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Wait, WTF is The Combine?

There’s a joke around these parts, that everything is The Combine. The office of Bensimon Byrne, Narrative, OneMethod, and Folk? Combine. Our staff, our store, our events? Combine. This sentence you’re reading or that sandwich you’re eating? Yup, Combine.

While mostly not untrue, the joke doesn’t really help explain it all. And even though we have a shorter, websitey overview of what The Combine is, we thought a longer, bloggy take on it all might be helpful. And our apologies for using the word “bloggy”.

The Big Picture

In a broad sense, the Combine is an experiment in progress. An ongoing effort to apply forward thinking to everything we do. In a more specific sense, it’s an attempt to transform a conventional office into a community-driven space that blends making, shopping, learning, and living. So we’ve redesigned our physical space for retail and events and hanging out. But we’ve also redesigned who uses our space, from the employees of our 4 agencies to our clients/partners to an ever-growing-yet-select group of creative, like-minded people. It’s a workspace for so much more than work being used by so much more than just our employees. And yeah, it has a store, a café, a bar, a magazine, a podcast, an ongoing Ted-talk-type speaker series, and so on. But more on that in a few pixels. Let’s first look back at where The Combine came from.

The Origin Story

The Combine actually launched back in 2018 and ran until Covid did what Covid does. The pandemic forced us to press pause on the whole thing but also reinforced the need for such a concept and helped shape this next iteration of it. However, the idea for it all truly developed organically in our offices in the decade leading up to the launch. For years our office spaces would see employees and non-employees collaborating in different ways, using the space for different things, adding a whole different energy to where we work and what we make. Clients, ex-employees, and friends-of-friends would hang out. NBA All-Stars (Baron Davis) and Grammy Award Winning producers (Boi1da) would drop by. Chris Bosh even set up a desk in our space one year.

Chris Bosh Sitting at his desk in our office back in 2009

We’d throw parties and sell tacos and host art shows. Unexpected people would collaborate and inspire each other in unexpected ways. We stepped back and realized it was in all these moments where we would see and feel a whole different degree of creativity and community. This is what an office or a company or work should be like. So in 2018, we decided to throw a wrapper on it, giving it a name and a vision. And now, we’ve pushed it even further, adding more elements, structure, and ambition to the ongoing experiment.

An art show with Matt Barnes back in 2018

All The Elements


The physical space is designed for making, blending traditional office elements with different spaces & tools for heightened creativity & community.


At the front of The Combine is a dynamic retail space, continually re-imagined by members & residents, which sits a few steps below a proper cafe.

A pop-up shop in The Front


A member-driven set of programming designed to promote continually sharing & up-skilling for everyone in the community.


Beyond a space for hanging out & meeting up, The Combine also frequently features live events like art shows, listening parties, and tastings.

Homemade (Magazine)

A bi-annual, physical artbook anchored by shifting themes that features content created by members of The Combine. Our first issue is on sale now over here.

Debrief (Podcast)

Debrief is an ongoing interview series where our host Kristy Pryma sits down to have long-form conversations with various members of The Combine.

A recent Debrief recording

Labnotes (Speaker Series)

A monthly Ted-Talk-type speaker series where members and non-members drop by to shed some light on something somewhat connected to creativity.

Written By:C. Ombine

225 Wellington St WToronto-ON / M5V3G7

The Combine is a division of Tadiem, a framework for forward thinking.

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