When you think of Canadian skate cities, you probably first think of Montreal and its glorious Dime crew and Glory Challenge, followed by Vancouver and its prominence in seminal ’90s skate videos. But what about Canada’s largest city, Toronto?
In his debut full-length, proud Torontonian (yes, that’s a real word) and Crailtap family member Daniel Policelli wanted to present a time capsule of what the last two years of Toronto skateboarding have looked like for him and his crew.
His video Rendered is a tribute to his city and his homies, featuring many new spots and fresh faces for those unfamiliar with Toronto, and really, Canada as a whole’s skate scene. It’s got that authentic feel-good vibe paired with high-caliber skating that marks the difference between a regular old homie edit and a truly standout independent video.
We hopped on a call with Daniel to dive deeper into the making of “Rendered” and talked Canadian slang, skating people’s houses, and the ideal Toronto skate trip. Watch Ben St. Aubin‘s part now, and check out the full video on April 17th on Daniel’s YouTube channel.
Q&A W/ Creator Daniel Policelli
Where did the video name Rendered come from?
Rendered, to most people, is a video term, but a lot of the crew likes to talk in that typical Northern Canadian hockey slang. They started to do it as a joke, but then you’re actually just talking like that at the end of the day. [laughs] It’s kind of like if you’ve just battled a trick, or you drank a lot the night before, you’re feeling pretty “rendered.”
Is there any other notable Canadian slang that people around the world should know about?
Hmm, honestly a lot of it has turned into our own language that no one else understands, including me most of the time, and is too braindead to even mention.
I like “hackin’ a dart” (smokin’ a cigarette), “tarps off” (taking your shirt off), or saying “baud” (bud) at the end of every sentence. “Pulling trig” and “snagging dig” (digits). “Rendered” is usually the only one I use.
Fuck, a lot of that slang is now closely associated with Nelk which I’m not too stoked on, but yeah, I just think it’s funny to hear people talk like that.
You guys worked on the video for about two years. What feels like the right amount of time to work on a video and why?
For me, making videos is about making a time capsule. If you spend too long on it, the whole vibe of a crew or a video can change. So that’s why I wanted to keep it short – that way it’s just that time and then you move on to the next video and document that time.
It ended up taking two years just cause I was kinda bouncing around on trips for Girl & Chocolate and at one point it was like damn, I’m not going to be able to put something together that I would really like in just a year. I’m stoked that we did wait because it seems more complete.
“For me, making videos is about making a time capsule. If you spend too long on it, the whole vibe of a crew or a video can change.”
Girl & Chocolate both have a lot of older pros now. Who in your experience has the longest warm-up routine?
Hmmm, I haven’t really paid much attention to that. Most of the dudes I’ve been on trips with are around my age though. Shit, am I getting old now? [Laughs]
But I’ve heard multiple times that [Mike] Carroll’s got quite the routine going on. Haven’t been on a full trip with him yet but hopefully I’ll get to witness that one day!
Have you ever spent a night on the infamous Crail Couch?
Unfortunately, I’ve never spent a night haha, but maybe one day.
You guys skated a lot of house spots, which can be dicey at times. Were there any interesting encounters skating any of those house spots?
This wasn’t for this video, but honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is when we were skating this ledge spot that’s surrounded by three apartment complexes. This dude came out with a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals and he had a full-on katana and opened it up, and was raising it over one of our homies’ heads. He had a crazy look in his eyes. We were like, “Dude, this is not a joke, we have to get out of here.” He took our homie’s camera bag, which we had to get back. It was hectic.
We skated a house spot once and our homie Chris fully broke their handrail while the mom and her kid were watching on the porch. They were like “Oh, it’s ok, just leave it by the curb.” So we just skated the one on the other side and they weren’t even tripping.
What do you think people should know before taking a skate trip to Toronto?
If you can, try to find a place that’s close to a subway line. I see a lot of people that come here on skate trips and they stay in Mississauga, North York, Brampton and it’s like, “How did you even?”
Hit Blue Tile Lounge, So Hip, and Adrift. Toronto’s pretty multicultural so try and check out all the little pockets. Kensington’s a popular one. Have a ‘lil sunset session by the water at Harbourfront or Ontario Place. Dunbat, Christie Pits, and Wallace Emerson are all fun hockey rink-style parks you can chill at too.
Try to stay close to that downtown core. If you’re on a subway or streetcar line, you can get anywhere you want to for that day. Just cruise – you don’t have to worry about driving, parking, or anything like that. If you come here, I’m sure you’ll have a good time.
“My reaction time was definitely a little off thanks to the Claw.”
Is there a perfect amount of beer to drink where you have a buzz but can still competently film?
Dude, probably just like a couple beers for me. I personally don’t really like to drink while I’m filming or skating. There was a St. Patrick’s Day we had during this video where we were all skating together. Everyone was drinking obviously and I brought a few White Claws with me. I think I had like two and ended up getting a lens hit. I instantly felt so stupid, especially cause those Extreme fisheyes are so damn expensive nowadays. I’m sure it still would have been a close call if I wasn’t drinking, but my reaction time was definitely a little off thanks to the Claw.
Any personal favorite part from the video?
There are a whopping 7 minutes of credits and that’s my favorite part. They’re all these little snippets of living in Toronto with your friends. To me, these have been the best years of my life and now I can look back on this. It was these two years when I first moved out to Toronto and my homies are my roommates and we’re all skating and growing up together.
I’m going to really cherish those memories. That’s why I did this video. It’s not like I was thinking, “Oh I’m going to make this crazy Toronto skate video and all these people are gonna get sponsored and I’m gonna have it featured on all these different outlets.” I honestly could just show it to my homies at one of our cribs and be satisfied enough, you know? Nothing serious, let’s have fun. Let me capture these years of friendships.
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