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Built on beef, Calgary’s historic Burns Building embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that shaped the West. 

By: Sydney Loney

 

Top : Photo courtesy of Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.
Bottom : Photo courtesy of Allied REIT

Patrick Burns was born in Oshawa, Ontario, in 1856. As the fourth of 11 children in an Irish immigrant family, his living conditions were humble and his access to education limited. When he turned 22, he headed west in search of fame and fortune—and found both. It started with a single cow, which Burns bought on credit and later sold for four dollars. By 1912, he was running six cattle ranches and heading up the largest meatpacking company in the region. That year, construction began on the six-storey building at 237 8th Avenue SE that still bears his name.

Designed by William Stanley Bates, the Burns Building was built in the Chicago style of architecture with steel-reinforced concrete framing and a flat roof adorned with a terracotta cornice. Green and white marble corridors were paired with modern conveniences, like natural gas lighting. The ground floor housed one of Burns’ many retail meat markets.

Burns, Calgary’s first millionaire and a renowned philanthropist, helped found the Calgary Stampede and was appointed to the Senate in 1931 in recognition of the impact he had on the development of Western Canada. Although he died in 1937, his legacy lives on in his building, which became part of Calgary’s Performing Arts Centre in 1981 and received heritage designation in 1987. Allied acquired the building—and maintains its namesake’s legacy—exactly 100 years after Burns broke ground.

 

BY: HELAENA PEZZANO

ILLUSTRATION BY: ADRIAN FORROW

Located at the nexus of Queen West and the historic fashion and entertainment districts, 19 Duncan Street in Toronto is surrounded by trendy cafés, restaurants and bars, unique boutiques and world-class entertainment venues. The area is also home to some of the most creative agencies and organizations in the city—many residing in nearby Allied buildings—making it a living cultural hub. It’s hard to turn a corner without feeling inspired by what you see or where you can go next. 

1. 401 RICHMOND

401 Richmond Street West

Originally a tin lithography factory at the turn of the 20th century, 401 Richmond is now a thriving arts centre. The heritage-designated building is home to a unique mix of galleries, microenterprises and boutiques. One of these, Spacing Store, is the go-to for authentic Toronto-centric merch, and bookstore Swipe Design focuses on indie design titles. Check their website for art openings, exhibitions, events, talks and more.

2. TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

350 King Street West

Home to the Toronto International Film Festival, this five-storey cultural complex is a film lover’s paradise. Catch a foreign first-run film or retrospective, browse rotating art exhibitions, dine in the bistro among filmgoers or visit TIFF’s own Film Reference Library, which includes a non-circulating collection of videos, photographs, posters and other cinema-related artifacts.

3. SOMA CHOCOLATEMAKER

443 King Street West

See chocolate makers in action in the experimental kitchen of this boutique chocolate factory dubbed “truffle central” by its founders. Indulge in the handmade truffles (you won’t regret it!) or choose from a variety of “bean to bar” chocolate bars, cookies or gelato (available year-round).

4. THE PASTURE AT TORONTO-DOMINION CENTRE

66 Wellington Street West

When you need to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the downtown core, visit The Pasture—a public art display by Canadian sculptor Joe Fafard. Flanked by the Toronto-Dominion Centre towers, this grassy courtyard is the perfect setting to take in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s striking architecture while enjoying a shaded breather.

5. -9. DINER’S DELIGHTs

Start your day with a fresh brew—and a “world-famous” cookie—from Le Gourmand (5) or try the signature brunch at Peter Pan Bistro (6). Stop by Piccolo (7) for an aperitivo before dinner at La Carnita (8), a lively street-style Mexican hot spot. Cap off your night sipping bubbly in Coffee Oysters Champagne’s hidden speakeasy (9).

BY: SARA BARON-GOODMAN

Photo by Jon Furlong, courtesy of MURAL Fest

Fans may recognize Shepard Fairey’s distinctive socially minded, colour-blocked art from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign poster (with one word, “HOPE,” emblazoned at the bottom) or from his iconic clothing line OBEY’s logo. Fairey’s latest larger-than-life ode to justice, titled Paix et Justice, can be seen peering over the Montreal skyline from the side of an Allied building in the lower Plateau.

Commissioned as part of the 2022 MURAL Fest, Fairey’s mural calls to attention some of the most pressing issues of the day—the war in Ukraine, mass shootings in the United States, climate change and racial and gender inequality. 

