Hamilton Flea is back and in a new location. Last time was Treble Hall and this time around it’s the old Brown’s Tire Building.
The old Brown’s Tire is located at the corner of Wellington and King William in a turn-of-the-century, three-storey brick building. Covered with event signage by The Story Girl and Circa Projects, the building is full of nostalgic features that are fitting for a pop-up flea.
The exterior of the building, facing Wellington, has three floor-to-ceiling windows at ground level, decorative keystones above the upper storey windows, and an intact cornice complete with corbels. The storefront fascia is exposed, waiting for tenants to occupy the space and erect new signage.
Inside it is magic. Original hardwood floors, layers of peeling paint over exposed brick, white classical columns, and large beams highlight the first floor. The stairs leading to the second floor are of an early modern design, with a mild steel trapezoidal balustrade and swirling banister.
As you reach the second floor you see more of the same: exposed brick, wood floors, a row of columns, a black and white beam, and exposed joists. Numerous windows illuminate the room in a glowing harmony, shining poetic beams of light on a space yearning for more.
The third floor is the real deal. A must see space. The ceilings are high, with subtle vaulting. All the joists, strapping, and cross bridging is open. Look through it all and you’ll see a peaked ceiling high above. There are levels to this floor, through a chorus of wall studs, worthy of investigating. The potential for the future of its space is palpable.
Much has been found during restoration. Old signs, doors, unique solid blocking, receipts, and other little elements have appeared, showing the rich history of this old commercial building. Hamilton Flea is the newest notch on the building’s old leather belt.
The notches are many. Some of the business that have occupied the building include:
- Farr and McManus Furniture Finishes (1925)
- Bamford Tire Service
- Classic Athletic Club
- Wellington Tire Service
- Brown’s Tire (1942)
- HCA Vacuum
Hamilton Flea, presented by Girl on the Wing and The Academy of All Things Awesome, is an event worth applauding. Not only does it bring together local and regional vendors, it also showcases unique historical buildings looking for investment and love. Shortly after they hosted the flea at Treble Hall, the building was sold to developers wanting to do more with the vacant heritage space. Hopefully the owners of the Brown’s Tire Building find the tenants they are searching for and then some. Saturday November 14th can’t come fast enough.
2 responses to “A Special Event: Hamilton Flea at Brown’s Tire – November 14th”
Wish I could’ve made it out to this – didn’t realize they were switching locations until I read this post! As always, Thomas, you’ve written so eloquently about Hamilton – it almost made me feel like I was there! I’m a huge fan of Girl on the Wing & The Academy of All Things Awesome, and I love to see events that further foster Hamilton’s sense of community and belonging. Hopefully I can make it out next time!
I am the granddaughter of Walter Brown who owned Brown’s Tire. I now live in the U.S. but was thrilled to see this on-line. I’m going to copy this and send it to my Dad who is now 87 years old. He ran the business for several years.