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Photos by Adam van der Zwan.

A look inside one of Old Ottawa South’s three remaining antique store locations

By Apartment613 on November 15, 2017

By Adam van der Zwan. Adam is a small-towner, news junkie, amateur photographer, and jazz nerd currently completing his master’s in journalism at Carleton University. Find him on Twitter and Instagram @adamvanderzwan.

Champagne dit Lambert Antiques

Antique vendor Peter McGregor has owned and managed his business since 1991. Today, Champagne dit Lambert is one of Old Ottawa South’s three remaining antique store locations, located on 1130 Bank Street.

The store sells high-end antiques to clients mainly from Toronto, Montreal, and internationally.

“I have a degree in Creative Writing from McGill, a degree in French literature, and three teaching certificates,” says McGregor. “I found out later that I really didn’t want to work, so I opened the store instead.”

The Warehouse

The lower half of McGregor’s store is called the “Warehouse,” a cozy, dim-lit room that’s stock full of colourful old dining sets, chairs, portraits, cabinets, and books.

Gathering the plates

McGregor carefully places a stack of china plates on his workshop table. He acquired this set of Royal Albert’s Forget-Me-Not dishes from an estate a week ago.

The workshop itself is packed with tools, paints, primers, cleaning supplies and other useful restorative items.

The Mario Coffee cans on the shelves are conveniently full of nuts, bolts and screws.

“You need plenty of these things to help you fix up your antiques,” McGregor explains.

The dishwasher

McGregor hand-washes all of his new antique dining sets using two small sinks nudged against the wall under the stairs in his workshop. The table where all of his sets are polished stands directly behind him.

McGregor is careful when polishing his expensive dishes.

The lights are dim in his musty basement workshop, though McGregor has a large, powerful light he props up on a small table to help him see.

Royal Albert’s Forget-Me-Not china set

McGregor is careful when polishing his expensive dishes.

The lights are dim in his musty basement workshop, though McGregor has a large, powerful light he props up on a small table to help him see.

Floral Forget-Me-Not

“If I were you, I would actually take a picture of the design on that sugar jar,” McGregor states.

Displaying the new set

Pieces of the new dining set are delicately placed on the shelf in the Warehouse. A nice blue addition to a wide assortment of kitchen pieces.

McGregor’s staircase

The creaking wooden staircase connects McGregor’s workshop to the upper half of his store, where he keeps all of his high-end antiques on display.

The high-end antiques

The store’s upper half stands adjacent to Bank Street, and houses the main entrance to the shop. It’s a brilliantly lit room showcasing “high-quality silver, china, ‘objets d’art,’ and period furniture.”

“Have you noticed something?” asks an amused McGregor as he settles himself in a chair. “I don’t like to keep this part of the store cluttered.” He points to an elegant, dark mahogany dining table, furnished with only two candlesticks and a $9,500 price-tag.

McGregor believes less clutter gives customers more room to breathe. “I like it spatial,” he says.

A cigarette

“I really enjoy what I do,” McGregor muses after lighting a cigarette. A melange of papers, folders, and an assortment of ‘left-over’ antiques cover his desk.

The phone rings, and his expression flashes with keen interest. “Oh! It’s another international call,” he says, and pulls the phone off the hook.