Friday, November 9, 2012

Last Weekend for Local Goods at Mutts Fall Shop

Hey T.O! Go check the Fall installment of the Mutts & Co pop-up. Lots of great local clothing, jewelry, goodies and art from the likes of Muttonhead, OSC Cross, Kathryn Macnaughton and more, including canned pies from Nat and cards and prints from Lauren of AFC! This weekend is the last chance to scoop Canadian-made goods like honey, hot sauce and down-filled coats from local creatives and brands. Check the Facebook event for a full list of what's being stocked and, (eek!) it's not too early to start checking off your holiday gift list!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Workshop for (New)Bees!

Join local beekeepers, Gurushabd and Zack at the Carrot Commons Green Roof this weekend for an intro to urban beekeeping! Fun! Bees are an integral part of our eco-system. These experts will fill you in on the whys and hows and help you get some honey out of it. They know what's up!

For more info contact Gurushabd at

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mutts & Co. Variety Store Ft. All Your Local Faves, On Today through Sunday!

If you follow our happenings on the reg, you've most certainly heard us profess our love for the crew at Toronto-based clothing line, Muttonhead. Not only do they produce their goods right here in the city, using sustainable materials, but they also have a real knack for bringing together the best of local goodness from other creative Canadians.

This week the Mutts prove this yet again with what might be the best and most diverse Muttonhead pop-up shop yet, the Mutts & Co. Variety Store. Parked at Paramour at 94 Ossington (between Queen & Dundas) Paige and crew have curated an awesome little market full of local, reclaimed and fair trade food stuffs, housewares, accessories, magazines, art and, of course, clothing.

Display at Mutts & Co. ft. Stasis Preserves and TwoRibka wooden utensils
Custom 'Real-cycled' wood shelving by Jamie Miller,
upcycled glassware by Artech Studios and Lauren Pirie print

Muttonhead's latest line, designed by Meg Sinclair, is for sale alongside more than ten other local labels and scores like Dumptown's Worm Condos, the side project of the other half of Muttonhead, graphic designer Mel Sinclair.

And we'll be there too! Our pals from Reunion Island Coffee have generously supplied the beans (yet again) for iced americanos, proceeds from which will go toward the Everything Roof. We'll be whipping them up through the weekend. I've been practicing, and I must say, I'm getting good.... and pretty wired, as made obvious by the sign below, made after a couple tester coffees.

Everything Roof illustrated prints will also be sold to benefit the project. Other prints and cards from AFC co-founder, Lauren Pirie will be available as well as prints from AFC supporting artists Kathryn Macnaughton and Talia Shipman, records from the amazing Shad and a back room photo gallery featuring the work of Matthew Crisp and Beau Partlow

Okay, enough of the caffeine induced yammering, just come by between now and Sunday. There's even more to see (and taste) there, including (if anyone is down for MORE coffee) Sam James coffee-infused ice cream bars created by Brandon Olsen of Black Hoof (!!!).

Or if you prefer some gin-induced yammering (and shopping!) swing by the launch party on Thursday evening. 

See you there!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Art: This Long Weekend is Your Best (And Last) Chance To See Broadbent Sisters' Spectacular Show

Rose Broadbent with 'Untitled'

Joy Broadbent with 'Crush-Endo'

The Broadbent sisters, whose individual art works you'll remember from our gallery events, have joined forces on a new series. If you missed the June 28th opening, of Boom by Boom make sure you catch the show today or tomorrow. Not only are the mixed-media pieces depicting fireworks and rainbow staircases (coincidentally?) perfect visual additions to this Canada Day and Pride weekend (in more ways than two, depending on your imagination) buuuut, the show also closes tomorrow at 6pm! 

The pieces, which from afar are sometimes reminiscent of delicate, beautiful, intricate textile or ceramic patterns or ethereal fantasy landscapes, can look up-close like pen scribbles on a diary. You need to see them in real life to really appreciate the duality. Get there! Expect explosions.

Boom by Boom recommended in National Post's Things to Do

On today and tomorrow until 6pm at Studio 835, 
835 Bloor St West
Broadbent Sisters' Boom by Boom website 
Boom by Boom in Torontoist

Friday, May 4, 2012

Explore Toronto's best Green Roofs for Jane's Walk this Saturday with Natalie!

