toronto board meeting

Suit-clad skateboarders takeover Toronto this weekend

On Saturday September 10 there is a very important board meeting that you should seriously think about attending. Even if you have no board experience, it's something that will benefit your resume and life in general.

It's the 14th annual Board Meeting, and it doesn't involved sitting in a room with a table and chairs talking about processes and rules, it's a gathering of over a thousand skateboarders!

Mike McGown and Jonathan Nuss have run this massive gathering for 14 years now and it continues to grow every year, along with Toronto's skating and longboard community.

"This is totally my life," McGown, who owns Longboard Haven says. "I got on a board 20 odd years ago and never looked back basically."

The event started as a school art project. A gathering of of about 30 people who raced their longboards down St Clair Avenue. It was such a hit, that people started asking if it was happening the following year. The same question has come up every year since and it's now grown into a four day weekend of longboard and skateboarding culture and community.

Hundreds and hundreds of boarders dress up in white shirts and ties (a tradition from the beginning to poke fun at the serious suits walking around the Yonge and St Clair neighbourhood) and sit down in the middle of the intersection.

After some teasing and cheerleading boarders race down the street towards Queen's Park, there they take a break, snap some photos and make their way to City Hall via University along Queen West to Trinity Bellwoods.

It's a peaceful, joyous city takeover that's not too challenging or "zig zaggy" as McGown puts it, so that beginners or out of towners aren't freaked out.

Below are The Board Meeting weekend events. Helmets and safety gear are mandatory, by the way.

Lost in Havana skate movie screening (September 9)
The Tranzac is screening this documentary chronicling the highs and lows from the 1st ever donation of 100 skateboards to Cuba. Movie at 9p.m. $6 to watch.

Old School Night Shred (OSNS) (September 9)
Queen's Park. 9:30p.m. meet all kinds of board lovers for a good ol' shred. This is what it will look like, but you kind of already knew that.

The 14th annual Board Meeting (September 10)
Can you imagine the rush of skating down main streets of the city with over a thousand others? It's a thrilling thing to be a part of but also to watch. It starts at 2p.m. and here's video evidence.

Slide Fu (September 11)
This is a good old skate meet up on a big hill on Leaside behind the Loblaws. It's legit, the owner of the property is a fan of the Boar Meeting. Here's a video to show you how it goes.

Photo by Joshua Paul Sherman in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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