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To some hot dog’s are just hot dog’s, whereas to others hot dogs are a blank canvas, a delicatessen to be moulded, crafted and cooked with infinite possibilities. The “others” I am referring to in the last sentence are Christa, Julie and Simon. You’ve probably seen their wiener logo around. “Let’s Be Frank” humbly began a couple of years ago as a food truck, making its rounds within the city. In today’s highly saturated food truck marketplace their dogs eclipsed the competition pretty much everywhere they set up shop. Their mobile hot dog hut was a hit and the decision was made this year to setup a more permanent location at 460 Spadina. We were fortunate enough to get an invite to celebrate their opening this past Friday.

First things first, we were very well take care of. Having a light snack before we went was completely unnecessary. The variety and creativity in the array of concoctions we taste tested was ridiculously wide ranging. The Katsu dog was a banger, the Ketchup on the corn dog was spectacular and the dogfather was covered is Christa’s Nonna’s pasta sauce. If you love hot dogs you’ll love this place and if you’re on the fence about hot dogs Let’s be Frank will help give you a boost over the fence to the hot dog loving side.



Beyond the food, the culture championed by “Let’s Be Frank” is one that you will easily find yourself embracing. The three owners are awesome, that’s a given, but it’s the people they have surrounded themselves with, their employees are great ambassadors to the overall positive environment they’ve created. A couple of things, there is only 1 method utilized to play music @ “Let’s Be Frank.” You guessed it, vinyl. You can bring and play your own records on Tuesday’s (although I bet they would let you play mix master any day of the week), whether you’re an S Club 7, Megadeath or Buju Banton fan.

They also serve beer and assorted spirits. It seems pretty outlandish to be chowing down on a sausage sans adult refreshment so “Let’s Be Frank” ensured this travesty would not occur.


Finally, we got a chance to meet up with Dre, one of 1LOVETO’s original photographers, who now runs the kitchen operation. “Let’s be Frank”, If Dre’s on the payroll, these guys get our unapologetic co-sign. To learn more about “Let’s Be Frank”, visit them online at lets-be-frank.ca

Posted by Jesse Ingalls

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The Dirty Bird offers Southern Grub, the Northern Way!

TORONTO — New to Toronto’s eclectic Kensington Market area is yet another snack-dive grub spot. Don’t fret, it’s not another taco joint, it’s one your mother, your mother’s mother, your mother’s mother’s mother (you get the point) have been longing for. Welcome “The Dirty Bird,” home to Northern Fried Chicken and Waffles! Why the “Northern Fried Chicken” you ask? Well, chefs Adrian Forte and Brian Butler use their secret “Maple Dust” seasoning and other Canadian maple syrup derivatives to their chicken and waffle blends.

Rustic yet welcoming, “The Dirty Bird” gives you a raw wood and steal vibe, preparing you for serious business when getting down and dirty.

Far from playing dirty, “The Dirty Bird” team believes in inclusiveness and community as all their produce are locally sourced from St. Andrew Poultry in Kensington, and provide gluten-free options for all to enjoy.

“We believe in supporting other markets and keeping a community alive so it means a lot to us to keep our produce local and close to home,” said Flo King, media and marketing manager. Besides, it’s safe to say that the “Northern Chicken” wouldn’t be entirely Northern without the support of the Northern community.

On Monday evening, The Dirty Bird hosted an exclusive media night where those in attendance were treated to their entire Signatures and Desserts menu. Feasting like a true soul food Sunday dinner at grandma’s, the media gathered intimately around the rustic centre table where they shared: The ODB, The Clucker, The Up North Trip, The Dirty Bird’ger, and The Dirty Club.


