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Fashion & Style

The Castlefield Design District

Posted by Tim / November 19, 2009

Castlefield Design DistrictThe Castlefield Design District is a furniture and interior design lover's dream. Set in an industrial area northwest of Dufferin and Eglinton, the design destination is home to some of Toronto's best (and priciest) finds all immaculately assembled in large warehouses and showrooms along Castlefield and Caledonia Roads.

There is lighting, furniture, kitchen, bathroom, carpet, floors, drapery, art and almost every other imaginable home decor solution here. Roots even has a showroom - yes, they do sell furniture - located on the ground floor of their corporate headquarters inside the Castlefield Design Centre at 1400 Castlefield Road.

Roots ShowroomWhenever I go here I'm overwhelmed by the selection and the scale of it all. It's too bad I've often gone home empty handed though. Even during one of the 50% off sales, the 8x10 area rugs marked down to $4,000 are still out of my price range.

But if money is no object, you're in the mood to splurge for something unique or special, or you're prepared to hunt around for a bargain (yes, they can be found here too) then a few hours meandering around the Castlefield Design District is definitely time well spent. Here are 7 of my favourite stores in the area that should be at the top of your agenda if you plan to visit.

The Door Store

The Door Store

Fans of stores like Smash, Post & Beam Reclamation GUFF and World Headquarters will definitely find lots to ogle at throughout this two level treasure trove of reclaimed doors, lights, stained glass windows and hard-to-find industrial relics.

Door StoreDoor Store

The many different sizes and shapes of doors are perfect to make a desk or dining table. Be sure to ask owner Sam Mirshak to show you stuff he may have strategically hidden for his most discriminating customers. It's also worth keeping an eye out on the store's blog which is occasionally updated with some of the new inventory he's managed to reclaim from sources locally and abroad.

Sharon O Dowd

Sharon O' Dowd

Found directly across the street from the Door Store, Sharon O' Dowd has a more polished selection of mostly wood based antiques procured from Europe and Quebec. They have an eclectic mix of tables, chairs, bookshelves but the most intriguing items here just might be the statement pieces like this old manual book press (below):

Sharon O Dowd

ELTE Toronto

ELTE

ELTE might be the most well known store in the area but if you don't know where to look you might miss it. Sure, it's a massive warehouse of a space with a huge sign atop (see above, but still, it's off Castlefield Road on Ronald Avenue where smaller stores like Luminart and Reznick Carpets can also be found.

ELTE TorontoELTE Toronto

ELTE is best known for their endless selection of quality, high priced carpets but they also stock a great selection of coffee tables, sofas, chairs and furniture from brands you may not expect to make furniture (namely, Calvin Klein).

ELTE Toronto

Ginger's Toronto

Ginger's Bath and Summerhill Hardware

Ginger's Bath and Summerhill Hardware are part of the ELTE empire and located just down the street at the corner of Castlefield and Ronald Avenue. Go here for the most stylish towels, bathtubs, soaps and other bathrooms supplies. They also have a terrific selection of faucets and kitchen sinks if you're looking to re-create a look you saw in the latest issue of Dwell.

Ginger's BathGinger's Bath

Among my favourite recent finds here was a wall mounted shampoo dispenser (above), because who doesn't want to have the same conveniences as the gym when in their home shower? At around $60 for a pair it's one of the more affordable design finds in the store.

Ginger's Bath

Horse Feathers Home

HorseFeathers Home

This massive showroom next to Roots inside the Castlefield Design Centre has a wide range of traditional and contemporary furniture as well as colourful and modular design from Kartell. In fact, the showroom is really a big open space that combines HorseFeathers Home plus complimentary stores from Studio B, Grace Gallery, Weaver's Art, Threadcount and California Closets.

HorseFeathers HomeHorseFeathers HomeHorseFeathers Home

Much of the selection here is a bit traditional for my tastes, but I did spot some jaw dropping vintage finds, intricate Chinese book shelves and contemporary lighting fixtures from Kartell (below). Service is friendly and helpful even if the prices aren't.

Kartell Lights

Union Lighting

Union Lighting

The sign that reads Canada's largest lighting showroom is no joke. The lighting options are endless here and the prices are actually a deal. Almost everything is for sale below the suggested retail price and extra discounts here are not uncommon as Union actually strives to have the best selection AND the best prices in town.

Union Lighting

If lighting is what you're looking for, there are tons of other options in the area though. Also worth checking out is Sescolite and Victorian Revival; as well as the offerings at ELTE, HorseFeathers Home, The Door Store and Luminart.

