A design-focused travelogue
Though we’ve travelled around the world, our brief trips often leave just enough time for a few meetings and a couple glasses of scotch, but Toronto was an exception, and not without reason. We are passionate about Toronto, a city that before meeting LightForm’s Richard (Assaly) was plain and cold to us. Then he uncovered the “hidden city” to us: all those small shops, bars, and restaurants. New concepts beautifully designed, high quality retail and food. We are amazed by the amount of creativity and good vibe that we always find in Toronto, and it has naturally become one of our favourite cities in the world. Just remember, you need a local guide or you will miss the whole scene.
Timing our visit with a few key events, including the Interior Design Show, we had a chance to immerse ourselves in the energetic metropolis and connect with a few major players in the Canadian design industry. We’ve always said that Parachilna lights are suited to the cultivated ones, those who appreciate the world’s diverse traditions and cultures. Often, our appreciation happens organically: on a morning jog along the waterfront or during conversations over beer and tacos. After a whirlwind week, we reflect on a few of Parachilna’s favourite moments in Toronto.
Visiting the LightForm Lighting Showroom
Parachilna’s lighting collection is on display in LightForm Toronto
For an interior designer, a visit to LightForm in Toronto is like stepping into a high-end candy store. We’ve long enjoyed working with their passionate and educated team, but it’s always refreshing to reconnect at the showroom, which has the entire Parachilna collection on display. We also had a chance to see the plans for LightForm’s showroom expansion and add some creative input to the project.
Interior Design Show Toronto – Opening Night Party
We don’t like shows. In fact, we hate shows. They seem to us a really old fashioned way of introducing products and brand. But you can’t deny reality and the reality is that today they are still and optimal meeting point for the industry. At this year’s opening party for IDS in Toronto, we spent time chatting with architect Alex Josephson, founder of the Toronto design studio Partisans. We also had a chance to view Jaime Hayón’s Stone Age Folk installation, a collaboration with Caesarstone.
Jaime Hayon with one of his Stone Age Folk at IDS Toronto
Dinner at Lee on King Street
Left to right: Alfredo Valero, Richard Assaly, Jaime Hayon, Roman Riera at Lee
Experiencing the culinary scene in any city is a must, and Toronto’s restaurants are as vibrant as it gets. We joined Jaime Hayón and Richard Assaly for dinner at Lee on King West, where conversation about design and cooking flowed over chef Susur Lee’s delectable creations.
Lunch at Cumbrae’s
A selection of aging prosciutto at Cumbrae’s
Just around the corner from LightForm’s showroom on Niagara Street, we stumbled upon Cumbrae’s, an artisanal butcher shop carrying local meats and grab-and-go sandwiches – perfect for a lunch break on a busy day.
Tacos at Grand Electric
Neon sign marking entrance to Toronto’s famed taqueria
Grand Electric seems to always have a packed house. But we assure you, the tacos are well worth the wait. Located in Toronto’s up-and-coming Parkdale neighbourhood, this unpretentious Mexican hotspot includes dim lighting, loud music and punchy flavours.
Drinks at Bar Raval
It was only a matter of time before we found a piece of Spain in the heart of Toronto. One night after dinner, we went to Bar Raval in Little Italy for drinks (scotch straight up, of course). Named after Barcelona’s El Raval district, the stylish interior features Antoni Gaudí-inspired woodwork by Partisans. We have to say we would never have curated this mahogany alcove, it is not our style. But we must also say that when you get to know how it was thought up and the techniques that PARTISANS used to build it… well, chapeau! The result is as cozy, warm, and lively as a Spanish bar can be.
Mahogany curves in Bar Raval
Hayon and Assaly share a laugh
Sculpture or piece of urban furniture? Sculpture.
Moody views through a LightForm warehouse window.
Until next time, Toronto!