This week, Toronto’s historic design district (anchored by Nienkämper, which opened its flagship showroom on King Street East in 1968) welcomed a new addition. Not just another furniture store, Domison’s move into the neighbourhood is an injection of fresh Canadian creativity.
Domison is the retail branch of Montreal designers My and Thien Ta Trung. The brother and sister design duo first caught our eye when they launched Periphere a decade ago. Under this label the Ta Trungs produce edgy yet sophisticated furniture and lighting options for contract clients who appreciate their bold upholstery and multi-material statement pieces. Aiming to offer quality modern goods for budget-restricted design lovers, the siblings opened their first Domison showroom three years ago on Saint Laurent in Montreal. The goods – tables, storage units, sofas and chairs for living and dining rooms – seamlessly blend urban aesthetic with polished finish.
The Toronto edition is housed in a 325-square-metre former office furniture outlet. Montreal interior design firm Blazysgerard was called on to revamp the space and, according to Alexandre Blazys, the space was a mess before they got to work. He and his team stripped the store back to basics and left it purposely spare. The white walls, oversized black columns, polished concrete floor and low-profile linear pendants allow the furniture to pop. Also new for Domison, and for Toronto for that matter, is a slew of home accessories by a variety of Quebec designers.
For the opening party, Domison commissioned Montreal graphic design firm Paprika to arrange a larger-than-life, paper-tree installation. This symbol of growth befits both Domison’s expansion and that of Toronto’s design district. The area has seen plenty of activity in the last six months, with Italian manufacturer Calligaris opening up one of its rarefied standalone shops; and major player Kiosk – exclusive home to some of the very best European lines – inaugurating a massive three-storey space designed by Vancouver architect Omer Arbel. And the growth continues, with Jardin de Ville, Quebec’s premier outdoor furniture company, flipping the open sign on its showroom door and Denmark’s BoConcept accepting the first of its customers in a store located, fittingly, on the ground floor of the Vü condo building. Clearly Toronto’s design district has rebounded from the recession with style.