metal chairs for $35 each for our backyard. I love their seafoam bluey green colour.

colourful vintage antique chairs, Aberfoyle Antique Market

antique, vintage knick knacks, figurines, Aberfoyle Antique Market

antique game, Aberfoyle Antique Market

vintage paperback, mystery novel, Fiery Fingers

vintage, antique books, Aberfoyle Antique Market

vintage 60's & 70's casserole dishes, Aberfoyle Antique Market

yellow, red, metal, letters & numbers, Aberfoyle Antique Market

letter press numbers, and letters, Aberfoyle Antique Market

Hamilton antique steel metal plates, Aberfoyle Antique Market

old globes, Aberfoyle Antique Market

vintage pez dispensers, Aberfoyle Antique Market

The Aberfoyle market is open every Sunday 8am-4pm, starting generally from the last Sunday of April to the last Sunday of October, rain or shine.

*Aberfoyle Antique Market, 57 Brock Rd. south, Guelph, 519.763.1077

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