Today, I’m sharing our top-secret list of the top furniture and design stores in Toronto.
We’re blessed to have a pretty thriving design scene and as the largest metropolitan centre in Canada, it’s fair to say that Toronto is the design capital of the county as well. Our list is a compilation of stores we visit frequently and stores that inspire us. From the mega-retailers to the independent neighbourhood shops, great design comes in all sorts of packages and price points. While this list is by no means exhaustive due to how many great furniture store choices we have to choose from, we kept it compact ,like the apartments so many of us live in. We present to you our top 15 furniture stores in Toronto in 2020, in no particular order:
V de V
What’s not to love about this trendy shop on Ossington? From beautiful lighting fixtures to furniture and accessories, this Montreal outpost fits right in on the trendy street and is the perfect place to shop if you like vintage, industrial style. V de V has become a go-to of ours for gifts for those hard to buy people in our lives. They’re increasingly carrying more lifestyle products in addition to their beautiful furniture pieces, so you have even more reasons to stop in next time you happen to be passing by. We dare you to find a more beautiful window display on Ossington.
Kendal and Co
If you like colour and pattern Kendal and Co on Parliament Street is a must-visit. Known for its colourful window displays that change seasonally, this Cabbagetown institution offers in-house design services in addition to their custom upholstery and drapery, rugs, lighting, and soft furnishings. They completely transform the store for Christmas and their assortment of unique tree ornaments is unrivaled in the city. We encourage you to pay attention to their selection of vinyl mats and upholstery fabric. There is nothing cookie-cutter about Kendall and Co. Be sure and stop by next time you’re in the neighborhood if that sounds like you.
If you have space and love big pieces of furniture, Cornerstone is a must-visit. I love walking through this large space in the heart of the Junction and always think their furniture belongs in a grand country manner. Even if you happen to be a condo dweller, you can still find plenty of unique items. Their unique art and accessory collection are decidedly rustic, but there’s a feeling of quality behind all of their pieces. The timeless and traditional aesthetic will have you feeling like you’re stepping into a wonderfully stylish estate sale. Don’t forget to wander into the basement for some of last season’s treasures offered at great discounts.
Located just east of the Don River, Guff is one of the few vintage stores on the list and it specializes in mid-century modern and Scandinavian design. Looking for a beautiful piece of teak furniture? Guff is the place to go. In addition to furniture you’ll find an interesting assortment of lamps, art, and accessories. If you love mid-century pieces of furniture that will stand the test of time, add Guff to your list of places to visit.
In a word, chic. Mjolk is another must-visit design store located in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood. Known for their collection of Japanese and Scandinavian designed products, this self-proclaimed ‘lifestyle shop and gallery’ has a very specific design point of view that we can all aspire to. Function and form meet style and beauty in everything they sell. The price point may be on the higher side, but these are investment pieces that you’ll have for life. Timeless designs curated by devotees of the aesthetic make this a must-visit for fans of beautiful things.
You’ll find something for everyone on your shopping list at Studio Pazzo. This Queen East retailer offers an extensive collection of furniture and homeware from some of the world’s most celebrated designers. From their collection of Fornasetti plates to their Littala tableware, you can’t go wrong purchasing from this design-savvy store. Just about everything in the store can be described as a statement piece and your home will thank you for including any of its stylish contents.
You have to be hip to fit in on Ossington and Style Garage is just that. Their collection of modern furniture, lighting, art, and accessories can help elevate any interior with a dose of cool. They carry their own line of furniture made in Canada and offer in house design services if you’d like professional help along the way. There’s an eclectic feel to their showroom and you can’t leave their store without feeling inspired to change up your space. In addition to lovely furniture, the showroom is styled beautifully so you’ll leave with some decorating ideas even if you can’t decide on a couch.
