In the Lower Mainland, antique shops function as roomy time capsules one can walk through with ease and wonder. The many items found within them captivate one’s attention for hours on end. Upon picking up an item, stories are imagined of those who may have owned it years ago. With this said, each of the antique shops in Vancouver have the magical ability to take a person back in time to many different places and eras.
Address: 321 W Cordova St, Vancouver
Open: Mon-Sat 11:30-5:30, Sun 12:00-5:00, Closed Tuesdays
The doors to Salmagundi West open a world where the playfulness of a Vaudeville performance and sophistication of 19th-century aristocrats comes to life. The 100-year-old building the store is located in gives the shop a haunted feel. At Salmagundi, browse through store shelves, peer inside vintage trunks and open drawers of a timeworn Chinese apothecary cabinet. By doing so, one will find postcards dating back to the 1930s, black and white Edwardian photographs, wind up music boxes and various novelty items. To add to the store’s mystical nature, its unique surroundings has made it the perfect filming location for television shows like ABC’s Once Upon A time. All in all, Salmagundi West is a city must see with plenty of heart and history.
Uniques – Collectables With Imagination
Address: 319 W Cordova Street, Vancouver
Open: Mon-Sat 11:00-5:30, Closed Sundays
Located in very close proximity to Salmagundi West is Uniques – Collectables With Imagination. Though similar in appearance to Salmagundi, Uniques has a different feel and style to it that only becomes obvious when entering the store. Among cluttered shelves of old books, dolls, lamps, teapots and glassware, navigating the crowded store poses an enjoyable challenge. The thrill of items and their possibility of toppling over might get one’s adrenaline going but the cheeky signs found inside will definitely cause some laughter. For example, one sign reads “This is not a museum. This junk is for sale.” Clearly, Uniques is a small store with a grand sense of humour.
Antique Alley Collectables and Movie Props
Address: 605 Front Street, New Westminster
Open: Mon-Sat 11:00-5:00, Sunday 12:00-5:00
Front Street is a popular filming location for Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows such as i-Robot, Twilight’s New Moon and Arrow. However, the real gems found on Front street are the antique shops located in what has become known to Vancouverites and New West locals as Antique Alley.
One store, in particular, stands out amongst the rest. Antique Alley Collectables and Movie Props is a locally owned business with highly informed and passionate owners who specialize in selling Antiques, rare collectables and movie props at reasonable prices. Some of the items in the store are over 100 years old and serve as incredible talking pieces. One of the most fascinating is a 1930s hair curler called “the octopus” which looks more like a torture device than a beauty apparatus.
At Antique Alley Collectables and Movie Props one can also find lavish fur coats, baseball cards, vinyl records, Persian rugs and vintage art! The items are timeless and the selection is endless.
Mid Century Modern Home
Address: New Westminster River Market, 101-810 Quayside Dr
Open: Mon-Sun 11:00-6:00, Closed Tuesdays
Mid Century Modern Home is a store with a light and airy feel. Inside one will find colourful glass vases, ceramics and bar sets with 1970s vibes. A unique aspect of the store is its focus. Mid Century Modern Home sells vintage and restored danish modern furniture. The look and quality of the furniture has caught the attention of local and global antique collectors. Namely, Jenny Cashin store owner and danish modern furniture expert has gained a significant following. To add to this, many of the items sold are multi-function, making them more intricate and interesting than ever. Mid Century Modern Home is truly a place where one will never tire of browsing.
Address: 457 East Columbia St, New Westminster
Open: Tues-Sat 11:00-6:00, Sun 12:00-5:00, Closed Mondays
Contrary to what one might believe, Banana Lab is not a fruit wholesaler. In fact, one can most likely find anything in this store but fruit. This small shop is fully stocked with vintage furniture and repurposed home decor. For example, clocks made from bicycle wheels! Each item is carefully selected by owners, Eunjin Kim and Wonduk Yoo. They decided to name their store “Banana Lab” because of their mingled sense of style and bright vision for business. As creators, Eunjin Kim and Wonduk Yoo not only sell repurposed vintage items but also support artists by displaying locally made art in the store. In addition to browsing through an array of unique items, one can also find beautifully crafted art at Banana Lab!
Upon closer inspection, the items found in antique shops are so much more than cluttered piles of “junk.” Black and white photographs, old fashioned coca cola bottles, refurbished 60s style bar sets, record players, typewriters and strange, somewhat dangerous looking hair curling contraptions bring the stories of a city’s past to the forefront. Like all treasures, those found in Antique shops are worth digging for.
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