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Best of Toronto

The Best Vintage Furniture Stores in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / September 9, 2011

Vintage Furniture TorontoThe best vintage furniture stores in Toronto come down to a battle of east versus west. Leslieville versus West Queen West, that is. For some reason, all the best places to find classic Eames lounges, Herman Miller shell chairs, or any number of Danish teak sofas seem to be concentrated somewhere on Queen Street, in Leslieville in the east or by Parkdale in the west. The reason may be shrouded in tweed-upholstered mystery, but for certain is that each of these stores is propelled by a keen, curating eye, one that can sort the vintage finds from the frauds.

As much as vintage furniture shopping may be perceived as an exercise in exploration, I like to step into a store and see much of the scavenging legwork already done. The stores that have made it on this list are ones that are known to deliver.

Here is the list of the best vintage furniture stores in Toronto.

See also:

The best furniture stores in Toronto

Note: A previous version of this list was published on June 13, 2008. Comments below made up until February 21, 2011 are in reference to the old list. We've purposely kept the archived comments here because we believe they (mostly) add value to this topic. If you don't want to have to wade through all of them, simply hit the "sort by newest first" link at the top of the thread.

Top photos by Jesse Milns

Queen West Antique Centre

Queen West Antique Centre

Queen West Antique Centre is a goldmine for educational miscellany. Bonus points is you can find a charming and starkly discredited overhead biology chart from decades past. On Queen West approaching Roncesvalles, the Centre is the place to find old science lab stools that suddenly become chic at a King West breakfast bar, and steel and glass medical cabinets begging for diminutive adornment. More »

Phil'z 20th Century

Phil'z 20th Century

While owners Phil and Cynthia Markowitz might have a reputation of being less-than-affable, their collective eye for picking out beautiful 20th century treasures is undeniable. The Queen East vintage furniture shop feels a lot more open and organized than its crowded west end counterparts, allowing room to properly gawk at its solid wood dining tables and gorgeous vintage couches. More »

Machine Age Modern

Machine Age Modern

A great source for modern vintage teak pieces (which sounds like an oxymoron) and other mid-century designer furniture. Machine Age Modern is Jake Keck's baby, first opened on Queen West before moving east to its present location. Think retro Danish coffee tables, vintage lounge chairs, and 1970's light fixtures. More »

Zig Zag

Zig Zag

Zig Zag generally stocks vintage finds from the 1950s through 1970s, including designs by Hans Wegner and Charles Eames. If you have a particular affinity for plastics (1960s, especially) Zig Zag on Queen East is probably your store. It's also the place to find retro TVs back when they came as pieces of furniture, and not just eyesores hanging pretentiously over the fireplace. More »

GUFF

GUFF

GUFF is one vintage furniture store where you can count on finding some steals, not the least of which might include an antique solid oak dresser for $345, or a pair of Leif Jacobsen walnut cabinets for $165 each. The people at GUFF are awesome at updating their blog regularly, saving couch-dwellers like me a trip to Queen and Jones in order to browse the new arrivals. More »

INabstracto

INabstracto

No, it's not an art gallery. Blame that aura on the creative eye of curator and owner Kate Eisen. The modern mid-century finds at INabstracto could surely stand alone as living room sculpture or discussion pieces, be in an antique airplane storage cart, a chrome bicycle-wheel storage cart, or a classic Eames lounge chair and ottoman. More »

Morba

Morba

I'm always sure to leave my big bag behind before going into Morba. One nonchalant swivel and you've knocked a vintage orange vase off a Scandinavian dining table. It's a bit of a wonderland in Morba (which makes it all the more enjoyable, of course) with funky lighting, clocks, stools, lounges, and the odd boxed toy set, packing every inch of the Queen West shop. More »

