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May. 20, 2022 | Friday
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Leon Perel and Forum Antiques
Leon Perel, antiques expert and owner of Forum Antiques on Niagara Stone Road. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)


When you walk into Forum Antiques on Niagara Stone Road, you’re not just browsing carefully curated items and beautifully preserved memories; you’re there for the experience.

Antiques expert Leon Perel is a certified appraiser by the Canadian Personal Property Appraisers. In the business of antiques since 1969, he takes an expertly trained eye to determine the value of your prized possessions and family heirlooms. Not simply addressing the value of your articles, he provides history, ensuring a full understanding of the worth and significance of the piece you’re interested in parting with.

He won’t stop with items brought into the store – Perel, referred to as Leon by customers and friends – also offers in-home appraisal services. He will diligently and carefully comb through the items in your estate to provide an accurate, informative account of the monetary worth of each item. He will also inform on where to sell and best disperse those pieces.

His insistence that you keep an item – simply because it holds more nostalgic value than monetary – shows his commitment to customers. He’ll purchase the heirloom if pressed, but he wants his customers to know that sometimes, the amount of money gained from the sale of an item won’t match the familial or historical personal significance.

He’s been known to send visitors to another dealer with a better understanding of the antique’s worth if he is unable to determine its value. That isn’t necessary often, though.

He doesn’t know everything – and he’s the first to admit that. But any knowledge he lacks he knows where to find. He’s connected with experts around the world. No item is too small or too expensive: art, jewelry, weapons, coins, military, documents, aborigine, watches – the list is long.

It’s his years in the field, building relationships with colleagues and travelling abroad at least two or three times a year, that command so much respect in the antiquing world. He says it’s important for a dealer not to make money necessarily, but to be able to move an item quickly. With connections around the globe, quick sale is within his grasp.

When you come to Perel, you’re there for the trust and conversation; respect for his customers is evident. People have walked into the store with questions about an item’s worth and ended up staying for several hours, caught up in the conversational atmosphere and detailed stories about the artifacts on display.

Browsing the beautiful items in the store, you might even leave with something you didn’t know you wanted.

You don’t buy these items out of necessity; no one needs another teacup. You buy them because they offer emotional, nostalgic or personal joy. You do it because you want to know the story and the history that goes along with the antique.

Perel provides more than a service, he creates an atmosphere that elicits a mutual trust between consumer and retailer.

For 13 years, Forum Antiques was located down the road in the Red Barn, which he sold to Oast Brewing Company, moving to the present location at 1547 Niagara Stone Rd. in 2013.

Forum Antiques is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, closed on Tuesdays. To contact Perel, visit the store or phone 905-321-1918. He can also be reached by email at