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Design Stores

Canadian Salvaged Timber

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on July 17, 2011

Canadian Salvaged TimberCanadian Salvaged Timber is a haven for lumber lovers. As both a design shop and reclaimed wood wholesaler, CST serves a whole range of clients including homeowners, restaurateurs, interior designers and more, creating custom pieces using timeless design.

I've never seen two women get so excited about a truck full of planks--but then again, I've never visited a reclaimed timber shop on delivery day. "Oh, you've come on the perfect day," Christian Lo, one of the two designers at CST, exclaims. "This is so great."

Canadian Salvaged TimberI've accompanied Christian and fellow CTS designer, Jenny Kim, to an alley by their office and soon-to-be showroom on Adelaide Place to receive the shipment. There we found a truck hauling a massive load of timber, some of which, Jenny told me, was probably from old barns, trees struck by lightning, or other sources of unfortunate fate.

Canadian Salvaged Timber"A lot of this stuff would be thrown away," Christian says. "But it's amazing to see what it can become." Indeed, many of the planks in the showrooms do look like pieces you'd find at a demolition site. Or else, leaning against an urban dumpster. But the before and after pieces Jenny and Christian show me really are remarkable. In one case, drab, grayish slabs of red and while oak are transformed into sleek, solid, rich-looking tables.

Canadian Salvaged Timber"These are pieces you'll have for life," Christian says. "Since they're made of solid wood, they're harder than anything." The other obvious bonus of buying salvaged wood is environmental, though Jenny admits that around 75 per cent of the material they get in is not useable. "We go through everything," she says. "Only a portion of it is fit to use."

Canadian Salvaged TimberMuch of the wood at CST is locally sourced, and each plank comes with a story about its specific origins. Jenny and Christian show me some of their timber sourced from the old Queens Wharf at Bathurst and Lakeshore from the 1700's, as well as a table created from pickle barrel wood from a Bicks factory.

Canadian Salvaged TimberWhile tables can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $14,000 based on the type of wood used, Jenny and Christian have been commissioned to create everything from inexpensive cheese boards, to beds, custom shelves, and bars. And they work with customers from beginning to end on design, delivery, and installation.

Canadian Salvaged TimberCanadian Salvaged Timber also offers live-edge slabs, barn doors, reclaimed flooring, and more. Check out its website for pictures of its latest projects.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note that this is a working studio and showroom and not a retail store. While Canadian Salvaged Timber will take small/personal orders from time-to-time, the majority of their work is for business clientele.

Canadian Salvaged TimberCanadian Salvaged TimberCanadian Salvaged TimberCanadian Salvaged TimberCanadian Salvaged TimberPhotos by Jesse Milns