Discussion

43 Comments

SJB / June 13, 2008 at 11:18 am
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I got a great deal at Phil'z, but it was a little sketch. Paper receipts, only cash accepted. I love Machine Age Modern, they are really accomidating and have remarkable one of a kind pieces. Red Indian Art Deco is hard to navigate and is less customer service focused, but the price is right so I can't complain!
somechick / June 13, 2008 at 04:56 pm
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the owner of Morba is a big prick. I applied for a job there once and he wanted my landlord's phone# as a reference. He only plays max 9 bucks an hour and hired students so he can pay them student wage. I would never shop there EVER.
Ken / December 13, 2008 at 08:22 pm
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What about Eclectisaurus for great vintage & modern Furnishings, Lighting, and Housewares, etc.
Friendly service & good prices.
http://www.eclectisaurus.com
sarastan / July 30, 2009 at 02:04 pm
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We were seduced by the beautiful furniture in their store. We bought 2 bakery shelves for 2390$. But then once we brought them home after a couple for days our apartment started reaking with a moldy smell. Slowly we figured out it was form the shelves we tried keeping the windows open for 2 weeks straight but the smell just got worse. When we contacted the owner Cynthia she said it wasn't her responsibility and hung up the phone to our faces. We then went physically to the store and even then she told us she didn't care and a sold product was a sold product. She didn't care that her product was putting our health in danger and was preventing us from being at ease in our home. The shelves are now on our balcony as we can no loner bare to have them inside because it was causing us severe headaches, and we are going to have to start a legal procedure to ger her to take them back. don't do business with this woman you will regret it. She has no scruples and is pretty much heartless. Sarastan
Gloria replying to a comment from Ken / December 18, 2009 at 10:25 am
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I went to Eclectisaurus yesterday after looking at their website and I just loved the cool selection - Hollywood Regency to Mid-Century Modern furnishings and lighting. Bought a great pair of 1950's end-table lamps and a beautiful vintage Danish teak coffee table (early 60's I think). The owner is Leslie and her store is located at 249 Gerrard Street East in Cabbagetown. http://www.eclectisaurus.com
Elee replying to a comment from Tony / December 30, 2009 at 10:49 pm
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Tony, if you are still looking for a vintage store that will offer a gift certificate for your soon to be married friends. I would contact Upsidedive. They have a store on Queen Street, right in the city and they also have an online store. Of course, not all there furniture is up online. The couple would have to go into the store to have a look around, but they do delivery and they have some great pieces, and are quite reasonably priced, plus they are always supper accommodating. Check out www.upsidedive.com for their contact info. Good Luck!
sarastan replying to a comment from Dana / February 19, 2010 at 03:14 am
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to Victoria on, sorry for the late reply, but Iam referring to philz' 20th century design on queen st east
json / February 21, 2010 at 05:49 pm
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I'm a designer and tend to source most of my pieces from Machine Age Modern. They have the best prices and amazing service.
Lots of integrity...and of course super cool pieces.
Judi / May 30, 2010 at 08:52 am
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If you are looking for cool mid century I always go to Studio Pazo. Those guys always have the the best Herman Miller Eames chairs. They have an amazing rosewood lounge in the window right now. I just bought my retro solair patio chairs there only $115. I love them super cool chairs.
jj / February 21, 2011 at 05:04 pm
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Went to Morba on the weekend and have NEVER had a more obnoxious experience shopping in my life. I wanted to make a purchase and the sales person was in no way interested in assisting me, even speaking to me, and therefore lost the sale. Although the store was filled with things I would return to buy, I will not return there to do so. Nor will I recommend anyone shop there.
kizy / February 21, 2011 at 05:42 pm
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cant believe abrahams wasnt listed!
B / August 31, 2011 at 09:58 am
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Where's the love for Atomic Design? Lawrence is a wealth of knowledge and takes the utmost care in bring pieces back to life. He also carries any number of items not found elsewhere. His prices are also good,especially considering the pristine condition of his merchandise.
Stella / September 9, 2011 at 01:22 pm
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what about Green's Antiques on Parliament?? Theyre awesome!!
urburbia / October 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm
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All Most Antique [A.M.A.] which used to be in Leslieville, just recently reopened their store on Queen East just west of Parliament. Owner Sam price his inventory much more competively than his Leslieville counterpart.
cathie hsu / November 27, 2011 at 09:58 pm
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Easterncurio is manufacturer of chinese antique furniture in shanghai,china. We repaire chinese antique furniture nad custome made furniture, art deco furniture and sofa... please email us for more: shanghaifurniture [at] hotmail.com or visit www dot easterncurio dot com
Peter replying to a comment from json / November 29, 2011 at 01:01 pm
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Hello, my name is Peter, and i run a small custom upholstery shop which specialize's in antique recovery. Let me know if i can be of any help. Picture's avaiable upon request. Free quotes. Free pick. Call with any questions 416 804-2326
BravaOractant / December 29, 2011 at 01:54 pm
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purchase louis vuitton belt online shopping
harold prince / January 3, 2012 at 11:51 am
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just wondering if any of you people are interested in antique wood from old barns that i take down im in the coldwater area and can deliver very cheap from other suppliers thanks
Ed / January 10, 2012 at 05:13 pm
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I have one of the original 13 legged wall tables. Only two were made for the C.N.E way back, the other I've heard was cut in half....Like to know its worth.
stephanie replying to a comment from Peter / January 26, 2012 at 01:00 am
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hi Peter
do you have a shop...i am looking for a vintage tufted section (they they almost only exist vintage) do you re upholster these?
Sarah / March 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm
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If you shop at Morba shop at Equilibrium.

