Toronto’s underground rap scene continues to grow with a collection of artists who are willing to push the boundaries of what’s expected. Take in “God Bless Toronto” featuring guys like Derek Wise, Jimmy Johnson, Omari Jabari, Sean Leon and many more.
God Bless Toronto. A project that represents the nocturnal underground life of the city. When it’s so late that it’s early, inside of a basement or a loft that you have to enter through an exit… Toronto’s creatives, hustlers, artists, tastemakers, users, insomniacs gather, give thanks and indulge in music, habits and hugs. It’s these peculiar moments in unexpected locations at ungodly hours where inspiration is indirectly conceived. It is the obligation of the like-minded to protect and nurture these moments.
The first compilation consists of new and unreleased material from some of the city’s most talented upcoming producers and musicians; Individuals who are beginning to develop and shape Toronto’s underground culture and sound.
Toronto’s Open Roof Festival is back for its fifth season running every Thursday from June 19 through to August 21. The 10-week festival offers up a curated set of films along side local emerging artists and food/drink vendors. This year, ORF has moved to a new location at 99 Sudbury, just south of Queen Street West near Dovercourt.
For the past two years we’ve had the pleasure of co-presenting a film during ORF, fingers crossed we’ll have something special again for this year! Film and artist announcements are coming soon… but we can tell you that tickets go on sale June 2 ($15 per person) and can be purchased here: OpenRoofFestival.com
Previously: Open Roof Festival 2013
This summer, Toronto’s very own Glen Hempstock and Jonathan Haskins will cycle from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland in order to raise awareness and funds for Right To Play. The ride, called Ride For Play, begins on June 1st and aims to raise $25,000 to go towards Right To Play’s youth sport and play programs.
Right To Play is an organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. The fundraising goal of $25,000 is an amount that would provide 500 children with weekly sport and play programs for an entire year.
“This ride combines my desire to give back and do something that’s bigger than me, with my passion for pushing my body to its limits,” said Hempstock. “Right To Play is an organization that embodies my belief that play and sports are the basis to a healthy, well-rounded individual. And the larger-than-life and highly challenging geography of Canada will serve as the perfect backdrop to this challenge!”
Ride For Play was born out of Glen and Jon’s love of sport. Since the two met nearly two years ago, they have been through many trials together, including training for three marathons and numerous long-distance cycling challenges. Ride For Play is the logical extension of these previous trials, and it promises to be the most exciting experience yet.
For more info: rideforplay.com/righttoplay/
Toronto’s popular Paintlounge just launched their third location, this time in the East end at 1173 Queen St East. If you’re unfamiliar with Paintlounge, it’s a cool concept space that allows artists and non-artists alike to paint in a fun, creative, social atmosphere. We’ve actually attended a few birthday paint parties at their College Street West location, and the experience is like no other.
If you live in the East, make sure to stop by and see what Paintlounge is all about. Who knows, you might find your inner artist!
For more info: paintlounge.ca
On Saturday May 17th we were given the opportunity to visit the House of Hoops in Square One for it’s official launch. House of Hoops, the basketball specific branch of Foot Locker, opened its first location in Toronto on Yonge street last year and with the continued popularity of basketball and sneaker culture within our city it was only a matter of time until a second location sprouted up in TO.
The launch was especially cool because it gave the opportunity to 30 young ball players from the area to sit down and learn about Nike’s product line (Shouts out to to Joshua Graham, Duane Watson & Akil Augustine on the engaging and informative banter), something that as a 13-year-old baller would be a dream come true. It also gave them the opportunity to interact with Tristan Thompson who was the guest of honour and spoke effortlessly to the kids about the importance of hard work, dedication and school work. Tristan is a great role model and is especially effective at getting across a positive message because of his hometown hero status.
We got a chance to sit down for a quick chat with Brampton’s finest. We talked about Jurassic Park, the importance of being a Role Model and how Amir Johnson has really strong feet. Take a read for yourself below.
You being a dude from Toronto, how proud does it make you feel seeing something like The Raptors ‘Jurassic Park’?
When you sit back and look at it, it just makes you proud to be Canadian first and foremost. You know the Raptors having that success and you know the Leafs weren’t in the playoffs this year which is unfortunate, but with that being said, having the game grow like that, having people gravitating towards it, it just helps build the game of basketball, it helps build the brand basketball but it makes basketball even cooler in our city, people being able to watch and see the Raptors have success and to see Jurassic Park it makes you want to be a part of that, it makes you want to play basketball and someday, you know, be the guy that’s on the big screen playing.
Did you ever have an experience like this as a kid? Were there any guys that did for you, what you did for these youngsters today?
Well no, we never had that or a local pro since Jamal Maglore, so you know, I never had the opportunity and so that’s why I feel like being able to come back and teach these kids it’s my duty. Being able to be there for these young kids, cause you never know, in a couple years from now when I’m 37 and I’m ready to call it quits and these young kids here might be ready to come and beat my tail, so imm’a tell them I talked to you at house hoops, you gotta take it easy on me young fella!
How amazing would it be to be sitting on that stage talking about your own shoe and being the first Toronto dude to get his own shoe?
See that, that’s it! We gotta start punching at Nike about that! Gotta let them know Canada is growing, we gotta get that Canadian content. That would be a great feeling, that would be a great accomplishment and I guess that would say a lot about my game growing and becoming a better player, so it would definitely be an honour if one day I had the opportunity to have my own signature shoe.
