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Shop Spotlight: Antique Avenue

by - Monday, February 07, 2011

I've been going through antiquing withdrawal lately. In the summertime, most weekends we'll take a little road trip, leaving the big city behind to explore small towns rife with old treasures. So when my fellow vintage-loving friend Tara at The Cinnamon Post mentioned Antique Avenue in Hamilton, I knew just where I could get my next antiquing fix.


The story of this shop is an intriguing one. The owners Adam Hughes and Tom Watson purchased the entire inventory from one person - a man named Darryl who had amassed nine truckloads worth of collectables, purchased from yard sales, auctions and estate sales over the last 30 years. Hughes and Watson, who renovated old houses for a living, bought the whole collection for $100,000 and became first-time shopkeepers, setting up their store in an 8,000 sq ft space on Ottawa St. N. in Hamilton. So fascinating, right?

Now you can understand why we jumped in the car and made the trek out on a very snowy Saturday last weekend. Lucky for us, the store was packed to the brim! Aisle after aisle of vintage goods, beautifully displayed. (Excuse the poor iPhone photos)


There was a bottle and jar aisle,

And a toy aisle,

A housegoods aisle,

An electronics aisle, a hardware aisle,

And some furniture too. There weren't many furniture pieces but I think the limited floor space probably means they have other pieces stored offsite. Hmmm. I loved these oversized tomes containing newspaper articles. Wouldn't they look great displayed in a library, stacked on the hearth of a fireplace?

Looks like quite the store right? But wait... there was more. The back third of the store was cordoned off by a black curtain. And there were just as many shelves there filled with unpacked boxes. Seriously, I think there was the next five year's worth of inventory back there, just waiting to be uncovered and unearthed, catalogued and itemized.


Were it not for a cranky, hungry toddler clinging to me, I would have settled in for the rest of the afternoon poring through those boxes. There's nothing like the 'hunt', right? I ended up buying a few things and I'll show them to you in another post. With nine truckloads of stuff to sell, I'm pretty sure this store will have some new treasures each time I go back. Maybe I'll bump into you there.

Antique Avenue
329 Ottawa St. N.
Hamilton, ON

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30 comments

  1. i know a little boy that would go nutso over those tractors and this momma wants those old wooden crates and that aluminum lunch box. i would so be there if i didnt live in nh!

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  2. I hope you had fun Jen! I can't wait to see what treasures you found. I stuck my 5 year old in front of the 1980's wrestling figurines which afforded me a couple of minutes in the back:)

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  3. Omg, my son would have a fit if he saw all of those trucks and tractors!

    That place looks awesome and I am super impressed with how neat and organized it is! All of our antique shops around here are nice but it looks like everything is just thrown onto a shelf and they called it a day.

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  4. wow - I think I'm hyperventilating over here!! I need to get there!! Now that's my idea of a perfect way to spend a day! thanks for the heads up xo

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  5. Ya know, what a great investment idea. I think Hoarders should proposition this to investors. I mean it eliminates junk from one source and put it on display to become treasures for many people.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

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  6. O.M.G. Speechless. Loooove it! Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Oh I think I need that Coca Cola crate!
    Thanks for the tip,

    Take care,
    Lisa

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  8. Wow, that looks like so much fun. I love how well organized the shop is. Most of the Antique shops I visit are just a jumble of things. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. We must have been on the same brain wave! Yesterday was spent adventuring into the countryside around Perth, ON antique hunting. We were looking for furniture and came across a treasure trove at the end of the journey. Many of the places were boarded up for the winter though, which was sad! Happy hunting and awaiting your reveal...

    C.A.

    thedo-tique.blogspot.com

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing this... I am now dying to go! Hopefully I can drag B out there one afternoon for a trip! :)

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  11. I've done the Ottawa avenue strip before but I think I actually missed this one, which apparently is a travesty! Thanks for the link- will definitely be checking it out soon. I spent Sunday at St. Lawrence and was actually childless so it was quite delightful!

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  12. great story and great store!! looks like an ideal place for treasure hunting and you will never know what you may find there!

    Thanks for sharing.. . now only if I can have a bigger place to house my "treasures".

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  13. Christine - it only opened in January so your sharp eye didn't miss anything :) Childless & browsing St.Lawrence antiques? Sounds like a perfect Sunday!

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  14. Oh my goodness, what a treasure! I need to visit this store! And their story is so incredible!

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  15. Thanks for sharing, Jen, this place looks like a treasure hunter's paradise!! Can't wait to check it out (and you know I will ASAP)!!

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  16. oh wow! so fab--wish i could visit this gem~ so many wonderful treasures!

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  17. I read about this store a little while back on Tara's blog. It looks and sounds like a fascinating place! It must be filled with all sorts of fantastic finds and treasures :-)

    I'm having a giveaway for a beautiful horse photograph by Diane Schuller. I hope you'll come by my blog and check it out :-)

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  18. That place looks incredible!
    It reminds me of a lot of the stuff we saw this weekend on the TV show American Pickers. Not sure if you get it, but its on the History channel, and it involves two guys going around to people's houses and finding those things in basements and barns. Totally fascinating.

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  19. Looks like a great place! I'm interested in doing more of this kind of shopping but it is hard to know where to start.

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  20. Cool!...I live in London...so not too far from Hamilton will have to check it out sometime...thanks!

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  21. That's not an antique store, it's an antique supermarket!

    Love it.

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  22. OMG! That place look like a blast!!! I think I would be overwhelmed with all its goodies!

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  23. Alicia - you're so right, it IS an antique supermarket!

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  24. Thanks for letting me know about this Jen. I ventured out on Saturday (and came back in a bit of a blizzard - the things we do for antiquing!) I started going through some of the boxes - there were a lot of old mags from the 1960's - 1980's and I loved flipping through the BHG ones. I'm sure there are treasures in there and like you said, they will probably replenish items over the upcoming weeks.

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  25. That looks amazing. How were the prices? We need to have bloggers roadtrip there.

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  26. Thanks for sharing this with us. I can't wait to check it out!

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  27. Anonymous7:05 AM

    I lived in Burlington for a number of years and I loved going to Ottawa street. Great fabric stores too. Next time we visit Ontario I'll have to make time for this shop.

    Amy

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  28. Sounds like a great activity for a cold weekend!

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  29. Ahh, the agony....I live on the west coast! I would love to hit a shop like that. Well, we have a gem here as well, his prices are a bit high but he is always willing to negotiate.

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