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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.

 

 

A Wall Sconce named Audrey

23 July, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Our handcrafted custom items at Turn of the Century Lighting are exciting, wonderfully designed fixtures that show off our metal working skill and finishing ability. We have created many items over the years from Silver Teapot Chandeliers to overscaled Modern Mica and Brass Fixtures. We enjoy restoring antiques, but we love to design and create.

Our first custom wall sconce was created the mid-1990s. It was called the Audrey, named after a wonderful employee at the shop who worked here in the 1980s and 1990s. This sconce was sold for many years before it was eventually discontinued.

http://www.tocl.ca/products/audrey-candle-single-light

brass wall sconce lighting Torontobrass wall sconce lighting Toronto

About a year ago, we rediscovered the beauty of the original Audrey design. Not as ornate or detailed as many of our elaborate fixtures, traditional yet clean and beautifully finished. We decided once again recreate this fixture. In a short time period, our Audrey family of wall sconces has become one of our most popular.
lighting detail Toronto


 

The Audrey Wall Sconce was created as an affordable, yet beautiful wall sconce. Traditional in nature yet clean enough to work in any interior, this sconce can be custom made in any of our finishes. Complimentary to any existing light fixtures in a home, and a work horse with each socket giving a minimum of 60watts of light.

handmade brass finish lighting

 

 

With the renewed interest in this sconce, we decided to create two additional sconces. First an Audrey that incorporates a glass shade instead of the candle. This sconce is very versatile, gives great light, and looks as good going up, as it does going down.

http://www.tocl.ca/products/copy-of-elmwood-single-light

brass lighting Toronto tradtional lighting TorontoLighting Toronto brass

 

 

The other sconce we just recently introduced is a double light version of the Audrey. With two sockets instead of one it gives up to 120watts of light, and only a 4-1/2” projection. This makes it ideal in dark, narrow hallways, or any room requiring good light.

http://www.tocl.ca/products/copy-of-audrey-candle-single-light

Lighting Traditional TorontoTraditional Lighting Toronto lighting detail Toronto

 

All three of these Audrey Sconces are available in all of our custom finishes, and in any quantity.

http://www.tocl.ca/search?q=audrey

Currently we are once again looking into the past for more inspiration with new designs in the fall. Keep checking our website for new additions!

Wall Sconces Explained..........

30 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Wall sconces are a stunning addition to any room.

 

 

 

 

From mood to task lighting, they are versatile in their function as they are in their design. If you are renovating or building a new home and if there are no pre-existing sconces or designs for them.......PUT THEM IN!! You will not be disappointed by how great they look and how they add a new dimension to the room when lit.

 

 

Antique and Vintage Wall Sconces.

 

It goes without saying, these are really, really cool. Outstanding design and craftsmanship are all hallmarks of antique and vintage sconces along with beautiful glass and light quality. From converted gas sconces of the Victorian era to Art Deco slipper shade wall sconces, we strive to carry a diverse range of styles. Pairs of antique sconces with antique glass or re purposed industrial wall lights are the most popular right now as a lot of home owners like the character and history they both provide. Art Deco is always hot as well as any single sconces that are unusual where people only need one.

 

Although they give great light, the majority of our antique and vintage wall lights are more decorative and feature intricate metal work, designs and patterns that will never be repeated again. We like to stock lighting that make us go “WOW” as we know our clients will feel the same.

 

Custom Line of Wall Sconces

 

When it comes to our Custom line of wall sconces, that's where we really shine. With 12 unique finishes, 20+ glass shades and numerous modifications available, we pride ourselves in the options available and the fact that we make them right here. That's huge as there is no shoddy overseas manufacturing, lack of warranty from the retailer or cheap materials used. All of our sconces are made of solid brass and can be done in a range of brass and patina finishes. With brass making a comeback in the design world, we're one of the only companies offering brass wall lighting.

 

Our styles range from contemporary to traditional with many being available in single, double and triple light configurations.

 

When it comes to lighting up a room, they are all rated for 60-100 watts per socket and are both decorative and functional.

 

When selecting wall sconces, there are 3 things you have to keep in mind.

 

  1. Light. The most important of course. How much do you need and will that require single or multiple arms?

  2. Direction. Ties in with the first point. Pointing up will provide more dramatic illumination as they light washes the wall and provides a warm glow. Pointing down and the sconces are more directional and illuminate surface areas like bathroom sinks etc. For either side of a fireplace or in a hallway, we recommend up lighting if you have the space. For all others, down lighting is more optimal for tasks.

  3. Size and projection. You may get 1 and 2 right but too big or too small and you're in trouble. Unlike dining room lighting, there is no guideline or equation for establishing the right size so you'll have to exercise some planning. Projection is another element to be mindful of as they can't stick out too far unless there is a sink or an object below. Building codes allow for a minimum height on the wall to prevent accidents and if you are unsure, consult your local building code.

