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Our Guide to Toronto Design Week’s Must-Hit Events

The Interior Design Show and Toronto Design Offsite Festival cast a spotlight on great contemporary design, highlighting Toronto as a buzzing capital of creativity

By Eric Mutrie

Look in the calendar of anyone in the local design community and you’ll find January 19-25 earmarked as an especially action-packed time of year in Toronto.

Below, our guide to the week’s must-see shows, window installations, art exhibits, product unveilings and designer talks.

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DESIGN SHOWS:
Jan 16-25 – Come up to my Room
Forty creatives of various disciplines check in to the Gladstone and transform the historic Queen West hotel with alternative art and performance pieces. $10, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W comeuptomyroom.com

Jan 19-25 – Do Design
Local designers fill the windows of a dozen-plus west-end shops with their exciting new works. Dundas West (between Bathurst St and Grace St) dowest.ca

Jan 19-Feb 28 – 1/16
Meet the next generation of creative craftspeople. Sixteen members of Sheridan College’s Furniture Craft and Design program exhibit innovative works-in-progress. Craft Ontario, 990 Queen St W craftontario.com

Other student shows: Tables, Chairs & Other Unrelated Objects (OCAD U), InProcess (OCAD U), Connecting Divided Places (George Brown College) and The Youth are Revolting (TDSB)

Jan 20-25 – White Out
No, you haven’t gone snow blind. This collection of all-white designs – including pendant lights by Simon Kitz & Peter Coolican, plus dinnerware by Khalil Jamal – explores the subtle distinctions between understated hues like chalk and ivory. TAC Art/Work Gallery, 568 Richmond St W torontoartscouncil.org

Jan 22-25 – Interior Design Show
Canada’s largest furniture and decor show, IDS brings trade types and design lovers together for product unveilings, feature exhibits and expert seminars. $19, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St W interiordesignshow.com

Jan 22-25 – Monogram Dinner by Design
Eleven designers create dining installations that run the gamut from glitzy and traditional to sculptural and cutting-edge. $5, Design Exchange, 234 Bay St dx.org

Jan 22-25 – Upper 751
Held in a second-floor Queen Street West apartment, this homey, informal show is dedicated to an eclectic mix of artists, philosophers and makers who capture the spirit of urban living. Upper 751, 751 Queen St W upper751.tumblr.com

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WINDOW INSTALLATIONS:
Jan 19-25 – Bellwoods Forest
Hollis+Morris furniture designer Mischa Couvrette displays an array of his wood-and-metal Bellwoods clothes racks, newly available in a kid-friendly size. Ella+Elliot, 188 Strachan Ave ellaandelliot.com

Jan 19-25 – Wrap Yourself in Code
Techno-craft maven Libs Elliott uses computer code to generate complex geometric patterns that she then uses as inspiration for mesmerizing handmade quilts. Cutler and Gross, 758 Queen St W cutlerandgross.com

Jan 19-25 – Outside the Box
Designers from eight cities across Canada and the United States package the creative spirit of their community in a variety of curated crates. Design Within Reach, 435 King Street West todesignoffsite.com

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ART EXHIBITS:
Now-Jan 25 – Urban Fabric: Portraits of a City
Through photos, paintings, sculptures and films, artists explore the metropolitan environment. On January 17: free admission and a talk led by curator Deborah Wang. Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue textilemuseum.ca

Now-April – Ice Villages
Richard Johnson’s latest shots capture large groupings of fishing shelters found in northern Canada. Bulthaup, 280 King St E toronto.bulthaup.com

Jan 24-Jun 14 – Deep Woods
Selfies shot in the woods share space with large-scale photos of Toronto’s terrain, probing the connections between Canada’s landscape and national identity. Bill Boyle Artport, 235 Queens Quay W harbourfrontcentre.com

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PRODUCT LAUNCHES:
Jan 17-25 – Helve Haft & Handle Knives
Hand-forged in Toronto from old metal and local woods, these gorgeous knives are a cut above the rest. Zebuu, 1265 Bloor St W zebuu.com

Jan 19-25 – Softline
Inspired by “the joy of living,” Danish manufacturer Softline creates pieces like Drum, a versatile felt pouf-slash-table (seen above) with a removable wood tray. Urban Mode, 145 Tecumseth St urbanmode.com

Jan 19-24 – Bec Brittain
This Brooklyn-based designer’s statement-making lights include Echo, a brass-and-mirror pendant that resembles an elegant dangling spider. Hollace Cluny, 160 Pears Ave, Ste #2013 hollacecluny.ca

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SPEAKERS:
Jan 20 – Exporting Toronto Design
Umbra founding partner Paul Rowan and Bruce Mau Design creative director Laura Stein discuss ways to improve how we promote Toronto designers internationally. Lightform, 267 Niagara St lightform.ca

Jan 24 – Anderssen Voll & Mjölk
Mjölk hosts the Norwegian duo (seen above), which has designed sofas, lights and S & P grinders for the likes of Muuto, Foscarini and Hay – all of which will be shown onsite in an accompanying exhibition. Mjölk, 2959 Dundas St W, mjolk.ca


Categories: Toronto Design Week