Whoever said one man’s trash is another man’s treasure must have been a professional vintage shopper. Be fair warned, vintage furniture shopping isn’t for everyone. You must be well equipped with an eye for finding diamonds in the rough and a generous amount of patience, otherwise your efforts may go in vain.
Whether you’re on the quest to find the perfect antique lamp, teak coffe table or 60’s inspired sofa, Canadian Pickers, Scott Cozens and Sheldon Smithens have three tips to help you on your hunt.
1. Pick a piece that you love. If you don’t love it when you see it, you probably won’t love it once you’ve brought it home.
2. Shop around and bring a measuring tape with you to ensure your purchase fits the dimensions of the space you’re working with.
3. Know exactly what you’re willing to spend and have the cash in your pocket. Some vintage pieces can cost a pretty penny.
Before you buy, check out these 20 Toronto-based vintage & reclaim furniture stores. There is treasure buried closer than you think. Happy hunting!
Around The Block
At Around The Block you’ll find an exciting mix of vintage and contemporary decor, from classic to eclectic, around the block and back again. You’re sure to find something for every room in your house, condo, apartment, loft or cottage. Owner Warren Hales has been buying and selling home furnishings from modern to antique for over 15 years. Around The Block promises to always carry the most interesting, unique, quality home furnishings.
Around the Block is located at 150 Lesmill Road
Atomic Design offers their clients a well edited collection of unique furniture, art, lighting, modernist glass, jewellery and objects from the early 1960’s through to the mid 80’s. All items have been restored to their former glory in the Atomic Design workshop. Atomic frequently works with clients, designers and architects to source specific items to match their requirements.
Atomic Design is located at 965 Queen Street West
Black Pug DMK
While living in the antique laden Parkdale district of Toronto, Daisuke Ito developed his own personal antiques collection. Over time his collection not only overtook his apartment, but a large storage area as well.
Daisuke was planning to open a brick and mortar shop as his employer was retiring hers. It seemed fitting that Daisuke simply take over his employer’s space and start a new lease, and so Daisuke’s antiques found a new home and Black Pug DMK was born.
Black Pug is located at 1712 Queen Street West
Twin woodworkers Jason and Lars Dressler are building furniture and other objects with a respect for material, process and craftsmanship. Always seeking opportunity to repurpose salvaged materials, the brothers embrace the constraints inherent to each project they undertake. To them, wasting materials is taboo and they believe that with a little creative thinking most potential waste can repurposed into something useful and beautiful.
Brothers Dressler is located at 225 Sterling Road, Unit 16
Specalizing in 20th century modern, with a focus on Scandanavian design, Bungalow carries vintage pieces in teak, rosewood, and walnut, from manufacturers such as Domino, Dyrlund, Viejle, Herman Miller, Koefoeds and Imperial. For all home and office needs, Bungalow is stocked with modular wall units, dining sets, bedroom suites, desks and credenzas; lounge chairs, sofas and sectionals in original or redone fabrics.
Bungalow is located at 273 Augusta Avenue, Kensington Market
Châtelet, a fusion of shabby chic and French country mixed with a little Hollywood glam and Parisian interior design offers a whimsical and feminine aesthetic. Specializing in white-painted furniture, mirrored furniture, beaded chandeliers and one-of-a-kind vintage finds, Châtelet invites you to feel a connection to your home environment, nostalgia for things that have stood the test of time and – above all – joie de vivre (enjoyment of life) is central to the Châtelet aesthetic and ethos.
Chatelet is located at 717 Queen Street West & 1226 Yonge Street
Owner and interior designer Shauntelle LeBlanc knows all things mid-century modern. As well as having an eye for retro style, Shauntelle’s store Ethel, offers an arsenal of vintage collectables, from board games to rotary phones. Teak and lucite home furnishings can be found amidst other salvaged suburban treasures.
Ethel is located at 327 Queen Street East
Using discarded goods, designer Martin Scott gives salvaged items new life at Forever Interiors. All of the pieces at Forever Interiors are unique. This one of a kind vanity was built with drawers on the right and a sink and cabinet on the left. The whole thing is made from reclaimed doors
Forever Interiors is located at 2903 Dundas Street West
Used furniture store, G.U.F.F. (Great Used Furniture Finds) is filled with great everything from vintage finds and mid-century classics to re-purposed industrial pieces and antiques. The GUFF team are avid bloggers, they often post new finds that sell faster than you can say great used furniture finds five times fast.
