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Getting To Know Our Neighbours at The Gallery

The Gallery at Mason Studio | 91 Pelham Ave, Toronto
November 14 through December 11, 2023

an art exhibition in collaboration with Making Art Making Change
and Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre

Inspired by the artwork made by participants in Long Life: Positive HIV Stories, an art project directed by Jonathan Morgan (2003, Cape Town, South Africa) Making Art Making Change (MAMC) facilitated eight two-hour participatory workshops for clients of Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre (DPNCHC).
Participants from the DPNCHC +55 community group met weekly to share their stories, lived experiences, memories, and identity in their artwork. Each participant traced their body maps on corrugated cardboard and began to add rich details, textures, imagery, and text as they enthusiastically developed their visual storytelling. Using artist-quality materials, the group built their own “body of work” each week, adding layers of meaning while exploring different techniques.

Visit The Gallery at Mason Studio Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm daily, to experience these incredible art pieces.

Accessibility: The Gallery is located on the first floor, which is accessible from the front entrance of 91 Pelham. Our washrooms are not fully accessible, and upper levels are only accessible via stairs. For questions and more information, please contact and we would be pleased to discuss how we can help support your visit. 

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Alobar Downtown featured in The Spaces

"Mason Studio puts a fresh spin on the classic bistro."⁠

UK-based interior design magazine, The Spaces, recently featured our design of Alobar Downtown. Highlighting the colour selection, furnishing and intentional elements across all programming areas, the piece takes a look at the central themes that make this dining destination unique. ⁠Read the feature here.

Toronto’s Alobar Downtown defines world class in its food, hospitality, and environment. A staple dining locale within the Alo Food Group brand, and its Michelin Star-rated sibling restaurant, Alobar balances an upscale experience with a laid-back spirit, comfortable structure and tactile details. For the fashion-forward, business savvy individual with good taste and broad knowledge of cuisine and libations.

Mason Studio recognized integral design elements aligned with the Alobar identity, and sought to shape this to its new form. Intentional lighting, to contrasting marble with natural wood, curvature and smooth surfaces make the signature dining experience while highlighting function for both staff and guests.

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Work From (AMS) The World: Erin Kinninmont

Mason Studio | Work From The World with Erin Kinninmont, Project Designer
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Going Dutch (by design). Amsterdam, Netherlands was Mason Studio Project Designer Erin Kinninmont’s locale of choice for her Work From The World venture. From pedaling through the city streets on bicycles or traversing canals, to perusing pops of colour and examining adaptable, sustainable living, Amsterdam offered an abundant learning experience. Always taking it back to their roots, with a vision for the future, Erin grasped Amsterdam’s preservation of heritage in the midst of their human-centred forward-thinking approach.

“Traveling to new places broadens your perspective and exposes you to new cultures which ultimately enhances your understanding and appreciation for design,” Erin says. “An important takeaway for me is that historical contexts and traditions inform design choices, helping designers to adapt and innovate.”

Read more about Erin’s journey below and connect with her at @erin_kinninmont.

How has this trip to Amsterdam contributed to your understanding of design?
Traveling to new places broadens your perspective and exposes you to new cultures which ultimately enhances your understanding and appreciation for design. In Amsterdam the long history of canals has greatly influenced the city’s architecture and overall urban planning. The expansion of the canal network in the 17th century led to its dense urban layout resulting in tall, narrow canal houses that the city is now recognized by. An important takeaway for me is that historical contexts and traditions inform design choices, helping designers to adapt and innovate.

What innovations did you witness, experience, engage with?
Amsterdam’s floating homes represent an innovative approach to urban living by embracing the city’s extensive network of canals. These homes built on floating platforms offer several benefits including adaptability to rising sea levels, create an efficient use of urban space, and offers a sustainable lifestyle to its residents. This innovative housing solution integrates harmoniously with the city’s waterways and provides its residence with a unique way of living.

Tell us about any signature elements synonymous with Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is known for its signature architectural elements like narrow, gabled houses with red brick facades with line the city’s canals. Dutch design is also characterized by simplicity, repetition, and functionality. They combine historic architecture with modern furnishings often featuring clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. Amsterdam blends historic charm with contemporary design elements to create a distinctive style that feels laid back and effortless.