 

While these themes were at the forefront of Fairey’s mind when he was creating the piece, he affirms that his art is open to interpretation. His interpretation? The woman in the mural, laden with pro-justice imagery, makes direct eye contact with the viewer, imploring them to “navigate the world with their conscience fully engaged,” he says. Fairey sees her as an archetype of the activist, begging viewers not to turn their eyes away from issues that are right in front of us.

 

With its scales growing from a plant, the woman’s necklace is her pro-justice medallion, and the gun with the flower emerging from its muzzle is a simple pro-peace, anti-violence symbol. “Justice is a term that can apply to many things, but the areas I’m most concerned with are justice around equality and the environment,” he says. “In many regards, this is about seeing all parts of the globe as equal in deserving protection from climate change and environmental destruction…

 

I hope people who view the mural think about some things they may not have otherwise.” You can find the mural adorning 3575 Saint-Laurent, and inspiring passersby with its complex and layered message.

 

BY: MÉLANIE RITCHOT

Photo courtesy of: Canada Goose, Inc.

A few months ago, Ottawa-based printmaker and ceramicist Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona came across artworks by her grandmother and great-grandmother in the Art Gallery of Guelph’s collection, where she exhibited over the summer. Seeing her matriarchs’ works, many for the first time, inspired Kabloona to teach herself how to sew textile wall hangings—a medium traditional to Nunavut Inuit—right down to the different stitches used.

The wall hanging commissioned by Canada Goose titled Uvagut, which means “all of us” in Inuktitut, is Kabloona’s monochromatic take on the medium and only her second wall hanging ever.

After completing her first wall hanging, which used a bold colour palette that’s typical to the North, Kabloona found a white melton wool that she wanted to work with. Here, it’s contrasted against black duffel wool and features a blanket stitch.

Although she remembers watching her grandmother, back in Baker Lake, Nunavut, confidently (and without using a pattern) cut out pieces of fabric to be stitched together, Kabloona’s process starts with a sketch, and she eventually creates a giant pattern using a projector.

Each of the five hands sewn onto the seven-by-four-foot background is embroidered with traditional Inuit tattoos, the dots symbolizing family, life and fertility.

Kabloona says she likes showing the traditional markings, which are commonly seen in her prints, in her work. “I’m part of the generation that’s coming back to what we were told wasn’t going to work for us, [after] colonialism tried to push us away from our culture.”

BY: BRAD MCCANNELL AND KRISTEN HABERMEHL
PHOTO BY: Maxime Brouillet

Starting in 1985, B.C.-born activist Rick Hansen rolled across 34 countries—40,000 kilometres in total—in his wheelchair, raising awareness about people with disabilities and their potential. Today, the Rick Hansen Foundation continues to advocate for an inclusive, accessible world. Brad McCannell, who joined the foundation to lead the development of its Accessibility Certification program (RHFAC), and program instructor Kristen Habermehl talked with Block about the often-unseen impacts of making spaces accessible and why building code can’t fix the problem.

In 2021, an accessible viewing platform opened at Peggy’s Cove, making it possible for people who use a wheelchair or have other accessibility needs to enjoy the iconic lighthouse site in Nova Scotia. The site achieved a Gold rating from the RHFAC

Brad McCannell: The Rick Hansen Foundation’s mission statement to remove barriers for people with disabilities is broad on purpose so we can come at the problem from every possible direction. The trouble is, it has turned into a game of Whac-A-Mole. That’s where the RHFAC program comes in. It’s not another standard; it’s a rating system. We’re not the code police coming in and wagging our finger, telling you all the things you did wrong. We identify a site’s current level of accessibility so people know where to start.

Kristen Habermehl: One thing I really appreciate is how vastly different the Rick Hansen Foundation’s approach is from any other I’ve seen. I’ve never had a building manager come away saying they didn’t like the process. We have a positive approach and celebrate what’s been done well—even if we have to work hard to find one accessible thing in the building. Nine times out of 10, people just don’t understand what accessibility is supposed to look like. I’ve had people follow me around on ratings, rolling up mats as we go, saying they had no idea they were a tripping hazard.

BM: Being adversarial doesn’t help, so we wanted to bring industry to the table. Part of the problem is following regulations without understanding the impact. Almost 50 % of Canadian adults have or have had a permanent or temporary disability, or live with someone who does, yet we are still treated as a non-market. We often say if you build it, they will come.

