Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hollace Cluny

There are few home and design stores that make people want to buy everything in stock as long as their credit card is accepted. Hollace Cluny is such a store.

Having been in business for over 10 years, Hollace Cluny understands that good design is based on inspiration, meticulous attention to detail, and perseverance.

Upon entering, nothing is out of place, yet everything is comfortable and non-threatening to touch and hold.

The store provides inspiring design solutions while offering service that goes above and beyond. Their sales associates are an integral part of the business, providing personalized and professional service. There is no attitude here. Everyone is both passionate and highly knowledgeable about design.

Hollace Cluny is an authorized dealer of Knoll, Canadian design icon, Martha Sturdy, Simon Pearce (glassware), and Georg Jensen (stainless/steel works) - to name a few.

Scattered throughout the store are beautifully-upholstered furniture pieces from interior designer and telebvision personality, Sarah Richardson. There is a selection of sofas, chairs, ottomans, etc. that will last the test of time (at least, style-wise).

Even though there are pricey items available, there are a lot of designer finds that won’t hurt someone’s credit card. Sometimes buying a letter opener is enough to make someone feel like a million bucks when slashing through a Visa envelope. Almost.

For more information, visit 1070 Yonge Street (Toronto, Ontario), or www.hollacecluny.ca.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Philip Sparks

Sometimes it takes an engaging idea to inspire a designer to conceive of a collection that will make wearers want to buy several pieces, if not all of them. For designer Philip Sparks, his concept of a chic petty thief is one that creates a lot of covetable items for Fall/Winter 2008.

Pieces can be interchanged and worn from morning to night. Whether it’s a cardigan or vest worn over a shirt with a collar with a twist, or a suit with sharp details, it’s all there.

Coats are luxurious in cashmere and wool. Both long and shorter styles were seen in greys and creams - perfect for any occasion, but ideal for those special nights out on the town.

Fabrics range from tweeds to leathers with a good dash of beaver fur mixed in to keep warm when the temperatures drop. Who doesn’t want a pair of fur gloves in winter?

With the tailoring leaning more towards the traditional, there are some contemporary frills seen in the cut of some of a tuxedo with braided trim, leaner jackets and fuller pants.

Overall, Sparks creates a style of a common criminal that a man won’t have to resort to robbing a bank in order to look just as good as the models on the catwalk.

For more information, visit www.philipsparks.com.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Arcoino coin bank

A penny saved is a penny earned. But, what do you do with all of those pennies? Put them in coin bank, of course!

The Arcoino coin bank from Umbra can make saving your pennies more stylish. Designed by Matt Carr, this polished aluminum seems to grow out of the surface on which it rests. A perfect addition to any office, the smooth and sleek design wouldn’t feel out of place on a desk of a business professional.

For more information, visit www.umbra.com.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Marlon Durrant

There’s nothing quite as luxurious as having something custom-made. It’s designed to the specifications of one person, and no one else.

From the initial consultation to the final fitting, a Marlon Durrant client is guaranteed a shirt that will fit their body type, and will appeal to their sense of style. They take great care with the details: cuffs, collars, and monogram styles are talked over with the owner to suit his personal needs.

There is an endless selection of colours, textures, and patterns to choose from. The fabrics range from two-ply cotton and linen, to silk and voile imported from Italy.

Every step of the way, the client is consulted in order to create something that is one-of-a-kind - that is true luxury.

For more information, visit http://www.marlondurrant.com/.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mink Chocolates

Canada’s cold is nothing new, but when looking for a place to escape it, there is definitely a new player in town. Even in Vancouver, where the concept of “cold” is laughed at by the rest of nation, there is still a need to run into the closest shop to get in out of the rain. The new chocolate cafĂ©, Mink, is a perfect gathering spot for downtown dwellers who aren’t interested in the multitude of coffee shops that populate every corner.

Mink offers up hand crafted chocolates that serve as canvasses for original works of art. There is also an eclectic collection of chocolate bars that include flavours such as pistachio, chai, peanut butter with a hint of “j”, and ginger, to name a few. Looking for something more substantial? Try their toasted Belgian waffles drizzled in chocolate and your choice of whip cream or fresh fruits. Then for dessert, order a round of their chocolate fondue. There’s even a mini hibachi so you can roast marshmallows!

