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Toronto’s Most Creative Standouts

Succinctly summing up the Canadian capital’s design scene is no easy task, but a number of factors have influenced the experimental architecture, edgy fashion, and trendsetting furniture and lighting coming out of the city.

a bar designed as a moody speak easy with wall mural, modern read leather bench seats and bistro tables

Designed by Canadian Studio Paolo Ferrari, the Secret Room is a speakeasy-style bar at the Five Palm Jumeirah hotel in Dubai. Accessed via an underground passage, the space features a blend of modern and traditional aesthetics.

For our current issue (GRAY magazine No. 57), we asked writer Will Kitchens for a dispatch from Toronto on the city's design scene.

Of seven creative standouts, Kitchen’s names Studio Paolo Ferrari as an interior designer you should know before you visit the city. Here’s what he has to say:

“If the creative culture of a city is its lifeblood, then Toronto is not just alive and well, it is thriving.” —Will Kitchens


After spending time at Yabu Pushelberg, arguably the most celebrated name in Toronto interiors, designer Paolo Ferrari went solo, setting up his own studio in 2016. In the years since, Ferrari has designed a bar in Dubai, a salesroom in Ottawa, and produced handmade-in-Toronto chairs, sofas, and cabinets for his furniture label, Editions. And it feels like the studio is just getting started. Ferrari recently garnered global applause for cannabis company Alchemy’s Toronto flagship boutique, which bucks stoner stereotypes with its sophisticated interior that includes a terra-cotta cash desk and a rippling eco-resin wall. Looking forward, Ferrari is currently at work on the interiors of the much anticipated downtown mixed-use tower designed by one of the city’s own, architect Frank Gehry.

luxury designer public bathroom with bronze mirrored walls cubical floor lighting man at vanity

The washroom at the Secret Room at the Five Palm Jumeirah hotel in Dubai.

sound room with black ceiling fixture round black bench orange wallpaper arched mirrors

Another Studio Paolo Ferrari project, a sales center for the future Zibi House residential project in Ottawa, features a sound room that highlights indigenous music.

Read the full article in GRAY magazine No. 57, click here

To buy this issue, click here

To subscribe to GRAY magazine, click here


No. 58: Design dispatch from Chicago

No. 59: Design dispatch from Seattle

No. 60: Design dispatch from Vancouver

No. 62: Design dispatch from London


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