Two men, a pickup truck and a side of psy­cho­anal­y­sis

Ex­pen­sive ther­apy isn’t the only way to get some couch time in Toronto

Village Post - - NEWS - by Bron­wen Keyes-Bevan

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

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