The Highs and Lows of a Toronto 420. Part 1


The Highs and Lows of a Toronto 420. Part 1
from a smoked out square to the neon underground.

By: Chris Murphy

I’ve been in Toronto for a few years now and to be honest I’ve never attended a 420 event in Dundas Square, usually too broke or too busy with work to attended.
This year however would be different.
I’ve the free time and being armed with a couple joints, along with my good friend Pat D we sought adventure in the city.

Since we were planning an evening at The Velvet Underground to witness The Protomen make their triumphant return to the city of Toronto. We figured why not spend the day in the public smoke stack that would be Dundas Squares 420 celebrations.

Our day started late, and due to the wonderful congestion of Toronto traffic, the little engine that could that was the 501 streetcar didn’t quite get us to Dundas Square in time for the 4:20 light up we had imagined.

Our trip on the 501 was accompanied by a group of streetcar rappers who would lay down their rhymes while taking the time to wrap their chopped trees for the event before us.
Pat and I jokingly discussed hiring them for a Streetcar only festival of TTC musicians and streetcar Dj’s.

After much traffic, A bit of walking we eventually walked into the cloud of herbal remedies that was currently overcasting the times square of Canada at the time.

Showing up late has it’s advantages considering we needed to kill some time before The Protomen show kicked off.

Upon first impression at what is considered one of Canada’s largest pro marijuana gatherings (15’000 attendees reportedly) we were met with the absolute chaos of so many walks of life.
From pro medical activists to traditional Rastafarians, Classic Canadian couch surfers to pot headed giggling 15 year olds. The hippest of the high came out to flaunt their finest marijuana themed threads One Tailored Suited gentlemen owned the block.
Kudos to you sir.
And the mentally disturbed came out to mentally disturb.
I commend the organizers of the event for attempting a margin of what at face value was organized chaos.

In reality it was just chaos.
Imagine if you will trying to walk through a club of people.
However all of said people are standing about in various circles in various directions stoned out of their gourds you’re trying to walk past people waiting and trying to form line ups to tightly packed vendor tents.
Tents that are marketing on the outlier of Dundas Square by the way.
No lines actually formed at these tents just wads of stoned consumers clambering for purchasable samples of the latest product or snacks at either The 2 Food Trucks owned by Smoke's Poutinerie.
Or one of the many Vendors dispensing Shatter hits and smoke accessories.
Then Getting handed flyers and stickers from pro marijuana companies like Weedmaps ( a digital community where medical marijuana patients find and connect with dispensaries.) S.W.E.D Another Dispensary among many others.
With comedy, speakers and music acts performing on the main stage consider this horseshoe formation the “organized” portion of the event.
In the core of the chaos is every pot enthusiast in Toronto spread out like peanut butter on pizza.
The pizza being the atrocious amount of garbage on the ground.

Toronto Let’s get real for a minute, when it comes to gatherings of masses your panache for leaving trash on the ground is deplorable.

I saw many young faces in the crowd and I gotta say if the mentality of all of our future pot heads is to literally drop their shit, I feel sorry for the future. Not to blame the youth purely as I’m sure more then plenty of “adults” are to blame as well with a lack of leading by example.
People simply just don’t care when it comes time to party. Which is a lame excuse and needs to stop.

Now admittedly the organizers could have curved this blatant no fucks given attitude towards garbage by what is arguably the laziest collective in our society by placing some carefully placed Garbage/Recycle bins through out the middle of the square let’s say 8, having a few vendors tents in the middle as well, all of this could also help direct the traffic a bit more.

The Beer Festival run by Session Toronto is a great example of this. However it was in the moment of admiring the amount of trash on the ground that I noticed the sun was casting over crowd in a way that can really only be considered cinematic.

I started seeing people in amazing light and began going nuts capturing portraits of people looking their finest standing amongst man made clouds, for 30 minutes the sun was setting west over Dundas street casting light all the way down reflecting off of the glass building of Ryerson University for the 30 minutes I captured magic. When all was said and done Pat and I began our walking Journey to The Velvet Underground.


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Check out Part 2 of The Highs and Lows of a Toronto 420 here:
http://noisographyreviews.blogspot.ca/2016/04/the-highs-and-lows-of-toronto-420-part-2.html

You can follow Chris on Twitter/Instagram @Worldmind.
And check his Facebook Page for more photos: https://www.facebook.com/worldmindfilm/?fref=ts

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