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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!

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.

 

 

 

 

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.