KH: I was part of the Peggy’s Cove development from the initial design right through construction and to completion. In the summer, they achieved RHFAC Gold for what they accomplished. Seeing the number of people of every single ability using that space, interacting together and enjoying it equally, is the most rewarding thing you can imagine. 

BM: Codes don’t address any kind of cultural issues or support building owners and tenants in making meaningful change. The code approach is “Thou shall do,” not “Thou shall understand.” Another issue is planners not understanding the population they’re building for. Architects need a lot more training too, but the bottom line is it’s not their decision. If management doesn’t prioritize accessibility, it won’t get in there. 

 

“Once you start seeing barriers to people with disabilities, you can’t stop seeing them.”

 
 

KH: Before I knew about the RHF, I was working with my husband in our design/build company, and we completed a project for someone who needed full accessibility added to an existing home. We saw that we had significant gaps in our knowledge. By the end of my first RHFAC training session, my whole world had shifted. It was like all the kindling was in place and somebody lit the match. You don’t know what you don’t know.

BM: That’s an important point. Once you start seeing barriers to people with disabilities, you can’t stop seeing them.

KH: When you get to work with people who are the decision makers, they begin to realize what they don’t understand. It’s an amazing experience to work with people who haven’t understood what true, meaningful access looks like and then be part of helping them apply it.

BM: Meaningful access is really about that whole experience of using a facility from the moment you walk in the front door.

KH: To me it means somebody can independently and safely navigate the built environment with dignity. That means they don’t need somebody to help them up a steep ramp, for example.

BM: One of the biggest things to check is access to emergency exits. The building code works really hard at getting people with mobility disabilities into buildings, but it doesn’t give any thought to getting us out. There’s no requirement for emergency exits to be accessible. The next time you’re standing in front of an elevator, notice that little plaque that says “In case of fire, take stairs.” Where’s the little plaque that tells me what to do? 

When you look at your facility, those kinds of things need to be identified really early so they can be addressed in the planning phase. If you have a building that meets all the building code’s minimum requirements, you’re still missing about 70 % of people with disabilities.

KH: And it doesn’t take much more money if you can do this in the planning stage.

BM: The problem when doing it the other way around is that the lifespan of buildings is 50 to 80 years. When you build in a problem, it becomes inaccessible by design. A good example of people recognizing this is the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada now incentivizing its members to take the RHFAC training course to help with that shift. 

When someone wants their building to be accessible, my first question is “Accessible to whom?” People who are blind? People who are deaf? Is it going to be accessible to all people with all disabilities at all times? It doesn’t mean anything to say your building is accessible without saying—or knowing—to whom.

KH: One of the things that fascinates me every time I do a rating is how unaware employers are of the opportunity to hire from a greater pool of very capable employees if their buildings are accessible.

BM: The Conference Board of Canada says 57 % of people with physical disabilities who are willing and able to work are unemployed because of barriers in the workplace. This has so many other implications, too, because if we have jobs, we can have a bank account. If we have a bank account, we can get a credit card. If we have a credit card, we can get loans. If we have mortgages, maybe they’ll start building houses for us instead of against us.

KH: The truth is, if you’re not currently living with a disability, you’re a TAB—temporarily able-bodied. We are all just one step, one trip, one medical situation away from joining those who need further accessibility. 

BM: And until we have access to the built environment, like the TABs, we can’t achieve full participation. If you can’t get in your car or get a taxi and go downtown to hit a pub, go to a friend’s house or join a protest, then you do not have full citizenship. COVID-19 showed us that really well. All of a sudden, the able-bodied population was like, “Oh my god, I can’t go to work, I can’t take a bus, I can’t go to a movie.” Welcome to our world.

KH: I think it’s up to every Canadian to start desiring meaningful access in all of our communities. People have to understand why it needs to happen, and that’s when we will really see momentum.

To learn more about how to improve your accessibility, visit WWW.RICKHANSEN.COM/RHFAC.

 

 

Gander Airport’s International Lounge—and its proud history—is now accessible to the non-travelling public.

By: Andrew Waterman

 

Photo by Shawn Taylor, courtesy of Gander International Airport Authority
The Gander Airport International Lounge has been called one of Canada’s best-preserved modernist rooms. Both the mural, Kenneth Lochhead’s Flight and Its Allegories, and sculpture, Arthur Price’s Birds of Welcome, are rich in metaphors referencing the wonders of air travel (with nary a plane in view).

