Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Spring Cleaning During A Pandemic (Tips!)

Hello Market-Goers!

Most of the organizations that accept second-hand items are closed right now - including our Really Really Free Market. Some organizations, such as Diabetes Canada, are even begging people to stop leaving items at their donation bins, as they will ultimately end up in the garbage since they can't be collected at this time.
If you are able to store your stuff for when donations can be accepted again, that's the best thing to do! 
If you really really can't keep and store your items, then you can post things for free online. Many people are struggling with layoffs and might really need what you have. We would only recommend doing this if you can arrange contactless porch pick-ups. It would also be good to advise recipients to handle things with care: wash/sanitize hands after pick-up and wash/sanitize items before use.

Below are some places you can share and/or look for items for free:
     ✹ facebook.com/marketplace/
     ✹ buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/
     ✹ bunz.com
     ✹ PALZ groups on Facebook (search "PALZ" to find various groups)
     ✹ freecycle.org
     ✹ Kijiji.ca
     ✹ craigslist.org
     ✹ trashnothing.com
     ✹ Use Facebook’s search bar to look up the name of your neighbourhood, a local Buy/Sell/Trade           group might show up
     ✹ Putting items on your front lawn, if the weather doesn't call for rain, with a "free" sign for those           that live on a busy street.
Tip: When posting items to give away online, be sure to include:
1) Photo(s)
2) A description with the condition of the item
3) The closest intersection to the pick-up location

We hope everyone is staying healthy, safe and is well during these times.
Love, The RRFM Team 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Update + What To Do During Quarantine

Hello folks!

I hope all is well for you during these uncertain times.

As you (may) already know, the RRFM is CLOSED until further notice.  It is of course sad - but necessary as physical distancing is the safest thing we can do for ourselves and for each other. We miss you all dearly and look forward to seeing your bright and smiling faces when it is safe for us to re-open the RRFM market!

I have been in quarantine for a little over a month now. It started off pretty fun, I got to spend my time catching up on everything I couldn't do before. Finally watching that netflix show thats been on 'My List' for months, chatting with friends (over the phone) I hadn't seen in a while, and finishing up my school work. But . . . by the third week I hit a wall! I was SO! BORED! I had more spare time on my hand than I was used to, which definitely seems to be the general consensus amongst a lot of us. With all of this spare time, I didn't really know what to do. And then I got to thinking about all the cool items I picked up at the market over the past year and got busy. So here are my top three activities (right now) when that self-isolation boredom hits you hard:

#1: That Stack of Books 

You know, that stack. The stack that you keep telling yourself you'll get too when you just have a little bit more free time. Well, nows that time! I know I have picked up SO many book from the market over the past few months that I told myself I would get too one day. Today is that day!

I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but my recommendation to you is to pick which one to start with based on the cover. You likely picked it up because the description piqued your interest - so no need to read it again! Just choose at whim and get to reading.

#2: Try to craft! 

Learning a new form of art can be really intimidating, whether its painting, sewing, drawing, knitting, collaging, etc. All can be really hard to start, but once you do you'll find your groove!

I've been learning how to cross stitch over the past few months which has been hard but rewarding. There are tons of free templates online so I just try to find one that matches the colors I currently have and get to sewing. My current supplies did not come from the market, but I've definitely seen cross stitch rings and tons of thread there before - so if you were the lucky one that picked up any crafting items, now is a great time to pick it up!

#3: New Kitchen Tool Fun!

Have you found a new kitchen gadget at the market recently that you've wanted to test out? What about a new plate, bowl or pan? Nows a great time for it! I know I've been watching a lot of Hell's Kitchen recently, and have been inspired to try to plate my food a little nicer. It's such a fun way to show off those beautiful plates or bowls you've picked out form the market! Pans are also a veeeeery versatile item - I've made everything from pitas to falafel to stovetop pizza on one. Don't be shy to get creative with whatever kitchen item you've picked up and really think out of the box.

How have you been staying busy? Let me know in the comments below. :)

Monday, March 16, 2020


Dear Market-goers,

Given that it is not possible to consistently maintain the recommended "social distance" of 2 metres between us at at our monthly markets, and also given that most items at the market are handled by multiple people who will be hard pressed to wash their hands every 10 minutes, we are cancelling the April 4th Really Really Free Market at Campbell Park.

We will remain optimistic and cancel only one market for now (the following one would be on May 2nd), and act according to developments and recommendations from public health authorities.

