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Umbra Shift Collection


Umbra Studio, located in Toronto’s downtown core, is considered the city’s lifestyle concept store which caters to collaborative outputs of Umbra’s in-house designers — serving as an outlet towards a creative and diverse group of individuals from all over the world.

For instance, this past week, Umbra opened their concept studio to welcome the new “Umbra Shift” collection — where they experiment with various designers around North America, including three from Toronto and one from Vancouver. Umbra Shift is best described as “an extension of Umbra that focuses on contemporary influences in the design community” and experiments with new materials, techniques, and processes; and serves as a platform for discovering ways of re-thinking practical everyday items.

Umbra Shift revisits the past 30 years of Umbra’s ever-changing designs and revamped it with a fresh, young roster of established, emerging, and in-house designers who share Umbra’s passion to re-think things and design personal objects they themselves would like to gift or use at home.
The result of the Umbra Shift collection expresses diverse points of views through design, yet sits together with a shared belief in ideas that are functional, familiar and forward thinking.


For instance, UK designer, Philippe Malouin designed the most talked about piece from the Umbra Shift collection — the “Hanger Chair”. The Hanger Chair mimics one of the ultimate storage systems — the modest hanger. When not in use, it hangs and stows in a compact, orderly fashion and easily unfolds when needed. It’s perfect for small spaces and for hosting dinner parties. Genius and practical concept! (Available in: marine, grey, yellow, black and coral.)


Two collaborative Toronto designers, Jessica Nakanishi and Jonathan Sabine of MSDS Studio — typically engage in the pursuit of emotive concepts, objects and environments. With that being said, they have created the Pleated Dish, Vase and Planter as part of the Umbra Shift collection. The”Pleated series” was made to accompany plants through its different stages of growth. Each piece caters to quality as it is handmade and sports geometric pleats that flawlessly highlights its content. For an added bonus, it’s also low maintenance as each planter includes a self-watering wick. MSDS Studio are also collaborating masterminds behind: Spin Toronto, Shopify and Mjölk.

Other Canadian designers who have joined Umbra Shift are Jano Badovinac of Toronto-based design studio, Fugitive Glue and designer, Lukas Peet of Vancouver. Jano designed practical and cozy Felt House Slippers, while Lukas designed Asymmetrical Candle Holders.


Two other popular and in-demand pieces from the collection are the Roll Bottle Opener (which sold out in one day), courtesy of Umbra Studio and the Coiled Stool by New York based designer, Harry Allen.

The Roll Bottle Opener is anonymous in function and cast from solid brass; and not only is it stylish and functional — it’s also likely to find itself on the vanity sooner than the kitchen drawer.

The Coiled Stool is another favorite as it’s unique and inspired by the traditional basket-making techniques of the Philippines. Hand-woven threads cover a rattan core to create a surprisingly comfortable tractor seat. The Coiled Stool is the perfect lifestyle and home decor object as it fits easily into casual and formal environments. Available in aqua, red, and grey.


The Umbra Shift collection is practical, stylish, forward thinking, minimal and simplistic — ideal and suitable for your everyday home lifestyle needs. To view and shop the collection, you may visit the Umbra Studio in Toronto (located on Queen St. West and John St.) or shop online HERE.

Posted by Christina G. Cheng

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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

NXNE ART: Toronto Urban Takeover


Our skyline, like our streets, is always changing, always evolving. We’re heading into a new era in Toronto; a more refined, redesigned, more socially conscious state of mind. These three facets were the building blocks of an exciting segment of NXNE Art produced by, Hermann & Audrey, called “Urban Takeover – infiltrating the streets of Toronto”.

With support from the city’s stART Program, Downtown Yonge BIA and West Queen West BIA, local and international artists were given free reign to conceptualize and execute murals in, alleyways, on an overpass and on the side of commercial buildings, even one about to be demolished! The central theme was a “re-imagined or future, Toronto” with art around every corner of downtown. These spaces, which normally wouldn’t even get a second glance, were transformed into mesmerizing works of art which totally changed the pedestrian experience and brought new life and purpose to a dead end.


