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Monos Opens Second Store in Toronto, Plots U.S. Expansion

Interior of the Monos Ossington Store at 111 Ossington Avenue
Interior of the Monos Ossington Store at 111 Ossington Avenue © James Morley / Doublespace Photography

Travel brand Monos has opened its second retail location, on Ossington Avenue in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighborhood, following the opening of its flagship store in Vancouver last year. And the brick-and-mortar adventure is only beginning for this Canadian brand, with Monos Co-founder and CEO Victor Tam sharing that “come next year, we are set to take our immersive retail experiences to the global stage with eight new stores across the U.S., kickstarting with none other than New York City and Chicago,” he said in a statement.

Monos’ new Ossington location draws its inspiration from the ephemeral beauty of fleeting moments and invites guests to embark on a multi-sensory journey. Designed in collaboration with interior and concept design studio Ste Marie, the store’s interior is influenced by a gentle surrealist interpretation of Portugal’s pousadas, evoking a dreamlike quality through its soft, sweeping forms and curated material palette.

“We are excited to weave ourselves into the dynamic tapestry of the Little Portugal community through our Ossington store,” Tam added. “With our roots firmly planted in Canada, we are thrilled to share that this is just the beginning.”

At the heart of the room, flanked by monoliths of split-faced cottonwood limestone, a singular olive tree stands against a dramatic light feature of illuminated, stretched fabric. Extending from behind the tree and rising up into the ceiling, the backdrop bathes the space in a soft, diffuse and transcendent glow. Artful plinths formed of honed Turkish Rainbow Onyx give way to a delicate water flow, an ode to the inextricable connection between humanity and the natural world. Softly encased wall niches, adorned with subtle Italian Onice Avorio Striato stone, showcase Monos’ curated collection of products.

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“At Monos, we pride ourselves on connecting humanity with the simplicity of nature through our design ethos,” said Hubert Chan, Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder of Monos in a statement. “Our collaboration with Ste Marie to transform the Ossington store into an immersive space is truly special.”

For the store’s opening weekend, the Ossington location also will feature a custom installation created in partnership with local floral and plant installation designer Lauren Wilson of Timberlost and South Korean, Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist Dahae Song. The installation takes the form of  a “portal” that invites the viewer to cross the threshold and step into a realm where the boundaries between the physical and the metaphysical blur. It’s an extension of Song’s ongoing travel photography series Becoming One, which is intended to capture evidence that people have not lost the intrinsic connection to nature.

“We know memory, experience and design influences how we feel in a space,” said Craig Stanghetta, Principal Creative Director at Ste Marie in a statement. “With this in mind, we set out to tell the Monos story of awe and craft a world that celebrates the moments of discovery that travel brings.”

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