It would be difficult to overstate how unlikely the Gander Airport International Lounge is, namely because it exists in Gander—a town with a population of fewer than 12,000 that’s situated somewhere between St. John’s and Corner Brook, Newfoundland. 

Since the 1970s, the only way residents of the small town could get a glimpse of the sleek furniture and 22-metre egg tempera mural by Kenneth Lochhead, titled Flight and Its Allegories, that graces the airport’s modernly appointed lounge was through a pane of glass. Visible, yet off-limits.

But after two and a half years of redesigning, repainting, reupholstering and refurbishing, the lounge finally opened to the general public in June of this year.

“The joke is that Gander is the most cosmopolitan backwater on Earth,” says Reg Wright, president and CEO of the Gander International Airport Authority. 

The airport saw its first plane land in 1938 and, because of its geographic location, became the main staging point for the movement of Allied aircraft to Europe during the Second World War. It also became a refuelling stop for transoceanic traffic, necessitating the construction of a new $3-million terminal in 1959. At this time, Gander was one of the busiest international airports in the world, but by the early 1960s “jet age,” stopovers became less frequent and the airport disused.

That’s how Gander inherited an impeccably designed, world-class airport lounge. (The town and airport both saw renewed interest thanks to their role receiving airplanes and travellers diverted after the September 11 attacks, depicted in the hit musical Come From Away.) 

Wright says the lounge has been a topic of conversation in the community for a long time. “We got tired of keeping it [in] a vacuum.” Hence, the $1.5-million restoration of the mezzanine and lounge, famous for its Piet Mondrian-esque terrazzo floors and mid-century furniture (much of it Canadian in origin). Now, it also houses a museum detailing the airport’s rich history. And while the area used to be enjoyed only by international travellers lucky enough to have a layover, it’s now available and accessible for wider use.

 

“the response has been universally good—very positive,” he says.

Photos courtesy of Jessica Waterman
Designer Jessica Waterman installs a custom feature made entirely of painted wood trim—these “trimscapes,” as Waterman calls them, “are reminiscent of runways and planes”
Photos courtesy of Jessica Waterman
Waterman sourced all the products—by local craftspeople from the island—for sale in the gift shop
Photos courtesy of Jessica Waterman
the newly built Gallery 59 displaying Waterman’s quilts and weavings.
Photos courtesy of Gander International Airport Authority
The gold-toned mirrored plexi and black shelving behind the bar reflects the historical mid-century period and patterning of the terrazzo floors.
Drawing courtesy of Jessica Waterman
Waterman worked with Toronto-based designer Jovana Randjelovic to create elevation drawings with material and fixture specifications for the spaces.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Waterman
The gift shop and art gallery areas pre-renovation
Photos courtesy of Jessica Waterman
the newly built and furnished conference room, which is available for community use
Photos courtesy of Jessica Waterman
Waterman created a custom wallpaper for the conference room, featuring iconic elements of the airport, including the artworks, historical furniture and Gander sign. “If you look out the window, they’re all there,” she says

In addition, there are three new rooms—a gift shop, an art gallery and a community conference room—all conceived and built by local designer Jessica Waterman—as well as a newly designed bar. It’s in that small area, which Wright and others call one of Canada’s best-preserved modernist rooms, that royals, celebrities and countless others have spent layovers on their way from Europe to North America by plane.

The bar, however, was a project of its own. “It was a 1980s bar, totally unfunctional,” says Garrett Watton, supervisor of structural maintenance. “The old plastic booths with the fuchsia and teal colours looked awful.” Newly reupholstered in burnished tones, the bar booths have a refreshed look that’s reminiscent of the airport’s golden era.

Besides the bar, the gift shop has been completely redesigned and serves as an entrance to the lounge. Waterman designed that room from scratch, adding her clean, bright, delicate-but-sturdy style of wooden art. She also built the art gallery, where portraits of people connected to the airport (taken by German photographer Alexander Spraetz) currently hang.

In the new community conference room, Waterman’s hand-drawn wallpaper of the original Gander Airport sign is featured. It also includes renditions of the historical furniture and Arthur Price’s sculpture Birds of Welcome.

“Because the space is a bit of a time capsule . . . there [was] a big burden on the designer to come in and do things that [wouldn’t be] obtrusive,” Wright says.

Achieving that was the cause of some panic for Waterman. “The room [was] difficult because of all the colours and tones competing within the space,” she says. “We designed a new bar that looks as if it was built in 1959 with the rest, using blue paint and marble countertops that blend well with other aspects of the space.”

