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Homegrown Patriotism

Given the recent tragedies in Ottawa and Quebec we’re all feeling especially patriotic this Remembrance Day. As a second generation Air Force brat, November 11th has always held a special place in my heart. This year is certainly no exception as the importance of safety and freedom hit closer to home.

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I’ve always had an appreciation for where products come from and how they’re made. Buying Canadian and supporting local craftsman is a wonderful way to show our appreciation for those that protect “the true North strong and free!”

Some of my favourite stores in Toronto happen to provide a lot of Canadian made products. Here are a few you may want to check out the next time you’re looking for items to rejuvenate patriotism in your home:

Pavilion Modern –

This store is a long time favourite of mine. I discovered it years ago when I purchased my own sectional – a low format model that also happens to pull out – a rarity in and of itself. All of these features factored into my decision making process but knowing it was custom made in Quebec made a huge difference as well.

Pavilion has changed locations a few times, now tucked away on Gladstone off Queen St. West, but its dedication to carrying a lot of Canadian made products has remained the same. Many of their items are mid century modern and Scandinavian inspired. With this style comes an innate level of craftsmanship and dedication to design. They also carry locally made lighting, textiles, accessories and artwork if you’re looking for smaller ways to inject patriotism into your home.

Lamp Cage –

Located in Cabbage Town, slightly off my usual beaten path when it comes to shopping for clients, the owner of lamp cage has been fabricating custom light fixtures for over 25 years. His attention to detail is second to none. Known for handcrafting unique fixtures in a variety of popular finishes that incorporate new, industrial elements with vintage finds; Lamp Cage is definitely worth a trip to Parliament Street. Be sure to stop by his showroom the next time you’re in the area or in the market for something unique, art-like and best of all, Canadian made.

EQ3 –

Did you know EQ3 is headquartered in Winnipeg? Neither did I until a recent Design Event during which I scolded them slightly for not making this better known. I can’t explain why it makes me want to purchase from them more – perhaps it’s my inner patriotism coming through – but it certainly does. Not only are many of their products manufactured in Canada, most are designed in Winnipeg, a town known for it’s cold climate but also it’s dedication to architecture and design. If you once thought of EQ3 as a step up from IKEA, I recommend adding them back on your list of stores. They’ve spent the last few years focused on quality craftsmanship and design. This dedication alone makes them worth a second look.

Style Garage –

Another long time favourite, Style Garage is in the process of moving into a larger location on Ossignton. Known predominantly for Gus Modern’s mid century inspired classics, Style Garage has their own line of custom products that incorporate quintessentially Canadian themes and materials. They too support local artists and craftsman when it comes to textiles, artwork and accessories. If you’re looking for something a bit unique and patriotic, Style Garage is an excellent place to start your search. If you move quickly, before they do, you may even get it on sale.

Urban Tree Salvage –

If you’re in the market for custom, reclaimed wood anything, UTS in Scarborough is your one stop shop. I recently partnered with them on a kitchen renovation project. The design included a reclaimed wood countertop for a custom island as well as several reclaimed floating shelves. If you can dream it, they will help you make it a reality using quality wood salvaged from large trees of every variety throughout GTA that for one reason or another had to come down. Canadian, handmade and green, in terms or reusing and giving new life to beautiful old trees, Urban Tree Salvage is a fantastic partner for quality wood products while their customer service is also second to none.

I’m a firm believer that, “you get what you pay for!” This isn’t to say everything has to be high-end, but certain things do demand quality materials, better craftsmanship and a greater attention to detail. We all know how important staying competitive is in today’s global economy, but there is a tradeoff for efficiency and mass production. As most of the world strives to cut costs and sacrifice quality, I encourage you to show your patriotism by buying local and Canadian made.

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