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Style How 120 shipping containers turned into a retail and community hub in downtown Toronto

An aerial view of Stackt at 28 Bathurst St., Toronto.

After witnessing Toronto’s explosion of residential growth, Matt Rubinoff noticed that the services in his former downtown neighbhourhood of King and Bathurst were often slow to catch up. “Seeing a lack of not just public space, but public space with the amenities there, providing a point of connection, a point for people to gather and engage was important to us,” he says. That observation led Rubinoff to develop Stackt, a retail, culinary and cultural destination constructed out of 120 new and reclaimed shipping containers.

Situated on a City of Toronto-owned lot on the north-west corner of Front and Bathurst, Stackt has more than 30 containers devoted to retail and services, both long and short term. There’s the Jacki Lang Affordable Design gallery, which stocks a collection of graphic art printed and produced in Toronto, concept flower shop Carmel Floral and an Endy Lodge featuring the Canadian brand’s mattresses and sleep products. On the food and beverage side, sample sweets from Donut Monster, stay hydrated with Flow Alkaline Spring Water and pick up a vegan dish from YamChops Plant-Based Butcher and Market. The Belgian Moon mobile brewery, operated by Six Pints Specialty Brewing, will be whipping up small batches of beer on site that can be sipped in their sunny beer garden.

To further engage the local community, Stackt hosts events and experiences such as yoga classes, a marketing conference and pet portrait photography. “Our goal is to just always make sure there is something interesting so it’s a great experience for the consumer,” Rubinoff says.

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Stackt, 28 Bathurst St., Toronto, stacktmarket.com.

Style news

Ahead of the sixth Red-Carpet Award Show Gala of the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards on May 30 at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto, the Globe and Mail Style Advisor magazine has partnered with the organization on the CAFA Fashion and Retail Forum, taking place on May 29. With a selection of panel discussions featuring industry leaders and a networking lunch, the theme of the day will explore the business behind the industry’s era of advocacy and activism. For more information on the award show gala and to purchase tickets to the forum, visit cafawards.ca.

KitchenAid (kitchenaid.ca) is celebrating 100 years as a countertop staple. To honour its anniversary, the brand has released special offerings, including a new red colour and limited-edition Queen of Hearts collection of appliances. The new Passion Red hue will be available in a commercial-style range as well as in the 100 Year Limited Edition Queen of Hearts Collection of six different countertop appliances, which arrives in select stores this month. Last fall, KitchenAid also launched its mixer in Misty Blue, a retro shade reminiscent of some of the first stand mixers produced in 1919.

Two Canadian design houses have announced big retail news. In Montreal, fashion designer Antonio Ortega (antonioortegacouture.com) has opened a new boutique. Located at 1460 Sherbrooke St. W., it carries the eponymous designer’s styles for women, a capsule collection for men and accessories. And in Toronto, Atelier Nomade (ateliernomade.ca), formerly Atelier 688, has refreshed with a new studio space, a new name and new offerings for the home. At 20 Brockton Ave., find owner Alexander Jowett’s selection of Moroccan rugs, ottomans, cushions and more.

Canadian designer Charlotte McKeough is known for her stylish take on the beloved brown paper bag. Her Brave Brown Bag label preserves the paper-bag aesthetic via a wax cotton carryall that has more longevity than its purely paper counterparts. For her spring 2019 collection, McKeough collaborated with Los Angeles-based interior and product designer Barbara Barry on a selection of soft pink bags. Available in three sizes (petite, grande and great grande), the bags feature an outside phone pocket, nylon rope handles with tube support for comfortable grip and a toggle closure and are made in Cambridge, Ont. For more information, visit bravebrownbag.com.

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