Beau Stanton | 563 Queen St West

Alexa Hatanaka & Patrick Thompson | O’Keefe Lane


Hygienic Dress League & Alex Senna | 1052 Queen St West

Jon Todd | Graffiti Alley

Jessica Janda | Graffiti Alley


Birdo | Graffiti Alley


Shaina Kasztelan | Graffiti Alley

En Masse | 49 Niagara

Photography by Jen Schenkel

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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CONTEST: The Hundred Foot Journey

Hundred Foot Journey-Image

Inspired by the film, “The Hundred Foot Journey” the Me.n.u food truck is giving away free poutine, daily, at various locations around the city. To find out where the truck is stationed each day follow @meNuFoodTruck. When you get there, tell them that @1LOVETO sent you to grab your FREE tickets to the advance screening of the film this Wednesday, August the 6th. We only have 10 sets of tickets to give away!

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For those of you unaware, Art Battle is a thing. Beyond that, it is a really unique, engaging and entertaining thing. We were fortunate enough to attend the Art Battle National Championships on Saturday at the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Since 2011, regional winners have advanced to the National Championship held every year in Toronto. When many of us hear or read the term “battle” we immediately envision two emcee’s on a stage or in a circle verbally assaulting one another with an onslaught of rhymes until one is deemed the winner. Art battle is nothing like this and everything like this at the same time.




Taking many cues from battle rap, Art Battle is still a distinctive entity unto itself. Many of the artists involved in the competition are fine artists who are technically trained, which shows in their compositions. Each artist has only 20 minutes to complete their piece. With time being every artist’s stodgiest nemesis, the cream of the crop will rise to the top. Wander from easel to easel observing each painter for half a minute at a time (there are 10 artists painting in each round) and upon returning to the easel from which you started the same composition you witnessed moments ago will have transformed into something entirely different. This is what makes Art Battle a worthwhile viewing experience. It offers immediate satisfaction in art, art being a realm wherein we are accustomed to compositions requiring inordinate amounts of time to materialize. In a culture where people want to see instant results, Art Battle offers just that.


Congratulations go out to this years National Champ, Yared Nigussu. Yared has won the last 3 National Championships so as you can imagine he is pretty good with a brush. We are looking forward to watching him defend his crown in 2015! Learn more about Yared Nigussu HERE.

Photos by @marshallcole

Posted by Jesse Ingalls

Previously: Sneak Peek: Art Battle Canada

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Recently I got the chance to attend another exclusive Amex experience at the BMW Summer Advanced Driver Training event. As an Amex Ambassador and Platinum Cardmember , I was 1 of 14 lucky individuals who spent the day test driving the new 2014 BMW 435i and 435xDrive as part of Amex’s Business Platinum Cardmember Experience.

The day started at 8 am at The Toronto Congress Centre with breakfast snacks and an introduction from race car driver Philippe Letourneau. We spent the first half of the morning getting expert in-class training before we hit the road. In the words of Drake… “I go 0-100 real quick”, 4.8 seconds to be exact. Speed wasn’t the focus of this driver training event, instead we learned the fundamentals of confident, safe driving, while still exploring the limits of vehicle control.


I did everything from emergency braking, intense understeering and oversteering techniques, drifting, and I even managed to get competitive in the driver team challenge. I ended up with the fastest lap time, but I hit 1 pylon which knocked me out of first place. No matter how you did in the challenge everyone was a winner, as we all successfully earned our BMW Advanced Driver Training certificate.


If you love cars, and want an unforgettable experience or you just want to learn how to be a better driver, I’d encourage you to become a Platinum Cardmember and register for the next session. You won’t regret it!


Follow @1LOVETO @AmexCanada #AmexLife #AmexAmbassador


If you’re looking to start your weekend off right, look no further than Toronto’s Glow-In-The-Dark Shuffle Party! Tonight, with the help of Heineken Music, the popular monthly event series “Shuffle Party” is taking over Revival (783 College St West), with black lights, glow sticks, strobes, and more! The event is hosted by MR. 1LOVETO aka T-rexxx “Canada’s Party Animal”, along side DJ ILLO & our official 1 LOVE T.O. DJ DLUX.






