Toronto’s best contemporary furniture shops right now
Klaus by Nienkämper
300 King St. E., 416-362-3434
Klaus Nienkämper’s playful designs and imports have been a fixture of Toronto’s living rooms for more than 45 years. Now that Nienkämper’s son, Klaus Jr., has taken over the family business, the shop looks like it’s been lifted from the trendiest street in Copenhagen. Most things, like the Tom Dixon pendant light, come in a Crayola box of colours.
288 King St. E., 416-539-9665
This three-storey King East showroom is devoted to modern furniture for the design connoisseur. Shoppers (often with their interior decorators in tow) swoon over Kiosk’s high-end European stock, which includes exclusive lines like B&B Italia, Zanotta and Ligne Roset. A Philippe Nigro sofa fits together like a puzzle (from $3,696), and a lounge chair by Jasper Morrison comes in an variety of fabrics.
415 Eastern Ave., 416-548-7788
Toronto design superstars George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg were behind a spectacular overhaul that turned the old Consumers Gas building into a light-filled gallery. Inside, discerning decorators and their equally picky clients contemplate exquisite statement pieces, like sofas by Parisian designer Christophe Delcourt (from $8,900). Also on hand: an exclusive collection of upholstery, mirrors and tables by Yabu and Pushelberg themselves.
365 Dupont St., 416-861-0521
The city’s most pervasive design trends—reclaimed everything and mid-century modern—converge at this Annex showroom. The result is a collection of high-impact pieces, like an oxblood-hued leather bench that resembles a Soviet pommel horse; a gilded coffee table, splattered Jackson Pollock–style in bright fuchsia epoxy; or a minimalist, backless, angular sofa made of handsome, dark walnut and upholstered in stylish gray wool.
160 Pears Ave., Ste. 203, Designers Walk, 416-968-7894
Owner Susan Fowlie fills her small space with contemporary furniture, much of it the work of young designers. Fans of whimsy and colour will find themselves satisfied by the store’s eclectic selection of wares. Standout items include sconces made from Kenyan wooden bowls ($3,220), and Cuba chairs, which fold for easy storage and can be hung on the wall when not in use ($990).
1381 Castlefield Ave., 416-789-0800
This sprawling Castlefield furniture store has its roots in France, where it was founded in the early 19th century by Leon Tenenbaum, whose initials—L.T.—inform the showroom’s current name. The store, currently run by Leon’s grandsons, specializes in classic furniture with striking, modern updates: Kara Mann’s bronze-framed statement sling chair, for instance, which is wrapped in thick leather straps. The store’s colourful Silk Orchid collection features patterned rugs that are woven out of deconstructed vintage saris.
42 Gladstone Ave., 416-504-9859
For more than 20 years, Pavilion has been a mainstay among Toronto’s design-minded shoppers. This showroom, in a former warehouse on Gladstone, puts the emphasis on Canadian-made furniture. Pavilion’s in-house line of upholstered pieces comes in more than 100 fabric options, is high on comfort and shows restrained good taste: we like the minimalist Palmerston sectional in a range of charcoal hues ($2,899) and the condo-friendly Slip sectional ($1,999). Pavilion also stocks a small selection of high-quality, refurbished vintage home furnishings.
78 Ossington Ave., 416-534-4343
In 2014, Stylegarage moved to its current home on Ossington, after almost 15 years at Queen and Shaw. The upgrade allowed the shop to house a wider selection of its custom line, including larger pieces like a seven-foot-long boardroom table in wood, glass or stone, starting at $4,000. Shoppers will also find items from the brand’s more affordable collection, including an extensive range of loft-size sectionals and sofas. If you don’t happen to be in the market for a $2,000 cowhide ottoman, there are still plenty of unique accessories worth checking out, like handmade woolen area rugs from Peace Industry.
245 Davenport Rd., 416-968-2768
Arne Nordtorp is hell-bent on introducing Torontonians to great Nordic craftsmanship. Three years ago, the cladding came off his 3,500-square-foot showroom in Yorkville, which had been undergoing two years of renovations. The place stocks some incredible pieces, like a $20,000 tufted leather daybed by the Danish designer Poul Kjaerholm—the same model that sits in front of Monet’s lilypads at the MOMA. But Nordtorp’s democratic design philosophy makes him scatter modestly priced finds among the masterpieces.
Black Pug DMK
1712 Queen St. W., 416-347-4337
While this Queen West store’s collection of furniture, decor and artwork focuses on Canadian-made products, in 2016, Black Pug DMK began importing Japanese antiques, handicrafts, pottery and light fixtures (which are mostly sold online). The store also does repair work.