SHOP TALK

Wilmerdale Antiques

A sprawling gallery of fine collectibles just north of the city

by lindy mechefske Wilmerdale Antiques is situated on a picturesque, rugged patch of the Canadian Shield. Owner Brian Ilan is the fourth generation of family members to work the land, located 25 minutes north of Kingston, near Perth Road Village. His greatgrandfather, Wilmer Campbell, born in 1875, once farmed this homestead, followed by his grandfather, and subsequently his father, Wes. When Wes retired from farming in 1977, he and his wife, Ruth, opened Wilmerdale Antiques. Ten years later, in 1987, Brian Ilan went to work for his father and the rest, as they say, is history, an especially apt term in the world of antiques. After his father?s death in 1996, Brian relocated the family business, still on his great grandfather?s property. Between 2002 and 2004 he built a trio of handsome buildings comprising a storage facility, a 1,000-square-foot workshop and the vast 4,320-square-foot, two-storey, antique showroom. Now, almost 40 years since Wilmerdale Antiques first opened, the love of craftsmanship and attention to detail that Brian learned from his father are evident throughout the open, spacious showroom full of beautifully crafted solid-wood furniture. Brian specializes in formal Victorian and Canadian-made country furnishings. He can identify which county that most of the Ontario antique furniture came from by style and paint colour. ?They used, for example, a particular shade of green on a lot of Waterloo county furniture,? says Brian. Wilmerdale also sells select pieces of glass, china and folk art, and a collection of early toys. ?Once upon a time, china was highly collectible but that?s changed,? says Brian. ?Relatively big items like cupboards, tables, chairs and desks, along with toys and advertising materials, are now the most popular and requested items.? In the workshop, Brian does antique repair and refinishing as well as custom work for those looking to have their own pieces restored. Preferring to work with the original finishes, Brian says, ?Wherever possible we leave the patina intact. Especially where you have beautiful markings, you want to just clean and buff the piece so that you don?t destroy the layers of history.? WILMERDALE ANTIQUES 5492 Wilmer Rd., Perth Road 613-353-2324 wilmerdaleantiques.com portrait and interior photos by david bell; aerial photo by prestige air photo 10 INTERIORS | KINGSTONLIFE.CA | 2015

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