Lossless Toronto: Say Mi-yelk!
This winter is possibly an exception to the rule, but generally by this time of year it’s easy to make comparisons between Canada and Scandinavia. Cultures that rise out of harsh conditions would seem to have the same aesthetic and sentiment. While Canada may have fallen into the trappings of an ostensibly typical North American consumption-heavy culture there is now a real desire for the humble, artisan crafted goods. Objects with purpose, designed using natural materials used creatively and thoughtfully, meant to last forever. Canadians crave a cleanse and now want to embrace what their grandmothers knew to be gospel; buy once, buy well.
Lucky for Toronto, there’s John Baker and Juli Daoust. The pair own Mjölk (Swedish for “milk”) a design shop along a charming stretch of Dundas in the Junction. The shop isn’t completely Nordic-centric, there are also pieces from Japan, where clean and simple design is equally championed.
When I visited the shop in mid March objects from master ceramicist Ando Masanobu’s first North American show were still on display. While Mjölk may be hard for some to pronounce (say “mi-yelk”!) the word couldn’t be more perfect for describing the atmosphere of the store. A simple palette of whites, grays, wood grains, and punctuations of peach express the current collections. With an interior co-designed by Studio Junction the expansive space lends to a chapel feel; this is where you come to pray at the alter of design. Or just buy it.
Stocking everything from children’s books and toys to kitchenware and home furnishings the inventory is ever changing as John and Juli discover and import treasures to Canada.
John and Juli also run the blog Kitka, which is a stellar resources for keeping up with Canadian designers who employ the minimalist functionality found in Scandinavian and Japanese design.