Local strategies for a better world

Building things

Recycled and salvaged materials

The Stratford Restore is a really good one, very well organized and not expensive. You can find windows, doors, wood trim, insulation, bathroom fixtures and lighting fixtures. They have good deals on paint, if you’re not picky about the exact shade. It’s a perfect place to go if you need tile or flooring for a small room. Every once in a while there will be a full set of really nice kitchen cupboards for an incredibly low price, and they have quite a variety of bathroom fixtures, some of them new. It pays to think ahead and keep checking back; don’t forget to look in the yard at the back of the store; sometimes they get shipments of insulation or wallboard.

You might not find just what you want on the first visit, but it’s really worth your time to keep going back. At 245 Griffith Rd. You can call them at (519) 273-7155.

If Stratford doesn’t have what you’re looking for, try the Restore in London (5-40 Pacific Court) or Exeter (309 Main Street). The London store seems to be more building-related, and Exeter had a lot of good things too, but it was more evenly balanced with furniture. To the east, there’s the Waterloo Restore (120 Northfield Drive E.), which I haven’t seen, but it’s probably good too.

If you’re looking for something a little fancier than The Restore, you’ll need transportation. My personal favourite is Artefacts, in St. Jacobs. They have some wonderful things there, although not cheap. Look for antique hardware, doors and windows, antique flooring, trim, and other building elements. So many things to look at there. See their online catalogue for an idea of the different things you could use in a build.

You can make a day of it; St Jacobs is always fun, and the store is right next to the steam engine station, at 46 Isabella Street.

Historic Lumber is in Acton, about an hour away. There is some gorgeous old stuff there; fireplace beams, antique flooring, doors and windows. Again, it’s not cheap. Architectural salvage tends to be expensive, but some of the materials they sell just can’t be found any more. So if you see something you absolutely have to have, you can always remind yourself that you are doing it for the environment. Have a look at their reclaimed materials. At 12478 Sixth Line, Nassagaweya, Acton.

I haven’t been to Timeless Materials in Waterloo, but they have a great website. They sell reclaimed materials, but they also produce things. Look at these examples of their work. At 305 Northfield Dr. E., Waterloo.

I’m looking around for more local sources of recycled and repurposed materials, and will post them as I find them.

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