In June of 2017, Bill and Diana Robinson purchased the Cookstown Antique Market, located on County Road 27 at the north end of Cookstown, from Bill’s parents, Sally and Gerry Robinson.
Since then, some things have changed – including the addition of a beautiful new entry door and a barn quilt on the side of the century barn that houses 35 independent antique vendors – but some things have stayed the same.
The new owners have kept the tradition of a Victorian Christmas at the market, on the first weekend in December.
Diana Robinson, their children Abigail and Owen, and staff donned Victorian-era garb to welcome customers on the weekend.
There were the traditional two three-metre tall Christmas trees, covered with ornaments, flanking the main staircase, and a selection of free seasonal treats, prepared by the Cookstown Community Caterers.
Visitors could also purchase gingerbread cookies — a fundraiser for Alliston’s Stevenson Memorial Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
And there were deals of 10 per cent to 20 per cent off all purchases, offered by the vendors.
One change was the focus of the fundraising. This year, customers were encouraged to drop off donations of non-perishable food for the Innisfil Food Bank, or unwrapped toys for Innisfil Christmas for Kids.
“It’s all local,” and about supporting the community, said Diana Robinson. “We like that.”
There was another new feature: an invitation to take a photo and post to social media, for a chance to win a prize.
Waving a hand toward one corner of the 557-square-metre barn, Robinson said: “There’s a one-horse open sleigh,” just waiting for selfies.