If you're looking for a great Jane's Walk Tour this Saturday, look no further! Join Natalie Amber from AFC at 2pm at Roy Thompson Hall to get a tour of some of the best Green Roof initiatives in the city. She regularly leads this tour on behalf of WalkTO, a great walking tour organization in the city. If you miss out this Saturday, contact WalkTO to book a private group tour (3 or more).

Happy Walking!

the AFC

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Earth Day DIY Hanging Dip-Dye Planters | Step One Video

Earth Day DIY Hanging Planters from The About Face Collective on Vimeo.

This past Sunday was Earth Day and we spent it hanging out at Muttonhead's Traveling Market at Huntclub Studio. The market was full of goods from local clothing and jewelry designers, food makers and worm condo builders! We parked out front at our sidewalk macrame station making hanging planters using cotton "yarn string" and some mason jars, bowls and mugs we found around the house. Follow along (if you can) with our instructional video here and check back tomorrow for step two, when we dip-dye the hangers using blueberry and blackberry dye!

Everything Roof Donor Perks Roll Out

If you contributed to our IndieGoGo campaign and chose a card pack perk, you'll be seeing this illustration by Lauren Pirie in the mail soon!
A few weeks ago, we surpassed our IndieGoGo fundraising goal, thanks to you, our friends and supporters, spreading the word and contributing to the project. Since then, we’ve been busy with more fundraising, meetings, volunteer coordination, media (check last week’s Metro article here !), grant applications, some fun Earth Day activities and getting your great perks together. This week’s the week that we start to roll them out!

If you made a contribution to our IndieGoGo campaign, you’ll be getting emails with codes for your Fresh City boxes, instructions to pick up your Reunion Island Coffee or mail to your door with your greeting cards or art prints, depending on what perks you chose. Fun! We appreciate your patience as we coordinate deliveries, and we really, really appreciate your contribution to, and belief in, the Everything Roof. Keep an eye on your inbox and your mail box over the next couple weeks and feel free to email us with any questions. We’re constantly posting updates on our Blog, Twitter and Facebook page, so make sure you’re following us to get the latest everything!

Keep watching right here for our Earth Day DIY dip-dye hanging planters video and instructions, coming later today!

All the best,
Love love love,
The About Face Collective

Monday, April 23, 2012

High Fives to Mumbai's Flyover Farm

We really miss our girl Mriga, but at least while she's in Mumbai (doing amazing things at Norblack Norwhite) she can keep us informed about awesome projects like this rooftop farm project by Adrienne Thadani's Urban Farming initiative, Fresh & Local. The Flyover Farm will grow fresh produce on the roof with the goal of distributing it straight to the building's residents. They're also planning to host a composting program for the building's kitchen waste, communal dining time, and urban farming workshops for city dwellers. Sound familiar? High fives to Flyover Farm from the Everything Roof! Make sure to check out their Kickstarter campaign. Best of luck comrades!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day DIY! Come Hang!

We're at the Muttonhead Traveling Market at Huntclub studio today making and teaching DIY hanging veggie dip-dye planters. Come hang plants and hang with us, the Mutts and plenty of other amazing local food, clothing and crafty folks. We'll be there staring at 2pm and the market is open until 7pm. Last day! Earth day! Come play!

709 College St West at Montrose.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Everything Roof In Metro News

A big thanks to Metro News and Lia Grainger for featuring the Everything Roof in yesterday's Urban Compass column. If you didn't scoop a Metro before your Monday subway ride, thanks to the Internet, you can still check it out on the web, here!

Friday, March 30, 2012

$10K On The Internet and $5 On The Wall | Thank You!


We did it! With the deadline for our IndieGoGo campaign on the horizon, our friends and family and community supporters, YOU collectively pushed us across the finish line. Yesterday, Facebook and Twitter erupted with support for the project and support rolled in; over $1500 of it in the last two days of our campaign! For this we can only say:


This community support will bring us one big step closer to matching granted funds and getting this garden a rollin'! We do still have more work to do, and you can still contribute—and get great perks like art and coffee and organic produce—until midnight tonight! We're still working away on grants and other fundraising initiatives and we can use all the support we can get.

Mike Layton, AFC's Natalie Boustead, CSI's Tonya Surman and Lauren Pirie (excited!) in front of the Everything Roof's wall of 5s!

And so much support we did get from our amazing community right at the home of the Everything Roof: the Centre for Social Innovation, Annex on Tuesday. Even before the Great Lakes Brewery beers were cracked, you could feel the love for the project in the Annex Lounge... and see it on the wall! Throughout the day, CSI and other community members flowed through—including ever-supportive Councillor Mike Layton—and taped five dollar bills on a projection of the Everything Roof drawing on the wall. By the end of the day, the contributions totaled $700!

