A non-profit makes ‘Toronto vs. Everybody’ more inclusive

The Livelihood Project, focused on helping refugees and immigrants, has modified the slogan to suggest that "Toronto is for Everybody."

Clothing declaring “Toronto vs. Everybody,” created by Toronto’s Peace Collective, began appearing on the city’s streets in 2015 and seemed to gain increased popularity this year during the Raptors’ historic playoff run.

For some people, that wasn’t necessarily a great thing. Steeped in sports pride, the slogan’s underlying “VS” sentiment was, for many, combative, exclusive and ill-fitting for the most diverse city in the country, which should be aiming to work with people and welcome them.

That’s why The Livelihood Project, a non-profit that helps refugees transition into life in Canada, partnered with agency Zerotrillion to launch of a new inclusive platform, sprung from a modified version of the now ubiquitous slogan.

On July 28, a pop-up clothing shop was mounted outside The Livelihood Cafe, a non-profit community cafe in Toronto’s Kensington Market that staffed by refugees and immigrants. During a “Pedestrian Sunday” event when streets are closed to vehicles, cafe staff approached passers-by and ceremoniously peeled “VS” stickers off “Toronto vs. Everybody” t-shirts, revealing a new slogan for the city underneath: “Toronto is for Everybody.”

The event was used to launch the t-shirts, which can be purchased online for $25 each, with the proceeds going towards services and programming for newcomers at the cafe. The first batch has already sold out, but the non-profit says a new run will be available again on Au.g 22.

Moreover, Zerotrillion filmed the event, turning it into a campaign video (seen above) that has earned more than 10,000 organic views on YouTube and significant media coverage in national newspapers and websites. Media relations was handled by Hype PR.