September 30th marked the 2nd annual FEDUP! Rally for Canadian drug policy reform. This year, the Rally was held on the south lawn at Queen's Park, Toronto, where we gathered to make some noise and let our government know just how FEDUP! we really are. If you weren't able to make it out to Toronto to join us, don't worry, I made sure to snap plenty of pictures throughout my trip, so you can check out all of the excitement!
My trip started on September 29th, when I boarded the 12:15pm Bus from the London Greyhound Station, and headed on down the 401 towards Toronto. It has been just about forever since I've been on a Greyhound Bus, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bus had free wi-fi. I have been involved in the planning of the Rally for months now, so I was excited to finally see how everything would come together.
I arrived in Toronto at about 2:30pm, where I was met by the amazing Donna D. May, the woman behind www.rufedupca.com and the Rally, outside of the station. Despite the fact that her and I have been in touch for almost 2 years, this was the first time we've ever had the chance to meet in person! It was so wonderful to finally get to meet her, as she has been nothing but full of love and support for me the entire time <3 I jumped into her car, and we headed off to check out and into the hotel that I was booked into for the night.
We headed up Queen Street, and into a little neighbourhood nearby. From the outside, the building looked like another apartment building in the area, but inside, it had been nicely converted into a short and long-term stay Hotel called "Studio 6". When we went inside to get me all checked in, we were met by Randy Roberts, another great person I've been in touch with for some time but just had the opportunity to meet. He was also there to attend the Rally, and was staying in the Hotel room across the hall from me. We said goodbye to Donna, and headed upstairs to drop off my things and settle in for a little bit before meeting up later on.
I haven't stayed in a hotel room in... oh, a good 7 years. Needless to say, I was very excited to be able to get away for a day, and spend a night in a nice Hotel room all to myself. When I held my keycard up to the swipe pad and swung open the Hotel room door, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw inside. The Hotel room was super nice! I had a queen-size bed, tv, fridge, a stovetop, microwave, & a view. Check it out...
After settling in for a bit, I decided to take a little walk up Queen street to pick up a couple items I needed. I checked out a few little shops along the way, and then headed back up to my Hotel. That evening, Randy and I drove over to South River-dale Community Centre, where we met up with Donna, as well as one of the workers at the centre named Raffi. We chatted over coffee for a bit, before heading across the street to be spoiled with an absolutely mouthwatering steak dinner over at 'Eastside Social Coastal Fare and Bevies'. I haven't had a yummy steak dinner at a restaurant like that in a very long time. It was a lovely treat.
After dinner, we headed back over to the hotel at about 9pm, and were about ready to call it a night. However, I couldn't resist taking a quick romp back out to a nearby Starbucks on Queen street, were I had the chance to meet another friend in person for the first time, despite being in touch with for sometime as well. I really enjoyed finally getting to meet her in person, as we've grown close over the past year! After a good chat and a hug goodbye, I headed back up to my Hotel room and crawled into bed; falling asleep to the sight of the CN Tower outside my window.
I woke up the next morning and started getting myself together and ready for the big day; it was finally FEDUP! Rally day! Randy and I met up at about 10:30am, and drove over to the south lawn of Queen's Park where we met up with the rest of the FEDUP! crew as they began to arrive. Randy and I took a quick trip over to Tim Horton's for a pre-Rally bite to eat, and then headed back over to help everyone set up.
When 12pm finally arrived, we were ready to go! The Rally opened with some words from the woman behind the FEDUP! Rally; Donna D. May. She is an absolutely amazing woman and a strong advocate for drug policy reform here in Canada. She kicked things off, and welcomed our different speakers and guests to share their stories. Check out some of the pictures from the Rally below.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
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