Earle Robert MacKinnon

     Retired Bell Canada, Partner Brooklin Vintage Décor Antiques. Passed away suddenly and peacefully at home  in his sleep on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at the age of 70.


     Earl’s interest in antiques all began when the family went to an auction in 1979 in Sussex, N.B. Although they were just going to have a look, the prices were so good that they ended up buying a truck-load. Shortly after this he met picker Larry Filmore in Sackville, N.B. Larry was one of the top  old style pickers – the kind who, back in the day,  went straight to the source and knocked on the doors of old homesteads. He was described as the “antique version” of Stompin’ Tom. Larry and Earle would meet in Victoriaville Quebec, the antique hub of Quebec, where he and son Jeremy would drive to get fresh, quality pickings. It got to the point where he was buying so much from Larry that they would just exchange trucks; Earle would bring the empty one and Larry brought the full one.  It worked out well, and the quality of antiques was exceptional.


     This led to Earle frequently attending auctions in Durham Region in the early 1980s at which time he decided he would head to Iowa and get his auctioneers license. He graduated June 27, 1981 and beginning in 1982 he held auctions in Brooklin and Port Perry until 1986.  In 1987 Earle started doing antique shows and opened his first shop in Brooklin. While the Brooklin store was operating, Earle, and his then 13-year old son Jeremy, held a booth at Harbour Front Antique Market where they would go together to sell their wares. Meanwhile, Earl’s wife, Sharon, would run the shop.


     On Mondays Earle would go back to his full-time job at Bell Canada.  Jeremy would help with the refinishing during the week.  In 1988 they opened a store in Port Perry and closed the shop in Brooklin. They ran that for 13 years, closing in 2001. By this time, Jeremy had also started buying and selling. He had caught the “ antique bug” from Earle and after 2001 they just did shows together. In  2012, with a decline in sales at shows,  they decided to open a store in Port Perry again –  The Purple House Antiques –  which operated for three years until the building was sold. This took them back, once again, to Brooklin, where Brooklin Vintage Décor opened in June 2014 and is currently still running with great success. Son Jeremy continues on at Brooklin Vintage Décor and is grateful for all the knowledge his father has passed on to him.  They learned many things together in the ever-changing antique and vintage world we now live in.


     Earle was a character in his own unique way, like many antique dealers, and he could be charming and shy at the same time. Many people, friends and customers, would drop by to visit with him. He will be greatly missed by all.

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