Malcolm McGrath Cabinets and Fine Carpentry is a general contractor that specializes in custom cabinets and interior millwork in central Toronto. We have a state of the art cabinet shop right in the center of the city. We not only manufacture cabinetry such as kitchens and entertainment wall units, but we can supervise entire renovation projects.


Hands on Approach: Malcolm (Skip) McGrath, the owner of Malcolm McGrath Cabinets and Fine Carpentry, takes on one project at a time and supervises it personally. This way, clients get the best possible service.

Customization: Because we have our own cabinet shop we give you exactly what you want in terms of size, shape, materials, and detailing. We have thousands of possible cabinet door styles, in many different kinds of wood, with thousands of choices in terms of colours and stains. We make the cabinets to whatever size and shape you want. This is particularly important in older houses or condominiums where new millwork needs to match existing conditions and where it is important to make the best of small or awkward spaces. Well designed custom cabinetry can literally make a house or condo seem bigger. Our clients are often amazed by how much cabinet space they end up with after we re-doo their kitchen. One client who was drowning in clutter in their old kitchen, told us that months after we finished they still hadn't found things to put in all the new storage space.
Most general contractors don't do their own cabinetry, and most cabinet companies manufacture cabinets on a cookie cutter, mass production basis. The result is that they can only offer a limited number of choices in terms of finishes and sizes. Awkward spaces often just get covered over, and clients need to make compromises in terms of style and colour. I saw one expensive kitchen ordered from Italy where a corner area measuring 4' x 2' x2' was just covered over with a panel, because they didn't have a cabinet to fit the space.

Quality: We use only top quality materials in everything we produce. Our cabinets have natural maple venire interiors and our drawers are dovetailed solid maple. We use top of the line hardware such as soft close hidden drawer slides. Because of our hands on, one at a time, approach to project management everything is fitted with the greatest of care and attention to detail.

Simplicity: When I was child we used to play a game called broken telephone. A group of children would sit in a circle and one person would whisper a simple phrase to the person on his right. This would continue all the way around the circle, until the last person would say the phrase out loud. It always had nothing to do with the original phrase.
Most construction projects, such as a kitchen renovation, are like this game: the owner tells their ideas to a designer then the designer tells the ideas to a general contractor, who tells the ideas to the designer from a cabinet company. The cabinet company designer sends the design to a factory often as far away as North Carolina or even China. The people in the factory have never met any of these people or seen the space they are manufacturing for. They give the completed cabinets to a shipping company who sends it through several stages back to the job site. The cabinet company then sends an installer, who sees both the job site and the client for the first time. And when the installer is finished, the general contractor has a trim carpenter finish off the details in the room such a baseboards and window trim. There is another complicating factor; in the children's game only a single phrase gets passed around the circle, but in a kitchen renovation there are hundreds of dimensions and design details which must get passed around this circle. If one of them is off by only an inch the entire kitchen might not fit. And if it doesn't fit, and changes and alterations need to be made, the entire process starts all over again.
At Malcolm McGrath Cabinets and Fine Carpentry, Malcolm (Skip) McGrath, works with you on the design, and then personally supervises the construction, the work in the shop, and the installation. We take on one project at a time and do it right the first time, start to finish. We work in a small area in central Toronto so we are never far from the shop.

Flexibility: We offer our clients a level of flexibility in the design and construction process almost unheard of in the industry. In kitchen projects for example we usually wait until the drywall is installed before taking final measurements, this way the client can make structural layout changes at a relatively late stage of the process, and we always get the measurements right. While the drywall is being taped and painted we make the boxes, which only takes about a week. Once the boxes are installed the client can see the layout and approve it. At this stage changes and alterations are not very expensive. When the client is happy with the layout we can start on the doors and drawers. While we are making the doors and drawers, the rest of the project can continue moving along: the counters can be ordered and installed, the tile and plumbing can be installed, the trim and paint can be finished, and appliances can be installed. At the end of the project the doors and drawers can be installed. And, even if a client wants to make changes right at the end of the project, because our shop is close by, these can usually be accommodated relatively quickly.
With contractors who order cabinets from a mass production cabinet company, the client needs to be locked into a final cabinet design several months in advance, often long before the start of the project. Clients are expected make a huge commitment usually based on only a few sketches or a computer graphic. Changes are always expensive, complicated, and time consuming.

Value: Our streamlined approach to project management means we can offer a high end product, and total customization, at price which is lower than you would usually pay for a comparable product.

Peace of Mind: Malcolm McGrath has over 20 years experience in construction and wood working. We carry $ 2 million in liability insurance. All are workers are covered under Workers Compensation. All the mechanical sub trades we use (i.e. plumbers, electricians) are licensed and insured. All work is guaranteed.




Malcolm (Skip) McGrath comes from a long line of builders and craftsmen. Both his great grandparents on his mother's side were artisans. George Packham, a stone mason, came to Toronto in 1906 from England. George Perry, a carpenter, came to Toronto in 1908 from Newfoundland, and taught his son William Perry the trade. William went on to set up a successful carpentry and joinery business in Leaside. His daughter married Malcolm McGrath Senior, a young civil engineer whose father worked in the construction materials business. Malcolm Senior learned the business from his father-in-law and went on to set up a successful construction business in Toronto, specializing in complex commercial fit-out projects.

As a boy Malcolm (Skip) spent many hours helping his grandfather in his shop in Leaside, and as soon as he entered his teens started working on construction sites for his father's business. When his father retired from the industry in the eighties, Malcolm (Skip) went on to work for various construction companies in the Toronto area. Some of them undertook highly specialized renovations, such as CAT scan facilities. Malcolm also began working as a self-employed contractor.

During the early 1990s, with the slowdown in building in Southern Ontario, Malcolm took his trade overseas. He set up shop in Moscow, fitting out office and living spaces for the influx of foreign companies after the fall of Communism. Malcolm's client list included Amoco, Conoco, ING Bank, and Nabisco, to name a few. He also did a stint as a project management consultant for Coca-Cola while they were setting up factories in Samara and Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). During this time Malcolm worked with craftsmen and builders from all over Europe. He also worked on renovation projects in some of Moscow's most famous historic buildings, such as Moscow State University on top of the Lenin hills, or the palatial cottages on the outskirts of Moscow constructed for party elites such as Khrushchev.

In 1998 Malcolm decided to return to Toronto, settle down, and start a family. Since then he has been working as self-employed contractor.

While not swinging a hammer, Malcolm also studied history and economics at the University of Western Ontario, Politics at the London School of Economics, Political Philosophy at Oxford, and Russian Language at Moscow State University. He also wrote a critically acclaimed book, which is a philosophical history of superstition in modern Western civilization. But that is a different story.

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