Stamp collector Chris Green welcomed us into his brightly lit shop. It was a relief to be out of the cold and into the space, filled with “stamps, postal history, ephemera and historic curiosities.”

Green began collecting as a child, and he has not stopped. His passion led him, while still at school, to work at Ian Kimmerly Stamps, a downtown store that closed in 2014. As an adult he has had his 151-D Second Ave. store for more than four years. 

The store, with all its vintage vibe is truly a throwback. It’s a place where people can learn about history, culture and geography all contained on tiny pieces of paper. 

Green is at his desk with a pocket-magnifying lens to examine some stamps in an album, while a larger magnifying lens sits at his right-hand side. [Photo © Emma Rektor]
Three tables are spread around the store, providing spaces to flip through albums, large texts and to browse the thousands of stamps for sale. [Photo ©Emma Rektor]
The stamps are from everywhere. They also date back more than 80 years. [Photo © Emma Rektor]
In each box, the stamps are organized by country and then by catalogue number. Customers typically have a list of  stamps they are seeking for their collection. [Photo © Merna Emara]
The store’s retail manager, David Giles, is sorting through a newly purchased collection of Chinese stamps in mint condition, likely bought directly from the post office. Each stamp is worth a few dollars. [Photo © Merna Emara]
Giles looks through the Scott International Stamp Catalogue to identify and ascertain the value of stamps. [Photo © Merna Emara]
This is a 50-cent Bluenose, one of the most famous and coveted Canadian stamps. At $500, it’s more valuable than most of the stamps in the store, but far less expensive than the $100,000 value of the rarest stamps. [Photo © Emma Rektor]
Green is in awe of the engravers’ ability. It is visible here under a magnifying lens. Each line was etched by hand on a copper plate. [Photo © Emma Rektor]
Green stands in front of a prized post office desk. It’s more than 130 years old.
[Photo © Merna Emara]
Here’s how packages were tracked a century ago. [Photo © Merna Emara]
Packages and letters were weighed to determine the shipping price. The scale is not longer in use. Today’s packages are weighed by a digital scale. [Photo © Merna Emara]

“I started as a collector when I was a kid. My father got me into it, he was a stamp collector and he’d get all his colleagues at work to save stamps off the mail they got and he’d bring them home and we’d sort them and have fun.” Chris Green