From trash to treasure

Victorian charm by Rick Gomes. PHOTO: Submitted

Taking to heart the phrase “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” Rick Gomes made it his mission to make something beautiful out of what he called “leftovers.”

It’s hard to believe when looking at his birdhouse creations that these were once just lone scraps.

Gomes started creating the birdhouses after his mother fell ill at the age of 85.

“I had to leave my job in the Ontario Public Service to become a full-time caregiver,” he said.

So to make a little money and feed his creative side, he came up with the idea to make something out of well, nothing.

“I love the birdhouses themselves,” he said. “I think it provides nesting for birds that we desperately need in the city, and people just love them.”

Each of the birdhouses is carefully handmade and uniquely decorated with the materials having been gathered from neighbours’ renovations projects, dumpsters, garage sales and Value Village. He said part of the reason he likes upcycled materials is because “the birds kind of prefer to nest in used [materials] if you will… not new smelling.”

Gomes is currently featuring his work at craft stores including Urban Nature, Birdwalk Nature Shop, and Amy’s Place, as well as at craft shows around the city such as the Holy Name Church Christmas Bazaar.

View his custom-built designs on his Facebook page at

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