Commisso Brothers

Commisso Brothers & Racco Italian Bakery

All this shopping (or browsing) is bound to make you hungry, so for a quick lunch or snack your best bet is to join the cab drivers at Commisso Brothers & Racco Italian Bakery - a 24 hour convenience store and Italian bakery that serves up fresh pasta, veal sandwiches and desserts like custard tarts and canoli. While here you might as well take home some of the fresh Italian bread baked on site.

Other food options include Cafe Rustica inside ELTE where they serve excellent panini, salads and coffee; or the popular Carol's Cheesecake and Cafe on Castlefield near the Door Store.

For a map of all the places mentioned above please see below.

The Castlefield Design District Toronto

With contributions from Sarah Kelsey

Discussion

15 Comments

DS / November 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm
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IKEA this area 'aint but it's fun to go gawking here, as noted.
Seanna / November 19, 2009 at 01:32 pm
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Commisso's bakery? Haha ... its the most rando placed bakery ever, and not very well maintained ...definitely a front/tax haven or something or other - weren't the ownders/whoever owns the warehouse behind linked to some mob activity? Maybe I'm mistaken ...
Robb / November 19, 2009 at 01:43 pm
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wow, I had no idea about this area. will definitely check it out for INSPIRATION since my wallet won't be able to handle the shock
Christopher / November 19, 2009 at 10:18 pm
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Wingold Ave is where I win gold.
ScottD / November 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm
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The Castlefield Design District! What a joke. Oh man did you get taken in. Put "district" after anything and watch web 2.0 "journalists" pee their pants. Was Richard Florida seen shopping there? Thanks for a huge laugh.
Simon / November 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm
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+1 i love this area

got my lights from union after shopping around. the prices and customer service were great and most importantly things were in stock.

FYI another area close by for lighting is Cartwright Ave. off Dufferin before Lawrence...

-Si
Conor Brown / November 20, 2009 at 11:23 am
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ScottD your comments have made my day.
apetimberlake / November 20, 2009 at 07:01 pm
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Great spot to check out.
My wife grew up around there and there was/is a large Italian community there (although most fled to woodbridge)hense the Cammisso Bakery (great veals btw). Simon Your right about Cartright.. Lady York is a great Italian grocer as well.
Alice / December 7, 2009 at 10:24 am
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First off, great article. I read it last Wednesday before coming to Toronto for the weekend. It's so much easier to read something like this than to dig around to find where areas like these are. Anyway, I was a little disappointed with some of the places however ELTE made the trip completely worth it. Since I really didn't know how great the store was, I only planned on staying an hour or so but once I got there, I ended up staying until they closed. I did really well too! Easily one of the nicest stores I have ever been to.

Oh and Commisso Bros was the perfect end to the day. I'm not normally one to like places like that but wow! A true diamond in the rough!
Lisa / December 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm
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You forgot to mention Stone Tile International and the new Stone Tile Outlet which as designer italian tiles for up to 80% off!

www.stone-tile.com

Great deals!!! :D
Alex / December 22, 2009 at 09:20 am
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You forgot to mention many other great places in the area for home furnishings and places to eat.
Geovin Furniture manufactures solid wood bedroom and dining room's right on site. Highly Customizable!

www.geovin.com
Costel / May 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm
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Great shopping center, Good deals from Tile+!
Delphia / June 27, 2013 at 10:06 am
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I'm finding it hard to locate a high-quality television cabinet that does not include compartments etc at a child's level.
I would love something high enough to ensure that sticky fingers are not able to touch the display but with a
little something attractive on the empty space.
hresdss123 / September 5, 2013 at 02:47 am
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The story is solid and interesting. Disbelief must be heavily suspended, but if you reading works in this format that probably no a big deal. The place where things really seem to freeze up is in the dialogue. I of the opinion that if you characters don need to talk to move the plot along or give insight into their personality or motivations then they should keep their mouths shut. Shooter seems to believe he has to fill every panel with a few bubbles, and a lot of them go wasted.This isn the best book I read recently, but it definitely worth another look next month and helps me believe the old rebel may be starting to get back in the groove after dusting off a few cobwebs. B.
Emilika23 / February 4, 2014 at 05:11 pm
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Actually, this should really be updated. Out of the stores listed as being in the Design Living Centre all that remain are Weavers Art, Cali Closets, and the big Roots showroom.

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