Crown Point’s reputation for great food might still be growing, but it’s already well known as one of the best places to shop for antiques. This despite losing some of the better shops in the last while, including Steeltown Pickers, which moved to Concession Street, then Antiques Unlocked, whose owners retired.
Not to worry, however, as new store Filter has reclaimed the Antiques Unlocked space with a stylish twist that looks to be a perfect fit for the developing street. Run by owners Mike and Amy Mason, Filter is a version of their Toronto location, a store specializing in mid-century modern and antique furniture, art and accessories.
“We’ve had a store in Toronto since 1996, which we’re closing at the end of [December 2018] after 22 years in business and just concentrating on here,” said Mike Mason. “For years we’ve been trying to find the appropriate building in the appropriate area with parking and everything and this came together for us last spring.”
I’ll be honest, my first impressions of Filter — from its slightly mysterious name to its more curated and polished layout (a distinct change from the usual stuffed-to-the-gills approach of antique stores) — made me wonder if it might be too cool for the street. But the owners have been thrilled with the shop’s success already.
“The response has been amazing,” said Amy Mason. “And a lot of our Toronto clientele has followed us here, which is really nice. We’re thrilled with how many regulars, designers and film people, have discovered Hamilton. They’re making the trip.”
It might go without saying, but everything in the store is for sale, even though they also rent out pieces, including a distinctive transparent cow (you’ll have to see it to understand) that’s been farmed out to a couple of film productions. They buy as well, and they make sure to give items a dose of TLC before putting them out on the shop floor.
“We like to maintain a certain level of craftsmanship and quality with every genre that we pick,” said Amy. “And our presentation, we like to have everything ready to move into someone’s home. We don’t want to say, ‘Oh, that’s an easy fix,’ or, ‘Just a touch up here.’ So we reupholster, we refinish, we do all the tweaking that needs to be done.”
Filter is an impressive space, with a gallery feel and owners who clearly care about what they sell. It could be a mainstay on Ottawa Street for years to come.
Filter, 271 Ottawa St. N., www.filter.design