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Articles tagged as toronto history (view all)

August Updates

26 August, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

It's been an exciting August for us here and although we've been quiet on the blog front we've been busy in the shop!

 

Here's a teaser as to what's going on with more posts to follow soon.

 

Restoration Destination

 

Currently we have 2 large scale restorations taking place right now. The first is a commercial project in Ancaster for the lighting at Old Town Hall. A local landmark and architectural gem, the City of Hamilton contacted us to restore the existing chandeliers, add more lighting in to the hall via LEDs and design complimentary lighting for the stage area. Due to the size and historic nature of the chandeliers, we have been dutifully working away at bringing them back to life while updating them for LED lighting as part of our green initiative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second project is kind of a love affair as it involves beautiful historic chandeliers in a beautiful historic Toronto home. We were contacted to remove many period and original chandeliers from the clients home for restoration. In most cases clients will bring the lighting fixtures to us but in this case, due to fragility of the crystal chandeliers, we went on site to remove them. This included taking them down from the ceiling, taking apart and labeling and packing them onsite. Stunning to begin with, we can't wait to see the chandeliers restored and the reaction the homeowners have to seeing back in in situ.

 

Along with these, we are also working on some great client goods ranging from Art Deco floor lamps to a set of original European wall sconces from a Toronto house.

 

 

 

 

LEDs and Vintage Lighting

 

Our LED filament lightbulbs are a hit and we've had to up our supply to keep with the demand. And why wouldn't they be a hit? Same light quality as an incandescent, greater brightness, 90% energy savings and 10 times the longevity.

 

As our ongoing commitment to energy savings, we've been steadily retrofitting our 2300 sq ft showroom with LED bulbs. The difference is striking when you walk in. Greater light, sharper highlights and less of an environmental impact. Loving it all around!

 

New arrivals

 

New Stock abounds and we've got some great lighting in from different eras. An amazing 1870s gasolier is one of the highlights and one we have't seen for a long time. Restored with its French Bronze finish and antique shades, its a showstopper in the front of the showroom. Victorian gas lighting and Mid Century modern lighting seem to be the most popular this summer which is great. 2 distinct eras and styles all under one roof. Our new arrivals page is always updated and there's going to be a lot coming up in September!

 

 

 

New Designs

 

We've been hard at work letting our collective imaginations run wild and have some new designs to show for it!

 

 

There's more to come on that front and we're excited to debut them in the fall. All made in house, by hand, they'll add to our expansive line of custom lighting.

 

 

Part II : Vintage Photos from our Neighbourhood

10 July, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

A few weeks back we showcased vintage photos from our Sherbourne Street neighbourhood and talked about the transformation of the area and accompanying buildings. It's hard to distill the colourful evolution of the neighbourhood in a few snapshots so that's why have part 2 to share with you here. I wish I had time to take after photos but being as busy as we are, we'll have to settle on these little time capsules.

adelaide and sherbourne

Anyone that's lived in Toronto for a while, works in the neighbourhood or even visited is a witness to just how much it's changing daily. From the industrial age to the information age, condos, offices and educational institutions have supplanted manufacturing and churn out a different product in 2015.

 

For now, lets just look at a bygone era. One that was a little grittier.

 

goodwill on jarvis

 

Goodwill Buy The Pound. I miss the Goodwill complex almost every day. It was a great place to kill time, do some picking and find some treasures. The Buy The Pound warehouse was housed in a beautiful Art Deco factory which sadly met the wrecking ball to make way for a condo. Located at the corner of Adelaide and George St, that's where you went to buy clothing in bulk. And was it ever busy!

 

 

Factory on the north side of Richmond St east of George. The loading dock was still active in this mixed use factory. In the 90s and early 2000s, Richmond was in transition and a lot of these mixed use industrial buildings were operational but in disrepair. Currently converted to offices, it houses animation studios and George Brown College. Love the old windows!

 

The Bank of Upper Canada and De LaSalle Institute. One of Toronto's earliest and most interesting buildings, it's looking really forlorn in this photo from the 60s. Parking is hithero and it might have been when the building was used as a meat processing plant of all things! Was once the Bank of Upper Canada and a target of William Lyon Mackenzie's rebellion. Didn't go so well for Billy Boy. Restored over 30 years ago, it's a gem!

 

Erected in 1907 for the Sovereign Bank of Canada, this Edwardian gem has a distinct Renaissance revival treatment to the facade. Standing alone before the King George condos went up around it, it looks pretty dignified.

 


Standing on the west side of Sherbourne Street just south of King, this small factory/warehouse has undergone and amazing transformation. Once home to the furniture company Biltmore, it now houses Jardin de Ville which is an outdoor living boutique shop.

 

 

 

I love this photo. There's a calm to it before the giant wave of commercialization swept through King St East. Looking north up Frederick st the factories are still and it's just one person going about there day with parking lots on the horizon. I dare you to look at it now with George Brown College anchoring the view.

