Homegrown Business: Thirty Six Knots rugs and home decor

Thirty Six Knots is located in the Summerhill area of Toronto just across from the Yonge Street Subway station. They are a very unique home decor store and café that focuses on high quality rugs mixed in with home accessories, creating a multi-functional space used daily by coffee drinkers and those looking to add some new styles to their homes.

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What is your business called and what does it do?

Thirty Six Knots is a thoughtfully curated lifestyle store – integrating premium rugs, home accessories and Café to create a uniquely immersive retail experience. Located at 1212 Yonge St., in the heart of Summerhill, we offer an environment where creativity, culture, and artistry co-exist. As a purveyor of world-class products, we proudly celebrate beauty, tradition and the individuality of artisans by sourcing and creating goods made with sustainable and ethical standards in mind.

What made you want to do this work?

We care deeply about design, food, nature, and the world, and had a vision to create a space that integrated all of these elements in a thoughtful, visual and new way. The name of the store itself – Thirty Six Knots – pays tribute and respect to the artistry, culture and tradition of hand crafted rugs, which is the heart of the concept. We wanted to share our love and passion for rugs in a way unlike any other retailer in Toronto. Our rugs are unique and custom in design, and are used as a focal point of the store, taking guests through a visual journey of the tapestry and textiles so that they are not viewed as just rugs, but as works of art.

In addition, we saw an opportunity to create an environment that is inspirational and fully interactive, one that is curated as a visual narrative, taking guests through beautifully designed vignettes that artfully blend a diverse range of textures, colours and features.

What problem does this solve?

Thirty Six Knots is more than a retail store. We are a space designed to be a part of our community, to spark conversations, and to inspire our guests. We focus on providing a transformative retail experience, whether shopping for an item for your home or visiting for a cup of coffee.

The concept pushes the boundaries of rug, home décor and furniture retailer by collaborating with interior designers, artists and artisans from around the world. Every piece, every accessory, every object, is carefully hand selected and unique, with exclusive rights in Canada to some lines.

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In addition, the café centres the Thirty Six Knots experience, encouraging guests to sit, have a beverage, a conversation, or read a book – and immerse themselves in our vignettes. The café also strives to enhance guest experiences by sourcing the highest quality products from like-minded partners, and we collaborate with local and international businesses whose model is focused on providing sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients and products.

We have established partnerships with other local retailers to host pop-ups in the space, and have hosted workshops in the space. We continue to explore opportunities to showcase other local designers and retailers, as well as educational and informational events in the store.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Everyone! The café is perfect to grab a specialty coffee on the way to work, after the gym, to have a meeting, or catch up on some emails. Our specialty cortado has become a favourite and we also recently launched a new menu with some spring items, including a blue butterfly pea latte. Our menu and space continues to evolve, making it welcoming for all of our guests.

The retail store is for anyone who has a love for design and unique products, or those looking for home décor or rugs for their home. We have a wide selection of items available in a range of prices.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We have our flagship retail store located at 1212 Yonge Street in the Summerhill area. Our website also has a full range of products available for purchase online, including rugs and home décor. The website is www.thirtysixknots.com. We ship both within Canada and internationally.

toronto rug store carpets coffee thirty six knots

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?

What is the difference between a Thirty Six Knots rug versus other brands or retailers?

We believe that educating individuals about the quality, history, creativity and uniqueness of our rugs is a differentiating factor and truly sets us apart from other retailers.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

It is truly exciting to be part of the Toronto design community and to be able to work on projects that will influence and redefine the Canadian landscape.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Making a carpet can’t be that hard!


PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

Mary Be Kitchen – As a family of vegetarians, we have tried almost every option in the city.

Like everyone else, we look for flavours, value and selection. One day during our construction I wandered up to Yonge and St. Clair and discovered Mary Be Kitchen, and found their vegetarian food to be delicious. Image craving Tofu and Broccoli…that is me when I hear the name Mary Be Kitchen.

Through our visits, we got to know the owner Sarah, and find out that she lives in Summerhill. Since then, she has become a loyal and frequent customer of ours.



About Joel Levy 2551 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography