The Garrison: You Can Now Have a Piece of Toronto’s History in Your Living Room

You can now own an iconic piece of Toronto’s history – and it fits in the tiniest of condos.

And by iconic and historic, I’m referring to Fort York.

As you’ll recall, in 2015, The Garrison Road Bridge at Fort York was demolished as part of the Fort York revitalization project. The bridge had stood at the site for more than 160 years and is a storied part of Toronto’s history.

In a sleek fusion of old with new, two Toronto-based companies have made it possible for you to own a part of the city’s rich history with “The Garrison.” The Garrison is a multi-functional design piece – it can serve as a stool or side table – with a solid backstory.

Toronto design studio Stacklab – which is run by a young, award-winning designer named Jeffrey Forrest – partnered with a company called Rebart to launch The Garrison. Rebart, which is also headed by young Toronto entrepreneur Lisa Grassa, salvages historic landmarks and repurposes them into works of design and art.


Patrick Thompson


Patrick Thompson

Rebart was able to get access to the steel from the bridge, and they partnered with Stacklab to melt down the steel and reimagine it as The Garrison. Leading-edge digital design techniques were used to reinvent the historical material.

“We challenged ourselves as designers to think beyond simple re-use,” said Forrest. “Our goal was to re-imagine and transform the material – taking dirty, heavy, infrastructural re-bar and reconstituting it into a refined, sculptural casting that performs its job really well. The Garrison weighs only 35 pounds and can support more than 800 pounds. We’re proud of that. I truly believe that we’ve done justice to the material.”

The result is a piece of truly contemporary design (and great gift come wedding season) – but one that doesn’t exactly come cheap.

In total, 102 pieces are being produced as part of the limited-edition run. The Garrison is produced in cast iron ($1,950) or in cast iron with bronze ($2,350).

Pricey, maybe. But history always comes at a cost.