‘The ODB’ offers a Boneless Thigh and Leg, accompanied by a Waffle, Buttered Maple, Dirty Sauce and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $15. ‘The Clucker’ includes Wings (Buffalo, Honey Garlic or Dry & Dirty) with a Waffle, Buttered Maple, and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $12. ‘The Up North Trip’ is definitely a trip with its 3PC Bone-in combo with a Waffle, Buttered Maple, and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $13. ‘The Dirty Club’ is made with a Brioche Bun, Boneless Thigh, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, Red Onion, Dirty Sauce, and Maple Aioli for $7. Last but not least, ‘The Dirty Club’ is a triple stacked club with a combination of Waffles, Boneless Thigh & Leg, Beef Bacon, Tomato, Lettuce, and Maple Aioli for $14. Another staple fact about The Dirty Bird is that all their produce are pork-free and their creamy ‘Tato Salad is special to chef Brian Butler as he uses his grandmother’s recipe. “My grandmother would never give her recipe to anyone but I begged her for it and I’m the only one who got it,” he said.

When it comes to the desserts, The Dirty Bird doesn’t play with their sweet and savoury selections for just $6 each. Their ice cream also comes locally sourced from Ed’s Real Scoop. ‘The PB&G’ offers a nostalgic taste with their miniature Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, combined with Sweet Cream ice cream, Grape Jelly, and Peanut Butter. ‘The Swalty’ was made for the sweet and salty tooth which includes their signature mini Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich with Salted Caramel ice cream, Beef Bacon, and Rock Salt. Lastly, their ‘Sweet Nuttin’s’ dessert is exclusive to The Dirty Bird as their signature Sweet Potato ice cream with Candied Pecans was made especially for them, courtesy of Ed’s Real Sccop. As an added bonus, it tastes like a Thanksgiving party in your mouth!


An authentic Chicken + Waffles joint is long overdue in the Toronto scene and alas, it is here. Congratulations to chef Adrian Forte, chef Brian Butler, and the entire team! The grand opening for The Dirty Bird is on Wednesday, March 4th from 11 am- 8pm. Enjoy and bring an appetite!

For further Northern support, chef Adrian Forte will be on Chopped Canada on March 28 at 9 p.m. (EST). Tune in on the Food Network!

Posted by Christina Cheng

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In celebration of Black History Month, @1LOVETO, had the honour of attending the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) new Kitchen Conversations series courtesy of Palattes of Africa with New York based chef, Pierre Thiam. Now in its fourth installation, Palattes of Africa is a unique culinary event spearheaded by fashion designer/curator, Chinedu Ukabam in collaboration with a rotating cast of burgeoning and established chefs and occasionally artists. Equal parts history and culinary art, Palattes aims to delight the senses while engaging the intellect. In addition, this installation is a joint collaboration with the ROM’s new C5 Restaurant & Lounge space.


This month’s Kitchen Conversations series is neatly dovetailing in celebration of Carnival season, where Palattes of Africa will explore West African roots and interpretations of traditional South America and the Caribbean cuisines. Chef Pierre Thiam created a menu that connects the culinary dots between various food traditions from both sides of the Atlantic and in between. For instance, the menu consists of traditional dishes, flavours and spices such as: Jerk Chicken, Black Eye Peas steamed in Banana Leaves with Jamaican Slaw (Moin Moin), Brazilian Coconut and Fish Stew, and Haitian inspired Coconut Rice Pudding and Roasted Mango.


The Palattes of Africa experience excites our taste buds by drawing cultural inspirations from Jamaica to Nigeria and from Senegal to Trinidad, Brazil and Haiti. This Urban Contemporary African Diasporic Cuisine experience ties well with North America’s ever-growing diverse demographic.
New York based, Pierre Thiam, is a Senegalese born chef and cookbook author who has been one of the main proponents of African cuisine in the world for the past 20 years through his two Brooklyn-based restaurants and catering company.


After a successful six-course meal and a few glasses of wine, the celebrations continued with the ROM’s Friday Night Live (FNL) carnival themed event where guests jumped up, waved their flags and wined their waists to the mixes of Dr. Jay de Soca Prince DJ. Rocking your masquerade costumes was also optional.
For more information on the ROM’s Kitchen Conversations series in collaboration with Palattes of Africa, check out their Activities and Programs here, and for a full list of FNL carnival-inspired events for the remainder of Black History Month, click on their Events Calendar here.

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Greatness isn’t measured by how much you have, rather it’s gaged by how much you give.

