19th annual Best of Canada award winners announced!

Canadian Interiors’ Best of Canada Design Competition is the country’s only design competition to focus on interior design projects and products without regard to size, budget or location. We welcome submissions from interior designers, architects, interior architects, decorators, and crafts persons.

Employing the adage “When it rains, it pours,” last year was a rain shower of entries (175, at that point a record), but this year was a downpour. Categories for project submissions include: exhibit; hospitality; institutional; marketing; office; residential; and retail. This year we introduced an online submission portal, to eliminate the need to mail in hard copies of entrants as has been the process for the last 18 years, and when building anything online, there were bugs that needed working out, causing a tighter than normal window for submissions. But despite this, 316 entrants were received – an all-time record.

We were able to enlist the aid of four design industry heavyweights to wade through all the submissions to find the gold in this crucible. They are: Sue Bennett, CEO and principal of the eponymous Uxbridge, Ont.-based design firm Bennett Design; another principal and owner of an eponymous design firm, this one in Toronto, Johnson Chou; Scot Laughton, professor and Studio Head of the Industrial Design, School of Animation, Arts and Design department at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning; and Jeremy Vandermeij, Executive Director of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

L. to R.: Johnson Chou; Sue Bennett; Jeremy Vandermeij (not pictured: Scot Laughton).
L. to R.: Johnson Chou; Sue Bennett; Jeremy Vandermeij (not pictured: Scot Laughton).

Because of the sheer number of entries, judging could not be contained to a one-day affair. Continuing the tradition of judging the projects and products anonymously and on their own merits, this year the process was broken into two phases: a first cull done off-site, and then a week later the judges convened at a location to debate, discuss and defend the remaining entrants. Ultimately, a total of 31 winners were chosen, which include three products and 28 projects representing a cross-Canada spectrum as well as international locales such as the United States and The Netherlands.

When it came time to select Project of the Year, the judges were unanimous that the honour be bestowed on two: the soft and glowing Aesop store on Queen Street West in Toronto, by superkül (“This is so refreshing! You can’t say it’s this or that style” / “It’s not like it’s part of any aesthetic that’s being overused” were among the judges adulations); and He, She & It, a delicate project consisting of three artist studios, by Davidson Rafailidis (“The beauty! The simplicity! It’s very poetic,” enthused one judge, a sentiment shared by all).

Congratulations to all 31 winners! See the full list below, and open our digital edition to read and see the winners more fully.

Projects of the Year

  • Aesop Queen Street West — superkül
  • He, She & It — Davidson Rafailidis


  1. Belmonte Raw — Green Tangerine Design Inc.
  2. Cumbrae’s Queen Street West — Giannone Petricone Associates Architects
  3. Hopson Grace  — Burdifilek
  4. Mark Lash Flagship — Burdifilek
  5. Mackage Flagship — Burdifilek
  6. Espace BRP — optima design
  7. The Exchange Brewery — Williamson Williamson


  1. The Courtyard House — AtelierSUN
  2. Skygarden House — Dubbeldam Architecture + Design
  3. Residence of Tso — Chih Chung Shen


  1. Lightspeed Office — Acdf Architecture inc.
  2. Vice Toronto — DesignAgency
  3. Holt Renfrew Toronto Head Office — Gensler


  1. Minto Westside Sales Centre – Burdifilek


    1. Parkside Student Residence — Diamond Schmitt Architects
    2. Student Centre Polytechnique Montreal — Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes
    3. ETS Student Centre — Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes


  1. Earnest Ice Cream — Janks Design Group
  2. Tokyo Smoke Found — Steven Fong Architect
  3. Air France / KLM Lounge — Johnson Chou Inc.
  4. Figo — Studio Munge
  5. Generator Amsterdam  — DesignAgency
  6. Kinka Izakaya — Dialogue 38
  7. YU Seafood — Dialogue 38


  1. Ontario’s Celebration Zone — Hariri Pontarini Architects
  2. Dinner By Design – The Möbius Strip — Gensler


  1. Fuego Dining Table — Powell & Bonnell
  2. Lotus Table — Powell & Bonnell
  3. The Garrison — Stacklab