Local t-shirt initiative promotes hometown pride with a retail kickoff event last night in the Scadding Court area
Last night, along what used to be a dull strip of Dundas just east of Bathurst, urban music blasted out of a speaker setup as a red carpet, velvet rope and bouncers ushered in the latest pop-up shop on a retail strip that is redefining the multifaceted use of shipping containers. Along with OMG Baked Goodness and Monforte Dairy (their grilled cheese sammys are the bomb), which have all found homes in the steel rectangular trailers, 1 Love T.O. are the newest kids on the block, bringing their community-driven T-shirts to the Scadding Court Community Centre area with their first official store.
The brainchild of lifelong friends Bryan Brock and Rapcity’s Tyron “T-RexXx” Edwards, 1 Love T.O. has been selling sloganed T-shirts since 2007, when the campaign was established during Caribana and promoted by Edwards (and then mayor David Miller) as a way to support Toronto’s community and individualism. “Of course it’s a take off on the I Love New York shirts,” admits 1 Love T.O. event organizer Lo Falcioni, “but the beauty of it is that it’s not an I Love Toronto shirt — it’s about the One Love. It’s a subtle but important difference for us in terms of meaning, because it stems from embracing Toronto, which is a beautiful multicultural place.”
Organized by Ward 20 councillor Adam Vaughan, last night’s event brought out Toronto musicians Shawn Desman (who was helping sell T-shirts), Future The Prince, KO-Nation and P. Reign to help kick off the street party. And although 1 Love T.O.’s popularity has traditionally spread through word of mouth over the last few years, the new shop will provide a permanent space to the ideals that Brock, Edwards and Falcioni have been eager to promote.
1 Love T.O. store is at 707 Dundas St. W. and will be open Fridays from 6-10pm and during the day on Saturday and Sunday.