Dear friends of @1LOVETO, Chef @AdrianForte (Food Network) has decided that for his 3rd annual community holiday dinner he wanted to team up with 1LOVETO to reach even more people in need. On Saturday December 27th, when everyone is out shopping for Boxing Day sales we will co-curate a dinner for members of our community who need it most. No matter the details of the story, if you or someone you know could benefit from this dinner, all are welcome.

We are excited to open the doors to our home Revival Bar (783 College St.), from 3-6pm on Saturday Dec 27th, with already confirmed attendance c/o Street Voices and Breakfast Club of Canada, this will reach people in need from every part of the city.

So now to you! We are inviting our readers to donate non-perishable food items at our Holiday Shuffle Party at Revival this Friday night Dec. 26th! A portion of the donated food will be used by Chef Adrian Forte for our 1LOVETO dinner and the rest will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank.


What: Holiday Shuffle Party

When: Friday, Dec 26th, 2014

Time: 10pm – 2am

Where: Revival Bar – 783 College St. West

For more info visit: facebook.com/shuffleparty or email: shuffleparty@gmail.com

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Haute Pan Toronto Serves It Up


Let’s face it, who has the time and energy nowadays to prep and cook a meal once coming home from a long day? Many of us don’t. Opting for take-out or attending late business dinners have sadly become the norm. With that being said, there is a solution and culinary expert, chef Adrian Forte and holistic nutritionist, Jennifer Lau of Fit Squad are willing to show us the way. For instance, last month, a group of ladies (who, much like myself) were invited to an intimate three-course cooking class and meal-tasting event entitled, Haute Pan, which caters towards ladies who are influencers; movers and shakers in the city. The Fit Squad duo demonstrated how to prepare quick, healthy and delicious meals from appetizers, entrees and desserts, while gaining valuable nutritional advice.


Upon attendance, the ladies were treated to specialty cocktails, a goodie table with various gourmet popcorn flavours, a makeup bar courtesy of Da Lish Cosmetics, a tarot card reading session, Fit Squad gift bags filled with health and wellness goodies, and a customized pen and notepad for jotting cooking tips while chef Adrian Forte kindly prepared (step-by-step) the dishes in front of us so we could learn how to easily replicate the dishes from the comfort of our homes.
On the Designer Dish Demo Menu, the ladies were introduced to the Tiger Shrimp ceviche with red beet hummus for the appetizer, Jerk marinated chicken cutlet on rice noodles and eatable flowers for the entrée, and organic Chocolate & Chickpea Brownies for dessert. These three simple and healthy meal options make for an ideal holiday party.


Yield: 6
· 1 cup Tiger shrimp (raw, peeled, deveined)
· 2 fresh lemons (Juiced)
· 3 fish limes (Juiced)
· 1 bunch cilantro (Chopped)
· 1 Medium red onion (diced)
· 2 teaspoon kosher salt

· Remove the shells of the shrimp, and rinse
· With a meat cleaver or chef’s knife, chop each shrimp into quarter of and inch pieces
· In a large A nonreactive bowl or pan—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass
· Add diced onions, chopped shrimp and chopped cilantro
· Add ½ cup of citrus (juiced lime & lemons)
· Add 2 teaspoon kosher salt
· Mix well, refrigerate and marinate for no longer than 60 minutes


Yield: 1 liter
· 5 medium sized red beets (sliced)
· 3 tsp. salt
· 1 tsp. cracked pepper
· 1 tbsp. brown sugar
· 2.5 cups chickpeas
· ¼ cup coconut oil,
· 3 cloves garlic

· In the blender, 2.5 cups chickpeas, 5 medium red beets, 3 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cracked pepper, 3 cloves garlic
· Add all the ingredients in vitamix or blender and pulse while pouring in ¼ coconut oil, add 1 tablespoon brown sugar
· Mixture is finished once it is lump free and smooth

Once complete, spread the hummus mixture on your choice of corn or rice based chip, or tostadas. Spread the hummus mixture on your preference of chip, add a spoonful of ceviche and top with micro greens to garnish and serve.


