Camera Bar & Stephen Bulger Gallery

Hussain Amarshi and Atom Egoyan

Location Toronto, Ontario
Status Completed 2004
Size 1,550 sq.ft / 145 m²
Partner Siamak Hariri

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“This was a labour of love. Something that we really had a fantasy about and I think we still continue to have a fantasy about because it was designed so beautifully.”

— Atom Egoyan, Director, Writer, and Producer

Camera, a combination lounge, café-bar, and 51-seat digital screening room in the heart of Toronto’s Queen Street West arts district, fosters connections between diverse users of the same building through spatial and material continuity. Camera shares its formal entrance with Mongrel Media, giving ground level visitors a suggestive glimpse of the staircase to second floor private offices. A sliding glass front façade glides from Camera to the adjacent Stephen Bulger Gallery, giving the two a shared public presence. Once inside, the movable wall separating bar and gallery affords programmatic flexibility and ease of access.

Housed in a turn-of-the-century building, the former hardware store was gutted and restored to combine original features with new elements. Camera’s interior mixes old and new, light and dark, smooth woods and tactile furnishings. A communal table with Thonet chairs extends from the long, contemporary walnut bar toward the street. The space opens out to the sidewalk through floor to ceiling front glazing. A lounge at the back of the café-bar adds a domestic feel with comfortable furniture and carpeting. Camera received two Honourable Mentions from the 2005 National Post Design Exchange Awards and the 2005 Toronto Architecture & Urban Design Awards.