For more info: facebook.com/shuffleparty

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This past weekend, one of Toronto’s most anticipated pop-up events entitled; Walk-In Closet, took place in the city’s most eclectic, vibrant and cultured area of Kensington Market called “A HOMERUN” on Augusta Ave. Since Kensington Market is notorious for vintage and thrift fashion, it was only fitting to have the event held in one of the city’s most respected thrift shops.

Organizing the event was Singhnature’s Natasha Singh, whose personal mantra is to recycle, reuse and reinvent. Hence, Walk-In Closet, a one-of-a-kind trunk sale whose target audience is geared towards like-minded fashion conscious Torontonians who have extensive wardrobes they’re looking to purge. Essentially, the goal is to celebrate life and style through clothing and accessories, while finding loving new homes for once-treasured belongings.


This WIC series edition was dedicated to men whilst featuring three of Toronto’s influential male movers and shakers: Bryan Brock of 1LOVETO, Daniel Eckler of MIJLO, and record producer Jahmal Padmore.

“Walk-In Closet has been highly female focus but I am sure not to forget about the men. This was my second edition of a full on men’s closet,” said Natasha.

Collaborating with three of Toronto’s creative and fashionable men, Natasha said it was only natural to have them share their closets in conjunction to her event:

“Lucky enough they connected with me and I knew they had great gear and lifestyle goods appropriate for WIC. As much as I like to curate and select my “closeters” so often they come to me, and these three gentlemen all came to me around the same time. So I thought, why not do a collaboration of men’s closets which will give the customers variety in style and size.”

Hosting a men’s edition of Walk-In Closet definitely brought on a positive and interesting dynamic and trend to her usual crowd. For instance, featuring three outstanding individuals from Toronto who have a wide range of various styles, it was inevitable to suit the likes of not only men, but also women who appreciate men’s fashion.


“I was impressed with the men who shopped this WIC versus the women. Especially since I have a larger female following, I really pushed for a his-to-hers concept showing females how to rock some dope men’s wear fashion in my promo. With that being said, knowing my following is female dominated, I was sure to cover my tracks to push this closet for males and females equally.” said Natasha.

Also new to the WIC event was a curated collection of art and lifestyle second hand books; along with lifestyle goods inspired by simple living collections of well-designed, quality goods, specializing in small space solutions.


With the success and support Walk-in-Closet has had over the past, along with being a lover of connecting and sharing the stories individuals have with their fashion, it’s inevitable for both Natasha and WIC flourish. So when asked what the future holds, she expressed foreseeing it going online sooner than later. “WIC started off as a pet project and has now turned into a unique networking and social shopping experience. It allows for an authentic storytelling from the closeter to the customer, and going online only helps expand that.”


For those interested in participating in the future of Walk-In Closet, Natasha expresses that it may be difficult as there’s a high demand of requests and a tedious wait list to follow. Torontonians just have so much to give!

“What makes WIC fun for me is scouting out the right closets. I love finding people who have a story to tell and aren’t shy to put their closet and life on blast. I have accumulated a waiting list of interesting individuals who would like to share their story, so the selection process can be difficult.”

Nonetheless, feel free to contact Natasha in regard to participating in one way or another by visiting singhnature.com

Posted by Christina G. Cheng

Previously: Walk-In Closet

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Sneak Peek: Art Battle Canada

This Saturday, July 26th Art Battle will be hosting the 2014 National Championships at the Mattamy Centre in Toronto. The event stands to be the biggest to date, with an estimated 2,500 patrons attending. Prior to this Saturday, we were invited to a kick-off event held in conjunction with Sick Kids. Each youngster got paired up with a champion painter and the art that ensued was absolutely amazing! All of the artists killed it and they truly demonstrated what it means to be creatively liberated!

If you’re interested in attending Art Battle this Saturday, you can get your tickets HERE or follow us on Twitter @1LOVETO for details on how to enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets!






Posted by Jesse Ingalls

Follow @1LOVETO & @ArtBattle