And today, we got some extra love on the internet from our friends at Pure Green Magazine. Their new issue is focused on the urban farm, and to coincide, an interview with About Face on the Everything Roof is featured on their blog. Check it out here. And keep watching this space, our Facebook and Twitter for volunteer opportunities, upcoming events, news and more!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

All the best EVERYTHING,
The About Face Collective

Friday, March 9, 2012

Claire Hall Painting Up For Grabs for One Lucky Donor

Poppies by Claire Hall, 36 x 48" Oil on Canvas

You've been meaning to donate to our online fundraising campaign, haven't you? You're so excited to see the Everything Roof come to fruition and you want to help make sure this unique roof top project has a chance to help make Toronto the more sustainable city we know it can be. You've just been trying to decide whether to choose the donor perk of a Fresh City produce box delivered to your door or a collection of cute, illustrated cards... maybe even dedicate a garden container to your Mom (mother's day does come quickly). And while you sit and stare blankly at your blank wall trying to decide, you think, I need some art.      
(Insert sparkle explosion here).      
(Also, it’s a bit creepy that we can read your mind, right?).      
We're so excited to offer this one shot chance for you to make a difference by doing something we know you already want to: purchasing a lovely piece of artwork by Toronto-based artist, Claire Hall.
Claire has been a long time supporter of this project and has generously donated Poppies, the 36 x 48” oil painting pictured above. The gallery price for this piece is $600, but for a $450 donation, to the Everything Roof it’s yours! This is a one-time special offer, so click through now to grab this piece while it’s available, it’s sure to go quickly.      
You can also click through here to see more of Claire’s work and learn more about her unique approach to painting, custom options, and her great story.      
With only three weeks left in our IndieGoGo campaign, we've got some work to do to meet our fundraising goal of $10,000. By hitting this goal, we’ll be one step closer to matching the funds granted to us by Live Green Toronto and getting the Everything Roof, um, off the ground. Help us make this happen by donating any amount today. And maybe even get yourself a great piece of art while you’re at it!

Everything Roof on Frame Magazine

We've been so happy to have a bunch of great local media support lately, but how 'bout this? The Everything Roof featured on Frame Magazine; a shout-out all the way from Amsterdam! Check it out for a great slideshow with some behind-the-scenes shots from our Everything Roof video shoot!

International Women's Weekend and Beyond

Happy (belated) International Women's Day! We posted this on our Twitter and Facebook page yesterday, but thought it was pretty important and wanted to get it up here as well. We also hope that no one will mind us extending such an important occasion just a day; we hope you'll continue to celebrate all year. 

We're so thankful to have great female leaders and role models in our lives, including our incredible mentors at Centre for Social Innovation. We wish this situation were far more common; representation of women in leadership positions is still so minimal and the media's misrepresentation of women continues to hinder great potential to change this. It can change, and you can help. Start by watching this video from Miss Representation. Then encourage the women in your life to go for it! The world needs them!

Happy Friday! Bring on ladies' night.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Everything Roof On The Interweb, and Other New Things

The Everything Roof on Treehugger! Eee!

We are now nearing the half-way mark of our IndieGoGo campaign. While we've made a lot of exciting progress over the past few weeks, we're still at about a third of our goal, so we've got a lot of work to do! We're so thankful for the contributions that have come in so far and for all of your help in getting the word out there about the Everything Roof and encouraging others to contribute what they can.

The past month has been a whirlwind of meetings and interviews and grant-writing and planning. We've updated the roof layout, which you can check out in the revised illustration on the campaign page. We've plotted in the planned roof-top room, topped with bi-facial solar panels and enclosed by walls of reclaimed vintage windows. And since the panels are now on top of this "Social Solarium" as we've dubbed it, that means we've been able to move the garden and stage area up to the front of the building for an even more amazing view of the city! Wooh! We've also worked in an exciting new rain-water catchment system, planned to be a collaboration with soon-to-be-announced installation artists. Stay tuned!

By staying tuned, we also hope you'll be hearing some more positive news about results of grants we've been applying for (fingers crossed, lucky underpants on), but you'll definitely be hearing news of some interviews and features in upcoming issues of a few exciting publications. We'll let you know when those drop, but we've already had a lot of love from the interweb and some of our favorite blogs. Check out a few below and keep spreading the good word!