Can Mink claim to have the best hot chocolate in the city? With “high cocoa content,” customers get a choice of either dark or milk chocolate to help warm up their tummies. For an extra treat, get one laced with “Peppermink,” their pet name for organic peppermint. Their hot chocolate is guaranteed to slide down one’s throat smoother than silk, while satisfying the chocoholic in all of us.

For more information, visit www.minkchocolates.com.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

John Fluevog shoes

Shoes. Let’s get some shoes. John Fluevog shoes, that is. Freshly opened this month is John Fluevog’s world headquarters that popped up in his old stomping grounds of Gastown in Vancouver, BC.

Back in the 1970s, Fluevog set up shop along these cobblestone streets only to become one of the world’s most popular shoe designers, with fans ranging from Madonna and Marilyn Manson to Robert Altman and the Scissor Sisters.

Some have called his work “rebellious footwear” while others call the art-deco inspired styles “fashionable yet functional.” Either way, his shoes are a mainstay on the international footwear scene and with the new flagship store open, he’s making himself quite at home.

The store itself is a magnificent two-story parking lot turned cathedral with huge glass windows overlooking Vancouver’s railyards and the North Shore mountains as a backdrop.

With displays made from “reclaimed old growth wood, propped up by salvaged pipe from the Alaska pipeline,” the space is environmentally conscious as well as beautiful. Portuguese shoe leather adorns the back wall while a “Green Wall” is being planned where plants will grow up the side of the neighbouring building.

For more information, visit www.fluevog.com.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

JP Purveyors Home

Asian influences have been a staple in design for more than a decade. But, there are few stores that manage to combine these elements in a modern context.

JP Purveyors Home sources fully-refurbished and rebuilt Chinese country furnishings and accessories, in addition to carrying a vast array of affordable non-antique gift items, accessories and home fashions from around the world.

Amongst the antiques are an edited selection of armoires, chests, cabinets, chairs, occasional tables, and sideboards. Each unique piece has been hand-selected and expertly finished by craftsmen in China before arriving in the store. Since they’re a direct importer, they’re able to offer pieces at lower prices - enabling shoppers to enjoy a piece or two in their homes.

JP Purveyors Home believes that creating a beautiful and comfortable home is important. Home is a place where you love, a place that will contain some pieces from this store.

For more information, visit 634 Queen Street West (Toronto, Ontario), or www.jppurveyors.com.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Paper Place

Green may be the predominant tone of Trinity Bellwoods Park, but colour reigns supreme across the street at The Paper Place.

Inside the store, a panoply of paper covers almost every horizontal and vertical surface. Some of the highlights include: large sheets of Japanese and Nepalese on paper racks, Chiyogami Papers, and hand-stencilled Katazome-shi.

But, TPP doesn’t only sell handmade paper. They also offer card stock and envelopes in a range of colours, ready-made cards, art supplies (stamps, ink pads, and designer hole punches), and a variety of books on origami and scrapbooking.

For those who aren’t artistically inclined, a series of journals, photo albums, and guestbooks are also in stock. And, if all else fails, the helpful staff is always there to lend a hand to the confused and befuddled.

Undoubtedly, there’s a something for everyone, and that’s why it’s difficult to leave TPP without buying something. It could be that they found the secret to being a successful store.

For more information, visit 887 Queen Street West (Toronto, Ontario), or www.thepaperplace.ca.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bungee wallet

Since the cut and style of pants are slimmer than in the past, it’s difficult to hold a wallet in a pocket without an unsightly bulge. What to do? Carry a slim wallet.

With a design pedigree coming from BMW, the Bungee wallet is sure to make a slick impression. The pocket-sized carrying case has a translucent acrylic front, an aluminum back, and a molded cap attached by elastic cord.

Even though it’s small, it can hold paper bills, a credit card, ID, keys, and some protection (just in case).

Best of all, it’s available in four colours to match any outfit.

For more information, visit www.umbra.com.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dayton Boots

These boots are made for walking, and so much more. Dayton Boots, established in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1946, has become the little company that could.

It began as a maker of logging boots, but has since expanded into the realm of Western and Motorcycle for both men and women. Daytons have become known as one of the best brands of Boots the world over.

Each boot is made meticulously by hand and the company even offers a lifetime warranty on them. Some of their most famous and popular designs include the Black Beauty (pictured above) and the Classic Engineer. Because Daytons are easily resoled and reconditioned, it’s no surprise that some pairs last for over a quarter century.

