The top 10 stores for Persian rugs in Toronto
Persian rugs may not be as in vogue as they used to be but they' re still a good bet to add a timeless touch to your home. Although you can find a selection of rugs in pretty much any home decor store, there are select stores around Toronto that specialize in rugs of the Persian variety. In fact, many of the shops below won't just sell you a great rug; they also offer carpet restoration and hand-cleaning. Be sure to ask about those services too - you'll need them down the road.
It's worth noting that the rug industry of Iran - the modern-day Persia - has significantly declined in recent years. Countries such as Pakistan, India and China can replicate traditional Persian designs for a fraction of the cost. Because of this, rug shops often carry Persian designs manufactured from a number of different countries to offer their customers a greater range of prices. This list rounds up where to find rugs with a Persian design. Below each shop we've indicated what countries their rugs typically come from and we've distinguished those shops that carry rugs solely from Iran.
Here are the top stores for Persian rugs in Toronto.
At Pealac, the owner, Nima, only stocks rugs from Iran. His rugs come from Iran's major textile cities like Tabriz and Isfahan but since Nima is passionate about Persian tribal rugs, you'll also find plenty of those featured in his family' shop. A knowledgeable individual, Nima entertains customers with fascinating info about Persian rugs - it's a like a wonderful art history lesson packed into your shopping experience. In fact, OCADU even invites Nima once a year to give a presentation on Persian rugs.
The Fifth Wall
A stylish shop, this place has a range of prices and rug sizes and some really nice designs. If you have something particular in mind, Kavin can dig out the perfect piece for you. Even if you're not sure what you're looking for, you're bound to find inspiration here - if not the perfect piece to take home.
Turco Persian Rug Company
Turco Persian Rug Company boasts a huge showroom of rugs from all over - Iran, Pakistan and even China. Prices vary from $50 to $200,000 (semi-antiques and antiques), and the largest rug size is a whopping 20' x 32'. Check their clearance section for great deals, especially on certain used rugs. Bonus: they have their very own customer parking lot.
Besmeh's owner, who goes by the nickname Akbar, has been known as a local authority on Persian rugs ever since he was profiled in the Toronto Star in 1995. Akbar is originally from China (of Uyghur descent), but he learned to speak Farsi and knows everything there is to know about Persian rugs. His shop features handknotted Persian rugs of all price points, catering to collectors and designers alike. (Take note: They're soon to move from their current home in Scarborough, and the new home hasn't yet been announced.)
Siddiqui Oriental Rugs
When you walk into Siddiqui Oriental Rugs, you're greeted by a kind Afghan man named Siddiq ("the honest one"). His carpets come from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, meaning you can expect to pay a whole lot less without sacrificing design. The most expensive pieces in the store are about $5,000 or $6,000 for large 10' x 14' rugs. Used rugs are also available. If you're looking to save, ask about their synthetic used rugs, which you can snatch at $200 for a 5'x7' or $300 for a 7'x10'.
Weaver's Art's Castlefield location is open to the public (their main showroom on Davenport primarily serves the trade.) They pride themselves in stocking the latest colours and designs setting them apart from neighbouring rug shops. If you're looking to create something custom for your space, they're worth a visit.
Royal Antique Rugs
Royal Antique Rugs is a haven for antique collectors. The three-generational family business is currently run by David Bakshi, an exceptionally helpful and courteous Persian man. He's been working for several years with the Textile Museum and the City of Toronto as an expert on antique rugs after moving here from Italy. With shops in Toronto, Kingston and NYC, Bakshi's rugs are handwoven in cotton or silk and vegetable dyed. The prices range from $500 for a 2'x3' to over $200,000 for larger pieces.
If you ask an interior designer where to get a Persian rug, they'll probably point you to Elte. Known among the design community as the go-to store for rugs, Elte never disappoints. Their showroom is a feast for the eyes and transforms the entire shopping experience into a luxury. Targeted to higher-income individuals, prices start at $795 for smaller rugs and can go up to $40,000-$50,000 for larger ones.
This Dundas West shop features gorgeous overdyed rugs, perfect for apartments. A 6'x9' overdyed rugs goes for $1699 whereas an 8'x'10' goes for about $2500. Tavares rugs come from India, Nepal, Morocco, Turkey and Portugal. If you're on a tight budget, consider one of their flatwoven rugs from India, which are priced around $399 for a 5' x 8'.
Modern Weave certainly puts a modern twist on traditional Persian rug patterns with their collections such as Modern Vintage and Modern Jewel. Through techniques of juxtaposition, patchwork and destressing, oriental rugs are brilliantly reinterpreted. A tasteful colour palette turns these rugs into nothing less than an abstract work of art. For prices, contact them through their website or visit their showroom.
Did I miss any? Add your favourite Persian rug store in the comments below.
Writing by Manal Aman. Photo by Mikey in the blogTO Flickr pool.