That Is Best Which Works Best teaser…

January 17th, 2017


This Wednesday night from 7-9pm we will hold an opening reception for our shaker inspired exhibition That Is Best Which Works Best. We are pleased to be participating yet again in Toronto Design Offsite. If you are in Toronto, there are a lot of wonderful events happening around the city this week, and we highly recommend you go check some of it out. On Wednesday night specifically, our Junction neighbourhood will be hosting quite a few parties, which you can easily hop about to.


After visiting Hancock Shaker Village last September, John managed to acquire quite a haul of Shaker items via auction. These will be on display along with some contemporary pieces inspired by the Shakers.


We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

2959 Dundas Street West

Please note that the shop will be open during the day on Wednesday, however we will be setting up, so it’s definitely a better day for mission shopping than browsing.

Friday in the city

November 21st, 2016


Last week I picked up a new camera, the Canon PowerShot G7X, in the hopes of blogging more – the quality I’m used to, a compact size and wifi were what I was looking for. On Friday I took it out for a test drive and am really excited for the potential!

First stop was newish Junction spot Dirty Food. When Locomotive and Little Fish closed awhile back we were pretty sad about a lack of early morning breakfast spots so Dirty Food has opened at an opportune time. With an 8am start to the day, they are ideal for our early risers (meaning we are only on second breakfast by the time we head over).



Howell contemplating the Johnny Cakes.


John had the Chicken and Waffles. They also have a fantastic eggs benedict, and my favourite lunch item is homemade pierogies.



Next stop was the Evergreen Brickworks for a nature walk.


The fall colours are pretty much gone but the wintry light was still really pretty.





A boy and his stick. Thank goodness he’s obsessed with those rain boots.

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What a beautiful day it was. I hope everyone in Toronto had a chance to get out for a little bit, especially now that the cold has arrived.


True Nordic Exhibition at The Gardiner Museum

October 14th, 2016


Tuesday night we were excited to go to the opening reception for The Gardiner Museum‘s new exhibition, True Nordic: How Scandinavia influenced design in Canada. Curated by Dr. Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow, we are honoured that our Garden Works collaboration with Anderssen & Voll is on display.



From the press release: Scandinavian design initially reached Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good design, and “comfortable and gracious living.” Capitalizing on the market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger, Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.

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The exhibition was designed by friend of the shop Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc. Loved the Alto-esque paper room divider and the intimate wall colours.


During the Q&A discussion, there was a bit of talk about how a lot of the designers were married couples. Naturally we like this dynamic a lot!


In the contemporary designers section there are a lot of local designers and artisans, such as Castor, Sean Plaice, MSDS, and Bookhou. It was nice to see everyone in the same place.


The exhibition book was a nice surprise, containing some essays and the exhibition catalog. The fire tools pictured are from a project we have been working on with Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere (to be launched in January).

Please go see this show at the Gardiner Museum, running until January 8.


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City of Makers

April 29th, 2015

Last summer I (John) hosted a documentary series called City of Makers. Produced by Andrea Orazi for Narrative Pictures and directed by Scott Abraham, the series examines the people who shape a city’s creative identity.

Ive been meaning to share this on the blog once the episodes became available, so very sorry for my delay. Having a store that specializes in goods from Scandinavia and Japan we aren’t well-known for carrying Canadian made things, but you might be surprised how many things we have that are made right here in Toronto. When Scott and Andrea approached us to be involved in their documentary series, I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce our friends whose work we really love and respect and who we feel are on an international level of quality but just so happen to live here in Toronto.

I hope you enjoy this first series!

Learn more about the project from the City of Makers Director Scott Abraham.

Click here for the City of Makers website.

Alissa Coe
Alissa is a ceramicist who mainly produces sculptural commissions, including work for the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Alissa also produces the Sucabaruca coffee set for Design store and gallery Mjolk.

Brian Richer
Brian is an artist who works in stone, his work is influenced by his training as an architectural stone carver. He is also a designer for his company Castor.

Brian Vu – Latre Art and Style
Brian runs his own store in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto.  Brian uses the ancient dye indigo to colour his clothing, his designs are influenced by his love of military clothing.

Sarra Tang – Hoi Bo
Sarra is a designer who makes bags, clothing and accessories for her company Hoi Bo.  Sarra is known for bags made from her unique hand processed dry wax material.

Lubo Brezina – Lubo Design
Lubo is a furniture designer who works in wood. Lubo’s recognizable style combines substantial timber with Japanese joinery techniques.


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Black Creek Pioneer Village

December 12th, 2014


Last week we visited Black Creek Pioneer Village for the first time. It’s an open air museum located just a short drive north from us. We go all in for this sort of thing, and it being close to Christmas I figured it’d be extra nice with the holiday decorations.

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Broom making house. Love the paint colour and shaker style rails.



Again with the lovely paint colour, and benches.


Chasing light in the town hall.

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Afternoon winter light in the bedroom.


She really just wanted to see “the animals”.


Seeing the loom was of interest, as we have been reading Pelle’s New Suit (thank you to the customer who gifted it).

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They actually sell all the things that are made in the various building, like weaving, tin lanterns and decorations, children’s bonnets, etc. Kind of clever as they teach while making.



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In the doctor’s waiting room, waiting for us to stop taking photos.

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The one benefit to having our weekends during the week is avoiding crowds.

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The horse happily trotted over to say hi, and upon discovering we didn’t have any treats, proceeded to give us some shade.


Spoons hanging by the fireplace.

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One day we’d like to do a tour of Shaker museums in the US. This will have to do for now!

Has anyone ever toured the Shaker museums in the American NE? Would love recommendations…

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Nature Break: Centennial Park Conservatory

December 9th, 2014


One thing I am thankful for is that the people I follow on Instagram often post about places in Toronto that I have yet to discover (@fieldguided, @framestory and @blaisemisiek). The Centennial Park Conservatory is just a short drive from us in Etobicoke. It has three sections, tropicals, cacti and seasonal. Oh and it’s free. One thing I’ve noticed about having kids, it IS expensive if you ever want to leave your house and not go to a park. A day out can cost close to $100, between parking, food and admission. So it’s always such a delight when there is something to do that is simple and free. Of course, toddlers don’t go at the same pace as we do, so we were done within 15 minutes, but I can see it being a nice place to visit in the thick of winter, for a quick escape!

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On the way home we stopped in a Ma Maison on Dundas West for a treat of croissants and lattes.

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