The Junction

This is a good weekend to visit The Junction

September 10th, 2010

If you haven’t had the chance to visit mjölk yet, this weekend is the perfect opportunity. The Junction Arts Festival is going to close down Dundas Street West from Indian Grove to St John’s Road to open the street up to live music, poetry, art, crafts and more ALL weekend!

While you’re here, check out a couple of great new shops on Keele, just north of Dundas. Mrs. Huizenga (of Roncesvalles fame) has opened another vintage shop and across the street from her is Russet & Empire, where owner Micah has curated a wonderful selection of objects of interest, from Canada, Sweden and beyond.

[EDIT] Oh! I just remembered there is also a new art gallery that JUST opened. Telephone Booth Gallery is located at 3148 Dundas Street West. Looking forward to their grand opening reception Sept 17, 6-9pm.

Saturday night, catch local musician Justin Rutledge on the stage at 9:30pm, then pop over to Margret for some drinks. See you there!

Filed under: The Junction | no comments

Untitled, Per Kristiansen

April 28th, 2010

Visit us at mjölk during the month of May to see Per Kristiansen’s photographic series, Untitled.

There is something beyond an edifying pleasure in the act of comparing, in the impulse to investigate and catalog the infinite ways any one thing can appear, its ‘mood’; its ‘feel’; as cast in the Mandelbrodian algorithms of nature. To really look closely at something, as a fly on the wall of the ceaseless changes that happen with or without our hand, is the search, however delusive, for its true form.

While you are at it, make it a date to The Junction and visit the 20+ venues who are also participating in the CONTACT Photography Festival (search Junction).

On Saturday, May 8 from 6-9pm there will be a public reception throughout the neighborhood, but we invite our loyal Kitka readers to the private reception from 9-11pm. If you would like to attend, we require you to RSVP to info[at]kitkadesigntoronto[dot]com.

We couldn’t do this alone. A warm and special thanks goes out to:

Richard Marazzi, for his design work.

The Go Lightly Jazz Band, for their great music.

Rekorderlig Berry Cider, for a great local cider.

Rekorderlig Cider, for a great local cider.

Warsteiner Beer, for supplying a fantastic beer.

Organized Crime Winery, for a champion Ontario wine.

The Junction BIA, for their support of the arts.

Thrifting in the Junction

March 16th, 2010

Our day off yesterday was a bit of a mess but near its end, we took a walk in the neighborhood and happened to pop into World Headquarters where we picked up this Cathrineholm black enamel plate. I think it’s the first time we haven’t had to compromise on colour.

Then the boys started talking about guitars (boring!) so I took some iphone pics of the shop for you (sorry for the quality):

There isn’t a sign so look for pelle-melle interior and the random signage up top.

Hmm, upon actual consideration, that wooden boat is pretty rad.

Retro pop machine anyone?

Resident kitka.

We kind of dig this weird Norway painting but we’re not sure if we love or hate the viking sword and shield. Love the text and moody backdrop for sure.

So if you’re in the hood, check out World Headquarters and say hello to Mark. He has a high turnover of goods, often holds auctions and has reasonably thrifty prices.

2885 Dundas Street West

He has no designated hours but tends to be open any time I walk by. Often he is just hanging out jamming away on the guitar…

Filed under: The Junction,Thrifting | 3 comments

John & Juli are Dead Sexy

November 9th, 2009

We’re going to hand our Monday post over to Dead Sexy Magazine for several reasons: one, because they put out a cool online monthly magazine about Toronto that we think you should know about; two, because the current issue has a great article on The Junction that we helped put together and; three, there is a lovely article about us and our shop, mjölk.

john and juli DS

Dead Sexy Magazine

By Alex Brown, Issue 7, November 2009

Ok, so, essentially they were born in Canada, not Copenhagen. But it comes as a mild shock to me since they look and talk the part of a typical Scandinavian couple: cool, laid back and with an impeccable vision for style, only thing missing is the white blond locks and the Danish dialect. I can’t help but think how proud I am that Juli Daoust and John Baker ( are Canadian. The design duo met at a bar in downtown Toronto a little over two years ago and their common love for design has been growing ever since. Now opening a design store in the heart of the Junction at 2959 Dundas St. West, they have scored a place on Dead Sexy’s A-list. Yes, we have a list. This month we headed to the Junction where this fast growing hood is also where Juli and John are living above their design store, Mjolk: Pure Scandinavian. First we talked, then we walked.

DSM: What were you doing 5 years ago?

Juli: I had a boring desk job, which was brutal. When John and I started dating
he was a musician, so we thought we would maybe have a band. We had great
band names but in the end it didn’t quit fit for me. Design was the only thing
that made sense.

DSM: Did starting the design blog come naturally? 

John: Well, we wanted to talk about what we were experiencing in Toronto and felt like there were barely any personal, Toronto-based, design blogs. We thought ‘people must be having the same experiences and reactions as us.’ So, we basically just wanted to open the doors and have a forum for people to talk about it.

DSM: From reading your blog, I can see that Scandinavian design is a huge influence for you. What draws you to it so much? 

