St. Catharines sits just 20 kilometers from Niagara Falls and is the Niagara region’s largest city. Home to some excellent restaurants and breweries, St. Catharines also boasts Ontario’s largest, indoor and outdoor flea market. While the term originated from marché aux puces — a name given to a marketplace in Paris where tired, used items were sold, ostensibly with fleas — the St. Catherine’s Factory Outlet Flea Market is tidy, clean, and filled with such a vast assortment of items and wares that on Sundays seems to offer nowhere near the time necessary for the die-hard second-hand treasure hunter. The next time you book a stay in the Niagara region, be sure to leave your Sunday wide open for an unforgettable trip to the St. Catharine’s Factory Outlet Flea Market.
How it Works
Today’s flea markets are usually made up of individual stalls or booths, where different purveyors set up shop and sell their goods. While at some flea markets, each booth’s owner receives payment at his or her space for whatever it is a customer wants to buy, other markets have a centralized checkout area, where customers can purchase all they’ve found within the entire market in one fell swoop as they’re leaving the building. The St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market utilizes the latter method, which makes it simpler for guests to peruse their over 250 stalls stocked by 125 different sellers. The variety of items available is truly impressive, which is why over 2,000 people descend upon the market every Sunday, which is the only day it is open.
What You’ll Find
It can be difficult to adequately categorize all the items you can find at a flea market, and the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market is no exception. Kitchen utensils, sports memorabilia, books, furniture, homemade knit children’s clothing, records, preserves, and antiques of all stripes, shapes, and sizes are all par for the course, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg, too. Whether you need a one-of-a-kind gift for your college-aged son, a vintage dress for a costume party, or you collect a certain style of pottery from the early 20th century, this flea market is the perfect place to try and find exactly what you need, especially since it’s also the kind of place where you might get lucky and happen upon all three. From the moment you step into the market until the time you leave, you’ll find you’re always at the perfect shopping intersection of the hard-to-find, the truly nostalgic, the incredibly useful, and the reasonably priced.
What Goes On
In addition to being a storehouse of a little bit of everything under the sun, the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market also hosts a number of events. Every Sunday finds plenty of locals in the cafeteria at 1:30 p.m. to try their hand at winning Bingo, and anyone is welcome to join in. They also host photo contests and coloring contests of different kinds throughout the year. And every May finds the market hosting their annual Community Swap Meet where, for $20, people set up their own little yard sale alongside the many stalls and booths, transforming the space into an even more impressive bargain hunter’s dream.
Spend your next Sunday in Niagara at the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market where you’ll find all sorts of items you need and plenty that you don’t in one unforgettable space in the heart of Niagara.