A Theatre of Food From Raw to Refined

This culi­nary empo­ri­um, the first col­lab­o­ra­tion between two of our long-time clients and Toron­to gas­tro­nom­ic empre­sar­ios, Cosi­mo Mam­moli­ti of Ter­roni and SUD, and Stephen Alexan­der of Cum­brae’s, began with a con­ver­sa­tion about cre­at­ing an imag­i­na­tive gas­tro­nom­ic expe­ri­ence that would nei­ther be deriv­a­tive of these estab­lish­ments. Our response began with a name: STOCK implies stocked shelves, chick­en stock, stock­yards — a the­atre of food, con­sid­ered and pre­sent­ed in a tra­jec­to­ry ‘from raw to refined’.

With­in the land­mark Cana­da Postal Sta­tion ‘K’ build­ing, STOCK offers an open mar­ket at grade, a 200-seat bistro on the sec­ond floor, and a third-floor gar­den room event space with cir­cu­lar bar and roof ter­race.

Strip­ping the floors of the old post sta­tion revealed the orig­i­nal ter­raz­zo, which was lov­ing­ly restored to its for­mer glo­ry

To restore and repur­pose the 1930’s mason­ry build­ing, we lined the perime­ter walls with mate­ri­als spared from the orig­i­nal shell, and from these hung shelv­ing, light­ing, and acoustic damp­en­ing tex­tures. The omnipres­ence of food prepa­ra­tion, with a clear ‘back­stage’ treat­ment, mix­es with the build­ing mate­ri­als to enliv­en the sens­es.

Tru­ly new ideas are often the result of a col­li­sion of dif­fer­ence. Butch­er and Bak­er. Bread and meat. Ital­ian and Aus­tralian. Cosi­mo and Steven. Take the first let­ters of each of their names and have them face each oth­er and you get STOCK. This sim­ple act of bring­ing the names of the two founders togeth­er pro­vid­ed a start­ing point for the design and built the sto­ry of the project into its name.

The inspi­ra­tion for the white felt­ed “prosce­ni­um”, which over­ar­ch­es and con­nects the coun­ters in the mar­ket

Just as boun­ti­ful shelves and coun­ters dis­play raw ingre­di­ents and comestibles and the restau­rant serves art­ful plates, we intro­duced mate­ri­als and archi­tec­tur­al ele­ments that we inter­pret­ed in degrees of “unre­fined to refined’ as one moves from the ground lev­el mar­ket and ‘tavola cal­da’ to the bistro, bar, and event expe­ri­ences on the sec­ond and third lev­els.

The stack­ing of spaces, and the charged thresh­olds between them, are enriched by ghost­ed ves­tiges of the his­toric build­ing, such as cus­tom ‘cof­fer’ lights; postage stamp mosa­ic floor­ing, and ‘fil­ing cab­i­net’ felt ceil­ing baf­fles.

The ground lev­el intro­duces the expe­ri­ence as a kind of relaxed but intox­i­cat­ing kitchen and pantry, filled with per­son­al­ly select­ed comestibles such as sun­dries, dried goods, fresh pro­duce, spe­cial­ty items, and flow­ers dis­played on ‘raw’ shelv­ing. Anchored by large butch­ery and bak­ery coun­ters, the space is col­lect­ed under a rip­pling felt prosce­ni­um. Aro­mas and glimpses to the ‘back-stage’ kitchens lead patrons to ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook take­away coun­ters and seat­ing for lin­ger­ing to enjoy fresh offer­ings on the spot.

The sec­ond-floor bistro presents an orches­tra of kitchens, open to a gallery of but­ter-yel­low tuft­ed leather ban­quettes and cork pan­el­ings. The island bar is well-stocked and designed to bridge day-to-night expe­ri­ences, framed by a glit­ter­ing prosce­ni­um mosa­ic of a sub­lime pink sun­rise.

“Even though the orig­i­nal cof­fered ceil­ing had ‘dis­ap­peared over time,’ the team decid­ed to cre­ate cus­tom, boxy light fix­tures with the exact dimen­sions to hang at the same spots to cre­ate ‘ghosts’ over the raw (and orig­i­nal) con­cerete” LeBlanc, Globe and Mail

Lay­er­ing mate­ri­als in a del­i­cate inter­lace of voids.

Above the bistro is a pur­pose-built, glass gar­den room. Almost 100 seats of the main din­ing room are flex­i­ble to accom­mo­date arrange­ments for var­i­ous func­tions all year round. This exclu­sive event space takes full advan­tage of its roof-top view and is sur­round­ed by a lush ter­race along the vin­tage cor­nice of its host build­ing.

The sculp­tur­al wood ceil­ing breathes new life into the his­toric struc­ture.

STOCK T.C has been named the 2023 Archi­tec­t’s News­pa­per Edi­tors Choice Award and has been rec­og­nized by inter­na­tion­al awards pro­grams, includ­ing The Restau­rant and Bar Design Awards.

Project Facts

  • Client


  • Location

    Toron­to, Ontario

  • Size

    21,519 sq.ft.

  • Status


  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Struc­tur­al — RJC Engi­neers

    Mechan­i­cal & Elec­tri­cal — BK Con­sult­ing

    Graph­ic Design & Sig­nage — Small Project Stu­dio

    Kitchen Con­sul­tant — Nel­la Food & Equip­ment

  • General Contractor

    D’Andrea Con­sult­ing

  • Photography

    Riley Snelling
    Stephanie Palmer