The hall is dimly lit and warm. Customers wander slowly, browsing tables filled with artwork, candles, delectable cupcakes, sparkling jewelry and other artisanal goods.
This is the Trinity Bellwoods Flea, a reoccurring event with no admission fee that brings both new and seasoned vendors to The Great Hall in downtown Toronto. As Stevie Nicks croons on the sound system, attendees socialize as and small-scale vendors sell their wares. It’s usually held every other weekend.
“The importance of it is it really takes us back to a sense of community,” she said. “It gives people what they call ‘community culture.’”
Laplume said she started organizing her own markets because she was dissatisfied with the others in Toronto. She launched the Trinity Bellwoods Flea in 2015 to sell her soy candles from her company Citchen Candle Co.
She also said she wanted to provide a space for people with talent, passion, and will to showcase their work.
“Shopping local benefits your community,” said Laplume. “It’s sustainable, and it’s eco-friendly.”
She said that buying locally can create a “ripple effect that extends further than I know” to impact everyone involved in a positive way.
Toronto Illustrated artist Christine Audit has been participating in Laplume’s markets since the beginning. She likes the idea of handmade goods being appreciated by others.
“There are too many big bosses taking over everything,” she said. “All of us little people are getting pushed out.”
The Trinity Bellwoods Flea market is currently scheduled to pop up again each month from March to September at The Great Hall.