There are four types of people in Toronto: people who walk, people who cycle, people who take the bus, and people who drive. A few short years ago, one could sit down and do the math over coffee and a pie graph and see that the slices were not equal. Today, I imagine that the numbers have changed, all in favour of a healthier lifestyle. I sat down with Jeff Scullion, owner and employee at Cycle Couture, to discuss how Toronto has shifted into a new a gear: A Cycling City.
Jeff is a graduate of Brock University and originally worked in the corporate world as a VP of a popular marketing firm. Jeff was given the golden opportunity to travel around the world. While visiting some of the top cycling cities, a love story ensued with Jeff and cycling culture. “Even during my travels, I was always really excited to come home to Toronto. I love the city… I wanted to add to it,” Jeff explained. While abroad, Jeff came across a variety of brands with a “clean aesthetic.” His idea was to bring brands like Velorbis, PUBLIC, Swobo, and Herskind to Toronto and to be the first dealer in Canada for many of these brands.
As Jeff got to work on this rather challenging endeavor, he compiled a business plan and started the hunt for a retail space. “I found a shop on College and was really drawn to the simplicity of the space,” Jeff reminisced. Cycle Couture is located at 926 College Street West, just past Dovercourt, where Jeff precisely curates the bicycles and items sold. With its urban, modern aesthetic, Cycle Couture is a shop that is sure to charm. Jeff states that he really wanted the products to speak for themselves and to act as art within the space. This eye for detail enhances the look and feel of the brand and is nothing short of couture.
Besides making Toronto cyclists Instagram-ready, Jeff and the team at Cycle Couture are committed to catering to your everyday bike needs. “It’s really about building community through common interest,” explains Jeff. Although Cycle Couture is a boutique shop, they provide many of the same services as your average bike shop in the city at comparable prices (although an appointment might be required). “We still do tune-ups and repairs and we also carry a bunch of accessories like messengers [messenger bags] and the Levi’s Commuter Line,” Jeff added.
For the past eight months, Jeff has worked at his shop full-time. Business is thriving. “This is all new to me, but change is exciting,” Jeff says as we stand outside Cycle Couture. Through the window, I can see a clear vista to a Light Bright which reads: “Show your bike / Show <3”. As Jeff’s kismet love affair with cycling culture continues to blossom, look forward to an even stronger brand presence in Toronto and perhaps a sister store in another Canadian city. No matter your mode of transportation, show your love and show it in style.
WORDS: JONATHAN BRODERICK
PHOTOS: ISAAC ZELUNKA