After beginning this project, Wright spent a good deal of time worrying about taking a step in the wrong direction and whether that would be reflected by public opinion. “Were we in a position where we couldn’t change a molecule without criticism?” he remembers wondering.

But, he says, “the response has been universally good—very positive. There’s a whole new generation getting introduced to the space.” Since opening to the public, they’ve seen about 300 visitors a day.

Photos from Library and Archives Canada
Travellers in 1959 enjoy a moment of respite and the view from the mezzanine. On designing the additional rooms, Waterman says: “There was no competing with this space, with the magic. [The additions] needed to be functional for today and feel fresh and new. We could have done mid-century-modern furniture, but you can’t get better than what exists out here.”

The sisters behind Montreal-based footwear brand Maguire are rewriting the rules of how to make and sell shoes, one pair at a time.

BY: ISA TOUSIGNANT

PHOTOS BY: RICHMOND LAM

Myriam (left) and Romy Belzile-Maguire at Maguire in Montreal.
Process images and shoe design mock-ups collaged across a mirror. The Belzile-Maguire sisters make design tweaks based on customer feedback on a regular basis.

 

Walk along Saint-Laurent Boulevard, through Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood, and your eyes are sure to be drawn to Maguire’s storefront—and inside. The local brand’s footwear designs are uniquely attractive, mixing a sort of chic, effortless wearability with a standout colour palette in buttery leathers. The price tags sit proudly on view next to every mouth-watering pair. These luxe shoes are arrestingly affordable.

 “High end, fair price” has been a tag line in Maguire’s business plan from the brand’s inception, when co-founding sisters Myriam and Romy Belzile-Maguire launched their first product in 2016. It was a sneaker available in black or white. They produced 200 pairs, presented them at a local artisan fair and sold out in a weekend. With this, they knew they were onto something.

Maguire’s approach to business flies in the face of the traditional fashion industry. Though most of the brand’s devotees make their purchases online, sales peaked when Myriam and Romy opened bricks-and-mortar spaces to display their wares. The Montreal space is one of three locations, along with Toronto, launched in 2020, and their New York shop, which opened in June this year. The latter was a dream of Myriam’s, made manifest years before she thought possible, all thanks to Maguire’s dedicated clientele.

Maguire’s shoes are refined and design-forward, combined with a sense of practicality and weather-ready wearability. Flat soles are the norm, with a few moderate heels in the inventory for special occasions. Silhouettes range from sleek soft-leather ballerinas to chunky-soled loafers and Chelsea boots you can walk for miles in. With about 30 models per season, the inventory is split between perennial classics available year-round and limited, now-or-never models. Each season, new pops of colour and textures are revealed. This pre-fall collection’s features include cream shearling-and-cowhide clogs, pastel penny loafers and minimalist slip-ons in a jewel-toned rainbow of emerald green, lapis lazuli blue and carnelian orange.

Myriam Belzile-Maguire studied footwear design at Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion and then worked in the industry before co-founding the eponymously-named brand, which answers the question “Quality or affordability?” with a resounding “Both.”

 

Maguire’s goal is durability and a transparent, provable sustainability.

The footwear is made in Portugal, Italy and Spain, and the craftsmanship is flawless—and constantly evolving. The Belzile-Maguire sisters respond to their customers’ feedback with tweaks and improvements.
Myriam specialized in footwear design at Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion (where Jimmy Choo studied) before working in just about every department of the Aldo Group over the course of six years. From product design to sourcing to wholesale, her path was an extraordinary education—partly because it taught her what she wanted to do differently.

“After producing such large quantities with both material and aesthetic limitations, I was yearning for the opposite,” she says. She wanted to work with European factories, with small production runs and top-quality materials like leather and sheepskin. She also wanted to provide a living wage to those working at every stage of production, from factory to showroom floor. “I wanted to create high-end footwear that would bring reasonable profit to the company but at prices that would be fair to both consumers and the factories making them.”

The solution was to adopt a direct-to-consumer model, à la Everlane and Warby Parker, that meant Maguire could avoid the pitfalls of wholesale, including last-minute changes, delivery delays and contract cancellations. But it also meant taking on the full brunt of responsibility for the marketing, sales and consumer experiences.