Wash your hands, try not to touch your face, elbow "handshake" (remember how we did it during SARS?), and self-isolate if you've travelled abroad. Those precautions should also help protect us from most seasonal colds and flus. Take care of each other, and see you as soon as possible! 

-The Organizing Volunteers of Really Really Free Market Toronto West End (Campbell Park)

Friday, March 13, 2020

DIY Project: Mirror Painting!

Hi folks!

            This month I wanted to share a fun DIY project I did with artsy-mirrors I found at the market in the fall time. They had such a fun shape that I had to grab them! Unfortunately, I don’t have any before pictures of the mirrors. I scoured my phone to see if I had taken any without any luck. Nonetheless, here is the after:

            When I found them, they were a stark white color with some scuff marks. My room already has a lot of white d├ęcor, so I knew immediately that if I grabbed them I would be painting them a different color. The shape reminded me of a sun with sun rays so I debated painting it a fun mix of yellow/orange. Ultimately, I went with this burgundy color so that it would match my bed sheets and really tie my room together.

            On a warm Sunday, I headed to the Wal-Mart near my house to get my supplies: sand paper, paint, and paint brushes. When I got home, I made sure to lay down some newspaper so I would contain the mess I was about to create. First, I buffed the mirrors wood frame with the sand paper to get rid of any bumps. This ensures a smoother finish. Then I took some green works all purposes cleaning spray and blotted it. This helped remove anything that came off while I sanded it and got rid of some of the scuff marks. I also took the time to Windex the mirror bit. I let this dry for 30 minutes or so and then I got to the fun part: painting!

            Wal-Mart didn’t have the exact colour I was looking for so I actually purchased two different colours and mixed them together. I got Apple Barrel’s Bright Red and Barn Red colour, and mixed 3 parts Barn Red with 1 part Bright Red to get my desired colour. After applying the first coat I let it sit for about an hour to dry up, and then applied the second coat!

If I could do it again, I would definitely recommend purchasing painters tape and taping up the mirror portion so as not to get any paint on the mirror. If this DOES happen, I found that wiping it up immediately with a bit of wet paper towel did the trick to get it off. As well, you’ll be able to get a better, more even coat around the inside edge. Picture below, you can see it’s a bit uneven! But, I like to think it adds to the charm. 

            All in all, this was a super fun project and I love the way it looks in my bedroom! Have you done any DIY projects with items you’ve found at the market? Let us know in the comments!


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Hi everyone!

Just a reminder that the next RRFM is coming up in a couple days - March 7th!

Don't forget to bring a reusable bag for all your found goodies. Saturday morning is looking to be sunny, but cold so don't forget to bundle up!

See you there,

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Hello and welcome to the RRFM blog!

My name is Nicole and I’m the newest addition to the wonderful team of volunteers that helps run this market. I’m very excited to be a part of this and get to know all of you that make the market so special!

A bit about me: I study Food and Nutrition at Ryerson, so of course I’m always cooking and baking. I haven’t had a functional oven for the last two years, but my apartment recently go an upgrade so I have been making so many fun dishes. From lasagne, to eggplant parmesan, to carrot cake loaf, the possibilities feel endless. I truly didn’t know how much good food I was missing out on (or, maybe, I just didn’t want to think about it.) I like to be active so in the summer months you can catch me hiking almost every single weekend and as many weeknights as I can, and in the winter I like to keep things inside so I do a lot of yoga. Buuuut I did get a pair of hockey skates as a present recently so you just might catch me doing laps before and after the market at Campbell Park rink.

I heard about the RRFM through a former-roommate but still very good friend of mine. She was new to the city and so was actively exploring what it had to offer more than I was, and stumbled upon it online! She thought “cool! I love free stuff” and went to it. When I came home later that night, I opened up the freezer to grab some pierogies and there was a baseball cap in there. After some laughing, she explained that she had gotten it from a market and it was a method she read about online to kill any germs or bacteria it might be harbouring. This seemed questionable (fact-check this before you rely on this method!!) but she went on to tell me all about the market and the cool things she found there! I went next month, found some great items and loved it.

If YOU are interested in coming – the next market will be on March 7th! It’s always the first Saturday of every month, but just in case you forget, I’ll be putting out a reminder here on the blog a couple of days before.

All the best, and if you see me (or any other volunteers) don’t be shy to say hi!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Really Really Free Market change of hours due to space constraints during skating season

Reduced Hours
December | January | February 2020
10 am - 1 pm
Visit time limit: ½ hour

Please bring your contributions *before* noon. 
We cannot accept any after 12:00.

We apologize for the inconvenience.
Please tell others about the time change. 
Thank you, and see you soon!