Whether it’s an intimate restaurant or café, a show-stopping luxury hotel, a bustling workplace or a cutting-edge research hospital, lighting shapes and contours any space, setting the ambiance and knitting together the design language. For Toronto-based commercial lighting distributor Salex, delivering the ideal solution to any context is at the heart of the company’s mission — with a 50-year history of excellence to show for it.
Founded by John Gariepy and Don Hopkins as a small emergency lighting company in 1973, Salex has evolved into a leading agency in commercial lighting across Ontario and beyond. From its modest roots, the company grew from will and determination to become a major presence, providing lighting solutions for a wide range of environments, from offices and restaurants to the stunning evening colours that now illuminate Niagara Falls.
Today, Salex is an exclusive regional distributor for a wide range of Canadian, American and European brands, combining a comprehensive and design-driven product portfolio with a commitment to knowledge and education. For Canadian designers, Salex offers a wealth of knowledge and experience, providing a vital tool to connect with innovative manufacturers from around the world.
While the company’s range of expertise extends to a wide variety of commercial settings and typologies, the commitment to design excellence — and attention to detail — is perhaps best encapsulated by the lighting in architects’ own offices. In Toronto, for example, acclaimed local firms KPMB and superkül are among the designers to collaborate with Salex to fit out their own spaces.
At KPMB’s striking office in the Globe and Mail Centre, Salex assisted the design team on appropriate lighting that could complement and unite design features, bringing KPMB’s own team and lighting designers Mulvey & Banani a vital tool. And to fit out superkül’s open-concept office, Salex worked hand in hand with principals Andre D’Elia and Meg Graham and Dark Tools to complement the tastefully pared down space, and create a bright, open environment reflective of the company’s culture.
For Salex, the two projects represent a small sampling of an extensive and highly diverse portfolio developed over half a century. The same attention to detail and love of collaboration with designers — not to mention industry knowledge — is palpable across Salex projects, which range from Toronto’s Pai Northern Thai Kitchen to healthcare spaces like Bridgepoint Health and the Cambridge Memorial Hospital, as well as a wealth of new-build condominiums, sports and recreation facilities, and hospitality settings.
And as Salex celebrates its 50-year anniversary, the company continues to evolve. Now led by Nick Puopolo, George Katinas Paul Hudson, Andrew Parker, Ben Fischer and Ross Sawin, Salex is also a committed leader in lighting education, frequently organizing trips to manufacturers and bringing local designers, architects and engineers in touch with luminaries ranging from New York’s LEDucation to cutting-edge factories across Europe. For design professionals across Ontario, it’s an indispensable window into the world of lighting.
This content was published by Azure on behalf of Salex.
The Toronto-based company is a vital resource connecting architects and designers to leading local and international lighting manufacturers.