Juli: The people inspire us because they are the “happiest people in the world”. They have simple ideals that consist of having less stuff and more life.
John: The North American perspective sort of pokes fun at how Scandinavians live (in terms of the size of their home, how everything is so small and simple) because they can’t identify with them. But we completely identify with them and sometimes find it harder to identify with the North American lifestyle, in a way.

DSM: Are you sure you guys aren’t from Scandinavia and just don’t know it?

John: Ha ha, we’re sure. We’ve thought about moving there.
Juli: But as much as we love it there, at the end of the day, Toronto is our home. We really love it here. I love the different neighbourhoods because there’s so much culture going on in each one. Scandinavia is cool and all, but we’re not Danish. We wouldn’t fit in the same way we fit in here.

DSM: What Scandinavian influences do you hope to bring to your Toronto life?

John: We love living the Toronto day-to-day lifestyle of going out to restaurants, and galleries, seeing Canadian art etc., and then having the Danish sensibility in our home at the end of the day.
Juli: John and I always joke about how were going to torture our kids by not allowing them to have separate living quarters.

DSM: Why is design so important to you?

John: It’s amazing when we see designers making the utilitarian beautiful; something as simple as cutlery that you use day–to- day and then being surprised at how much pleasure you get from it. I think being able to make beauty out of the ordinary is important.

DSM: Why did you decide to open Mjolk in the Junction?

John: We knew we had to live in the same area as where we’d be working all the time, so it was important that we relate to the neighborhood.
Juli: We heard of this building in the Junction, which we had passed before, but eventually we decided to look into it. It had a great feeling to it and the more time we spent in the Junction learning about the neighbourhood, the more we felt connected to it.

DSM: What is the biggest challenge being partners and working together?
John: Communication. But those are things that all couples struggle with. It’s great because we actually get the opportunity to learn how to do it better by working with each other everyday. I think it makes our relationship stronger.

DSM: How does it feel to be recognized by the design community? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Juli: The recognition we have gotten from the design community has been incredible. I mean we’ve been approached by the Etsy blog. They photographed our newly renovated cottage. House and Home has also approached us and we’ll be working with them in the next little while which is very exciting.
John: We love that we’ve gotten recognition from our peers, as well.  The design world is a great community and there is endless support and possibilities here. If we could make a living doing what we love; owning the store, being able to live above it and eventually raise a family here than we will have accomplished everything. And I don’t mean in a financial way, I mean, having the store for the rest of our lives and doing what we love.


To read about The Junction click here:

the junction DS

Thanks so much to Alex Brown and Issha Marie for a fun day hanging out in our new favorite hood, as well as Dead Sexy Magazine for featuring us!

Filed under: Mjölk,The Junction | 4 comments

The Junction Store Watch: Post + Beam

October 5th, 2009

Looking to return your Victorian home to its original glory? Want to buy doors that aren’t prefab and from Home Depot? Have a hankering for some old-timey stained glass windows?  Post + Beam Reclamation is THE go-to destination shop for architectural features in Toronto. Although it is no coincidence that P + B is seemingly similar to SMASH (Paul Mercer was originally a co-owner before he took reclamation to a slightly different place, literally and figuratively), P + B offers tons of architectural eye candy for the home and garden.

Post + Beam Reclamation
2869 Dundas Street West
(at Keele)
Toronto, ON M6P 1Y9
(416) 913-4243

Store Hours:
Winter (Labour Day-July 1): Wed-Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5, Closed Mon & Tues
Summer (July 1 –Labour Day): Wed-Sat 10-6, Closed Sun, Mon & Tues


[how cool are these?!?]

Who are you? Post + Beam Reclamation Ltd. owned and operated by Doug Killaly, aided by Jennifer Reed and others.

How long has the store been open? 4 years (September 10, 2005)


[this bird house reminds me of Scandinavia, specifically a park in Oslo]

Why did you open your store? To earn a living doing something I really enjoy doing, selecting and showing high quality reclaimed architectural pieces.


[we have a fireplace insert much like this one and it gets a lot of attention]

What can people expect to find when visiting your store? The showroom features a selection of articles, 95 % of which have been salvaged from buildings, most of which have come from local sources.  The selection varies every week, with new old stock arriving from various supply lines in Toronto, and from as far away as (currently) Java, Indonesia and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Click for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: The Junction | 2 comments

The Junction Store Watch: SMASH

September 30th, 2009


Besides our future shop, there are a number of great destination stores in The Junction. First on our list is SMASH. Aside from an interesting showroom of old timey and reclaimed objects, they often have really interesting, and sometimes bizarre, art parties and showings, which we can’t wait to check out once we’re in the hood!

2880 Dundas West (at Keele)

Toronto, M6P 1Y8
416 762 3113

store hours: monday to saturday 10 to 6, sunday 12 to 5


[budget buy: screen printed posters]

Who are you? Paul Mercer – I’m co-owner and principle buyer of SMASH.

How long has the store been open? We opened the store in June of 2008.


[budget buy: solair chairs]

Why did you open your store? We opened the store – you might call it a showroom – because we knew Toronto was ready for an ambitious and slightly off-kilter source of well-picked reclaimed, industrial and architectural materials.  We also set out to -and this has borne itself out – have the store be a place that can source materials and have an in-house design team. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: The Junction | 2 comments