Canadian Design Icon: Montauk Sofa

I can still remember the first time I fell in love with a Montauk Sofa. It was early 2000 and I was in the market for a sofa for my Montreal apartment. I was wandering along the Main and stumbled upon the Montauk Sofa store. As it turns out, this was the first of many Montauk Sofa stores to open. The sofas were sheer perfection but a little outside my younger self’s budget (sure, I was willing to overspend on shoes then but wasn’t ready for the price of a good sofa). Many years later Montauk sofas have popped in and out of my life – mostly when I had space for their giant oversized beauties. And although we have both changed over the years, Montauk has stuck to their roots of making great sofas in Montreal. This is what makes Montauk Sofa a Canadian Design Icon.

It was back in 1995 when Tim Zyto created the first ever Montauk Sofa. Tim had grown up steeped in the old world tradition of sofa making. His father was the owner of Biltmore Chesterfield, a successful, well respected furniture maker known and sold across Canada. Tim learned much from his father; his father’s love for the craft can still be seen in Montauk today.

The original Montauk Sofa store opened in Montreal on St. Laurent Boulevard, an iconic cultural corridor fondly referred to as the Main. Early on Zyto brought in Danny Chartier, as head designer and executive manager. Together they made up the yin and yang of what is today recognized as the Montauk brand. The larger than life minimalist cool space soon became a magnet for the ‘plus ultra’ clientele. Moreover it was a staple  destination for interior designers and decorators across the city. The rest is history. You can now find a Montauk Sofa showroom in the most dynamic cities in North America – Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, New York and Chicago.

My current favourite in their repertoire is the Jane. She is oversized and comfy – she is shabby chic but mostly chic with a great updated 70s vibe. All Montauk Sofa upholstered products are hand made at their Montreal factory in St. Henri. Montauk sofas always start out with a traditional solid wood frame covered with springs which are held in place by eight-strand flax rope (the highest standard in the industry), all covered by memory foam and down filled feather cushions. There is no compromising on quality. “More wood, more metal, more feathers,” Zyto confirms. The depth of the couch is generous, the cushions offer incredible support, allowing you to sit or lounge in absolute comfort.


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Christian has been a cultural and style junkie since the age of 6; while most kids were swiping cookies, he was swiping his grandfathers' Patek Philippe. Raised to appreciate art, fashion,design and  literature (yeah, this one actually reads) by a single mother fondly called Jackie-O. Christian quickly went from childhood cultural capital thief to academia protégé. Referred to as the cat's meow by some, too clever by half by others, Christian eschewed the academic life and ran away to join the circus -the fashion circus. Several well-appointed positions later and a career on the rise would be most people's dream but it was time to say fuck off and start all over again.

This is Christian Dare Unedited.