A trip to the Third World Bazaar with the Reynolds family

Mike Reynolds (blog/Twitter) is an Ottawa born-and-raised husband,  father to one and soon to be second. He’s obsessed with making sure his daughter says ‘daddy and mommy’ and not ‘mommy and daddy’ and with finding junk he thinks will one day be considered an antique. He also blogs about his admitted cluelessness when it comes to raising a child.

Have you ever thought to yourself “I think what our living room really needs is a 200 pound elephant sculpture carved out of one piece of wood?”

We regularly ponder such things in our house, so I always assume the same thing happens to families all over the Ottawa area. We recently made the decision to see what such a piece of furniture would look like close-up when we took a visit to the Third World Bazaar, a “we have everything from everywhere in the world” kind of market held annually in October and November near Manotick.

The Third World Bazaar is found at the corner of Mitch Owens Road and Manotick Station Road

There’s something for everyone at the Third World Bazaar, no matter how eclectic your taste.

We visited the bazaar this past weekend. It was a typically chilly Sunday and the three of us were bundled up as though it were December. Previous trips had taught us that the cold from outside often made its way into the modestly enclosed buildings that house the majority of the wares.

Once we navigated across the bumpy grass parking lot, we made our way toward the almost open-air building. Before we even step inside, we’re greeted by the too-big-to-fit-in-the-building pieces, like the giant elephant. You could spend an entire day looking at the driftwood sculptures and one-of-a-kind cabinets that dot the ground and line the walls.

All day that is, if you weren’t spending every minute worrying that your daughter was going to rip off a monkey hand and force you into purchasing it.

Eventually we made our way into the larger indoor area. The market areas are sectioned off mainly by décor. Taking in the building from the entrance, the impression you get is that you’re on a tour of all the crafts that have ever been made in the world.

The musical instrument section

In one corner you’ll find musical instruments from international destinations. If you’re traveling with a child like we did, make sure to think about how much noise the instrument will make if your child plays with it 20 hours a day. Similarly, if you’re a 30-something like me, try to resist the urge to purchase a den-den daiko just because Daniel used one in the Karate Kid.

Part of the massive scarf collection

In another section you’ll find all the scarves one could ever imagine owning. My wife, Andrea, has a very powerful scarf imagination. If you’re weary of walking in small spaces or of elbowing people gently to get from one place to another, you might want to avoid this room all together. If you do, you’re missing out on some of the best priced, won’t-find-anywhere-else scarves in Ottawa, though.

Then there’s our favourite section: the Christmas one. The room is filled with different representations of Santa, big and small reindeer, fat and skinny snowmen, silver and gold stars as well as any other icon you can imagine associating with the holidays.

Christmas ornaments

On this journey, Leah took particular interest in the many reindeer (or moose as she refers to them) that populated the Christmas section.

“Daddy, mooses,” she would say to me over and over, falling prey to one of the most ridiculous pluralisation mistakes in our language.

“You mean meese,” I try to correct her.

“No, it’s moose,” my wife tells me as people bump through on their way to the checkout.

“It must be meese, one is called a moose, how can two also be called moose, it just doesn’t make sense,” I reply.

“It’s moose,” she says again.

“Mooses daddy,” Leah persists again, and I realize who cares? Let’s buy two and figure it out at home.

The market holds many more treasures as well and you won’t be disappointed if you decide to stop by for yourself. The prices are great and the people running the show are even better. I guarantee that you’ll come away with a one-of-a-kind item.

The bazaar is open just two more weekends this year – November 11 to 13 and November 18 to 20, so be sure you get out there while you still can.

Finally, and this is important, make sure you treat yourself to some apple cider and maybe even a bag of fries as you take your leave. It will be the perfect wrap-up to your day.

Sounds like a great weekend adventure, Mike, although frankly we’re a little disappointed you didn’t walk away with a 200 pound wooden elephant (maybe next weekend, huh?). Have any of you ever uncovered any treasures at the Third World Bazaar?