 “We basically spent a whole year [living] in our first store,” laughs Romy, the other half of Maguire’s winning equation, whose previous career was spent in advertising and communications. She fondly remembers the days when they shared a space with an eyewear shop. That year produced some invaluable learnings, to wit: Shoe shopping is full of pain points. There’s the competition between salespeople on commission, the back-and-forth schlep from front- to back-of-house, where sizes are stored, and the pressure both of these put on consumers. So, in typical Maguire fashion, they flipped the script.

 “We liked the model of self-service that some big-box stores can offer, where you can easily find your size yourself, but we wanted to create a hybrid model where our employees would still be there to advise,” says Romy. How it works: Customers browse the Maguire website, try different styles and sizes, assisted by the friendly (sans commission) staff, at the store nearest to them and then later purchase online with free shipping. It’s a fully symbiotic relationship between the virtual and real-life shopping experiences.

Typically, a shoe brand produces new collections all the time (and in large quantities) in an attempt to spur excitement and it’s a matter of guessing what will sell. That model creates waste, transience and lowered product standards. Maguire is working to change that cycle. Their goal is durability and a transparent, provable sustainability. According to their no-waste philosophy, all their shoe styles, whether in season or not, stay available until stock runs out. They’ve got a long-term view, and as their consistent organic growth attests, it works.

Each issue, we ask an artist: What would you do with your own urban infill?

By: ANGELO DOLOJAN

At the root of good design is access. Designers and creatives see things not as they are but as they should be.

Photo courtesy of Build Nova Scotia

 

The Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse project achieved a Gold rating through the RHFAC program. Allied is working with the Rick Hansen Foundation to explore ways to improve inclusivity and access across its buildings.

Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is perched on a rocky outcrop, scarred by glaciers and smoothed by wind, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The scene is exactly as you might picture it—with one notable addition. A viewing platform (and paths, washrooms, parking stalls and other features) has made the natural wonder accessible for the first time to those not willing or able to scramble across slippery, wave-battered rocks. The project, spearheaded by federal and provincial governments and designed by architect Omar Gandhi, with input from local residents and the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program, is a truly remarkable achievement of considered design.

At the root of good design is access. Designers and creatives see things not as they are but as they should be. They create an interface between a problem and its solution—between an object and its user so that user has a portal to a service or experience that would otherwise be unavailable. This issue of Block focuses on design and access, in both expected and unexpected ways, while celebrating those who are making our world more inclusive.

Take our cover subjects (The Creator, p 26), two Montreal-based sisters who are redesigning the shoe industry to give people access to high-quality and ethically made footwear. We also visit Gander Airport in Newfoundland (Work-in-Progress, p. 32), where the airport authority, with the help of designer Jessica Waterman, is refreshing and opening up the space to give locals and visitors access to an inspiring environment and incredible history. We speak with Level Playing Field’s founder Darby Lee Young (The Business, p. 16) (you may know her from the Fluevog shoe named in her honour) and the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Brad McCannell and Kristen Habermehl (The Conversation, p. 38), who are each bringing increased access to their clients—and the one in five Canadians who identify as having a disability—from the Calgary Stampede all the way to Peggy’s Cove.

At the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Jim Shedden publishes catalogues and curates exhibitions (notably the recent I AM HERE: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces). But those aren’t the only irons in this multi-hyphenate’s fire. He has also made books on film and culture (some in his former role at Bruce Mau Design) and hosts a podcast called 1000 Songs from his Toronto home office and more.

BY:  Kristina Ljubanovic

PHOTOS BY: CURTISS RANDOLPH

 
1. The Toronto Telegram Newsstand “I put copies of newspapers in it from the day my daughter was born, which was during the ice storm. And copies of my DIY Toronto [a fanzine/poster on Toronto culture from 1975 to 1989].”
2. To-do Lists “I have my work, and all these things I do that are not work, and all the things I don’t have to do but really should do. I have [the lists] electronically, but I need to use a Sharpie and keep changing them up so they’re not too clean.”
3. I AM HERE Postcard Stack and Portrait “I have a copy of every single postcard that was in the exhibition. Someone saw this postcard of [my wife] Shellie and [daughter] Meredith and they drew it, and we have no idea who it was. I want to post it eventually on Instagram saying ‘Thank you’ and ‘Who are you?’”
4. Emeco Chair and Table “My chair is definitely Emeco. I don’t know how vintage it is except to say that I bought it in 2001 so it’s at least that old. The table is light aluminum—and older. The person who sold it to me said it was Emeco 1940s. I think that it’s possibly 1940s but probably not Emeco.”
5. Books “I have the [Bruce] Mau stack. Then there are AGO books. Some are both.”