Do you wear the same shoe all season?
No, I wear the same line of shoe, the same Lebron soldiers, not the exact same shoe because one shoe won’t last.
How often, how often do you switch them up?
Probably after about five games.
We wish Tristan the best for this summer and going into next season!
Posted by Jesse Ingalls
Recently we got the chance to enjoy a unique tasting experience with the good folks from Dine Alone Foods. That’s right, Dine Alone Records founder Joel Carriere and Alexisonfire’s Jordan Hastings launched Dine Alone Foods with three all-natural sauces, including a classic Southern Blues BBQ sauce, a sweet smoky Northern Soul Chipotle BBQ sauce, and a spicy Rock N’ Roll hot sauce.
The event took place at the Dog and Bear on Queen St West with food by Hogtown Smoke and Parts & Labour Catering. The highlight of the night was a three-tiered BBQ sauce fondue fountain ready for dipping! Our favourite sauce was definitely the Northern Soul Chipotle (it’s a must try).
If you’re looking to try something new, here’s where you can buy it in Toronto: dinealonefoods.com/where-to-buy
Photos by Becca Lemire
On October 27th 2014, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to cast their vote for the next Mayor of Toronto. You’ve probably heard about front runners like Olivia Chow and John Tory but did you know there are about 35 other candidates? Meet Mayoral candidate Dewitt Lee the third.
Name: Dewitt Lee III
Occupation: President of L.E.A.P. Branding Publishing & Marketing Company
Founder of the Toronto Community Advisory Board, Canadian Hip-Hop Caucus, Christian Canadian Caucus, Leadership Experience and Development Institute.
How do you hope to change Toronto?
I will introduce several accountability measures that will add a newfound pursuit of excellence and commitment to efficiency that will create a culture of work ethic, teamwork and community engagement. I will meet with every councillor monthly to make sure they are serving the citizens and their needs appropriately. I also make myself as assessable as possible. In order for them to achieve a greater demand of service, I will push for by-law changes to remove councillors from some executive committees and replace them with qualified citizens who will go through an election process – they will serve 2 year terms.
The most immediate change I believe I can control as mayor, is leading a much more motivated city of Toronto. This will be a workforce that serves the almost 3 million citizens who call it home, with a more citizen centric philosophy.
Why did you decide to run?
I first decided to run for mayor of Toronto in 2010, when I felt overwhelmed with a very clear calling, an epiphany even, to enter into politics. To finally be the bridge our city needed to connect the haves and the have nots. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6; in all ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths and I did just that and finished 12th out of 40 candidates with 1,699 votes.
I decided to run because Toronto is ready to be represented by someone who understands the true plight of the people. I have struggled and know what it feels like to be without As a 2014 mayoral candidate, I decided to run again because I am ready to lead the city past its soiled reputation by being a moral and level headed leader. As well as one who is ready to make critical decisions in regards to transit, public housing and an aging infrastructure by bringing in the world’s greatest thinkers and ideas.
What should the public know about you?
I was born in Toronto but was raised in N.Y. I’ve moved back to Toronto in 2003 as an entrepreneur with an iron will to succeed. I’ve had a fascination with the city which would be expected of someone visiting for the first time. I have never felt like a visitor, everywhere feels like home and everyone felt like family. During my pursuit of fulfilling my publishing dream, I’ve had to endure homelessness, shelters and food banks. I was able to build the team that eventually helped me build the business that is currently celebrating its 10th year anniversary. I have dedicated my life to helping serve the less fortunate and I bring to City Hall a heart for the homeless and the hungry.
I want this generation to be known as the people who decided to serve and sacrifice to leave our city better than we found it. In Isaiah 58:12 it says we will “rebuild the ancient ruins and raise up the age old foundations; … be called repairer of broken walls, restorer of the streets to dwell in.”
Your City. Your Vote.
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
Follow @1LOVETO #TOpoli
There’s a new web series coming soon and it’s called “Disorderly”. Three Toronto-based writers/actors Al Mukadam, Jonathan Malen, and Mazin Elsadig have created a show about three 20 something buddies who work as orderlies at Clearview (a mental health centre). Needless to say, after watching the first teaser, you can already tell this has the potential to be very funny. We can’t wait to watch the first full episode!
Doors Open Toronto is back this weekend for its 15th year, allowing people access to explore a variety of unique buildings across the city. On Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25, the public can visit more than 150 of these culturally relevant buildings, including over 40 new destinations than in previous years. We’ve included a short list of new buildings worth checking out!
And of course there are some classics that never dissappoint…
For more info CLICK HERE
Follow @1LOVETO #DoorsOpenTO
Toronto-based band Unbuttoned just released their debut single “Shy Cry” off their forthcoming album “Planes”, which is due out later this summer.
ABOUT SHY CRY
“I wrote ‘Shy Cry’ at a time when I felt happiness was not attainable. I felt it was easier to be complacent than to be happy. My surroundings continued to prove and remind me that the ‘straight’ way was the easier way. I wrote this song as a cry for help to myself because when it came down to it, only I was in charge of my actions. Freedom was what I was constantly searching for. Freedom from myself. If it wasn’t for this song and every other song on Unbuttoned’s new album, I’m not sure when or how I would’ve gotten to the position I am today… if I knew then what I know now, decisions I have made in the past would likely be a lot different.” – Casey MQ
Directed by Victoria Long
Previously: Unbuttoned – “One In A Million” Video