Resident: Matthew Simpson, 43, Bookkeeper and Clothing Designer
Space: 3-bedroom apartment above storefront
Location: Cabbagetown
Price: $1,600 (utilities included)

Matthew Simpson collects things. Lots of things. But why he’s so drawn to assorted amass, he can only speculate, is a matter of genetics.

“My older brother collects and my younger brother collects,” he said. “My great grandfather was a woodworker and he was a big collector of wood. He would have jars and jars and jars and all kinds of bits of wood all over the house.”

As his grandfather’s collection related to his trade, so to do Simpson’s collections. In the artist’s main hallway, which measures 26 feet in length, hangs an assortment of coloured mat board samples from an art store. Opposite that, Simpson displays a variety of portraits of himself from his past, atop a coat rack.

Entering Simpson’s kitchen, across from a cupboard clad with fruit stickers, an array of plates hangs on the wall. “All of these plates are called Fab Art. It’s made in Barrie, Ont.,” he said. “I like to buy stuff that was made in Canada because there’s a huge loss of production in this country.”

A clock resembling the moon Simpson made in art school was the inspiration behind one wall in his “little library,” which is covered in tens of different shapes and colours of clocks. But with the wall nearly full, he’s has to move on to a new collection on the exposed brick wall perpendicular. “I am just going to have portraits of bearded people … well, mostly men,” he said.

Mostly figurines of the Buzz Lightyear character from the film Toy Story — 84, Simpson estimates — sit atop a clothes rack in Simpson’s studio (but you will find a couple Woody dolls throughout his space). “I really liked all the movies and the Woody doll is really hard to find,” said Simpson, “These ones are easy to find and they’re fun.”

In terms of a cohesive design aesthetic, Simpson said he doesn’t have one. But he thinks the way he furnishes his home relates to a diagnosis for writer’s block he was given during art school. Because he was blanking out, a lecturer told him to forfeit white paper for coloured to foster the flow of words.

“I bought coloured paper and I was writing like a maniac,” he said, “I guess what I don’t like it a plain white surface. I don’t like it on me, and I don’t like it in anything.”

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