URBAN FACE-LIFT: CAPLAN'S APPLIANCES

COMPLETED: 2011



Herb Caplan, the founder and namesake of Caplan’s, began his family’s legacy by selling radios in Toronto in the 1930’s. In 1953, the family business expanded to 1107 Weston Road selling TVs, appliances, and furniture.

Caplan’s flourished thanks to its appeal to the surrounding working class neighbourhood who appreciated good quality items at an affordable price. Caplan's expanded due to increasing demand for home furnishings and electronics, until 1969, a competitor “No Frills” opened a warehouse-style store next door.

To compete for new customers, Caplan’s covered their windows in signage using similar colours and called themselves “Free Frills”. The strategy worked. When “No Frills” shut their doors in 1979, Caplan’s obtained the space, maintaining the strong exterior presence that is still evident today.

As Caplan's continues to grow, the store becomes a destination store: the façade becomes a landmark. This urban face-lift of the Caplan’s store is a modern update on their billboard facade. The renovated storefront respects the scale and materials of the neighbourhood; the new dark brick veneer mimics the surrounding two-storey brick elevations of Old Toronto. It refers to the existing height and rhythm of the street by the subtle divisions made by the vertical steel I-beams. A new glass screen provides luminous effect onto the street while the zinc canopy addresses the pedestrian level.


Construction: Hady Construction