GUFF is located at 1142 Queen Street East
Vintage pieces and extraordinary salvage combined to produce an eclectic mix of custom furniture, lighting and art found exclusively at Hardware. Each piece evolves from its original state to an art form that allows the classic to be immersed in the contemporary. Their passion for design and constant hunger for unparalleled applications makes the Hardware collections among the most sought after time and time again.
Hardware Interiors is located at 760 Queen Street East
For nearly two decades, Toronto’s machineagemodern has offered modern vintage furniture, lighting and accessories. Machine Age Modern’s 20th century collection includes modern design icon’s by legendary masters and rare international finds, all artistically arranged. These design elements coexist harmoniously among affordable, purposeful, stylish pieces still relevant today.
Machine Age Modern is located at 1000 Queen Street East
Devoted to industrial loft-style living, Metropolis Living collects salvaged materials to recondition them for sale, or repurpose them into signature pieces. They also carry a small selection of exceptional reproductions with an industrial edge, and do custom work for specific requirements. As a child, owner Phil Freire collected quirky and unusual treasures; Metropolis Living is an extension of his collection and a reflection of his unique taste
Metropolis Living is located at 2989 Dundas Street West
Queen West Antique Centre
What was once a mini mall for antiques with lots of vendors and open space has now evolved into a more refined antique shopping experience. The Queen West Antique Centre is a testament to how old items can be creatively recycled and brought to life again.
Queen West Antique Centre is located at 1605 Queen Street West
Salvage Interiors creates modern designs using a mix of new and salvaged materials to develop a unique aesthetic and strike a balance between modern, rustic and industrial. The materials used for Salvage Interior’s furniture and other objects have history and character, that’s why they’re chosen. They are considered a valuable resource and never wasted. All pieces are hand-made by owner Steve Wallin and are one-of-a-kind or made to order commissions.
Salvage Interiors is located at 380 Alliance Avenue
Founded in 2008, SMASH operates from a 4300 square-foot showroom in the Toronto’s west end. Owner Paul Mercer is an art history graduate with a long background in antiques, art, and salvage. The business is a well-regarded and inspiring source of high quality vintage materials, furnishings, and fixtures.
SMASH is located at 2880 Dundas Street West
In this carefully curated boutique, you’ll find a collection of wacky resin chairs, retro glassware and collector plates. Studio Pazo is the go-to place for an eclectic array of master-class mid-century design. Whether you’re hunting for a teak dining room table or an original Eames chair, Studio Pazo has the most sought after pieces amongst the other treasures to be found.
Studio Pazo is located at 729 Queen Street East
Arthur & Jane were married for 65 years. Through those years together they acquired a collection of items that told the stories of their passions and their life. Their granddaughter was inspired by their eclectic collection of things and decided to open The Arthur with her husband. They carry new and vintage well crafted pieces that are created to stand the test of time as well as refurbish and renew small furniture, curiosities and lighting.
The Arthur is located at 550 College Street
Since 1993 TRIANON Design has developed a showroom open to the public with most of their furniture sourced from Europe. The TRIANON collection includes original French antiques and vintage furniture, ceiling fixtures, custom designed and hand made upholstery, exclusive wallpaper from England, custom designed dining and coffee tables and a unique collection of table and floor lamps from renowned French designers.
TRIANON is located at 247 King Street East
Four siblings with various interests have combined their efforts as purveyors of previously loved goods to create Upsidedive. They believe in celebrating items throughout their life cycle, and highlighting the personalities of each item. Global consciousness does not have to be sacrificed at the expense of consumerism. Upsidedive aims to redefine consumerism by looking at connecting as a global community through art, home decor and attire.
Upsidedive is located at 269 Queen Street East
Supplying Toronto with vintage designs from the 1950’s to 1970’s, Zig Zag is one the city’s leading 20th century design retailers. Specializing in furniture, lighting, glass, electronics and home accessories, Zig Zag has been recently featured in the Toronto Star, Wallpaper and Echoes.
Zig Zag is located at 985 Queen Street East