Both the bright lofty space and the artsy, vibrant neighbourhood speak to the passions and personality of Paul Bain. As an entertainment lawyer who provides legal counsel to the creative class, he comes to his stylish architectural aesthetic by way of his passion for art. Bain, who is a director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, chose this gallery-like space as the perfect vessel for displaying his own extensive art collection. “I like the wall space,” Bain explains. “When you have art that is over nine feet tall, a house with wainscoting really won’t work.”
The main floor of the three-level loft, which he shares with art consultant Isa Spalding, is scaled perfectly to Bain’s collection of con-ceptual contemporary art pieces. The 16-foot ceilings of the couple’s home are crisscrossed by open-webbed steel joists supporting a series of stairs and bridges leading to the upper levels.
On the second level, an art series by prominent Vancouver artist Ken Lum entitled There is No Place Like Home decorates the walkway leading to a charming pink bedroom belonging to his 8-year-old daughter Maggie. The third level includes a master suite, study and roof deck.
The more intimate proportions of the study are well suited to Bain’s impressive vintage photography collection (includ-ing a circa 1929 portrait of James Joyce by renowned American photographer Berenice Abbott). The study also includes a painting of jazz musician Chet Baker by leading Canadian artist Tony Scherman and a photo-based piece by Bain’s mother, Freda Guttman, who is an accomplished installation artist and political activist.
Who: Paul E. Bain
Firm: Aylesworth LLP
Area of Practice: Culture and Entertainment Law
Year of call: 1991
Location: Queen West Village
Size: 1,900 square feet
Building profile: Located in one of Toronto’s first loft conversions, the building was originally a button factory. Units range from $600,000 to more than $1,000,000.
Photography by Andrej Kopac