Yield: 30
· 1 ½ cup Almond flour
· ½ cup brown sugar
· 2 large eggs
· 5 cup Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas)
· 1/2 cup coconut oil
· 1 cup unsweetened melted chocolate
· 1 cup shredded almonds

· In a large bowl add 1 1 ½ cup almond flour, ½ cup brown sugar and whisk together
· In blender or vitamix blend 5 cups of garbanzo bean, ¼ of coconut oil and puree until smooth
· Add pureed garbanzo beans to flour and sugar blend, then add 2 large eggs and whisk aggressively mix
· Add 1 cup of melted (raw) unsweetened melted chocolate and mix aggressively until smooth and lump free
· In a parchment lined baking pan pour brownie batter in and bake for 15 minutes at 350Fo
· Remove brownies from the oven and drizzle ½ cup of melted unsweetened chocolate
· Add 180g of shredded almonds
· Cool before serving

For more information on Fit Squad’s personal training services, nutritional consultation; meal plans, food delivery, healthy catering and future Haute Pan events, please visit FitSquad.ca.

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Midnight Snack Co. Launches In Toronto


Last Wednesday at the Midnight Snack Co. launch, @1LOVETO was in for a serious sweet tooth treat. Hosted by the young Toronto creative chef, Mary Margaret Wood, whose impressive experience includes working at the infamous Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, brought her sweet taste buds to life at her first ever independent launch — and it was an honour to be in attendance. Despite the city’s first heavy snow fall, the cozy underground Junction City Music Hall was filled with positive energy. The crowd mixed, mingled, and two-stepped to the jams and snacked on bite-sized sweet and savoury guilty pleasure goodies under disco balls and balloons. Mary’s business slogan is, “Night food for night people,” and she definitely delivered that vibe to a T!

This young chef has something unique up her sleeve, as the Midnight Snack Co. concept is creative and unique on its own. According to Mary, The Midnight Snack Co. is a small snack and catering company that focuses primarily on small batch productions “that are playful, and nostalgic, reminding us that some things just shouldn’t be taken too seriously.” Her theme paired perfectly with the Junction City Music Hall as the space instantly gives you a nostalgic feel with retro pinball machines and vintage games such as, “COMET”.


Mary’s Midnight Snack Co. menu included an assortment of homemade cookies including the infamous oreo cookie, and French-inspired macaron. Accompanying the sweet table was a three-tiered multi-coloured sprinkled cake, and sprinkled mini donuts to match. In addition, various ice cream flavours completed the table to fancy your acquired taste. Moving onto the more savoury side, Mary had prepped a delicious assortment of organic pickled veggies including: Spicy Pickled Green Beans, Pickled Orange Cauliflower, and Pickled Ontario Radish. Despite the many goodies scattered throughout the venue, everyone’s favourite item was definitely the homemade Korean BBQ Chips and dill dip to match. It was basically a match made in heaven. So much yum.







For those who missed out, the Midnight Snack Co. will be hosting more events in the near future. Keep on the lookout by following up with Mary on her website: themidnightsnack.co
Snack with you guys soon!

Photos courtesy of Becca Lemire (She Does the City)

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Fresh Off The Boat Opens In Toronto


Fresh Off The Boat is a newly open ‘seafood joint’ in the city’s vibrant and cultured Queen West area (404 Queen St W), which holds a heavy, yet clever tongue-in-cheek Asian reference and flair. Nonetheless, owner, Quinten Tran (who was also one of the founders of “Buster’s Sea Cove” food truck) found its derogatory term to fit appropriately by embracing its cheeky double entendre suitable for a seafood-centric spot.


Although the space serves as a mini dine-in and dive, it mainly focuses on takeaway, but offers minimal and intimate sized eating accommodations with a couple of tables pushed back against an aqua blue (mimicking the sea) leather banquette, and a bar-style option on the opposite side.

The space has all the characters of a trendy and modern sea shanty—fish printed wallpaper, ropes, lanterns, a wall of uniquely framed pictures, and other nautical trinkets—plus a few Asian elements, like a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit filled with Sriracha bottles.


The chalkboard menu (divided into picture frames) lists about a dozen seafood options and sides, with an influence on Asian-Canadian flair. For instance, their signature sandwich is the FOB ($11.95) which is also known as their version of an Asian poboy banh mi: battered catfish, Kim chi and burned aioli, served with broccoli house slaw and fresh cut fries with a bit of heat.


