Toronto Design Festival

The 2011 Toronto International Design Festival

The Toronto International Design Festival (TIDF) starts today and despite the fact that it runs just six days (through January 30th), not even I can make it to everything...mostly due to the fact that I'd have to purchase fashionable snow boots and take a myriad of transport to reach the venues (note to sponsors: what's with the lack of TIDF shuttle?!). For those of the same mind, here are my top picks for this week.

IDS Opening Night Party
Thursday January 27 7pm-11pm, Metro Toronto Convention Center, 255 Front St West
All You Need is Love? Not sure I'll be loving design with my friends, but I won't pass up loving design talk over cocktails with my friends or watching the circus of designers getting their sneak-preview of the interior design show floor, quietly mapping out their "trade day" route in their head, or mix and mingling with the design celebs, the editors of every Canadian (and hopefully other) home decor magazines or design bloggers or chatting up all the fabulous product people who work tirelessly to woo us with their designs day in and out. Tickets $55 in advance; $60 at the door. Buy them here.

Design Talk
Friday January 28th, 5-7pm at the Limitless Showroom, 366 Adelaide St East
I'll be getting offline and in-person in Toronto with the Design Talk social. Can't think of a
better way to kick up my feet after Trade Day at the Interior Design Show (or ease into the weekend) than to connect, collaborate and cocktail with like minds! Designers, manufacturers, trades, bloggers, media and the self-proclaimed design savvy all welcome! All the cocktails you need for $10; purchase tickets here.

Come Up To My Room
Saturday January 29, 7pm-1am, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
I expect to be stunned, amazed and best of all inspired at what transpires inside the tiny rooms and spaces of alternative design exhibit Come Up To My Room (CUTMR). My favorite part: asking the 44 designers and artists what in the world they were thinking of when they came up with the idea for the space...sometimes you just have to wonder! Show runs Friday (12-8pm), Saturday (12-7pm) and Sunday (12-5pm). Tickets are $10.50; purchase them online here.

Do West Design
Saturday, January 29 3-8pm
New this year, and a good excuse to enjoy a blustery Saturday outdoors, it's off to Dundas West (between Bathurst and Grace) to check out the city's contemporary design sector. Word has it boutiques, cafes, restaurants, showrooms, bars, arts galleries and even a hardware store (?) are pulling out all the stops for passerbys. Free to walk the strip; follow the map (PDF).

IDS 2010

Interior Design Show (IDS 11)
Friday January 28 - Trade Day, Saturday January 29 10am-7pm, Sunday January 30 10am -6pm, Metro Toronto Convention Center, 255 Front St West
It's billed as Canada's largest contemporary design fair but I'm going on record saying its the best contemporary show in North America and in our very own city! I'm constantly amazed by the people I meet at this show - the inspiration runs high and the thought process deep. It's taken Toronto fourteen years to make its mark on the design world, but we're doing it. Yes, I work in design but for those who just love it or are even curious about it, a trip to the convention center next weekend to listen to the pro's, check out the exhibits and meet the exhibitors first hand will change and inspire you in some unprecendented way. Tickets $19 online; $22 at the door. Buy them here.

MADE At Home
Public Reception: Saturday, January 29, 3 to 8pm, Walk & Talk with the Designers: Sunday January 30, 1pm, Open daily January 27 - February 12, 2011, 12 to 6pm, Upstairs at MADE, 867 Dundas Street West
Always in the back of my mind are Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson of Toronto showroom MADE. It's the coolest place to drop into when in need of inspiration and sadly I don't get there often enough so I'm game for any reason to visit. The aptly named MADE at Home, not only reflects the fact that they are using their own venue this year, albeit upstairs, but that the fine work of thirty three fantastic designers are also Canadian! Where CUMTR is about the space, MADE at Home is about functional products and I guarantee they are going to be off the charts cool.

Funny....I'm not in the mood, but seems there are plenty of them here (PDF) and here.

Off to download the Toronto Offsite iPhone app to keep the schedule organized....oh wait, where's the one for my blackberry?

Writing by Kelly Fallis. Photos by StudioGabe and Leftist in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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