When Raymond Girard and Laird Kay decided to shack up two years ago, they wanted a move-in-ready place with a modern interior, but the Toronto housing market didn’t offer what they were looking for. The new houses they saw were full of faux historical details, and the old ones demanded major renovations. After a year-long search, they found a rarity: a 110-year-old three-bedroom box in Little Italy, which the firm Building Arts Architects had just redone. Girard and Kay brought discerning eyes to the space—Girard, a Winnipeg native and the publisher of Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, had studied architecture at the University of Montreal before turning to publishing, while Kay recently launched his own architectural photography practice. The couple started with an assortment of modernist pieces and added mementos from their extensive travels. “Laird and I are obsessed with flight and planes and airports,” says Girard. As a result, they have a sizable collection of model planes and air travel memorabilia, as well as awesome international flea market souvenirs. The overall effect is quirkily stylish, like a well-curated boutique hotel.
The books are arranged by colour. “I’d prefer the Dewey decimal system,” says Girard. “But this wall of books was so prominent, it felt like the right thing to do.”
Kay and Girard had the mirror screen custom-made by a local handyman.