interior: 52 inc. cafe & boutique

mermaid and jalousie glass wall with street light in the background

post-war bungalow at 68 Glengrove, Toronto, before and during demolition

vitralite tiles, glass shower doors, and jalousie windows with mecanisms being removed at 68 Glengrove

glass doors and vitralite tiles being installed

52 Inc. was a cafe and an eco-conscious boutique promoting local women artisans. It’s credo as described by the owners in NOW magazine (April 17-23 1997) was ‘’the conviction that selective consumption is one of the last influences we have on the shape of culture. Our politics lie in the products we consume’’. The cafe went on to be an important part of the Toronto’s College street neighbourhood in the late 90’s. ( see link below for more info)

This cafe design was part of another project documenting 1950’s post war homes in North Toronto. Many of the original owners had lived through the war and in these houses since their construction. They were selling to a new generation demolishing them to build “monster” homes.

These large bungalows were made from high quality materials, craftsmanship and a style unique to the era: solid wood paneling, stonework, neat light fixtures and wallpaper design, modern millwork, etc. An appreciation for this era was yet to come.

For this very low budget project many of the materials for the café were reclaimed from a couple of post war homes. The jalousie shutter-like glass windows and mermaid glass shower doors were reused as a screen separating cafe and boutique, vitralite glass tiles were removed from bathrooms and used as counter and backsplash, heavy cast aluminum handles reused on cabinetry. Also discarded streetlights, retrieved from city scrap yards, were custom built into new fixtures.

On site the entire floor was stripped to uncover the original wood and the existing party wall brick was exposed. The design was re-interpreted by the contractor.

Location: Toronto
Area: 1000 sq.ft
End of project: 1996