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Our Toronto Design Week 2016 Survival Guide

Hang on to your bootstraps. Here are January’s must-hit parties, exhibitions and product launches

By Eric Mutrie
Photography by Naomi Finlay

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From January 18 to 24, thousands will hike across the city to take in all things design.

Throughout the week, we’ll be awarding the top 100 products (& other cool stuff) we spot with our custom Designlines Loves tags. Follow us in realtime on Instagram @designlinesmagazine and check back each morning for our daily recap posts. Below, we spotlight eight Toronto Design Week events that top our must-visit list.

Survival gear shown above: Adidas boot, from Livestock; CAMP crampons, Klean Kanteen and EnerPlex portable battery, from MEC; Jail Jam beanie and Jack Gomme tote, from Annie Aime.

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Come Up to My Room
Jan 21-24 Check in to the Gladstone to see how established and emerging designers transform the 127-year-old hotel’s lobby, hallways and guest rooms into eclectic, site-specific installations. This year’s curators – architecture and exhibition design pros Jana Macalik and Nuria Montblanch – have organized a mix of work that includes a recreation of the bedroom set from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. $10. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W  Thu 6-8, Fri 11-8, Sat 11-6, Sun 11-5

Villa Villa.
Photo by Naomi Finlay.

Do Design
Jan 21-24 Yet another reason why Dundas West is one of the coolest stretches in the city. For this strip-long exhibition, shops of all kinds host window displays and indoor installations by contemporary designers, including such well-known veterans as Scott Eunson and Kathryn Walter and such mavericks as Oscar Kwong, Villa Villa (shown above) and Lauren Reed. Join a guided walking tour at Caldense Bakery (802 Dundas St W) at 2pm on Jan 24. Free. Various Venues, various hours

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Interior Design Show
Jan 21-24 “Design changes everything” is the motto of this year’s largest Canadian contemporary furniture and decor show. With 16,260 square metres full of product and makers, the evidence is everywhere. Highlights include: trade talks by British superstars Lee Broom and Tom Dixon; next-gen innovation at Studio North and Prototype; and a first look at EQ3’s new designer capsule collection, Assembly. $20. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St W  Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6

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Mjölk
Jan 18-24 Each year, Mjölk’s well-travelled duo – Jon and Juli Baker – pays homage to one of its favourite international designers by hosting a retrospective. For 2016, the spotlight turns to Japan’s Oji Masanori, known for his impeccable brass kitchen tools and bottle openers (shown above). The show coincides with the launch of a new collection of tableware and lighting, designed by Masanori especially for Mjölk and manufactured by local artisans. Free. Mjölk, 2959 Dundas St W  Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5

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Monogram Dinner by Design
Jan 22-24 A fundraiser for Casey House and the Design Exchange, this annual banquet seats guests at installations envisioned by local firms and built on the museum’s historic trading floor. This year’s roster of designers includes ArchitectsAlliance, Commute Design, and Moriyama & Teshima Architects. While the dinner is a one-night affair, the avant-garde centerpieces, tables and settings are in public view.  Shown above: an otherworldly dining environment created by Uufie for last year’s event. Free. Design Exchange, 234 Bay St  Fri 12-5, Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5

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Outside the Box
Jan 18-24 Organized by the Toronto Design Offsite Festival in partnership with New York’s WantedDesign, this event sees designers from nine American and Canadian cities ship banker boxers filled with small objects that, when unpacked, reflect their region’s distinct style. The Montreal display captures the playful, Memphis-y leanings of Zoe Mowat and Lambert & Fils, while L.A.’s highlights the draw of natural woods and mid-century-style architecture for West Coast designers. Shown above: the Beaubien light by Lambert & Fils. Free. Various venues, various hours

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Reveal
Jan 14-30 Meet the young makers about to rock the woodworking industry. The graduating class of Sheridan’s Craft and Design Program unveils 16 skillfully crafted prototypes for seating and tables, as well as sophisticated consoles paired with slick stools. Look for Reba Forbes’s Scandinavian-inspired maple sideboard with curved corners, plus Jasmine Hogg’s elegant white-oak buffet with ridged doors. Free. Craft Ontario Gallery, 990 Queen St W  Mon-Sun 11-6

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Toronto Design Offsite Festival
Jan 18-24 Product launches, talks, window installations – this city-wide fete just keeps getting bigger. See In Series, a repetition-inspired exhibition at Propeller Gallery (30 Abell St), then stop by Made (394 King E) for the launch of Primary, a collection of locally designed furniture and lighting. A must: the festival launch, taking place at Shopify’s shipping container–like office (shown above), which was designed by MSDS Studio (80 Spadina Ave, 4th fl). Free. Various venues, hours vary.


Categories: Toronto Design Week
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