For more information, visit www.daytonboots.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Club Monaco eyewear

Club Monaco is known the world over as a retail concept that designs, manufactures and markets its own clothing, accessories, and home collection, and now it's introducing a line of eyewear for today’s urban professional.

The collection is chic and iconic. The collection features modern interpretations of classic styles perfect for someone who wants to make a subtle style statement.

With UVA and UVB protection, all styles retail for $79 to $99 (U.S.), and are available in select Club Monaco stores in the US and Canada.

For more information, visit www.clubmonaco.com.

Friday, April 18, 2008


The concept of high style and low prices comes together in Winnipeg-based EQ3’s line of furniture and accessories.

Their spacious Toronto showroom resembles a two-story loft seen in magazines: extra high ceilings, exposed ductwork, natural finishes, and tall windows that fill the place with natural light.

The set up is that of a really laid-back and cool condo. Throughout the store are small room vignettes - a living room over here, a dining room over there, and a bedroom in between. Styles have a modern slant, but transitional in nature. The fabrics are neutral, the finishes dark, and the textures varied.

EQ3 also carries sleek office furniture (the Bensen office chair, inspired by a Herman Miller design, is a steal at $399), a wall of tableware and glassware, linens for the table and bed, and accessories.

Selection is key at EQ3. There are a variety of pieces that can be placed in any home – classic or contemporary. It’s difficult to choose just one thing to take home, so it’s best to come back several times.

For more information, visit 222 King Street West (Toronto, Ontario), or www.eq3.com.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Want to know what’s going on in a neighbourhood before moving in? Now, it’s possible with www.neighbourknowldge.com, a website that allows anyone to get the 411 instead of dialing 911 when already living there.

In other words, this site is an online meeting place for locals to share their knowledge about their communities. Currently based in the Toronto area, the neighbourhoods covered include those from east to west, north to south.

Pages can be added for anything - a business, school, community group, etc. - and conversations can start with ’neighbours’ about the topic at hand.

Additionally, viewers can explore neighbourhoods, homes, know what’s going on, and meet locals (at least, virtually).

Although still in its infancy, neighbourhoodknowledge.com is one of the easiest ways to visit a new place without leaving the comfort of one’s own computer.

For more information, visit www.neighbourknowledge.com.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Toronto Fashion Week

Whether or not you’re interested in fashion, inevitably you face it on a daily basis while glimpsing into the closet to choose something to wear for the day.

Now in its seventh year, L’Oreal Toronto Fashion Week (March 17-22) brings together a coterie of designers, models, hair and makeup people, photographers, media, fashionistas and fabulistias to the city where they’ll watch a week’s worth of runway shows - most being held in the tents of Nathan Phillips Square.

Toronto may not be as well-known as some of the more established capitals of fashion (Paris, Milan, New York), but its youthful spirit allows prevails in the highly-competitive world of design.

It’s not as if there isn’t any established talent exhibiting their collections on the runways. People like David Dixon and Joeffer Caoc have helped put Toronto on the map as a destination of Canadian style. Additionally, there are always new designers trying to make a name for themselves on these runways.

Fortunately, fashion fiends who want to take part in the festivities but fears the exclusive nature of the industry won’t allow them to enter the tents, can take part in the festivities. A single show ticket is available for $20 (while full-day general passes are $50) and allows any style aficionado to see what the cognoscenti will be drooling over.

For more information, visit www.fdcc.com.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Arthur Erickson

Vancouver-born and world-renowned architect, Arthur Erickson, recently took a hit when his 1962 Graham house was demolished in West Vancouver. Modernists raged against the developer who made the decision, saying it was an atrocity to tear down a house that is one of the few remaining pieces of modern, Canadian design.

Apparently, the truth of the matter was that the house had become a Frankenstein-esque home, with features (like an elevator) being added over the years, taking over the magic of the original design. Even so, the site was historic and it begs the question of when private property should be preserved for its heritage.

Erickson’s other houses have sprung up around North America, including New York’s Fire Island House.

To see more of Erickson’s work, check out his website before that, too, gets torn down.

For more information, visit www.arthurerickson.com.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tobias Wong

Canadian-born artist Tobias Wong has been carving out a name for himself for much of this past decade. His work is irreverent, ironic, and cheeky. From a diamond ring whose setting is hidden on the inside (”Who else should care?”) to pills filled with silver (”So your shit can sparkle!”), his back catalogue alone serves as the best supply store for those who want to celebrate Valentine’s with a little more edge.