 

 

The gray paint disappeared in the mid 2000s along with photo studios and a cool Scandinavian installation artist that use to have a studio on the main floor. Richmond street east is more uniform now but these mixed use and painted facade factories were everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Exceptional Antique Lighting From Our Past

19 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

At Turn of the Century Lighting we pride ourselves on quality, but also variety with antique fixtures spanning time periods ranging from 1850-1970, with a strong emphasis on pre-world war two lighting.

We are always looking to round out our collection of lights to provide choice over many styles. With so many fixtures that can fit into so many homes, we often encounter special fixtures that stand out, and leave a lasting impression in our minds. Some of the fixtures were exceptionally beautiful, and some exceptionally unique, but the common thread is that they were all exceptional.

Below are a small sample of some of the wonderful fixtures that have found great homes over the years.

Art Deco Lighting:
Art Deco Lighting can be a difficult style for us to source and maintain in our showroom. There always seems to be more demand than supply. With their geometric, and linear nature, Art Deco fixtures work wonderfully in modern and traditional spaces. It can breath new life into traditional spaces, and give personality and uniqueness to new spaces.

Antique Art Deco Lighting Table Lamp

 

Arts and Crafts Lighting:
Arts and Crafts Lighting has a timeless quality. It's always a favourite in exterior, cottage, and even modern spaces. The simple lines, beautiful craftmanship, and empasis on useable light make this style amongst some of the most versatile.

Arts and Crafts Mission Antique Lighting

 

Victorian Lighting:
Victorian Lighting can take your breath away. This type of lighting often has a grander scale to suite larger spaces with higher ceiling heights but also exquisite refined detailing.

Victorian Gas Antique Lighting

 

Art Nouveau Lighting:
Art Nouveau lighting when done well argueably has no equal with a strong empasis on line, organic yet exquisite detail, colour, and perfect asymetric balance. It can mimic nature in It's most beautiful forms.

Art Nouveau Antique Lighting

We have many amazing Art Deco, Arts and Crafts, Victorian, and Art Nouveau fixtures currently in our showroom, and online as well as lots of Tudor, Industrial, Mid Century Modern, Gothic, and Colonial Revival Fixtures.

Check out: http://www.tocl.ca/collections/new-arrivals for our newest arrivals.

Vintage Photos from our Neighbourhood: 1970s - 1990s

16 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Old Toronto is our home and we've been in the Sherbourne St corridor for over 30 years. In that time, we've seen a lot.  Factories turned into lofts, condos sprouted from parking lots and endless businesses and people come and go.

Like most of Toronto, the past 20 years have resulted in an amazing amount of change in our neighbourhood. The city has grown up, grown out and grown expensive. It's exciting to watch as it is to be apart of. Although it pains you to see certain changes or lose certain neighbours, you have to embrace it all the same. 

These are just some of the many snapshots we've collected from our Toronto base. They mainly focus on Sherbourne Street, Britain Street, George Street, Richmond and Adelaide. Mainly from the 70s, 80s and 90s, a different Toronto is reflected. There's not as much polish then as there is now and that makes it all the more interesting. Hope you enjoy!

112 sherbourne 1980s toronto
Our new digs at 112 Sherbourne St being renovated in 1988. Although we currently occupy all three houses, the first two were bought in the 80s. We were at 118 Sherbourne before in what is now the Harris Institute

 

door store on sherbourne street toronto 1980s

That's us with The Door Store and the Glass Studio at 118 Sherbourne. Was a great location and a great old factory as well. Now home to the Harris Institute.

 

Sherbourne Street looking south from Richmond St East in the early 80s. Now Studio City, those factory complexes once made pianos. Heintzman pianos to be exact! You can see the outline of "PIANO" in between the second and third story window. The fence marked "Honda" is now a condo with a Tim Horton's on the main floor.

 

 

The former home of Waddingtons Auction House on Queen St  East in 1982. Now converted into hard loft condos, the gallery was a major anchor for the Queen Street East antiques scene in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

 

The north east corner of George and Britain Street in the late 70s. Great old factory building that housed a mechanic, apartments and a photo lab. Still standing, the building is now home to Design Lab and Sarah Richardson Designs. It's altered but still there!

 

vintage toronto sherbourn and richmond

If you drove by the corner of Sherbourne and Richmond now, you would not ever recognize this photo. Looking south down Sherbourne Street, the Imperial Lofts building was yet to be converted and parking was like City TV in the 80s......Everywhere. Now two large condo's anchor the corners.

 

 

imperial lofts on sherbourne st toronto
 

Lofts from $115,990......in Toronto? Loving the 90s font on the Imperial Lofts sign.

 

queen street east in the 70s

The corner of Queen Street East and Shebourne in the late 70s. Check out those land yachts! Surprisingly. the corner still looks the same and is as colourful as ever.

 

Sherbourne and Britain Street in the early 90s. Remember the "depot" craze for businesses? Corner still looks the same but Britain street is remarkably different.