Small, local shows offer change of pace

I recently had the opportunity to take in three local coin shows and I was really quite impressed. I love the big shows – the ONA and RCNA conventions, Torex, Toronto Coin Expo and the many others that I have had the opportunity to attend over the years. But there’s something about a smaller show that just feels kind of right, and kind of comfortable as well.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, I attended the Scarborough Coin Club Show at the Cedarbrook Community Centre in Scarborough. Many of the dealers were part-timers, or those who simply couldn’t afford the cost of the tables at some of the bigger shows. These dealers were able to bring more inexpensive items such as municipal tokens, medals, commemorative 25-cent pieces, error coins and numismatic literature, that in my view, really helps to encourage beginning collectors and others on a tighter budget.

I also had the chance to catch up with some old friends from the Scarborough Coin Club and make a few new ones. To me, that’s one of the biggest benefits of this hobby – meeting and mingling with other like-minded individuals. And so, these small shows, with their easy-going atmosphere, are quite ideal for a guy like me.

As an added bonus, I was able to pick up a few nice pieces for my collection. And I was also able to sample some of the fine homemade chili and pulled pork available at the lunch table (for a very reasonable price, I might add). Last but not least, parking was free and access to the Cedarbrook Community Centre was really convenient.

At the Brighton show later that day, there were tons of inexpensive coins and stamps for the beginning to intermediate collector. What I noticed, too, was that these beginning collectors weren’t always kids, but in many cases, were older, retired folks, who had recently taken up the collecting hobby. This show gave them an opportunity to inexpensively fill some of the many holes in their albums.

On Sunday, Nov. 8, I got up early and drove from Scarborough to Mississauga to attend the Polish Canadian Coin and Stamp Club Show.

I really enjoyed this show and the beautiful Pope John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre on Cawartha Road where it was held. I was instantly drawn to a wonderful display of Pope John Paul II coins, tokens, medals and memorabilia featured at the centre of the bourse floor.

I was surprised to learn that the Troyak Club (a.k.a. Polish Canadian Coin and Stamp Club), had put out a number of commemorative medals. I was able to add several pieces to my collection since Canadian coin club medals are a specialty of mine.

After a lovely chat with some of the club members and a tour of the dealers’ tables in search of other treasures, I ventured to the rooms next door where some authentic Polish fare was being served. I was beginning to think that I might have to walk home after all the delicious food I had devoured over the course of the weekend.

I often come across collectors, especially those who are some distance from the larger centres, who have never attended a coin show at all. Some, I’ve been told, are intimidated by the larger shows, or the big cities. But these small, local shows are friendly, inexpensive to attend and are replete with some very interesting numismatic collectibles. Why not give these shows a go? I really encourage you to take in one of the local club shows in the near future. Check out the show listings in Canadian Coin News or online at for shows coming up in your area.

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