A lamp I spied on the Listings List sent me out to Bridgeland Avenue in North Toronto, on the edge of the Castlefield design district. Turns out the sellers had a lot more than brass lamps for sale; Ve’ahavta International Tikun Olam Centre (200 Bridgeland Ave., Unit D) re-sells donated furniture and uses the proceeds to assist homeless and marginalized men, women and youth.
Kirill Zaretsky, a senior director, offered a tour of several rooms chocked full of donated furniture and accessories like the Jonathan Adler-esque mosaic horse (above left) and the set of clean-lined, cane-back chairs (six available). In yet another room, Kirill directed my attention to an authentic art deco dining room table — with its elongated octagonal top and monolithic pillars I had no trouble picturing it in an office or boardroom of an up and coming young lawyer or architect.
Kirill wants to put Ve’ahavta on the map as a thrifting destination and its location, just across from Of Things Past, means savvy shoppers can hit two birds with one stone.
A favorite of everyone in the office is the set of six amorphic dining chairs, above left, in the style of Jan Ekselius. Most likely from the Art Shoppe in the late 70’s, the original purple mohair is in excellent condition and would pair nicely with a tulip style table or glass top pedestal. I did a little research online and found a similar example (above right) on liveauctioneers.com which were estimated to go for between $100 – $200 US each. Kirill’s enthusiasm was evident when I reported this back to him but he was quick to stress that Ve’ahavta is very open to negotiating: “It’s a win, win situation.”
Boasting a hand painted Asian scene, the buffet above left is Canadian-made and cedar-lined, a bargain at $250; a Drexel Heritage ’80’s Chinoiserie display cabinet is priced at $350 and again, the prices are always negotiable. The solid wood, counter-height table below would also work as a kitchen island.
A fresh coat of paint, a granite or marble top, some counter height stools and you have a totally unique and custom kitchen reno for a fraction of what a contractor would charge.
The brass lamp wasn’t quite up to snuff but I will definitely be returning to Ve’ahavta in the future on the look out for more diamonds in disguise. To find out more about their online auctions and content sales or to donate, contact Shawna or Kirill directly. Everyone wins.