Like everything else, sleeping surfaces are subject to fashion’s shuffling trends. East West Futons owner and founder Laurie Adrian can attest to this: he launched his career in the waterbed business in the 1980s, just in time for the mushy mattresses’ decline in popularity. It was around this time that futons were beginning to take off as an affordable alternative to the sofa bed.
“I took a look at that, and in 1989 I started manufacturing them,” Laurie recalls. Two years later, he opened up East West Futons in its current Bloor Street location.
At first, the store just sold futons. The mattresses back then were heavy and floppy, and the frames were simple wooden structures with slats. Today, in addition to different kinds of futon mattresses—with varying levels of firmness, some equipped with springs—and sleeker-looking frames, the store also sells coffee tables, ottomans and a small selection of rugs. But one thing hasn't changed: all of the mattresses and mattress covers the store sells remain Canadian-made.
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