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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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.