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Yoga1

The power of letting go; it’s a beautiful thing.

We had the privilege of taking part in Toronto’s largest outdoor yoga session put on by Canadian active womenswear label, Lolë (low-lay) Yoga, as part of their Lolë White Yoga Tour. Over 2000 people, dressed in all white, gathered at the city’s Fort York National Historic Site, waiting to exhale.

Yoga is an ancient meditative practice which originates from India and has the power to bring physical, mental and emotional peace to those who make it a part of their lifestyle. The session, led by Lolë Ambassador, Grace Dubery, was nothing short of uplifting. Moving in unison with hundreds of strangers, dressed alike, fostering a sense of community, was inspiring to say the least.

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With our world famous skyline against the grey and rain drenching us head to toe, it was purification. Yoga allows you to completely open your mind, your heart and release negativity; letting go of toxic emotions that cripple you day-to-day, keeping in line with Lolë’s philosophy, “Living Out Loud Everyday”. The rhythmic breathing and intimate concentration lifts you out of your shell and into a higher place of understanding and appreciation. “Lolë is part of a fundamental lifestyle movement that is changing the shape of the world around us through a wellness revolution,” says Bernard Mariette, CEO of Coalision (Lolë, Paradox, Orage).

They were also collecting donations on site to support the Harbourfront Community Centre helping them to offer free yoga, zumba and pilates classes. Lolë will be opening their first downtown Toronto store at 88 Yorkville Ave this Fall.

For more info: lolewomen.com

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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For our 2nd year in a row, 1 LOVE T.O. is proud to present a film at the Open Roof Festival on Thursday, August 1st at The Moonview Lot, located at 175 Queens Quay Blvd. E. Join us to watch this year’s film “Bones Brigade”, a documentary on the skate crew that changed skateboarding forever. The film features world-famous Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain and many more who dedicated their lives to skateboarding.

Tickets are only $15, and are available at the door or online.

Open Roof Festival runs every Thursday night from June 20th to August 22nd. For more info: openrooffestival.com

Previously: Open Roof Festival 2012

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Vivacity is a free, 2-day arts showcase happening July 6-7th, presented by UforChange, an arts-based education program for youth living in Regent Park, St. James Town, and the GTA. The weekend serves as an outlet for youth who’ve attended the program to showcase their skill development to the community. Activities include: short film screenings, fashion shows, theatre production, photo galleries, live music and more.

*This is a Pay-What-You-Can event to help raise funds for Fall programming.

For a full schedule of events visit: uforchange.org

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JaneFinch

This Saturday, June 29th we’ll be participating in the first annual Jane & Finch “Unplugged” Community Festival celebrating Life, Arts and Culture. The festival aims to create a safe space that encourages community cohesion amongst a diverse population of cultures, ages & gender. The event takes place at Yorkgate Mall (1 Yorkgate Blvd.) from 12-6pm with various artist performances, pavilions and vendors from the local community and across Toronto.

We’ll see you there!

For more info: unpluggedfest.com

Photo by Ratnak

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Last year we released our first ever collaboration with Roots Canada as part of our “Show Your Roots” campaign. The limited edition Roots x 1 LOVE T.O. Canadian Flag Vintage Heather Grey T-shirt sold-out within a few hours.

We’re extremely excited to announce that we’ll be releasing a brand new version of our Canadian Flag t-shirt on Saturday, June 29th (just in time for Canada Day). You’re invited to join us for a 1-day-only pop up shop at the Roots store located in Yorkville – 100 Bloor St & Bellair, from 12-6pm (get there early).

Roots is also offering an additional 25% off any regular priced Roots items for that day with the purchase of our shirt.

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

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Introducing Marcus Kan

Marcus

Any person you meet who’s “made it” says the same thing about the key to living out your dream, ‘hard work and dedication.’ It is the only legitimate way to get what you want according to Torontonian Marcus Kan who has successful built an impressive reputation for himself in the fashion industry.

Today, Marcus is the events coordinator for FAJO Magazine, contributor for SWIDE by Dolce & Gabbana, and the creator of two sites called “A la Mode: Fusion of Effects and Draw a Dot, where he covers fashion and illustration. It is his creative flare and unique eye which makes him stand out among many wanting to walk in his shoes. He says, “It was not an easy path to pursue my career. When I first started out, people around me were not very supportive and it was also very hard when you had no connection in this industry.” Networking is key to getting anywhere these days and that is exactly what led Marcus to SWIDE, “I have a friend who worked at Dolce & Gabbana at that time and while we were talking online, he asked me if I would want to write for SWIDE…without thinking twice, I gave him YES as the answer!”

