Two men, a pickup truck and a side of psychoanalysis
Expensive therapy isn’t the only way to get some couch time in Toronto
Torontonian Dylan Cann, 25, was merely looking for some outdoor space in which to hang with his friends but, in the process, he has become an impromptu love doctor. The Beaches local loaded a couch onto the back of a pickup truck and headed to the beach.
Passersby often stopped to take pictures, and Cann, who has lived in the Beaches for over 15 years, wondered how he could engage more meaningfully with his neighbours.
“We were just hanging out, and we thought how can we actually start talking to people,” said Cann.
Fashioning a makeshift sign with materials found in the back of his truck, Cann and his friend Ben Lucas advertised free relationship advice.They could never have guessed how people would react.
Within days, the story was covered on news outlets across the city; people trekked across the city to meet the duo; and neighbours encouraged them to join the local Easter Parade. With the help of a GoFundMe page, they built a float — complete with the original couch and sign — and took part in the parade.
Cann believes the response has been so overwhelmingly positive because people are hungry to connect with their neighbours.
“People don’t just randomly talk to each other anymore,” said Cann. “I think they like that you can go up and talk to a random person and have a friendly conversation.” Cann has advised on many relationship problems. “I’m not a shrink,” he said, “but we give people a truthful, unbiased opinion from someone who’s not their friend.”
The couch crew, as they call themselves, plan to continue offering their services in the Beaches for the rest of the summer. They are also hoping to host a pop-up in an empty storefront on Queen Street East in the coming months. “Nothing fancy,” explained Cann. “We’d have the same couch and the same sign.” Cann’s biggest ambition for the project, however, is for it to go global. “If I saw a picture online of someone else in another city with a pickup truck and a couch with the same sign,” he says, “I’d be thrilled.”
L–R: Dylan Cann and Ben Lucas on a sunny day in the Beaches and on the advice-mobile during the Toronto Beaches Easter Parade