Tanya Grossi

Toronto’s darling shows off her sensational new digs

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

Tanya Grossi - Get Leashed Magazine

If you live in Toronto and fancy yourself a part of the scene, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Tanya Grossi. Salvador Darling, her vintage boutique turned café turned bar has been a staple on Queen West for years. Lately, Tanya’s turned her focus to a new home. In true Tanya Grossi fashion, it’s the coolest, weirdest, artistically extravagant house you could imagine stepping into. Every corner is full of inspiration, wonder, or something to gawk at. If you’ve ever wished you could spend an evening among masters of surrealism in an environment that may just represent their heyday, do your best to get invited to Tanya’s home for a drink.

Enzo, Tanya’s wonderful dog, has every characteristic you’d want in a pooch. He’s totally docile with the perfect slice of “don’t mess with me,” which is to say, he’s cool with you if you’re cool. Though we’ll never know if he’s aware that he lives in an artist’s dream mansion or finds anything funny about it, we know that he seems perfectly at home, even adding to the atmosphere as only a dog of his stature can.

We’ll leave it to Tanya to fill you in on her life, her home, and her dog.

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Please tell us about yourself:

I’m happy I’ve been able to do so many different things in my lifetime: vintage boutique owner, café owner, bar owner, wardrobe stylist, DJ…These days you can find me at 224 Dovercourt Rd, which I playfully call “The Darling Mansion.” It’s my home  and hopefully a place that emphasizes the importance of imagination, free expression and inspiration for my colleagues and friends in the creative community. It is my showroom of sorts as a Curator of Cool/Art Director. My daily routine is pretty simple: wake up, kick ass, be kind, repeat.

A bit about your pet:

My dog’s name is Enzo: he is a Pitbull, Lab, Fila mix. I got him off a street kid who’s dog I loved and saw almost everyday. I had just lost two of my previous dogs when his became pregnant, so I just knew I had to have one from the litter. Dogs have been in my life since I was a child. He is completely my personality: a fireball of energy, strong, but also with a submissive, soft side.

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What does your ideal weekend look like?

I like long walks to the LCBO with my dog, jumping rope and shadowboxing to loud Hip Hop, great f***ing sex and a good laugh with my partner in crime. And eating Bacon.

How would you describe your personal style?

There’s no road map to style. It’s about self-expression and above all, ATTITUDE. I got plenty of both without effort. The minute it takes work, it’s not really who you are. If you don’t know yourself, you’ll never really have great style. Im also a hopeless Romantic. I buy things because I fall in love with them, not because they are “IN” or “Valuable.”

What inspires you?

I don’t expect to find inspiration, it just sort of comes. Travelling is definitely great for planting the seeds.  And surrounding myself with cool people doing cool shit; the Daydreamers, the Risk-takers, the Hustlers, Weirdos and Wild ones. If I’m having a creative block and need inspiration I refer to my pack of “Oblique Strategies” cards.

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How would you describe the look and feel of your home?

My home is bursting at the seams with as much character and panache as me. It’s as if you are entering a parallel universe; Alice caught in a dreamlike state. Magical, inspiring, twisted and unique. Authentic energy runs through these walls. Every room lends so well to an amazing photo shoot. Coolest place in Toronto!

A story about Enzo:

I was at work and he escaped out the backyard. He used to do that to go to my neighbors’ to play with their dog, so it wasn’t really an issue. They weren’t home and he ended up wandering the streets of Parkdale. Someone picked him up and he ended up at the pound. After calling around I found out where he was. They weren’t going to give him back or I guess were hassling me ‘cause they said he was a pit and pure pits were no longer legal. Let’s just say I took matters into my “own hands.” I got him back and told them to call his f***ing vet to verify his mixed breed. I don’t agree with the ban on pitbulls — and certainly not with  telling someone who’s had a pet already for 3 years they can’t have him back because of it.