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Instagram account that celebrates Scarborough opens permanent retail shop | CBC News

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Walking into Scarborough Spots at Eglinton Square Shopping Centre is like stepping inside the TTC — but it’s all Scarborough themed.

The shop is designed to mimic a subway station with stops like “The Bluffs” and other Scarborough hot spots.

The “Instagrammable” space is a huge leap from when Jesse Asido first launched the account Scarborough Spots. It started as a way to highlight restaurants in the east end of the city during the pandemic, but quickly grew to share Scarborough memes, history, news and more.

“It’s now evolved into what some people say is a movement for Scarborough,” said Asido, who has made Scarborough Spots his full-time gig.

Celebrities like The Weeknd, Lily Singh and Jamaal Magloire have touted their support for the business, and the merchandise is being sold across the globe.

On Saturday, Asido and his team are celebrating the official launch of a retail store in Eglinton Square Shopping Centre.

“We’re selling everything from hoodies, to t-shirts, mugs, hats and some surprises,” he said, adding he hopes the creative interior inspires people to come to the shop as a tourist destination.

Celebrities like The Weeknd, Lily Singh and Jamaal Magloire have touted their support for Scarborough Spots, and the merchandise is now being sold across the globe. (Talia Ricci/CBC)

Asido says part of the inspiration to showcase people and places in Scarborough is to share what it was like growing up there. He says as a kid, he often turned on the news and saw Scarborough painted in a negative light — but his experience was very positive.

“If I could go through life again, I would choose to live in Scarborough, it was the coolest place to grow up” he said.

“The person next to you could be Trinidadian, the person beside you could be Polish, the person behind you Chinese. We’d go to each other’s houses and try each other’s food. I think it’s a great place to be from and I think we should be really proud of that.”

Asido hopes the love for Scarborough continues to grow.

“I think it’s just begun. I think we’re just scratching the surface of how amazing Scarborough really is.”

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