Scarborough Grit

//  01.15.24



This Hospital Sticks to its Vision Despite the Obstacles

Powerful new campaign by Lifelong Crush demonstrates how Scarborough Health Network does more than anyone thought possible, with less than anyone could imagine

Scarborough Health Network (SHN) has released a wholly authentic and grittier second chapter in its powerful “Love, Scarborough” campaign.

The first chapter of advertising shone a light on the gross healthcare inequities faced by Scarborough hospitals and urged Torontonians to back up their neighbours by supporting SHN’s hospitals and patients.

The follow-up demonstrates how much the healthcare network can accomplish with less before asking potential donors to imagine what it could do with more. Created by Lifelong Crush, the campaign’s anchor video shows SHN staff capably treating patients despite the significant obstacles in their way. Shot entirely on film to present a more authentic view of the hospital and the city, the two-minute spot features real SHN employees, donors, volunteers, and community members.

The spot uses extraordinary visual metaphors to demonstrate the power and pride of SHN’s tenacity, despite being under-funded and underestimated. In one shot, a doctor demonstrates how they treat an influx of diverse patients in multiple different languages, while another shows a caretaker mopping a floor that extends into infinity. Another shot shows a staff member developing six arms to confidently keep up with the daily demands of his job and the constant influx of patients.

The spot also reflects Scarborough’s incredible diversity, with multilingual subtitles showing SHN employees communicating with patients in a variety of languages. To further capture the city’s vibe and exemplify the community’s tenacity, it’s soundtracked by “Stick to Your Vision” by Maestro Fresh Wes. It ends with a call for donations to the campaign hub,

“The people of Scarborough and Scarborough Health Network may not always be dealt the best hand, but they always make the best of it,” says Alicia Vandermeer, President and CEO of the SHN Foundation. “Our campaign not only highlights the unwavering commitment of SHN staff in delivering top-notch care with limited capital upgrades but also showcases the resilience of both Scarborough and its people.”

The creative approach showcases Scarborough’s tenacity and perseverance, despite not having the capital investments of its downtown counterparts, says Christina Yu, Lifelong Crush Partner and Chief Creative Officer.

“Scarborough Health Network has got more soul than any other hospital out there,” adds Shannon McCarroll, Creative Director. “Through this campaign we aimed to convey its authenticity, distinctive grit, and the genuine experience of not just being in the hospital but also being part of the community. It’s also a campaign about pride—celebrating the hospital’s achievements and ongoing efforts.”

The video creative is running across TV and cinema, supported by digital and static out-of-home, print, radio and social. The out-of-home executions adopt the video’s same gritty realness, and feature SHN staff, donors, and volunteers along with their own words and in their own handwriting.


About Scarborough Health Network Foundation
Situated in one of Canada’s most diverse communities, Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation inspires the support necessary to improve patients’ lives through exceptional care at Scarborough Health Network across three hospitals and eight satellite sites. Since its inception, the Foundation has worked with generous donors, volunteers, and community members to raise funds needed to build state-of-the-art infrastructure and purchase the latest medical technology, supporting SHN’s vision to be Canada’s leading community teaching health network.

About the Love, Scarborough Campaign
Launched on January 10, 2022, the Love, Scarborough campaign is an awareness campaign shedding light on the healthcare inequities Scarborough faces. Funds raised will support SHN Foundation’s $200 million fundraising goal, which will go toward critical projects like Canada’s first no-wait Emergency Department, community health centres, critical cardiac projects, and advancing research and education within Scarborough hospitals. Learn more at 

About Lifelong Crush
Lifelong Crush is a multidisciplinary creative agency focused on heightening brand relevancy, impact and effectiveness through diverse work that harnesses a cultural beat. With a passion for results, we elevate the relationship consumers hold with brands to drive long term brand performance. Simply put, unconstrained ideas create lasting impressions for brands.As well as Scarborough Health Network Foundation, we’re creating consumer crushes for all kinds of clients including Asahi Canada, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Everest Funeral Concierge, Fever-Tree Canada, Kelseys Original Roadhouse, Lee Valley Tools and Plan International Canada


Brand Campaign: Scarborough Grit
Spot Title: Scarborough Grit
Brand Platform: Love, Scarborough

Client: Scarborough Health Network Foundation
President & CEO: Alicia Vandermeer
Associate Vice President, Marketing & Communications: Jennifer Lee
Manager, Marketing & Communications: Kyla Tymchen
Officer, Marketing & Communications: Jacqueline Vu
Coordinator, Marketing & Communications: Akilah James

Agency: Lifelong Crush
Chief Creative Officers: Derek Blais, Christina Yu
Creative Director: Shannon McCarroll, Skye Deluz
VP, Strategy: Carly Miller
Strategy Director: Savannah Onofrey
Art Director: Skye Deluz
Copywriter: Shannon McCarroll
Art Director: Daniel Ong
VP, Business Director: Lindsay Day
Group Business Lead: Kim Hunter
Account Executive: Noah Faigal
Integrated Producer: Demi Veselinovic, Sydney Kavanagh

Production Company: Steam Films
Executive Producer: Krista Marshall
Director: Pensacola
Director Of Photography: Peter Hadfield
B-Roll: Alicia K. Harris, RouteEleven
Line Producer: Andrew Graham
Production Designer: Noelle Hindi
Wardrobe Stylist: Kate Day

Editorial Company: Nimiopere
Executive Producer: Julie Axell, Paula Hicks
Editor: Graham Chisholm
Assistant Editor: Laura Corredore

Colour and VFX: The Vanity
Colourist: Andrew Exworth
VFX Supervisor: Naveen Srivastava
Executive Producer: Kayla Baxter, Stephanie Pennington

Photography Production Company: Lifelong Crush
Director: Sarah Blais
Photography Assistant: Chris Smith
Producer: Demi Veselinovic, Sydney Kavanagh
Production Coordinator: Rae Harder

Audio House: TA2
Executive Producer/Music Supervisor: Christine Leslie, Steve Gadsden
Audio Director: Steve Gadsden, Oliver Wickham
Mix & Sound Design: Chris Masson, Ken Lo

Media Agency: True Media
Associate Media Director: Claire Crombez
Client Strategist: Jordan Topan