Stories of the Daily Grind

Inspired by the MaRs Studio Y Innovative Assignment

Gros Morne Hiked1.jpg


What if we could create an inspired nation based on everyday people that we meet along the way. What if we could strengthen the daily grind by showcasing why people do what they do. The Daily Grind Project aims to connect communities and people through the common identity of their motivations in storytelling bites. 

This is a project that profiles you and your neighbors and uses the metaphor of the daily grind to explore your motivation for a stronger future.

The Café Owner

Montreal is cultural hub for many things including hip hop culture. It is also now home to the first hip hop café on Du Parc Avenue. Here is where I met Olivier, owner of Le Hip Hop Café.

We talked hip hop over cappuccino and cookies, covering the challenges of the Hip Hop industry in Montreal and the differences between Montreal and Quebecois artists. He was working on the plan to build the hip café for eight years before he launched it. Just like Toronto artist Drake’s claim to fame video he “Started form the Bottom” working multiple jobs including shifts at Shoppers Drug Mart when creating the business plan. Olivier is driven to put the culture of hip hop on a prominent avenue in Montreal like Du Parc and keep it there as he is motivated by the passion and culture of Hip Hop in his daily grind.

The Artist

Cotes Des Neiges is an arrival point for new immigrants moving to Montreal City. Deep within the neighborhood is the No Bad Sound Recording Studio, a youth based community centre providing afterschool Hip Hop programming young potential in the neighborhood.

Here is where I reconnected with Lou, one of the lead artists for the International based Hip Hop group Nomadic Massive. Lou has been pioneering music and supporting youth initiatives through the Hip Hop movement for a number of years. A native of Paris France he moved to Montreal and has been creating music for 10 year with the band. He schooled me on the Anglo & French Hip Hop history in Canada and how it moved from the Bronx & Paris to specific language based movements in Canada. His love for hip hop has allows him to be a hip hop educator to many and he is motivated by making something out of nothing in this daily grind.


The Bakers

Gander is a town known to be the crossroads of the world. I pulled off Trans Canada Highway 1 in hopes to get some coffee to fuel a seven-hour drive across the Newfoundland.

Gander being a common pit stop location for travelers, I stumbled upon Bread Box Baker & Café, where I met Marlene who helped me some caffeine and baked good for my journey. We connected over supporting local scene and the BC coffee that she brewed known as the kick ass blend. Marlene and her husband opened up this bakery & café not too long ago it’s the people they meet and feed that motivate them in their their daily grind.


The Trekkers

Gros Morne National Park, A UNESCO World Heritage site and trekkers dream in Newfoundland.  I pulled up at Green point trail as the sun was setting and noticed car with a Massachusetts license plates at one of the campsites overlooking the bay.

Here is where I met Chris & Eric two roommates & good friends who were visiting Maine in the United States and decided to continue the journey to Gros Morne by jumping on a ferry over. We connected over the beauty of this great land and continued the conversation over stories of travel Canadian journeys to make, including an open invite by me to Toronto. Chris and Eric decided to spontaneously make the trip up North to camp out and they truly believe that life is to short not to live to the fullest which motivates them in their daily grind.

The Home Makers

Twillingate is a town known as the iceberg capital of the world and one of my last destinations touring Newfoundland. I walked into Harbour Lights Inn to find a place where I could rest my head for the long haul home the next morning.

Here is where I met Melinda and her husband, who made me feel right at home. We connected about being from Ontario as they briefly lived in Brampton for work and conversed about the difference between the way of in Toronto & Newfoundland. Melinda manages the bed & breakfast and Will was a carpenter by trade. They told me what motivates them in their daily grind is family and their ability to be close to the ones they love.    

The young man who has been working on a business plan for eight years to create a hip hop café & an artist who became heavily involved in supporting youth in the community. The lady who serves you coffee on your pit stop driving between cities, her husband that comes in early morning to start baking bread. The young trekkers who have been best friends deciding to jump on a ferry from United States to camp in Newfoundland Canada. The friendly woman who makes sure you feel right at home at a bed & breakfast and her husband who is carpenter. These are all people you will meet on the daily grind.


The Daily Grind was created as part of an application process for MaRs Studio Y Fellowships