‘Canadian Pickers’ peers into Peter’s Barber Shop
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Feb 08, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

‘Canadian Pickers’ peers into Peter’s Barber Shop

York Guardian

The sign out front says Peter’s Barber Shop, but inside looks more like a hockey museum.

Blue maple leafs line the floor and ceiling. Hockey pennants hang from the ceiling. Framed pictures of hockey greats who have visited the Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue shop line one wall. Seats from Maple Leaf Gardens rest close to the hair cutting area. A turnstile greets customers.

And, in what’s sure to rattle some feathers and bring smiles to others, a playful sign banning Ottawa Senators fans from the premises is posted on the door.

The shop’s owner, Peter Kalamaris, has been slowing turning what was his late father’s business into a place where people can get a hair cut and gaze at hockey memorabilia.

All he has will be on display when his shop will be featured on the fourth season of Canadian Pickers, set to air in the spring. The episode was shot Wednesday, Feb. 6 while the stars were in town shooting at various locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

“They got in touch with me,” Kalamaris said. “I hadn’t heard of the show because I don’t get the History channel, but I watched it online. I think it’s awesome. It’s a cross-Canada trek, like a treasure hunt.”

The Cineflix produced reality series follows Scott Cozens and Sheldon Smithens as they travel across the country looking for items in basements, garages, barns, yard sales, warehouses and shops, with the hope of making a profit off resales.

Among some items Kalamaris is hoping to sell include a stack of hockey, Star Wars, baseball and movie cards he said is worth $8,500, used Atari games kept in their boxes, a framed signed poster of Vince Carter; a signed Paul Stanley guitar, and old Pepsi and Coke cans.

And things that aren’t for sale? The two barber chairs,; the original door from the shop, his father Pantelis’ first cash register and the hockey pennants that hang from the ceiling.

“It took me a year to find the Oakland Seals pennant from 1969,” he said.

The Paul Stanley autographed guitar was purchased in 2007 and is number six of 5,000 manufactured, Kalamaris said, adding he has KISS dolls of every member except Gene Simmons.

Two old Pepsi cans from the 1980s that were pulled from shelves are also in his possession. If stacked in a certain way, the word “sex” appears vertically. And a glass Coke container for fountain syrup is worth about $70, he said.

Many hockey legends have passed through the shop’s doors over the years, including Dave Keon, Gordie Howe, Tony Esposito, Red Kelly and Jacques Lemaine, whose pictures hang on the wall.

And Kalamaris challenges every customer to a game of table hockey and if they can beat him in under five minutes, the hair cut is free.

“How many people can say they scored on Esposito?” he said, adding he rarely loses a match and keeps copious notes of stats from each client player.

Admitting he has obsessive compulsive disorder “in a fun way”, Kalamaris grimaces when asked if he considers himself a hoarder.

“I’m a collector, not a hoarder,” he said. “If I was a hoarder I wouldn’t be able to part with anything.”

So is anything missing from his collection?

“I have one word: Zamboni,” he said.

With cowboy hats on, Smithens and Cozens were waiting outside Peter’s Barber Shop while their crew set up inside, so their initial reactions to the business were authentic.

“We love hockey,” said Smithens, a third-generation antiques dealer, auctioneer, appraiser and Calgary Flames fan. “I’m looking forward to seeing what he has.”

Cozens, who is pursuing his childhood passion as a picker, said he’s driven by the thrill of the hunt.

“We sell most of what we buy,” he said. “Our show is uniquely Canadian. Sometimes we don’t buy anything but that doesn’t happen too often.”

Season 1 of Canadian Pickers debuted in April 2011 and has since been syndicated outside Canada under the name Cash Cowboys.

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