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A guide to antiquing in Canada

British Columbia

Victoria

In Victoria, there are many pockets of the city and suburbs with good shops here and there, but the best area is Fort Street. The street is not as good as it was; the quality has dropped to more of a collectibles street than fine antiques, but you will find several very good shops here.

Victoria, Canada -Evan Leeson

The oldest and one of the best is Faith Grant The Connoisseurs Shop at 1156 Fort St., which is crammed to the gunnels with British furniture, silver, porcelain and decorative objects. David Robinson, 1023 Fort St., offers European furniture, pictures, silver, English porcelain and rugs, and Domus Antica Galleries, at 1038-40 Fort St., has Staffordshire figures, brass and steel trivets, plenty of old Mason ironstone, samplers and good 19th-century English furniture.

Vancouver

Like Toronto and Montreal, Vancouver has a number of districts that have several good stores clustered near one another. But the store that many consider the single best one in the city stands all alone in the unlikely area of Marpole, at the southern end of Granville Street. It’s RHV Tee & Son at 7963 Granville Street. The Tees came to Canada from Shropshire, England, in 1968 and have always offered a fine selection of British furniture, porcelain, silver and other goods.

Vancouver, JamesZ

And if you are looking for French Country antiques, then French Country Antiques, 125 East 4th Avenue (at Quebec St), could be something of your interest.

Top areas for antiques and collectibles in Vancouver:

  • Marine Drive, West Vancouver: Bohemia Antiques in Dundarave Village at 2444 Marine Drive has some very nice 19th-century British furniture along with some good porcelain and lamps. Treasure Chest Antiques, also in Dundarave Village at 2465 Marine Drive, always has excellent finds. North Vancouver has a number of good shops, too, but one I like, The Urban Settler, found at 125 – 18 Gostick Place, does good reproductions of Quebec furniture. This is also where you’ll find Echo’s Discontinued China at 121 – 1433 Lonsdale Ave.
  • South Granville Street: Given that this area caters to the well-heeled Shaughnessy residents, it’s not surprising that there are good shops here. Thirty dealers show off their wares (everything from collectibles to 18th-century furniture) at Shaughnessy Antique Gallery Inc., 3080 Granville Street. And here are some of the other good shops: Guild House Antiques, a large store with several showrooms, has furniture and decorative objects from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries; it’s at 2121 Granville St. Hampshire Antiques, has relocated from its Granville address to 1622 W. 75th Ave, and is deceptive; it doesn’t look like a big place but inside there is a good space with English furniture and porcelain. Mulberry House Gallery (again, featuring several dealers), 3012 Granville St., is a great place to find wedding presents, linens and other smalls. And one of the best dealers, Uno Langmann Limited is at 2117 Granville St., with a good selection of European and Canadian paintings, fine British and European antique furniture and decorative objects.
  • Main Street between 1st and 12th Avenues: This is a raffish but vaguely improving area, one where you could just as easily find a biker bar a few doors down from a decent shop. It’s better for collectibles than anything else and there are plenty of shops. One very entertaining place, The Source Enterprises, at 929 Main St., specializes in pub stuff, especially signs. Another one that is fun is The Antique Market at 4280 Main St.
  • Old Country Market: Coombs, B.C., a village on Vancouver Island near Qualicum Beach, showcases a wonderful food market with cute goats chewing grass on the sod roof. There is a neat little antiques section in the back of the building selling pieces that include many cupboards and chests chosen by the Market’s owner, Larry Geekie. It’s well worth a visit. If you don’t find something wonderful, you can head for the ice cream counter.
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