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Inside Saints Editorial’s stunning office, with fresh-from-the-oven cookies and an all-dogs-welcome policy

By Jean Grant| Photography by Kayla Rocca
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What: Film editing company Saints Editorial’s downtown office Where: The fifth floor of a warehouse loft at King and Spadina How big: Approximately 8,000 square feet for 31 employees

If you watch TV, chances are you’ve already seen Saints Editorial’s work: they’re the creative team behind the McDonald’s Big Mac debate, and Nissan’s terrifying snowman attack. The post-production editing shop only employs a few dozen producers, editors and assistants, but their home is constantly hosting agency teams and major clients to review cuts, usually for week-long stints at a time. As such, their lofty office is a showstopper, with the wide-open space of a ballroom and adorable details of a boutique hotel (think: bowls filled with clementines and fresh-cut tulips in the bathroom). Thanks to their dedicated client services employee Jeff Smith, who bakes fresh cookies, stocks the vintage mini fridge with prosecco and orders catered lunches on the daily, everyone who walks through their doors is treated like royalty. And staff get to have plenty of fun, too: anyone who’s ever worked with Saints has an open invitation to the office’s Thursday evening drinking sessions.

One of the company’s partners, Tory Osler, designed the space herself, after her firm Bijou Editorial merged with competitor Posterboy Edit at the end of 2013 to create Saints. They were one of the first tenants in the Allied Properties building at King and Spadina, and had three months to renovate the bare-bones space before the team moved in in February 2014. “Space is such a luxury in this city. We wanted to keep it minimal and timeless,” says Osler:

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She hired a contractor to give a fresh coat of white paint to the walls, sand and stain the wood floors (they were marked up from cubicles that were there before) and install all manner of cool light fixtures. The general rule of thumb for the design was 70 per cent white and 30 per cent black:

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The reception area features a custom light fixture from Commute and a couch from Restoration Hardware. The entire place is scattered with cacti and tropical plants, most of which come from Crown Flora or Dynasty. The piece of art is a blown-up print from photographer Alec Soth:

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“There’s always a kitchen party here, so we wanted to have a good bar,” says Osler. When we visited, there were freshly baked chocolate-walnut cookies coming out of the oven for the Diabetes Society, one of the company’s pro bono clients. The kitchen’s pendant lights are a 1940s find from Junction shop Eclectic Revival:

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When agencies and clients come in, they’re waited on hand and foot. “We’re big on belonging. We want everyone to feel welcome here,” says Osler. There are eight editing suites, outfitted with cozy couches, multiple Macbooks, flatscreen monitors and heavy-duty speakers (the technical stuff is on the other side of the room). This one is the biggest, and can hold up to 20 people:

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Osler found the vintage beer fridge on Kijiji:

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Every Thursday, the office hosts a get-together for anyone who’s ever worked for Saints. “People know they can always stop by,” says Osler. The booze fridge stays stocked for the weekly occasion:

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Cute touches are everywhere, like glass jars stuffed with Oreos:

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The kitchen table used to be part of a bowling lane, and weighs a ton. It gets a lot of use: when we visited there had already been three lunch meetings:

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One of the challenges of the design was to hide all the office’s extensive technical capabilities. “My enemy is clutter,” says Osler. Walls lined with storage space divide the main room and some of the editing suites. The vintage chairs are moved aside when the freight elevator behind the deadbolt is in use:

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There are usually a few rescue dogs around the office, since some of the staff foster. This is Louie, hanging out in one of the executive offices:

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