 

Our specialty is antique, vintage and custom lighting done really, really well. When it comes to sconces, we know just what's right for form, function, style and history if you are doing a period reno. From bathroom task lighting to bedroom reading lights, we have you covered.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Timeless Beauty and Function: Antique Floor Lamps

12 June, 2015 1 comment Leave a comment

Antique Floor Lamps are amongst some of our most popular types of lighting fixtures at Turn of the Century Lighting, and it's no wonder. Many homes from the Turn of the 20th Century until even today are without a central ceiling fixture in the living room, and other common areas. 

Floor lamps are often the work horses for illumination in living and common areas. Less architectural and permanent than ceiling or wall lights which cannot be moved, Floor lamps can be used where you need light the most.  Beautiful, versatile, and portable, we often perform a great number of rewires on these types of lamps, as they travel with their owners from home to home.


The two types of lamps that we tend to see could be categorized as Floor Lamps for Task Lighting and those for Overall Room Illumination.

 

Task Lighting

Bridge Arm or Reading Types lamps look great and provide task lighting. Positioned beside a Chair or beside a desk, they give perfect directional light whether reading or sewing etc.

Below is a catalog image of some bridge arms sold in the 1920s.
antique bridge light 1920s catalog image

We fully restore these types of lamps with new wiring, and fit them with timeless handmade or antique shades that look great today.
antique nouveau bridge floor lamp shade antique art deco bridge floor lampcustom handmade lampshade

 

Overall Room Illumination

Torchiere or Trilight Lamps are fantastic at giving overall room illumination, and can create a beautiful focal point in a space. The light quality is fantastic on these lamps, as they accept trilight bulbs, and are taller to cast a greater arc of light.
antique torchiere floor lampantique turned wooden floor lamp

 


Sofa Lamps - Task Lighting and Overall Room Illumination!

Some types of lamps served both purposes. Sofa Lamps are amongst the most popular as they are great for overall room lighting with a central “torchere style” uplight for room illumination, and candles below to give softer task lighting for those sitting underneath the lamp. Below is a great 1930s catalog image with a sofa lamp, and explation of how these lamps served these multiple needs.
antique floor lamp catalog image
We fully restore Sofa Lamps with new wiring, refinishing as necessary, and pairing them with a variety of shades that work well in contemporary or tradtional spaces. Below are a few of the restored sofa lamps we currently have in the showroom.
antique sofa floor lamp brassantique sofa floor lamp cast iron
In addition to restoring floor lamps for ourselves, we love rewiring, or fully restoring client lamps too. Feel free to bring in your Floor Lamp to get it working again.

Check out the Antique Floor lamp section of our website for all of our selection, and keep checking as many new ones are currently being restored!

http://www.tocl.ca/collections/antique-floor-lamps-1

LED filaments bulbs: The future of decorative home lighting

09 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

The increasing ban on 60 and 100 watt incandescent bulbs has shaken up the lighting industry in a big way. Although they can still be found in big box stores, those bulbs won't be around for long and the replacements have been........let's just say........awful.

 

Till now.

 

2015 has seen the dramatic rise of LED filament bulbs reflecting a huge breakthrough in light bulb technology. When you think LED bulb, you think clunky bulbs with white/blue light that sometimes dim and cost a fortune.

 

Not in this case.

 

The LED filament bulb combines the the traditional aesthetics, light quality and dimming capabilities of an incandescent light bulb with modern LED technology. Instead of having a bulky aluminum heat sink, the diodes are spread out similar to filaments in a regular light bulb. This disperses the heat so that it's not centralized in one area and there is no need for a heat sink. The light quality is outstanding at 2200K and 2700K and they are available in both a “vintage style” for Edison bulbs lovers and a regular A19 style.

 

Here's the best part though.

 

The energy consumption........or lack there off.

 

A 7 Watt LED is the equivalent of a 60 Watt incandescent bulb.

 

led filament bulb torontoThat's over 8 times the energy savings! Coupled with the fact that it lasts for 30000 hours (average) compared to 3000 hours, its lifespan is really measured in years....not hours.We're early adapters of these bulbs as we believe in them.

With massive energy savings, recyclable materials and a long lifespan, their impact on the environment and your utilities budget is too good to pass up.

The starting cost on them is very reasonable all things considered. They do not compare with the $1.99 hardware store special bulbs but at $25 per bulb, the upfront cost is worth it for huge long term savings. All of our bulbs are cUL approved and available in various wattage and styles.

 

Whether you look to upgrade now or late, the future is inevitable and these bulbs are a huge part of it.

 

Check out what we have on display and available in our showroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting New Mid Century Modern Designs

05 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Nothing is more exciting than designing new items. At Turn of the Century Lighting, many of our designs have been inspired by traditional fixtures from the Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Industrial, Edwardian and Art Deco eras to name a few. Our finishing and quality craftsmanship has made these designs come alive.

