Salvage Kings returns to History

Salvage Kings

The second season of Salvage Kings, featuring Priestly Demolition, debuts April 19 at 10 p.m. ET.

Priestly Demolition is returning to television screens throughout Canada, as the second season of Salvage Kings returns to the History channel. 

The first episode of the new season airs on Monday, April 19 at 10 p.m. ET.  

The 10-episode season follows Priestly’s head of salvage Ted Finch and his crew as they search for rare and valuable objects from buildings that are on the verge of demolition. 

“We have a lot more history in this season,” Finch said. “We’re out of town a lot and there’s a lot of small abandoned buildings with a lot of history. It’s a lot of fun for me.”

Fans of Salvage Kings will see some changes in the new season. In Season 2, company president Ryan Priestly devises an expansion plan for the salvage team that will transform the operation. Although a gamble, the expansion could yield big rewards for the company. As well, three new members join the team, causing some friction as the old and new guard adapt to each other.

While the focus of the show sticks to treasure hunting, viewers should also expect to see more of the demolition side of the business. 

“They put me in the seat a lot more this time,” said foreman Justin Fortin. “I find that fun — there’s no better word — it is fun to wreck things.” 

Throughout the second season, the Priestly team will travel across Ontario to salvage, and eventually demolish structures that are past their prime. 

Finch said he particularly enjoyed heading to Northern Ontario to scour buildings that are more than 100-years-old in search of rare items. Although fun, he noted it’s unfortunate the old structures must come down. 

“All the buildings are coming down for a reason,” he said. “They may look good or strong on camera, but they’re not. There’s always a catastrophic failure with the foundation or something you don’t necessarily see.”

In Timmins, Ontario, for example, Priestly had to shore up a structure, before they could begin hunting for salvageable items. 

“I didn’t want to be in that basement any longer than we were,” Fortin said. 

While visiting Timmins came with risk, it also had its rewards. While salvaging in the mining town, the team discovered hidden gold. 

“We got to Timmins and everybody kept talking about looking for hidden gold,” Finch said. “A lot of guys used to take gold out of the mines illegally, and they’d stash it all over. Once we learned a bit about that, we had to keep hunting. We had to figure it out, but we found it.”

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With the second season of Salvage Kings now ready to air, the Priestly crew is getting used to life as television personalities. 

“We get people that recognize us, so they know we’re in town doing something,” Finch said. “They kind of follow you around.” 

He added the show has increased interest in salvaged and recycled items. 

“This is what I love. The more you keep out of the landfill the better,” Finch said. “If we can get a few more people into saving stuff, it’s all good to me.” 

The added attention to the jobsite does have its drawbacks. Fortin explained camera crews draw more spectators than a typical demolition job. 

“When you’re tearing down a building, and your toes are curled, you’re worried about things like debris falling the right way and safety,” he said. “Then you look around and there’s 80 people watching you. It gives you that next level of “oh, I’d better do a good job. It had better go perfectly’.” 

Once the building is down, the crowd will disperse. 

“They had their cell phones out waiting for the wrong thing to happen. I do not like that aspect,” Fortin said. “But as soon as it came down safely, I loved it.” 

Creating Salvage Kings has also allowed the film crew and Priestly staff to learn from one another.  

“I teach them about antiques and history, and they teach me about cameras,” Finch said. “I know how much their camera equipment is worth, so if I ever come across any, I can sell it.”