You can also go for the deep-fried battered Soft Shell Crab sandwich ($14.95) with remoulade, lettuce, tomato, fresh cut fries and house broccoli slaw. The featured specimen was intimidating at first as its legs and claws dangle over the edges of the sweet, dense brioche bun.

Catering to pescetarians and seafood lovers, this new joint has its advantage, as it’s exactly what the Queen West strip is lacking. Although they are squeezed between Kinton Ramen and Rose City Kitchen, and on the same block as Banh Mi Boys and Burger’s Priest, they stand as their own competition. It’s safe to say that Fresh Off The Boat adds a fresh new take to what has quickly become a densely delicious corner of Queen West.




Next time you have that seafood craving, check out FOB and tell ‘em that we sent ya!

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Last week we attended the official launch of “The Creator Class”, a channel dedicated for those who share their passions for a living. It’s a new breed of creatives in Music, Style, Adventure, Arts and Culture that have become the voices of our generation.

The night was produced by FREE – a next generation content studio built for Creators, by Creators – in partnership with Canon. They featured the art of Camille Jodoin-Eng, the music of Dead Horse Beats, and the food of FeasTO. Everyone who attended also got the chance to get their hands on the brand new Canon 7D Mark II.

Some of the notable attendees included: Visionelie, Sean Brown, Jayscale, Jackie Beale, and many more.

With so much talent in the city, and around the world, a project like this only makes sense!





For more info, visit thecreatorclass.com

Congrats Chris & the entire team!

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As Amex Ambassadors and Platinum Cardmembers, we decided to take full advantage of the benefits of the card, which includes the exclusive American Express ‘Taste from Platinum’ Program.

We didn’t know what to expect, so we called the Platinum Concierge at 1-866-323-6979 to learn more about the participating restaurants in the Platinum Dining Program. The Concierge informed us that Amex holds a reservation at hundreds of the most acclaimed restaurants here in Canada, US and abroad. After letting the Concierge know that we wanted a reservation in Toronto, they named off some participating spots including; Weslodge, North 44, The Chase, Colette and Splendido. As soon as we heard ‘Splendido’, we asked for help securing a last minute table reservation with all the special ‘Platinum’ perks. The Concierge is also on hand to review menus and wine lists, and offer advice on house specialties; provide travel directions to your restaurant of choice; and make special arrangements such as accommodating a group or making sure flowers are waiting at your table.

We’ve driven by Splendido countless time’s, always making a mental note as a place we’d like to try. After tasting their incredible oysters at this year’s first annual Taste of Toronto Festival, we knew we’d enjoy this restaurant. What we didn’t know was that we were in for a unique dining experience full of fancy perks. The Concierge made sure we got the best seat in the house, complimentary champagne, one of a kind appetizers and even a small take home desert item.


Our night started off with a warm welcome and a chilled glass of complimentary champagne at the bar, accompanied by a delicious appetizer. We felt like VIPs right from the start!


We finished our drink and appetizer and made our way to the dining room, with the help of our server Aldy. (Side Note: Aldy is hands down the best server… ever!) After reviewing the menu options customized by the chef, we decided to go with Splendido’s 5-course meal, including: Caviar and ice-cream, lobster, oysters, sashimi, house-made bread and butter, carrots, steak, salad and more.




Everything Splendido offered as part of the Amex ‘Taste from Platinum’ Program surpassed our expectations. From atmosphere, staff, cocktails and of course the food, we recommend Splendido for your next special occasion. Tell them that we sent you ;)

Check out the full list of participating restaurants at americanexpress.ca/platinum

FYI: The Platinum Card is not limited to just dining, Cardmembers can take advantage of everything from exceptional travel perks from over hundreds of fine hotels & resorts, airport private lounge access, exclusive entertainment offers, and of course the impeccable Concierge service.

To learn more about the American Express Platinum Card, please CLICK HERE.

