The story begins like most ideas, doodling on a sticky note. Drex Jancar of The Remix Project caught wind of an opportunity to pitch ideas for then Mayor David Miller's 40th anniversary Caribana parade float.
The objective was to create a concept that had the qualities a Mayor could stand behind without losing the 'cool factor' a 25 year old could get down with. At that time in 2007 the city was still struggling with its identity and the symptoms caused from our little brother syndrome to New York were evident.
The number '1' speaks to One Love and the idea we are one race of humans and are equal. Just as important, the '1' was my statement to our city that we are number 1 and we needed to start thinking like that to act the way we do today.
"This heart represents the many people that make our city rich in diversity and culture. The fact that before leaving the city I had an understanding about what the world had to offer based on my classmates and neighbours. So many times I was asked if I studied abroad or visited different countries based on my familiarity with a range of cultural practices and foods. My response would be no I'm just from Toronto." - Tyrone "T-Rex" Edwards
While doodling and getting excited to use this opportunity with the Mayor to make a bold statement I struggled with arranging it all. How do I preach without coming off preachy?
'T.O.' Toronto had a few nicknames at this point, but the most commonly used across the board was T.O. something my mom, my brothers and my Mayor could all comfortably use.
Well now I'm excited, really excited but there's only a few hours before I stand in front of Mayor Miller and make my pitch so it's time to prep. That night I found some facts that would support this concept. United Nations had just dubbed us the "most culturally diverse city in the world in 2006."
The next morning when I presented the idea to Mayor Miller, he loved it and as I was leaving he suggested I trademark it!
Being the Art of Business program leader at The Remix Project I wanted to give my students at the time a chance to work on a LIVE project vs. theory. One of my students known as Royalz was already making t-shirts as part of his clothing line, so together we collaborated on the first ever 1 LOVE T.O. shirt!
Posted by Tyrone Edwards