#SoleAcademy: Toronto’s New Hot Photo Opp Installation

Back to school is definitely upon us. And although I’m not a student anymore (damn, those days are long gone haha), I still can’t help but get those excited back to school vibes. Growing up, “back to school” season was my favourite. I was a huge nerd, so I couldn’t wait to pick out my new first day of school outfit and get back to the classroom. I know I know, what is wrong with me?! haha

I don’t have kids and all of my friends aren’t in school, so I miss out on actually experiencing that feeling. 

That was until I heard of this new art installation that was going to be unveiled at Scarborough Town Centre, designed by the squad at Kastor & Pollux. They’re a group  of creatives from Toronto who are renowned in the city for creating the coolest and “dopest” spots, events, and experiences. When I heard that they were designing an installation for “back to school” and streetwear sneaker culture, Dave and I had to check it out. 

What is Sole Academy? 

I couldn’t believe the installation was set in a mall. They never had spots this cool in my home mall when I was a kid. 

The centre of the mall unveiled a pop-up shoe display and rightfully named it “Sole Academy” – a mix of back to school vibes and a celebration of streetwear sneaker culture. And boy, let me tell you how crazy the latter is – Dave is a self-proclaimed sneaker head and the craze around sneakers is insane! Definitely a cult following. 



The space cunningly and creatively featured coveted kicks, like the Air Jordan Retro DMPs and Adidas Ultra Boosts. I’ve learnt all about these sneakers from Dave. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to cop some of these kicks. 

The space is definitely a light of inspiration for getting people excited about back to school (if I was a kid, I would die out of excitement to see this), but it’s also an ode to all the sneakerheads in Toronto. Scarborough Town Centre has a ton of athleisure retailers that’ll make your inner streetwear spirit sing. Housing retailers like Adidas, House of Hoops, Champs, FlyZone by Kid’s Footlocker, and At Eaze, there’s literally a solution for everyone. And the abundance of choices make it easy when you’re hunting for a pair of something specific in your size!

Either way, it’s definitely worth it to make the trip to check this out. 

The Photo Opps

40 pairs of shoes were creatively embedded into the installation. The space features 4 classroom vibes that transports you right back into school. Stepping into them, I felt like a kid again. And who doesn’t want to feel like that? 

What’s awesome about the whole thing is that you can walk into them, experience it, interact with the installation, and literally step back into school (but the coolest school on the block). It’s encouraged to come in, snap photos, hang out, and trust me, if you’re an IGer, a streetwear fan, or a sneaker head… this is the photo opp of the year for you. 

They also have an awesome contest to win a total of 8 pairs of those noteworthy shoes that’s hard to get your hands on! 

Here are the 4 rooms that are part of the installation (and are serious photo opps): 






Details To Check It Out

When: August 31, 2017 – September 14, 2017
Where: Scarborough Town Centre (300 Borough Dr, Scarborough, ON M1P 4P5)

If you’re in the area or are able to jump on the subway (it’s a quick ride from downtown Toronto), I would definitely check it out. If anything, to take an awesome photo, tag it with the hashtag #STCGETSCHOOLED, and win some killer sneakers.


I’m always so inspired when malls or large institutions find new creative ways to engage the community. I feel like it’s a nod back to their commitment to their customers. I also think it’s super dope that Scarborough Town Centre invested in local, young Toronto creatives to help build this awesome piece of art.

As big of a city as Toronto is, we’re a tight community, and things like this always inspire me to never leave this awesome city I call home. There’s always something new to explore or experience. Maybe I’ll even become a sneakerhead one day (nothing would make Dave happier haha). 

mel inspired