Lossless Toronto: Junction Design Crawl
This past Friday, the second annual Junction Design Crawl took place. While the official tour included Russet & Empire/Phillipa C. Photography, SMASH, ARTiculations, Opticianado, Mjölk, Narwhal and the Telephone Booth Gallery, many other unique businesses in the area kept their doors open until 11PM as well.
The crawl gives people who have been stalling on visiting a reason to make the trip. The even goes way beyond these stores opening their doors for extended hours. Mason serenaded the crowds on their journey down Dundas W with a harpist who sat amidst an installation of Styrofoam cup orbs. Mjölk held a launch for their first book, Mjölk Vol 1 and owners Juli and John shared with their patrons personal items from their travels as well as imported Icelandic candies for the event.
While incredibly charming, this stands in the shadow of Mjölk’s hijinks from the previous crawl, when they served up Icelandic Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur style (translates to Best Hotdog in Town) hotdogs complete with cute dudes in paper hats. We can forgive Juli and John for toning it down this year, seeing as beautiful baby Elodie arrived just a few months ago. If it’s any consolation, Pylsur mustard was still available. Have a look at the photos from last year on their Kitka blog and also see how much the shop and its section of the street have changed in the past year.
Russet & Empire’s front window was transform into a photo booth by Phillipa C., who would snap your mug in a cutout heart and hand you an envelope to address to your sweetie. Stations were set up along one wall of the store for writing love letters. If you were too shy or too sweetheartless to participate, you were left to browse Russet & Empire’s wares. A mix of old and new, I spotted pieces that were clearly handpicked vintage right next to items made by the likes of Toronto designers Alexx Boisjoli and Imm Livving.
ARTiculations went all out with their window display for the evening. This one night only spectacle stopped people in their tracks and distracted me from the crêpes being made out front. OMG spelt out in Mason jar votives and a pixilated and illuminated wooden board proclaiming Hello World (web developer inside joke).
Narwhal knocked the art out of the park with installations from Jeffery Garcia (aka Mango Peeler). The whole gallery smelled of lavender emanating from Garcia’s “Peace Pot” and the vibe was very chill after walking past a bay window full of macramé terrariums, and towards the crystal ladder in the back.
Ever one to eavesdrop, I over heard a couple in Pipe + Beam Reclamation bemoaning that there were too many salvage and antique shops on the strip, that they were expecting more design. What are those shops full of if not designed objects? It seems pre-modern/mid-century is below these hipsters. I would argue it’s an excellent juxtaposition. A clear and beautiful road map of how design has evolved with innovation; from materials, to means of production and R & D.
Or maybe I’m the only who enjoys looking at a sink and thinking about much life has changed, and how that water basin is absolutely gorgeous but I am glad it’s not my only option for washing my face (or whole body) each morning.