CBC Digital Archives

Mel Profit, Toronto Argo and boutique owner

With his shaggy blonde California good looks, Mel Profit is a model owner of a fashionable unisex clothing store in 1969. But he's also a talented member of the Toronto Argonauts football team. Today football is not the focus as Profit takes viewers on a brief filmed walk down Yonge Street to his newly opened Wellesley Street boutique, "The First Asylum." In this clip from CBC television show The Morning After, Profit discusses the Africa-inspired clothing in his shop and why he, a California native, decided to stay in Toronto and open a clothing business.
• Mel Profit was born July 30, 1941 in New York City, but grew up in San Jose, California.  He was signed in 1966 to play with the B.C. Lions, but before the season began was moved to Toronto to play for the Argonauts.

• Profit was, from the start of his time in the CFL, was an outlier in the league because of his unusually long hair. Adding to his nonconformity was his specialized clothing boutique, which featured caftans, dashikis and djellabas for men and women. Later he was central to a players' strike in favour of an equitable pay system for the Canadian players.

• Profit played tight end for the Argos from 1966 to 1972, when he was suddenly let go by head coach Leo Cahill. He had been the centre of a controversy earlier in the year when he openly criticized of the Toronto city council for supporting the use of $625,000 in civic funds for artificial turf at the team's home field, Exhibition Stadium, when there were other needs for the money in the city.
Medium: Television
Program: The Morning After
Broadcast Date: Dec. 7, 1969
Guest(s): Mel Profit
Host(s): Helen Hutchinson, Danny Finkleman, Bernadette Andrews
Duration: 9:28

Last updated: November 21, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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