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Where Joseph Bonnici can watch the clouds roll by

Joseph Bonnici says his living room ‘feels like a little bubble.’

As creative director at Bensimon Byrne, one of Canada's largest independent ad agencies, Joseph Bonnici spends much of his day in meetings at his downtown Toronto office. At the end of the day, he heads home to relax in the 12th-floor condo near St. Lawrence Market that he shares with his life partner Bryden McDonald, a fellow adman. The couple have lived in their 2,000-square-foot unit for three years, relishing its floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor terrace. The condo's focal point is the living room, where Bonnici and McDonald can watch the clouds roll by. "This room is our favourite because it feels like a little bubble," Bonnici says. "It is often so silent in here and yet you see the chaos of the city all around you."

The armchairs

"You can just sink into these chairs. They are made of comfy brown leather and are by Milo Baughman, an American designer who understood beautiful design and comfort. They are where we most like to sit."

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The view

"It changes every day, sometimes every hour, and not just because of the ever-growing skyline, but because of the light [changing] from season to season and the storms that roll in during the summer."

The single chair

"This is a Hans Wegner. I have had it almost 15 years. I got it in Vancouver. For me, it is furniture-as-art. From any angle it looks sculptural."

The coffee table

"This is my oldest piece of furniture and it's by Gae Aulenti, a female Italian architect whose work I love. It's industrial in design and the perfect place for coffee-table books and magazines. I have had this table for 17 years."

The books

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"For obvious reasons, Bryden and I are attracted to ad coffee-table books. We now have a pretty good collection. Our business has become so digital, so it is gratifying to hold an actual book in your hands. It's tangible and makes us feel that what we do for a living will have longevity."

The carpet

"I love to sit on the floor, so having a comfy shag rug makes it extra cozy, especially in the winter."

The print

"A very talented illustrator I met sent me this poster out of the blue. It features business cards he designed that were inspired by the characters in the The Great Gatsby."

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More


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