Akroyd Furniture designs and builds all kinds of furniture - dining tables, beds, coffee tables, chairs, desks, even whole kitchens. They have a sharp new showroom in the Case Goods Building in the Distillery District. Most amazingly, the "factory" from which all of these beautiful pieces emerge, is located right next door - complete with windows so you can see them hard at work. I put factory in quotes because it's tiny, tidy and quiet - the opposite of every other factory I've ever been in.
Akroyd is primarily a custom design and handbuilt operation. Clients discuss their needs, wants, budget, and design criteria with owner Robert Akroyd, and drawings are produced and fine tuned. The whole process from beginning to delivery takes a few months. (Add to equation that there are other jobs ahead of yours) But your patience is rewarded with exactly the piece you wanted and specified as opposed to making do with something that just sort of fits.
Why have something like what you want, when you can have exactly what you want? And because Akroyd is the shop and factory rolled into one - prices are comparable to off-the-shelf stuff at other furniture stores.
They use locally sourced wood - much of it from trees that have fallen prey to disease or bugs right here in Toronto. Robert knows where every piece of lumber in his shop came from - what lake it was salvaged from, what part of the province it comes from. He even seemed a bit sheepish about one piece, because it came from two provinces away!
Robert has training in sculpture and it shows in the elegant proportions of his pieces and the incorporation of various metals in interesting ways in his designs. Sand cast custom brass handles on one piece, decorative panels of aluminum on another, a series of tables exploiting torsion of steel wires, all point to his facility with many materials and processes.
Photos by Jason Tavares