The AFC Turning a Toronto Roof into an Urban Garden and Community Space—Feb 20, 2012

Toronto Standard: The Everything Roof—Feb 17, 2012

Indie T.O: The About Face Collective and The Everything Roof—Feb 6, 2012

The NEW Everything Roof Layout!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The (Pure Green) Joy of Books

Pure Green Magazine IN PRINT (and on cafe table) Volume One

Happy Monday, Internet! We hope you had a lovely weekend—perhaps wandering around outside in this unseasonably pleasant Toronto weather; perhaps sprawled on the couch, dipping nachos in beer and watching Madonna win the World Series (that is what happened, right?). I personally happened to forgo the latter of those options this year (only the sports watching, I still dipped my nachos in beer, of course). I did manage to get out wandering on Saturday, though. My adventures included a visit to a favorite weekend nerd-out destination, Type Books.

At Type I finally picked up a copy of the first PRINT edition of Pure Green Magazine. (Insert authentic nerd squeal here). You may recall us posting about the lovely, sustainably focused magazine, its DIY projects, vintage home decor, green style and ah-may-zing (looking) organic recipes some time ago (I WILL make those honey butter tuiles with caramelized figs and roasted pistachio marscapone soon). You may also recall us promising to keep you posted about the launch of their print version. So, we're a bit behind, but here we are!

The print version of the magazine is a gorgeous, 95 page book, printed locally on 100% post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper using vegetable inks. You can read the magazine online here, but it simply doesn't compare to sitting in a sunny cafe, flipping through the lovely matte pages of a real-life, quality printed version. This is how I spent my Super Bowl Sunday. And it brings to mind the debate of print versus digital reading, which you can read more about here. A quick summary: if you read online for more than 30 minutes, studies say you may as well be reading in print if eco-impact is your concern.

I am, admittedly, a sucker for printed material (as you may have gathered above). Luckily, there are constantly new efforts being made in publishing and printing to lessen the environmental impact of printed things. Margaret Atwood's release of her most recent book printed on straw paper in partnership with Canopy was a notable one. On top of also being more appealing to kick back with, subscribing to print versions of magazines like Pure Green or picking up a good old book from your local book store helps support indie publications (and publishing in general) as well as indie book stores. For a nerd like me, that's a good thing.

Subscribe to Pure Green here, or if you're in Toronto, head down to Type.  And if you haven't seen this stop-motion gem that's been floating around the internet, click play below. Made at Type by Sean Ohlenkamp, The Joy of Books peeks into the after-dark adventures of the books in the store. Created by a series of undoubtedly insanely laborious stop-motion shoots (we know, because our shoot for ten seconds of stop-motion was insanely laborious) the short ends on a note that "There's Nothing Quite Like a Real Book". True that.

You can also listen to Type store owner discussing the importance of independent book stores with Jian Gomeshi on CBC's Q recently here.

So many things! Good thing there's no baseball to watch tonight.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Everything Roof Video and Campaign Launch

So, apparently it's Wednesday. Yesterday—that would make yesterday Tuesday, yes?—I ran around the Centre For Social Innovation hunting for speaker cables and coordinating the signing of signatures and re-re-revising grants...

I ran into one of the lovely animators (almost literally) who asked me how everything was going. She smiled and watched me sweat for a minute while I pushed the corners of my mouth up in attempts to form some similar sort of face and mused: it was going great, but dang, it had been a crazy week!

"It's Tuesday," she said.

So it was. And it was a SERIOUS Tuesday. I don't know what that means, but it was quite a day. CAPS, italics, you get it. We arrived at CSI before nine a.m. (I rarely have pants on at this hour) to prepare for the lunchtime launch of our long-awaited Everything Roof video (!!!), directed by our hero, Josh Raskin and made in part by our heroes, everyone we know.

To coincide, in the afternoon, we also launched our online video and fundraising campaign on Indiegogo and Vimeo. We also managed to get our grant application hand-delivered to the Evergreen offices—and even wandered around the Brickworks in sunny relief afterward; see photos below. In between all of this I attended a couple of meetings and inhaled an amazing vegan, gluten-free pizza from the CSI farmers' market (seriously amazing. Go to there).

Anyway, I know you're dyyying to hear what I did with the rest of my day (I hit refresh on webpages to watch numbers go up) but without any further adieu (or brackets or run-on sentences) HERE is the video! Almost 1000 people have seen it in its first day up. If each of those people were to donate just $10, we would already be able to reach our campaign goal!

