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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Structural — RJC Engineers
Mechanical & Electrical — BK Consulting
Graphic Design & Signage — Small Project Studio
Kitchen Consultant — Nella Food & Equipment