Since then he has been able to curate illustration projects for the magazine which has opened him up to the international platform. He channels his creativity through his inspiration of pop culture which also helps him stay relevant in a constantly changing business. He counts his favourite Canadian designers as, “Caitlin Power, Sunny Fong from VAWK and Golnaz Ashtiani…I can see each of them will have an international market very soon.” As for international designers, Christopher Bailey from Burberry, Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana are always in his top five personal favourites. He’s even caught the attention of a very prestigious name is fashion:

“My proudest moment was probably the time when the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) recognized my Draw A Dot. website this year. I still remember the day when I saw the organization mentioned my site on its Facebook page, I felt surreal and excited. It’s hard to have a site be recognized by an international organization like this and I can proudly say, ‘I made it!’”

It’s all about who you know, and today, those words could not be truer. Master the art of networking. It’s not about throwing your business card around; it’s about making genuine professional bonds with like-minded people. He says it couldn’t have been possible without the people of Toronto, “I think the best part of working in Toronto is the friends I make in this industry. I am lucky to be able to meet some very nice people here and without their help, I might not be able to achieve many goals in the past few years.”

What’s Marcus’ advice to young adults looking to break out? “You need to focus on your long term goal and don’t let irrelevant people affect your mind. If whatever you are doing right now is your dream, keep doing it.”

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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Kensington_Market

As a lot of you may already know, major commercial developer Riocan wants to build a 3-story shopping mall including a 2-story suburban-size Walmart and parking lot at Bathurst/College right between Kensington Market and Little Italy. The City’s official plan doesn’t permit malls like this to be built close to residential neighbourhoods, which is why the Ontario Municipal Board has already once rejected the mall. But Riocan is applying to have the area re-zoned to let them build the mall.

As a response to impending threats from developers, a group of local artists in Kensington Market have come together to raise awareness and money for the protection of Kensington’s unique culture. The campaign will kick off June 27th, with the “Save Me” group art exhibition. The exhibition will showcase a collection of original artwork and live performances by artists living in or inspired by the neighbourhood, with proceeds going towards establishing a trust for the creation of fixed-rent, live-work and retail spaces for artists in Kensington Market.

Date: Thursday, June 27th
Time: 7-11 PM
Location: 185 Augusta Ave, Kensington Market
Cost: FREE

In addition to the exhibition, local residents through Change.org have launched a petition to enable city planner Liora Freedman to put a stop to the development proposal.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

For more info visit: 185augusta.com

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SickKids_Scrubs_2

In a city that is constantly go go go, it was heart-warming to see some of Toronto’s most influential take a moment to support SickKids Hospital at this year’s 12th annual Scrubs in the City: BLOCK PARTY.

This year’s festivities took place in support of the new, 21-storey, 750,000 square ft., state-of-the-art facility called, The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, set to open in September 2013 downtown. It will bring along with it, over 2000 scientists, trainees and child health research staff from SickKids to join forces in hopes of making new discoveries and develop new ideas in regards to children’s health.

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Over 800 people gathered at the beautiful Evergreen Brick Works, including our contest winner Nazneen Qureshi, and raised a record-breaking $400,000. “We were thrilled with the turn out of this year’s Scrubs in the City event, and we want to thank all of our guests and sponsors who made the evening truly memorable,” said Amy Milne, Director of Events at SickKids Foundation. “All of the funds raised make an important difference for the thousands of families whose lives are deeply impacted by the research and discoveries that happen at SickKids.”

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Our personal highlights of the night were performances by two SickKids patients who totally rocked the block! Jake Zeldin AKA Lil JaXe is a 14-year old rapper who has a severe stutter but it miraculously goes away anytime he starts to rap. Amanda Raya who is a visually impaired 14-year old singer/songwriter, also took to the stage, tickled the keyboard and sang, bringing the audience to a wild applause.

The next Scrubs in the City event is set for June 12th 2014, don’t miss out!

For more info check out: facebook.com/sickkidsfoundation

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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Introducing Sandra Sorial

Salt_1

How many times have we heaved a heavy sigh saying, ‘Man, if I ruled the world…”? We dream about peace on earth, eradication of poverty and for the Tupac hologram to go on tour, right? But there’s always this little voice that chimes in telling you that “you can’t”. We want you to meet Sandra Sorial of SALT, who is showing Toronto and the world what happens when you tell that little voice to shut up and just go with your gut.