Follow @1LOVETO @AmexCanada #DineWithAmex #PlatinumDining


We hope you got the chance to enjoy the inaugural 4-day Taste of Toronto festival, sponsored by American Express Canada! From Thursday July 24 to Sunday July 27th, Fort York was transformed into a foodie heaven, with specialty menus from some of Toronto’s best restaurants, top local chefs, Q&As, interactive cooking classes, tasting sessions, and more.

If you’re an Amex Cardmember there’s a good chance you got to experience a few of the perks that Taste of Toronto had to offer. For example, with a flash of our Amex Card we were escorted past the main line up to the VIP priority entrance. The time we saved by not waiting in line allowed us to start taste testing before anyone else!






After checking out a few of our favourite spots like Momofuku, Shocka Coconut Hub, Barque Smokehouse, and Splendido, we decided to take a break at the exclusive Amex VIP Lounge. The lounge offered comfortable seating under a giant tent (which provided some much needed shade on Saturday) with a variety of snacks and complimentary water for each guest.


After a quick recharge in the Amex Lounge we made our way to our reserved seats (courtesy of Amex) at the Taste Theatre, to watch Christina Tosi, chef and owner of Toronto’s Momofuku Milk Bar. Let’s just say we learned a thing or two about cooking, lol.

If you like attending events such as Taste of Toronto, Amex Cardmembers get access to presale tickets, plus exclusive VIP perks that help to make an unforgettable experience. As proud Amex Ambassadors, we can tell you firsthand how exciting it is to get the VIP experience at every event!
We can’t wait for next year!

Tweet us your favourite photos from the festival using @1LOVETO @Amexcanada @TasteOfToronto #DinewithAmex #TasteofToronto


In a city as big as Toronto we sometimes get stuck in our comfort zone and forget to explore what the rest of the city has to offer. A recent study commissioned by American Express, reveals more than half (53%) of Canadians feel stuck in their comfort zone, and almost everyone (98% of respondents) believe exploring our home towns or cities helps us live a more enriched life.

Toronto is filled with so much potential, not only the people, but the places. At 1 LOVE T.O. we constantly get the chance to explore and be #InspiredBy the different places throughout our city.

We’ve selected 5 of our ‘potentials places’ that highlight areas in the city where we get inspired through healthy living, fashion and style, music, reading and food/cooking.

1. Healthy Living: When it comes to clearing our minds and taking a break from the daily grind, while staying healthy and active, we head over to High Park to hike the trails. You can’t help but be inspired when you’re surrounded by mother nature.

2. Fashion: If you’re anything like us, we love to people watch! On any given day you can pull up a chair, or find a spot on the giant rock in Yorkville Park and you’ll see all different types of style. Summertime is the best time to get inspired by this place.

3. Music: There’s something special about watching a concert outdoors! We’ve always been inspired by live music at the Molson Amphitheatre, especially in recent years with the now iconic OVO Fest. Seeing artists from Toronto like Drake, Kardinal and The Weeknd share the same stage as Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Eminem, TLC, Stevie Wonder, (the list goes) is nothing but inspirational.

4. Reading: Believe it or not, we love to read on the Subway and/or Streetcar. Passing the time on your daily commute gets a whole lot better when you’re reading an incredible book.

5. Food: Shopping for food is almost as much fun as eating! Wandering around St. Lawrence Market has always been something we enjoy. Seeing the different types of food, people and the history of that building is all inspiring to us.

We want you to help us ‘realize the potential’ of Toronto by telling us your favourite places and hidden gems that provide you with inspiration?! Tweet your suggestions to @1LOVETO & @AmexCanada using the hash-tag #InspiredBy or leave a comment below.


Summer is in full swing and we’re back with one of our biggest SUMMER SALES events to date! Join us this weekend, Friday-Sunday at The Distillery District as part of Bacardi’s Festival Libre. Our pop up shop will be featured in this three-day cultural experience, celebrating rum culture in Toronto’s largest licensed outdoor patio! There will be everything from live music, food, cocktails, art, fashion, and of course more rum than you can drink.

Tees and Tanks are on sale for $20 this weekend, or 2 for $35! Make sure you check out the map below to see where all the action is taking place!


For more info: festivallibre.ca

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