We touched down in the 6ix on January 6th with one focused goal: Let’s create BodyThoughts in Toronto and have the biggest impact possible.
What followed was an incredible journey that took us across the city. We travelled to diverse neighbourhoods, explored cool buildings, made some forever friends, and learned what makes this city tick.
We also discovered that parking in Toronto is absolutely horrible (hello parking tickets!) and that this city is a bustling, beating, inspired metropolis. We built amazing friendships with beautiful souls and heard some incredible stories.
367 King Street W proved to be the biggest coup with the storefront sign emblazoned with "BODYTHOUGHTS." When we walked up to the building and looked inside, we shrieked because we knew that this was to be the Toronto home of BodyThoughts. And through serendipity and good luck, the lease was signed.
BodyThoughts Toronto wouldn't have been possible without the people making it happen behind the scenes. From Conversation Curators, to the film crew, to content creators and anyone willing to lend a helping hand, BodyThoughts could have never had the impact it did without the energy of the people working behind it.
When we opened our doors and the guests arrived, we were moved. As Alexa has said, "There is no way you can prepare for the range of emotions this container can hold or how that impacts me personally. Feeling their heart, their pain, their joy, their vulnerability, their humanity...I am so grateful. There were so many moments when I held back tears. The gratitude floors me."
Your stories and thoughts have been so special. As have the tears, hugs, and silences, too. We feel so privileged to have seen the beautiful thoughts and words of so many.
To share a couple:
"Why is the corporeal body such a fixation? What might be different if we as humans were concerned with our other bodies - our spiritual body, our body of work, our metaphysical body? The physical is all at once everything we have, yet paradoxically, it is nothing. It is a sack of flesh, and a collection of atoms that will eventually go to dust and cannot outlive us as our soul might."
"Society, culture, tradition and expectation dictate who we know ourselves to be, and you guide us to navigate and understand a new perspective that was always there. We just get in the way of ourselves so often that we never see it. You've broken through that with such vulnerability and courage that we trust you with our forms. Walking through BodyThoughts we begin to create a new definition of what it means to have a view on body image. With you we leave anew, with you we leave alive, with you we leave ourselves behind."
"I think that as women, we are not encouraged to experience our own bodies. A huge amount of focus is placed on how others see us and whether what they see is correct or valid. I remember once telling a friend that I really liked the flesh around my hips and stomach because of how they felt to me. I remember the look in her eyes as I said this as if it couldn't possibly be true. That was the first time I really realized how little value was placed on my own experience of my body."
We also released a mini-documentary, that you are invited to watch. It tells the story of the origins of BodyThoughts, and why this is an important movement and conversation to have.
We've also been #blessed with the press we've received while in Toronto. As guests in your city, thank you for welcoming BodyThoughts with open arms! Thank you to CBC News Toronto, BlogTO, Notable.ca, CBC Metro Morning with Matt Galloway, and Elle Canada for the coverage.
And finally, a gallery of pictures featuring some highlights from the past two weekends.
Once again, thank you Toronto for the love, and for making BodyThoughts Toronto extremely special. As we continue to San Francisco, we won't forget the people and time we had in the 6ix.
Alexa & Erica