November 1st, 1946 is forever etched into the lore of Toronto basketball history as being the date the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at the famed Maple Leaf Gardens for the first ever NBA game. The Vanguard retraced the steps of those players and continued to explore the 6ix's rich and textured seamless tapestry of Art, Ball & Culture. Arriving first at Union Station, much like any travelers from 1946 would have, the squad walked through these hallowed halls. Upon exiting the grandeur of this historical site, you are immediately at the doorstep of the famed Royal York Hotel which was once the tallest building in the British Empire. With the Canadian flag waving proudly in the sky, our coach was fueled and ready to drive us to our first destination on this journey of insight, inspiration and destination.  

From the doorstep of the historic Union Station, The Vanguard boarded a private coach, pop’d tags, got dip’d and dab’d their way uptown to the site formerly known as “The Carlton Cashbox” aka Maple Leaf Gardens. The first NBA jump ball took place at its centre court and the squad took in the majesty front and centre with a private tour of the facilities that detailed the history and heritage that lives inside these walls. 

On a quest for fire, Kardinal Offishall blazed a path by taking over airwaves and video channels alike with his distinctly Toronto slang. He is to Toronto Hip-Hop what Vince Carter is to Toronto basketball. Telecaster, former National Team floor General & Canadian hoop historian, Sherman Hamilton witnessed both the artist and athlete spark the flame that has led the way for this New Toronto to ascend to the apex of Sport & Culture.

These kids wear crowns over here and these two Kings spoke with The Vanguard before we were the first to see The Nike Basketball Royalty Collection and learn of the inspiration pulled from our cities distinct tone and tenor that went into its creation. 

Welcome to The Vanguard.