Is there an element of design you’d like to integrate in your practice?
I visited an exhibition created by Dutch design studio Raw Color whose central focus is on the investigation of colour through interdisciplinary projects. The show featured a selection of their work which explores different aspects of colour including density, proportion, translucency and blending. Colour theory is a tool that I would like to integrate into my practice because of its ability to influence people’s perception of space. It can change the way we experience light, size, temperature and mood. This is a design strategy that isn’t often used in Canadian interiors but a practice that I hope to see integrated more often.

How has this travel experience contributed to the way you think, act and live?
Amsterdam embodies a relaxed, socially connected, and environmentally conscious way of living which inspires me to make changes in the way I live back home. The city’s bike friendly culture promotes physical activity and a sustainable way to commute which is something I would love to integrate into my routine. Amsterdam’s relaxed and community centric values also encourages me to adopt a slower pace and a greater focus on work-life balance.

What aspects of community, inclusion and belonging did you witness or experience within the Amsterdam, and the local culture?
In Amsterdam, community is a central focus in their design approach and takes precedence over aesthetics. This reflects the city’s commitment to fostering strong social connections through design by promoting pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods with shared public spaces such as parks, co-working spaces, squares, and community gardens. Amsterdam’s emphasis on sustainable, accessible and people centric urban planning helps create an environment where residents are more likely to engage with one another and build a strong sense of community.

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IKEA Canada Open House at Mason Studio

All are welcome at the IKEA Canada Open House, hosted at Mason Studio from Friday, October 13 through Sunday, October 15. The Open House Event celebrates the latest in life at home with curated design and home furnishing inspiration focusing on the past, present, and future.

Explore art installations designed by the Mason Studio team that highlight one of IKEA's most iconic and coveted storage products, the KALLAX shelving series. IKEA will bridge the past and present showcasing '70s and '80s designs with the reveal of its second Nytillverkad collection, and holiday collections such as the Scandinavian-folklore-inspired VINTERFINT collection and the AROMATISK collection designed to support the festivities around Diwali. See how design and technology come together through the recently launched AI-powered and digital experience, IKEA Kreativ. Guests will also be able to preview other seasonal collections and experience a sleep sanctuary with curated tours from sleep experts.

Majority of product displayed will go to Furniture Bank, a Toronto based charity and social enterprise.

Anyone who pops in for a visit can enter for a chance to win a $1000 IKEA gift card, must be an IKEA Family member to enter. 

Visit from Friday, October 13 through Sunday, October 15 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
91 Pelham Ave, Toronto ON | Map

Mason Studio is partially accessible - our ground floor is fully accessible through the front door. Three installations are situated on the ground floor and can be experienced fully upon entry. There is a partially-accessible washroom on the ground floor. For questions and more information, please reach out to

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Mason Minute with Takako Daros

Takako Daros was one of Mason Studio’s awesome interns over summer 2023. She is currently in her fourth year at Toronto Metropolitan University. While at Mason Studio, Takako developed her confidence and professional mindset by immersing herself in several projects, collaborating with the design teams and gaining hands-on experience.

Born in Sapporo, Japan and based in Toronto, Takako is particularly passionate about the beauty of imperfections through various materials.* “They add character, depth, and a unique quality to spaces, making them feel authentic and rich in history while reducing waste in the design industry,” Takako adds.*Italic text

Read on below to learn more about Takako’s design journey. Follow Takako on Instagram (@takakodaros)

My personal floorplan for design: comes from exposure to different cultures. I have deepened my appreciation for cultural diversity by travelling domestically and abroad to cities and towns and seeing natural landscapes; moving to Canada from Japan further allows me to see daily life from a new perspective as a minority. All these experiences drive me to create spaces that embrace inclusivity and prioritize the well-being of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

I am passionate about: the beauty of imperfections such as wood knots, irregular pattern stones, and sacred leather. They add character, depth, and a unique quality to spaces, making them feel authentic and rich in history while reducing waste in the design industry.

A design idea that I want to explore further is: sensory-rich design by carefully curating tactile, auditory, and olfactory experiences in environments that are inviting and enriching to individuals.

Design has taught me: to empathize with the end-users, understanding their needs, desires, and emotions. This human-centered approach extends to my daily life; I discover unique details, textures, and nuances that often go unnoticed by others.

Design creates a sense of community – here is a moment where it resonated most: I used to go to the Toronto Reference Library when I came to Toronto, feeling alienated in this country, but the library was my sanctuary then. The well-designed library is an important anchor in individuals' lives, offering access to knowledge together with a sense of belonging and connection to the community, even in a new and unfamiliar place.

