Commute Design’s Trade Secrets

The hip Junction shop provides chic, cushy decor for the city’s buzziest restaurants

In the early aughts, Commute was the go-to spot for upcycled vintage furnishings. Today, the retailer has evolved beyond its hipster origins into a multidisciplinary design firm that’s synonymous with Toronto’s restaurant scene—they’re responsible for the interiors at Patria, Byblos, Alo and Oretta. Commute’s new Junction storefront features custom-designed modern furniture. Co-owners Hamid Samad and Sara Parisotto encourage customers to inject their own DNA into the furniture. Pieces are either completely bespoke (like a made-to-order dining table with an architectural brass base and a black marble surface) or customizable in terms of size and finishes (an industrial U-shaped light with gold details that can shrink to fit any space).

Their Current Obsessions

Parisotto loves flipping through the design and photography books at Swipe

Dynasty on Queen West is the kind of place where you can find a plant to fit any scale or space

Samad loves the eclectic, untouched rooms at Indira Gandhi’s home in Delhi, which is open to the public

Parisotto recently purchased these minimalist ceramic pieces from Made Design in the Junction Triangle

They appreciate the artistry of the chefs at Familia Baldassare, who make fresh, hand-rolled pasta


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