Please visit our Indiegogo campaign page by clicking here and donate if you can. Any amount helps!

Help us spread the word! Blog, Tweet, Facebook, ICQ, whatev!

We like you.

Love, The About Facers

We hope that Evergreen loves us as much as we love them. If you have yet to visit Evergreen Brickworks, go now. It's an amazing wonderland of all good things for Earth and people. A few enticing photos below.

Electric car charging outside Evergreen Brickworks
The kilns. There's art in them!

We couldn't have said it better


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Last Chance to Submit to Bike Photo Exhibit

illustration by Lauren Pirie

The Toronto Cyclists Union is hosting a photography exhibit at the Centre For Social Innovation, Annex on Thursday, February 2nd. The open call for submissions closes tomorrow, so time to hustle! We know all you photog friends of ours have some lovely shots of so-and-so pedaling through the park last Summer (remember Summer??). So do a little digging and drop them off tomorrow at the front desk at CSI. Or dig a little less and pull out a Fall or Winter biking shot; the theme of the show is The Four Seasons of Cycling, which means you could also submit a cycling-focused shot taken in the Spring. And remind us all that it will eventually come around again...

365 Days of Cycling: An Evening of Art and Cycling.
Facebook event here.

Jan 25: UPDATE!
Digital submissions will be accepted through Friday. ALSO, 100% of the selling price of any work sold goes directly to the artist. Wooh! Check the detes here.

Gary Taxali Makes Money! (Literally...)

Gary Taxali for the Royal Canadian Mint, via National Post

Good on the Royal Canadian Mint for this one: Today marks the release of a set of six special occasion coins designed by Toronto-based artist and illustrator, Gary Taxali (of whom we're big fans). In this CBC video, Alexander Reeves explains "the retro pop art look is cool and it's hip and that's what the Royal Canadian Mint wants to identify with." Who knew?

Of course, we love what Taxali made of the project. We're also pretty stoked on his view that "the best way to represent a wedding in Canada is to show the love between two people, regardless of gender". The product is "two rings intertwined and in love". Cute.

I mean, we're usually somewhat excited to get money, but especially today.

"Oh Canada" coin via Art Daily

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Design! | Squab


Remember these lovely and entertaining Wishlist posters from our Greenhouse Gallery show? They were printed locally on 100% Recycled paper using a waterless UV process and VOC-free inks and created by our friends at Squab.

Creative Director Tammy Yiu and crew have just moved into new digs in Liberty Village. In between setting up the new stude and feverishly designing away, they've found a bit of time to start posting some recent work on their lovely site. Check it out! (Challenge: hit refresh on their homepage a couple times and just tryyy not to get sucked in).

Packaging for soup and bread roll for Portaselo Fine Foods

Identity for new Canadian-made outerwear company

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Art! | Rose Broadbent

'By the Fire' | Rose Broadbent
Check out some new work from our Toronto homegirl and AFC supporting artist, Rose Broadbent. More of her watercolour and acrylic work here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tomorrow: Give Clothes, Get Fun!

Got some gently-used clothing to purge? Bring it by the Garrison tomorrow night and Vox Toronto will donate it to The Yonge Street Mission. Swap your excess sweaters for an eve of music and art. Check the Facebook event here. If you're not able to make the party tomorrow, you can drop your donation off on the main floor of the Centre For Social Innovation, Annex location today until 4pm.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Choose Your Own Info, T.O.

Okay, so I slept a little on posting about these guys, but I did wake up and get out biking at an obscenely early hour this past Saturday morning when I spotted them. What a delightfully rewarding experience biking around this city at nine (or... ten) o'clock in the morning can be! (One of the perks of participating in a January cleanse). Who knew that it's just like Spring in January in Toronto at that hour?

So, the sun's a-shining and the birds are a-chirping and I hit the corner of College and Bathurst and notice one of those lovely, gargantuan "info" pillars that seem to have fallen out of the sky sometime this past Fall, crushing any bike rings and obstructing any sidewalks in their way. But wait, as I rode in its direction, I could actually see the word "info" clearly across the top of the billboard! I mean, pillar!

Of course, the chalk boards hanging over the in-your-face ad space weren't placed there apologetically by the city. We're not sure who made the move, but it seems a few people noticed. When I arrived, the boards were still relatively nude, but by the time these photos were taken for the Torontoist, it looks like several Torontonians had some things to say.