Equlibrium has a lot more online but they sell some of the same product as Morba at a lower price.

Equilibrium is my new fav boutique in the Junction. Very sweet staff, kind and really helpful.
They try and sell mainly Stylus sofas but they seem to have everything else.
Modern Furniture knock off / March 1, 2012 at 04:20 pm
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Thanks Sarah, you were right! Equilibrium has a ton online and I bought through them thanks to your post. My girlfriend came with me today and found a Canadian made stylus sofa, she said it was similar to a stylus sofa she saw at Urban Barn? We both bought and are going back for more. Great staff too.
see here / April 7, 2012 at 10:32 am
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cellular blinds / April 23, 2012 at 04:06 am
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I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well
written!
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm
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cant believe abrahams wasnt listed!
MikeEmSea / October 3, 2012 at 01:36 pm
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There will never be too many good vintage furniture shops in TO. I´ve come across some more second hand furniture shops recently. Hope you´ll enjoy this modest update of mine.
shiva / October 11, 2012 at 03:25 am
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we are one of the leading manufacturars and exporters of indian vintage and modern furniture....shivaathanvii@yahoo.in
cooper cook / October 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm
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oh wow! that is some pretty awesome vintage furniture! But does anyone know where I could find some vintage blinds? Because I've been try to find some for a long time, but have had no luck yet.
Jessica Stripe / November 9, 2012 at 11:17 am
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This looks fantastic! We only have a few experts in England that really offer unique and high quality antique and reproduction furniture products. I feel rather inspired by seeing just what you have on offer!
Carmen Sanchez / November 21, 2012 at 10:34 am
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Thanks for sharing! I love to find used furniture Phoenix, especially when it is vintage. My house always looks great when I have a mix of new and old. Thanks again!
emilya / December 12, 2012 at 08:35 am
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indonesia furniture manufacturer from indonesia | fantastic furniture

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Thanks
Regard
Emilya
Wilma Yvy replying to a comment from harold prince / May 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm
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This is a reply for Harold Prince: Hello Dear, I am interested in buying some old wood from you, Please contact kindly post your info so I can get in touch with you.
Thanks, Wilma
Tony / May 31, 2013 at 04:49 pm
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I am surprise to see that you guys don't have a company called j-d decor on your list of amazing European and designer furnitures.

Quality product and the price is amazaing
Arminel / August 16, 2013 at 10:01 am
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We have been providing exclusive handmade Antique farm tables and other solid wood accessories for home decor since 1974. With the addition of Antique tables you can bring your dining room to life. Call us at 716-213-6485 and let us provide the table of your dreams.
Sally / September 14, 2013 at 10:24 am
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Found a cool variable height table last week on the web, i'm still trying to find it in a nearby showroom however
in order to test it out.
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Try PINESTEAD FURNITURE:http://pinesteadfurniture.com/online_shop/
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