Thursday, October 27, 2011

Poly on Tour - Final days

Day 8 - After a whirlwind of some 1400 km in 5 days, we were in need of a slow day.  DC and I hung around the hotel while  J and D explored nearby Woodbine Mall, Woodbine Rack Track and the related Casino.  I caught up on blog postings.  We rallied for dinner at the fabulous Mandarin buffet restaurant where they didn't even blink when I reserved for 20 people.  It is a very large restaurant with a vast array of dishes in the buffet.  We arrived a bit late due to road construction complicating traffic but only by a few minutes.  I opened the door to the restaurant to find a group of people waiting for me that bowled me over.  Some high school friends that I hadn't seen for over 30 years, friends from youth camp and church that I'd not seen in anywhere from a few years or fairly recently to at least 20 years. Some knew each other and enjoyed visiting.  Others enjoyed meeting new people and among the guests was a lovely academic researcher who we met during the court proceedings. It was a very warm and supportive gathering for me to confirm the polyamorous household in which I live and have them warmly welcomed.  There was much catching up conversations and  more about what life is like for us in the shadow of a decision on the BC Supreme court case.  I suspect that anyone on my Facebook friends list in the area who was invited and disapproving of my lifestyle choice would likely have not attended so the odds of the group assembled being at least not there to harass me was pretty good - however it was interesting to hear that one couple in attendance are looking to have a triad relationship but haven't met another person who was compatible yet and others who while not seeing this as a lifestyle for themselves were very clear in their minds that healthy multiple partner relationships should not be criminalized.  There were a fair number in attendance from a church background that is christian and perhaps more liberal and inclusive than others might be yet the doctrine of monogamous marriage is most definitely entrenched.  It was a lovely evening.

On our final day DC needed to nurse a headache so J, D and I took the rental car back to the airport and caught the hotel shuttle back.  We had lunch with my brother in the hotel restaurant and he was very kind to act as chauffeur and tour guide for the afternoon. We wandered around the downtown core and saw the fog enshrouded CN Tower,  Roger Centre (used to be the Skydome), Air Canada Centre, City Hall and the historic architecture around it, the Eaton's Centre, and the underground mall to the Atrium on Bay.  We lost DC in the World's Biggest Bookstore.  My brother left to collect his children and we located the old Maple Leaf Gardens building which is currently being sadly over renovated.  Loblaws and the Ryerson Fitness Centre will be living there when it is all completed.  The roof with the logo and the exterior brick building are to remain.  J chatted with workmen on site hoping to acquire a piece of brick or something of a souvenir nature but was unsuccessful.  I had spent much of my youth attending games and concerts there and  D had been there before as well so we were able to describe the original signage and interior for J and talk about what attending events there was like.  Maple Leaf Gardens was often referred to as the Cathedral of Hockey mainly because of its location on Church Street.  It was very much like a worshiper's journey as we trekked along busy city streets in the pouring rain looking at this historic building in transition.

Wet and very cold we walked a wee bit further and arrived at the location selected for us to meet with people from several poly groups in the Toronto area.  Some arrived just after us and others came later.  All in all about 25 people attended including some poly people not affiliated with any group.  It was a very warm group of people most of whom didn't know many of the others either.  It was good for them to connect with each other but very awesome to get some great feedback on the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association's website and work with the court case.  We left them with several copies of the DVD of the What is Polyamory Forum and made some connections for future advocacy work and events.  Two members of the Toronto triad who also filed an affidavit for CPAA's evidence in the case were in attendance and it was very cool to be able to talk to them about the feedback they had received and how life was going for them.

I sold some of my books at both of these dinners and that was pretty empowering for me as well.  J is an old hat at being in the "Poly Lady"'s entourage, and  D has become accustomed as well.  DC is learning to be comfortable in the spotlight too.  J says quite rightly that I am absolutely in heaven when gathered with people who want to know about polyamory, poly community building and advocacy around our rights and the law. It fulfills my inner teacher or missionary, I think. Although talking about something that I believe in and have found such happiness with is not difficult. I look forward to traveling and participating in the global conversation and celebration of the polyamory community building worldwide.  It is indeed and exciting and history making time.

This morning we got up at 4:30 am Ontario time and caught an early direct flight from Toronto to Victoria.  For some reason the flight west is longer than the flight east and I really felt it.  Four very weary but happy travelers arrived home inspired by the wonderful people and beautiful countryside of Ontario, Canada.

Thank you for a great trip.
Note:  My iphone crapped out and had to be restored which wiped some photos. I did get some also on my digital camera but have mislaid the download chord.  Tech advances are great but when they fail its a big fail.  I will edit and post pics when I get passed this little issue.

Edited:  Oct 31 - got the pics and amended this entry.

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