Alina / July 20, 2011 at 07:07 pm
This place looks AMAZING! Can't wait to check it out, I wonder if they have purpleheart?
Cara / July 21, 2011 at 03:13 pm
I went down to the shop today and it was fantastic!!! Amazing selection of reclaimed and great furniture. It's unbelievable that there is a place like this in downtown Toronto.
Roger / August 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm
Went there, but needed an appointment. Made an appointment, but the prices were out of my range. Urban tree salvage is much cheaper not to mention the selection is better and their mat is kiln dried.
DB / September 20, 2011 at 10:28 am
Great place! I wandered in off the street, and was happily greeted by the whole team, or so it seemed! I was shown around, given the stories behind the wood I was interested in and ended up having a bed designed for me. The price was justified, and the quality was outstanding. Sleeping like a log. No pun intended.
n.d / September 22, 2011 at 10:46 am
I was in the neighborhood and checked out their showroom, cool stuff but the prices were a lot higher than I was expecting. If you don’t mind driving another 15 minutes east, check out Urban Tree Salvage in Scarborough. I think they were the guys who started this type of company in Toronto.
Greg / September 23, 2011 at 01:29 pm
Went to buy some barn board there but it was out of my budget. I ended up buying the same stuff it seemed from century mill at a fraction of the cost. They are close though, but it just wasn't worth it to me
Ryan / October 4, 2011 at 03:34 pm
Why would you need to kiln dry barn board that is over 100 years old?
Alex / November 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm
I was forced to make an appointment and what a waste of time. The owner met with me and he was too busy to help me out. There used to be some super helpful staff but it seems they are gone and the place is almost finito!
bill replying to a comment from Ryan / December 31, 2011 at 02:45 pm
we do alot of high end commercial work. we also need the wood to be put through a kiln to kill any insects and other bugs that can be hiding in the pieces awaiting to come out.
Adam / March 31, 2012 at 03:39 am
This place is the WORST. they never have anything that you actually need and the owner is erractic and super unhelpful. big thumbs down.
Jak3 / April 16, 2012 at 06:22 pm
Don't waste your time with the owner. He's not helpful and instead of offering a solution he confused me even more. Had better luck when I called back and by chance talked to Rob. He was great at answering my questions and was knowledgeable. Kudos, Rob!
Carly / April 17, 2012 at 09:56 pm
I have used these guys several times and have never been disappointed. I find Rob AND Lambos very easy to deal with and had a great time there today. They charge excellent prices considering they are downtown. Anyone with any experience sourcing reclaimed lumber knows its not easy to find it cheap and when you do, most likely you're going to make up for it in costs transporting it. I am also surprised to see Urban Tree Salvage mentioned here, I consider them in a separate niche. They don't suit the needs of the construction world.
koukla67 replying to a comment from Carly / April 18, 2012 at 07:47 pm
Carly, I agree with your comments. The staff there has a ton of knowledge, they don't sell you something you cannot use just to move product, and while they are incredibly busy every time I go there, they take time to meet with my clients and provide a credible source for both advice, and a fantastic product.
John / April 26, 2012 at 05:14 am
I wouldn't suggest it to anyone. Seeing the comments here makes me think that some people have had a good experience with them. I have only been there a few times, but must have caught them at a bad time. Needless to say, I don't think I would go back
Jack / October 31, 2012 at 01:57 pm
Went there today, and their was nobody there. I spoke to one of the neighbors and he had thought that they were going out of business, or started under another name or something like that. Bit of a dissapointment wasting my time going all the way to the west end.
J.D / November 3, 2012 at 03:22 pm
Visited their shop the other day. It was messy and unorganized. I talked to a guy (how seemed to be maybe 17?) that seemed to have no experience whatsoever so I wanted to talk to the boss... Big mistake. He was even worse. Doesn't know ANYTHING about furniture (-Design). Is arrogant, rude and way too expensive! I would not suggest anyone go there. A total waste of time and you just leave mad and disappointed.
Greg Clark replying to a comment from Ryan / February 2, 2013 at 06:21 pm
Some barn board and timbers may be infested with powder beetle so kiln drying is used to eradicate the pests.

Better safe than sorry.
Hazel Schwartz / February 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm
Well, where is the ADDRESS?! All that picture shows is 525. Have I missed something!?

I want to call them and I can't!
Dan & Maria / March 18, 2013 at 01:46 pm
i found material like this at chisholm lumber...way out of the way near belleville, but a fraction of the cost with a much larger selection...if you're doing a whole house or room is reclaimed timbers / flooring etc, you'll save a bunch making the commute...service is amazing...
Jonathon Clarke / April 8, 2013 at 09:23 am
The prices for their lumber are fair, compared to what you might find other places. I have shopped around and the costs are not unreasonable for the beautiful wood you're getting. 16" oak barnboard planks are a relative rarity and the beauty of the grain in these old boards is unbelievable.
I found Lambos extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. He is a man who is passionate and knowledgeable about the work he does and the materials he uses. I have a feeling we will be seeing more of each other.
Lambos replying to a comment from Jonathon Clarke / April 10, 2013 at 11:31 pm
Hi there, thanks for the feedback. We are working to make a positive experience for you.
Mike / November 25, 2013 at 04:01 pm
Be sure to check out
Tom & Andrea / January 14, 2014 at 05:34 pm
we recommend for everyone to try Roca Wood Works ( ), we found our dream slab for our dining table. The two guys there are very helpful, all of their slabs are local, great selection.
John / April 13, 2015 at 08:14 am
They were the first and are still the best in Toronto!
John / April 13, 2015 at 08:15 am
I should also mention that CST is still the largest!
Jeff / June 15, 2015 at 02:49 pm
Just stopped by and spoke to the owner, Lambos. To be completely honest, I can't say I've ever felt quite so talked down to.

Every public business that has specialty in a given area has to accept that at some point or other they are going to speak with a beginner and that beginner is not going to share their level of knowledge. There are other options in this situation than to continually shut the customer down for not having an exact sense of what he wants or for flubbing a few details. One might say: "I see that you're in the beginning stages of designing your space. For me to be the most helpful, I would need x, y, and z."; Or: "Given your questions, it would be best to make an appointment."Not: "Bringing in a picture of the space won't help me." "I haven't heard of anything like that before" or "I doubt it."

There is a problem when you begin to be annoyed by other people's mere curiosity. You can guide the customer without condescending to them; there are many ways you can deal with someone who is simply looking around that save you time and reduce frustration on all sides. Work on your woodside manner, Lambos.

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