Handmade Victorian Gas Lightart nouveau pendant glass lightmission arts crafts wall sconce lightindustrial sconce edison bulb edwardian brass pan light chandelierart deco wall sconce light
With renewed interest in the shapes, styles and colours of Mid Century Modern Design, we have begun to explore new designs, and restorations on great pieces from this era. All of these lighting fixtures are designed and handcrafted by us.  Below are a peak of some of our great new items!

satin nickel midcentury chandelier

 This incredible double "C" pendant light was inspired by offset Mid Century fixtures that played with form to create interesting geometric shapes.  The initial design concept was based off of a more simple midcentury pendant that was hanging in our stock area for many years, that we loved, but was beyond restoration.  Handcrafted and finished in Satin Nickel.

 Many people have 8'-0" ceiling heights, especially in midcentury, and modern spaces, and these fun close mount fixtures are a great way to get beautiful light with the clean organza material, and the playfulness of many of the tiered double shades at the time.  We are looking forward to creating these with additional colours and materials!

brass organza lampshade closemount light

black organza modern lampshade light

This fixture waMidCentury Atomic Sputnik Lights created specifically for the Marilyn Dennis Show in Toronto and was inspired by many of the Mid Century sputnik designs created by companies such as Lightolier in the 1950s and 1960s.  For this particular fixture, we finished it in a golden brass finish to replicate a popular finish at the time.  We have created this fixture in many different configurations, finishes, and lengths since our first one, but the result is always spectacular.

 

 

Atomic Magestic Table Lamp As a sneak peak.... One of the fantastic designs we are currently working on is inspired by many of the amazing designs created by the Mid Century Majestic Lighting company with their wonderful forms, and fun materials.  The designs have our own trademark touch, and modern interpretation, but we couldn't be any more excited.  StayTuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.F. Wilton Electric Co 1929: Bit of Toronto's Lighting History

26 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Featured in this post is the 1929 R.F.Wilton Electric Co. Catalogue from Toronto, Ontario. Located at 124-128 Richmond Street West in what is now an awe inspiring parking bay for the Sheraton Hotel, the R.F. Wilton Company was a prominent retailer and distributor of electric lighting in Toronto. They occupied 3 addresses of prime retail space in Toronto’s downtown core and directly competed with large companies such as Simpson’s and Eaton’s located a bit further east along Yonge St.

 

Wilton offered a wide variety of lighting as seen in the 1920s pan lights, Tudor revival lighting and modern Art Deco designs. Strictly a retailer, they would have ordered their lighting from factories in Canada and the US to sell locally. We’ve seen many of the same fixtures from other company catalogues as wide spread as Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Inside the catalogue is an order form as well which would allow consumers to select the finish, quantity and length of the fixture they desired. With prices ranging from $3.00 for a hallway fixture to $15.00 dollars for a dining room fixture, the lighting carried appealed to a mass market and middle class. We make joke about the prices then, but $15.00 was the equivalent of $300 now.

 

Over the years many of these lights from the R.F.Wilton Co come into our showroom from old homes all around the city. They’re usually covered in white house paint or worse, and are in definite need of a refresh. We love working on them as they provide instant links to a homes past and homeowners are really pleased to see what would have been in the house in 1929.

 

In my mind, the most interesting part of this catalogue is not necessarily the lighting inside but the link to Toronto’s past. The catalogue was printed in 1929; the tail end of the roaring twenties and the birth of the great depression. Electric lighting was a huge technological innovation that everyone scrambled to acquire and the twenties were the true age of electricity and innovation. From lighting fixtures to light sockets, its fascinating to see what was modern at the time and the selecting of lighting people had before them. When I’m walking around the city and see a nice cast iron porch light that’s been there for 90 years, it doesn’t look tired or dated. Instead it looks proud and stoic. A small but illuminated link to both the home and Toronto’s past.

Future Antiques: Lighting Made Here

19 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

We believe in quality.

  

Both past and present.

 

That's why we make our own lighting. Or at least one of the many reasons.

 

When picking or restoring old lighting, you always get a sense of the quality paid to the design and manufacture of them. From the smallest embossing to the tiny floral buttons used on the thumbscrews, the level of detail is unmatched. Unfortunately, many of the old lights existing today have been filtered through time and often stand as singular examples where hundreds were once made. Although it would be nice to have a time machine and raid lighting warehouses of the past but we have to be realistic and get our head out of the DeLorean.

 

So that's another reason we make our own lighting.


And selection, don't forget that too.

 

With 12 unique brass finishes available, finishes on our lights can be mixed and matched and each fixture has 12 distinct possibilities as well as available quantities. Our custom selection of ceiling lighting and pendant lighting tops over 150 and our wall sconce selection is at 180. That's a lot of selection and unique designs that can be modified to suit your space.

 

Lastly, there is nothing like making something in the same way it was made 100 years ago. I know it echoes back to quality, but there is a pride in making an antique of the future in the style of today. We're one of the last Canadian manufacturers of fine quality brass lighting and having personally made a number of our lights as well as commissioned lighting for clients, there is no better feeling than seeing your work being loved in someones home. It's doesn't top new papa pride but is pretty darn satisfying in itself.