Design Within Reach is a great place to start your search if you like modern design. Located along King St East’s designer row, DWR has been around since 1998 and continues to offer something special to the design community in Toronto. A mix of modern, funky, and timeless pieces makes walking around the expansive showroom entertaining and inspiring. Not unlike their neighbours in the area, their price point can be a little high for some, so buyers beware. If you’re looking to invest in some forever pieces however, this is a must-stop on the hunt.
This Canadian success story deserves a place on the list as much as any other. EQ3 sells contemporary classics that look good in just about every space. From Herman Miller designed furniture to Marimekko designed bedding and accessories, EQ3 is a staple in Canadian furniture and design retail that shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking to make a few stylish purchases. Their two Toronto locations make it easy to stop into one of their showrooms and find some inspiration for your space.
We love RH so much we’ve written an entire blog about achieving the ‘RH look’. The brand has become synonymous with quality and luxury furniture retail and their recent foray deeper into the art world has us loving them even more. RH does updated classics and authentic reproductions very well and you’ll want to visit their showroom even if you won’t be purchasing anything just to soak in the inspiration. I describe their style as ‘comfy minimalism’ but you can call it what you like. Toronto has its very own location in the Yorkdale Mall. You won’t regret making the stop.
The Castlefield design district has many gems, but we love visiting Elte Mkt every time we’re in the area. Contemporary furniture, reasonable prices, and you can pick up your furniture and walk out with it right off the showroom floor. Stylish and convenient! You may need to visit a few times to find just the right piece, but we think it’s worth it.
Another sprawling warehouse in the Castelfield design district, Shelter is a must-see space when in the area. Their contemporary and modern offerings are well laid out and approachable when it comes to a price point. They frequently have sales- something we love- and though I wouldn’t furnish an entire home from here (or anywhere to be honest) I never leave without seeing something intriguing that I need to take home. I’ve had great luck finding dining chairs here, but they carry stylish furniture for every room in your home.
I’m sure I sound repetitive, but Elte really is the epitome of luxury. If you’re looking for furniture and décor items that will stand the test of time but also may break the bank, look no further. You could easily put together an entire room or home from Elte. They carry furniture from some of the top designers and we’re crazy about their uber-luxurious rugs even though we can’t justify remortgaging for them, yet. Regardless of your tax bracket, you’ll be inspired to create something beautiful with your space. That makes it one of the best furniture stores in our books.
This may seem like an unlikely addition to this list, especially after the likes of Elte, but I’ve found so many gems here I couldn’t leave it off. Furniture Emporium is an interesting space on Bloor near Dufferin that isn’t impressive from the exterior. In fact, it will require digging in the interior, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t design-worthy. They buy designer furniture in bulk off showroom floors and offer it at blowout prices. Come often and with no expectations, and be prepared to walk away feeling like a winner. We have our best luck finding one-off armchairs, end tables, and coffee tables here, and think you will too.
Kantelberg and Co.
After reading about this place on several other lists I had to visit for myself and I wasn’t disappointed. Kantelberg and Co.’s owner Jill Kantelberg is a well-known Toronto based interior designer whose store combines, “traditional antique furniture with stunning modern and rustic pieces”. The best design pulls from a variety of styles and periods and Kantelberg and Co. is just the place to help you find that interesting piece to incorporate into your next space. They’re also located in the Castlefield design district and offer design services in addition to enchanting furniture and antiques.
From mid to high, mid-century to modern, there really is something for every taste in the city and we tried to include something for everyone on our list of Top Design Stores in Toronto. Not unlike the city itself, the design scene in Toronto is diverse and flourishing. From King East to Queen West, in the Junction and in the Castlefield design district, you’ll find something to inspire you no matter where you live. Be sure to let us know what stores we may have missed so the exploration can continue this new year.
Kiel has been a member of the BREL team for three years and a designer for UPstaging since its founding in 2019. As a McMaster alumnus in Communication and Design at George Brown, he soon made his life-long dream of spending other people’s money…err.. we mean decorating… into reality with the BREL team! When he’s not staging homes, he can be found searching the Junction for vintage furniture and unique accessories.