Canadian Salvaged Timber
Canadian 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."
I'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.
"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.
"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."
Much 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.
While 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 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.