“SALT is a social enterprise that supports local artisans in impoverished communities around the world by telling their stories and marketing their products around the globe” explains Sandra, who founded SALT in the summer of 2011 along with her partner, Rafik Riad. It’s a simple idea that is creating a huge effect. For example, when a woman living in the slums of Cairo is able to sell a handmade silk tablet cover or change purse using traditional, hand-woven techniques through SALT’s efforts, it can provide her with an income, a chance to seek out education, health care and not to mention, recover her dignity and self-worth. Sandra recalls, “One artisan I remember, when asked why she does what she does, said: ‘this work to me, is freedom’.”

So where did her yearning to extend a helping hand beyond borders come from? She talked about a special day at school for kids in her motherland, Egypt, called, “Visite Sociale”, which is essentially a day where children are volunteering in the community, exposing them to all the daily difficulties of some less fortunate. She says, “It made us realize from our early childhood that there are a lot of inequalities and there is a lot of room for us to do something about it. It was also the time we realized that doing something good is not out of privilege, it is a responsibility.”

Witnessing inequalities first hand was a harsh reality that propelled her to dedicate her work to help serving those in need. After years of hard work, gaining experience globally about what works and what doesn’t, Sandra and Rafik combined minds to create SALT.

“We started with one partnership and now have grown our enterprise to over 10 organizations serving thousands of artisans especially women and individuals with special needs. Our first event was an open day that sold out! Before our website launched, our line was carried at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton and now our online store is up and we are always onto greater heights.”

Every single day we make decisions on who pockets our money, at the hair salon, restaurant, the mall, etc. If you take few moments to educate yourself on who you are supporting, you can change your habits in a way that helps someone out there struggling and praying for better days. “We are so lucky to be living in a diverse city like Toronto and privileged with access to information. Ask questions, get informed, shop ethically! It’s fun!”

To shop or learn more visit: saltmatters.com

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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Toronto LGBT Film Festival

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It’s kind of like TIFF, but with a twist. Yesterday marked the official kick off of the 23rd annual Toronto LGBT Film Festival put on by Inside Out. Inside Out is a non-profit registered charity which makes its mission to educate and unite people of all sexual orientations, race, ages and abilities through the art of film.

In 1998, Inside Out initiated the Queer Video Mentorship Program where youth under the age of 25, who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual, are mentored as they create their first film expressing ideas and feelings about the LGBT community. What’s really awesome is that these films not only get screened at the Toronto festival but also around the world and are distributed to schools and communities free of charge.

What started out as just a small group of people watching films by and for the LGBT community, is now the largest festival of its kind in Canada and draws over 35,000 people including the some of the biggest movers-and-shakers in the industry. It lasts 11 days and in addition to screenings, it will feature panel discussions, artist talks and of course, lot of parties! Their sincere effort to bridge gaps and offer guidance, education and acceptance among the youth is undoubtedly challenging attitudes and changing lives.

To get tickets or learn how to get involved: insideout.ca

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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Doors Open Toronto

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The 14th annual Doors Open Toronto is back this weekend, May 25-26, with more than 150 buildings of architectural, social, historical and cultural significance. This year’s theme is “Creators, Makers and Innovators” and features many older buildings that have been redesigned, re-invented and re-purposed into modern 21st – century spaces.

Here are just a few featured buildings on our list to see. For a complete list CLICK HERE.

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Native Family and Child Services

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Riverdale Hub

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

For more info: toronto.ca/doorsopen/2013

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Wendel Clark x Dixon Hall

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The kids of Dixon Hall hit the Ryerson rink at Maple Leaf Gardens with a special guest around for the ride, Toronto Maple Leafs alum, Wendel Clark.

Dixon Hall is an organization dedicated to serving “those with the greatest need, to give hope, dreams and possibilities to those who would otherwise have none.” Since 1929, they’ve continually grown and expanded their breadth of services to promote a better quality of life for Toronto’s ‘at-risk’ youth and homeless people. They also have senior services as well as providing connections and links to jobs and job training to those falling on hard times.

Grandparents, parents and children, came out to meet the hockey star, chat and snack on pop chips. Clark, happily signed autographs and talked to us about why coming out and supporting Dixon Hall was important to him saying, “Well, I think it’s great when the kids are active. Activity is the best thing for all our youth and the more active they are the better and what better way than with Canadian sports?” We can tell he’s still a supporter of getting goals accomplished on and off the ice!

For more info: dixonhall.org

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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