Take, for example, a reverse diamond ring from his “Diamond Project” that’s “Perfect for tagging any surface!” Just don’t drop it into the champagne - the results could be disastrous if swallowed.

Tired of paying $100 for a dozen red roses? For a little bit more, why not purchase something romantic and functional? Wong’s Ballistic Rose Brooch is the perfect V-Day gift to show a loved one that you care about them and their safety. Made from bullet-proof material, this is one flower that will still be in bloom long after the red roses have wilted away. Wear it over the heart to ward off stray bullets!

For something a tad more sentimental, check out Wong’s popular Sunjars. Charge them up during the day and they provide the perfect lighting for that romantic dinner you have planned. They’re also good for solitary nights while sitting down and eating a TV dinner. Enjoy!

For more information, visit www.brokenoff.com.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Former Industrial Design students at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Alissa Coe and Carly Waito are the two artists behind a coe&waito - a line of porcelain pieces that combines sculpture and beauty in one.

Many of the objects are slip cased in moulds the artists create themselves and each object is carefully hand-finished. Portions of the objects are often unglazed, exposing the beauty of the raw porcelain. These exposed areas are thoroughly sanded, leaving a soft smooth finish to touch.

Although their collection includes functional tabletop items, small sculptural pieces, lighting, as well as larger installation-based projects, it is their line of Rorschach-inspired vases that catches the eye.

Slip cast in porcelain, with creamy clear glaze, these vessels comes in three sizes, each with a selection of black ink blot inspired botanical decals to choose from.

Are the designs supposed to represent a tree? A leaf? A flower? No matter what the viewer sees, it’s always beautiful.

For more information, visit www.coeandwaito.com.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Daniel Schneider

There is a list of established artists who are recognized after producing a series of iconic works. Georgia O’Keefe is celebrated for her floral-inspired watercolours, Jackson Pollack is accredited for mastering the drip method, and Canadian Daniel Schneider is noted for his Chandelier Series of drawings.

Schneider’s drawings explore the transition from non-traditional still-life drawing to abstraction. Using the repetitive act of mark-making, the accumulation of line creates a visual tension between the flatness of the surface and the illusion of spatial depth.

“The continuous layering technique takes place until the work reaches a point at which it hovers between representation and abstraction,” says Schneider. “The essence of the original chandelier remains, while the viewer’s attention is brought to the formal element of line and the physicality of the mark-making process.”

His now-iconic drawings have made several appearances around Canada (Four Seasons Hotel, Cityline, and issues of Canadian House and Home), proving that Canadian artists can make an impact on the design world.

For more information, visit www.danielschneider.ca.

Submissions to Canuck Canuck

Canuck Canuck is always looking for what’s cool in Canada and it needs ideas and/or contributors to help out; from coast to coast.

If you know a person, place, or thing that’s worth noting, contact stevenfromtheeast@hotmail.com - your review will be published.

Thursday, January 10, 2008



Even with his two degrees, Steven realizes they can only take him so far in the working world. Sitting behind a desk, doing repetitive tasks can produce copious amounts of boredom.

So, while refining his media, presentation, and project management skills at PR agencies, non-profits, and cultural institutions, his multi-tasking always leaves time to write for the creative world of publishing - print and digital.

As the editor of Canuck Canuck, Steven’s main focus is the latest and greatest Canadian art, books, design, food, entertainment, and people who make this a great nation. To him, it’s human nature.


West Coast Editor

Alan Woo lives and writes from the Wet Coast, aka, Vancouver, British Columbia. When he isn’t doing yoga, smoking bud, or hitting the slopes, he can be found trying to uncover the secrets of the rapidly growing city. He has written for Rice Paper magazine, The Georgia Straight, Vancouver magazine, and Xtra West.

Canuck Canuck

The Canadian clichĂ© of igloos, Eskimos, Mounties and moose still lingers in the minds of many. But, Canada is more than a series of stereotypes. Canada is a country of cities juxtaposed with wide-open spaces, a land created to house various cultures, and a nation that’s home to millions.

It’s also the home to some of the best shopping, food, artists, entertainment, etc. in the world. And, that’s where this site comes in.

Canuck Canuck is out to find the coolest in Canadian culture and creativity. It’s about the people, places and things that many miss out on because they don’t know about their existence.

Canada is home to many things, and Canuck Canuck is there to talk about them.

O Canada. We stand on guard for thee.