A hobby of mine includes: going to art museums and galleries; It's a beautiful way to feed my curiosity, find inspiration, and nourish my soul. I'll enjoy my continued journeys through the world of art!

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Mason Studio Art Highlight: Maegan Mehler

As one can learn from our Mason Minute series, the team is multifaceted, talented creatives who produce their work with zeal.

Introducing you to the art of Project Designer Maegan Mehler (@maegrose) today. Maegan’s paintings explore affect and emotive space while questioning the possibilities of the face.

Her large-scale painting, Tender Brass, is a standout piece in our meeting room, while Kisser (Too) and Architect (Squiggle Face) grace the walls above our Atrium and are visible from multiple perspectives within 91 Pelham, inspiring curiosity and reflection.

Explore Maegan’s art – left to right:

Tender Brass
45.5” x 47.5” | oil on hand-cut wood and panel | 2017

Architect (Squiggle Face)
9.5” x 8.5” | oil on hand-cut panel | 2015

Kisser (Too)
18.5” x 18” | oil on hand-cut panel | 2016

Maegan comes to the field of interior design as an artist with a wide range of experience in art and hospitality. With a BFA and MFA specializing in painting, sculpture, and installation, she is interested in the affective and emotive space at the intersection of art, design, and architecture.

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Mason Minute with Peng Zheng

For our latest timestamp in the Mason Minute series, we're highlighting Technical Designer, Peng Zheng. Peng, who is currently completing the Architectural Technician program at Algonquin College, interned at Mason Studio over summer 2023, and brought resonant zeal to the drawing board. Peng’s passion for storytelling through design is complemented by his creativity, talent and bright personality.

Peng experiences the world with heart and offers these words of wisdom: “Don't be trapped in inherent thinking. Try to solve problems from multiple perspectives. Constantly explore novel concepts and focus on the feelings of the experiencer.”

My personal floorplan for design is motivated by my interest and curiosity in exploring new things since I was a child. When I grew up, I became deeply interested in the changes of space under different occasions, so I often conceived some interesting designs in my mind. However, I had no concept or confidence about whether this idea could be realized, so I chose to engage in technical drawing design. In this way, I can deeply understand and master the internal composition of the structure and different construction technique, which will better assist me to complete the design inspiration that I pursue in my heart.

I am an passionate about creating storytelling for design concepts, telling stories to make people interested in designing products. At the same time, I am also keen on building models and working on construction drawings, which I think is an important stage to verify design ideas.

A design idea that I want to explore further: I want to discover new and interesting materials, explore more possibilities of construction technology, adhere to sustainable design, strengthen the interaction between design and people, and try to introduce technology into design.

Design has taught me: to not be trapped in inherent thinking and try to solve problems from multiple perspectives. To constantly explore novel concepts and focus on the feelings of the experiencer. (I) experience the world with my heart.

Design cultivates community and creates a sense of belonging through trying. Experimentation is a good way to verify a design idea, and it is possible to get feedback from the community through continuous experimentation, and in the process of experimenting, new and better ideas may inadvertently emerge, thus making people interested in them and creating a sense of belonging.

Outside of the field of design, I also like music and cooking. I like listening to music. Through different music, I can feel different cultural backgrounds and at the same time comfort my soul. In the field of cooking, I really enjoy the process of cooking, which is like design. Allocate the ingredients, follow the steps, keep trying, and finally adjust to the taste I like.

Connect with Peng Zheng on Instagram and stay tuned for more time with the Mason Studio team.

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Mason Studio featured in OnOffice Magazine

“Smells like community spirit.”

We love an iconic song reference – this one comes by way of OnOffice Magazine! Mason Studio is thrilled to be featured in their autumn 2023 issue under a headline that arrives as we celebrate as one year at 91 Pelham this month!

OnOffice’s Mandi Kreighan spoke with Co-Founder and Executive Director, Stanley Sun, about Mason Studio’s integrated workspace and cultural hub, and how the office design has extended beyond the team, into its neighbouring community.

“Mason Studio in Toronto is pioneering a radical approach to interior design driven by community collaboration. With a workspace open to all, its team is dissolving the separation between creative practice and the public.”

Read the full feature here– now in print and online. Many thanks to On Office for highlighting Mason Studio's work and community hub.

