Decor dazzle at Av and Dav

Tiles, rugs, kitchens – the Davenport strip has whatever you need

When it comes to getting your pad ready for the holidays, no other neighbourhood has more lifestyle bases covered than the stretch of Davenport between Dupont and Bay. Whether you’re brave enough to attempt a quickie pre-?season reno to really impress visiting in-?laws or just need a beautiful bouquet to finish off a tabletop, this is Toronto’s home decor destination.

Just look at the discerning designers who call the area home. Clothing label Pink Tartan recently moved its headquarters here, and TV favourite Brian Gluckstein manages his growing interiors empire from a red brick mansion set back from the street. The five buildings that make up the Designers Walk ( complex alone are bursting with more than 20 showrooms selling everything from hand-?woven carpets to swish ceramic tiles.

In Building 1, World Mosaic Stone & Tiles (354 Davenport, suite 101, 416-?929-?1555, displays multicoloured glass pieces, while STUDIOCASA+ fills its Building 2 space (326 Davenport, 647-?348-?7960, with European-?sourced modern furniture. The Designers Walk Resource Centre (168 Bedford, 416-?961-?1211) stocks 50 kitchen, lighting, paint and furnishings brands in its 6,000-?square-?foot showroom. Building 5 is home to W Studio (160 Pears, suite 310, 416-?929-?9290,, whose rug selection includes contemporary floor coverings in geometric patterns and earthy tones.


At StudioCasa+, run by Ine Palmaers (left) and Natalia Gomez, you can admire the prints by Ina Puchala lining the wall while shopping for modern furniture from Europe.

If you can’t find the decor buys you’re looking for at Designers Walk, the area is also home to Avenue Rug (321 Davenport, 416-?923-?9233), Country Floors (321 Davenport, 416-?922-?9214) and the Leonardo Kitchen and Bath Centre (113 Davenport, 416-?927-?1170). Davenport Kitchens (263 Davenport, 416-?969-?8732, also does high-?end cabinetry and countertops, while the buys at Wagman Stanley & Son Antiques (224 Davenport, 416-?964-?1047) are equally refined.

If your style is more mod, the Vitra and Herman Miller selection at Plan B Office (195 Davenport, 416-?941-?1010, works well for contemporary homes and workspaces. Euroflare (1331 Bay, 416-?323-?2000, has an equally slick selection of lean sectionals and statement lighting.

As much as you might be jonesing for a floor-?to-?ceiling freshening up, the holiday clock is ticking, and that floral arrangement we mentioned earlier might mesh better with quickly evaporating 2010 budgets. Luckily, the upper Annex is flower shop and garden centre central, anchored by the four floral boutiques that line the west side of Avenue Road south of Davenport.


The sidewalks in front of Kay & Young’s Florist (136 Avenue, 416-?922-?5651), Yang’s Flower and Fruit Market (132 Avenue, 416-?413-?9195), Jong Young Fruit and Flower Market (128 Avenue, 416-?922-?4421) and Grower’s Flowers (126 Avenue, 416-?920-?2442) are lined with buckets overflowing with fresh blooms, sprigs of seasonal berries and exotic bouquets. You can also pick some posies at the Davenport Garden Centre (368 Davenport, 416-?929-?7222) or Parterre Flowers (182 Davenport, 416-?966-?8669, parterre-?

Just under the railway bridge north of Dupont, Summerhill Nursery & Floral (301 Macpherson, 416-?922-?6902, features a 2-?and-?a-?half-?acre plot loaded up with late fall planters and Christmas evergreens.

To fuel up after holiday home shopping, you can go French at Le Paradis Brasserie (166 Bedford, 416-?920-?0995, or sample the seasonal Italian fare at Mistura (265 Davenport, 416-?515-?0009, Joso’s (202 Davenport, 416-?925-?1903, is legendary for its fab fish menu, and L’Unita (134 Avenue, 416-?964-?8686, is developing its own loyal following with handmade pastas and thin-?crust pizzas. For burgers and all-?day breakfasts, Avenue Diner is an authentically retro resto (222 Davenport, 416-?924-?5191).

Last but never least, the Ave and Dav area is home to some of Toronto’s best designer vintage boutiques, including The Cat’s Meow (180 Avenue, 647-?435-?5875, The chic black-?and-?white awning on Louise Cooper’s storefront hints at the clothing and accessory treasures charmingly displayed inside, including hat racks topped with felt cloches and wood cases of fine-?to-?costume jewellery. Cooper focuses on finds from the 50s, 60s and 70s and lots of luxe labels including YSL, Cassini and Dior.

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