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Work From (CPH) The World: Tannaz Torabi

Mason Studio | Work From The World with Tannaz Torabi, Project Designer
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

“I sense a notable transformation in my thinking patterns as I strive to cultivate a distinct vision and streamline my thoughts, by removing unnecessary items and focusing on the core whys and hows."

Those are some of many insights Mason Studio Project Designer, Tannaz Torabi, channeled during her first-time visit to Copenhagen, Denmark for Mason Studio’s Work From The World program. The initiative provides Mason Studio team members the opportunity to be sent anywhere they choose in the world to work for a week, returning to bring knowledge and inspiration to all client projects and amongst their colleagues.

Tannaz visited Copenhagen in June 2023, where she participated in 3daysofdesign – a festival that provides a platform for both emerging and established design brands from Denmark and abroad to share their talent. Hundreds of exhibitors welcome guests into their spaces to discover new and beloved collections of furniture, lighting, accessories and materials. Events, panel discussions, dining experiences and other adventures abound.

While sojourning with international designers and Danes alike, Tannaz was inspired by the local industry’s commitment to quality craftsmanship.

“Danish designers are gifted in designing furniture, decorative elements that feels timeless and lighting fixtures (both architectural and decorative),” she says. “Simplicity still feels enough. It is welcoming and draws attention to details. I engaged with spaces, creators and their concepts behind developing their design ideas and their innovative thinking on use of materials, to their inventions around material application.”

Tannaz is always on-the-go. An avid traveler that has moved frequently over the years, this venture taught her to be a bit more cautious around consumption. It reminded her the importance of keeping things simple, to question the source and sustainability of products, and their societal and environmental impact.

Over the course of her total two weeks in CPH, Tannaz grew inspired by the many like-minded peers around her; kind people who are solid listeners that demonstrate an exceptional level of precision in their work. “I learned that Danes are highly collaborative individuals, and they thrive on mutual learning and exchange of ideas across diverse design disciplines.”

Tannaz had more invigorating moments in Denmark – check out key anecdotes below and stay tuned for the next journal entry for Work From The World!

Copenhagen made a mark: to be open-minded, receptive to all diversity, culture, lifestyle, and eager to learn from their experiences.

Why Tannaz selected Copenhagen for this design venture: their less-but-better approach in life and consequently in their lifestyle.
Core research was done through: sites visited, meetings held, people met that had a general idea of all places she would like to see and meet, including individuals from Norm Architects, Note Design, MUUTOand cycling brand, Pas Normal Studios.

Tannaz is curious to learn more about: collaboration between diverse teams, how to support colleagues of diverse background and disciplines.

Innovation was found in: experiencing spaces that are designed to support users’ well-being.
Follow Tannaz Torabi @tannaz.torabi

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Refuge In The Water

Refuge In The Water brings the outdoors in and offers a pause with nature.

World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 25 per cent of the population suffers from psychological and mental distress, and preliminary evidence suggests that aquatic environments and riparian areas (vegetation growing along the edge of water) can benefit psychological and mental wellbeing. A design framework for therapeutic waterscapes was proposed, which highlighted accessibility, versatility, habitats and biodiversity.*

Enter The Gallery at Mason Studio and you will be welcomed by a flooded pond, plants and an earthy pathway. The installation is comprised of a small, accessible material list that could be found at a garden centre: cedar mulch, water, garbage bags, pond liner, tape, plastic basin, moss, rocks, plants from Mason Studio and a balloon dog for playful measure. All will be repurposed for future projects, from landscaping to functional use around the studio.

Refuge In The Water is intended to fluctuate and take shape by all who visit Mason Studio and grace its landscape. Evoking awe and curiosity, let it inspire you to take a moment and embrace your surroundings. Designed and built by the Mason Studio team, the installation is an extension of Refuge In The Sky, a 2022 project comprised of a seven-foot floating island of lush and living greenery within the atrium. It focused on the ways nature encourages mindfulness around interior spaces, and how they make us feel. For its flowing counterpart, the team drew inspiration from research around the natural bodies of water that impacted wellness the most.

From the crunch beneath your feet, the cedar aroma, calming water, flora and fauna – it’s best experienced in-person.

Stop by 91 Pelham for a visit to experience it for yourself! Reach out to for more information.

* (November 2021) International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Waterscapes for Promoting Mental Health in the General Population. Source:

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