22 July 2015

Philofaxy Meet Up - Toronto - July 2015

Well today was our sixth and final meet up of our grand tour of North America. Ever since the early stages of Alison and I talking about and planning this grand tour/holiday (was it a holiday too!!??) Alan Marshall and Susan Stanway were both keen that we should have a meet up in Toronto.

So we built in a stop over in Toronto for this weekend at the start of our short stay in three Canadian cities (Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal) before we travel back to Paris and then home next weekend.

We were warned about the Pan Am games, but in fact being here during them has had its advantages, an improved rail link from the airport is now operational and made our journey in to the city with cases a lot easier. There seems to be a lot going on in and around the city.

So we started off our meet up at Laywines in Toronto, this is the shop the Toronto Philofaxy readers have met at before. Peter Laywine made us all very welcome and it was great to meet him as well as the everyone else.

We had the use of a large round table towards the front of the shop and we used it to show each other the organisers we had brought with us and the ones we were using on a regular basis. Alan had brought quite a few with him and he lined them up on a shelf for us to all take a look.

Peter gave us a very very generous discount on some of his old Filofax stock. I got a Belgravia Palm PDA holder/notebook!!

This meet up was slightly different in some ways to the ones I had been to during our tour. Nan and her husband Ben flew from Boston to attend the meet up, Nan had been to the New York one as well, but she also wanted to meet Alan as well.  And Michele who lives near New York, she couldn't make the New York meet up because of other commitments, so she had been to the Washington meet up, but she also flew to Toronto to enjoy another meet up with us.

Alan proudly showing off his 'vintage' Kate Spade

Susan and Steve playing to the camera!

Van der Spek leather samples were as popular as ever

Filofax A5 Sienna for C$10?

Other items to tempt people.

Steve and Peter talk business

After a couple of hours of chatting we were starting to get hungry and thirsty! So we moved on to the Italian restaurant that was directly next door to Laywine's

We continued our discussions during the meal until it was time for us to all go our separate ways, where had the time disappeared.

As with all the previous meet ups Alison and I would like to thank everyone that came along to meet us, and to every one that helped make the meet ups such a success. It had been quite a grand task planning and co-ordinating the whole tour and fitting in meet ups in to the schedule but from my point of view we achieved what we set out to do.

I hope now that people get to meet up more often and new people to the community join in at these events.

When or will we be back? We don't know is the honest answer, but the tour has left some long lasting memories with us and a huge number of photographs to look back on and remember where and when etc.

I would also like to thank everyone who have supported the blog in the last 7 weeks with guest posts and various contributions to help me keep things running whilst travelling, I had this vision that things would grind to a halt whilst I was away!

Again thank you everyone.


  1. It was great meeting all that attended as well! It was great that Nan and Ben flew in from Boston, Michele from New York and Bree drove up from Buffalo. While all that attended are people I already consider friends, it makes the friendship all t he more real to have met like this.

    On behalf of all the people that organized meetups On this North American tour, a huge THANK YOU to Steve and Alison for coming to visit us on this side of the pond. We all look forward to your next trip.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Looks like it was a great meet-up, and I'm sure you speak for many there Alan.
    I'm left tantelised by the mention of the shelf of goodies that you brought along. Were there any photos??

    1. You can see them in a few pictures, but not in enough detail to identify them. I took one of each colour of Kensington personal that I have (red, navy, green, black and the two shades of brown/burgundy), two old Lefaxes I recently acquired ("Manual of Mathematics" and "The Financier and Lefax Secretary") an oxblood 2CLF7/8 Argyll, a black 2CLF7/8 Argyll, a nut brown 4CLF7/8 Winchester, a burgundy Coach in Filofax personal size, a Microfile Executive, a Timberland that I restored that have been posted about here about 2 years ago, a Sherwood with 5/4 rings, a 2HL7/8 - no fastener, a nut brown 4CLF1/2, a brown 2ML1/2, a "mutilated" - zipper removed - 3CLZ with clasp and a 2HL1/4 - however the rings actually measure about 8mm, which is closer to 1/3".

    2. One other that I omitted, a black DX1CLF7/8 Stateman Deskfax, which can be seen lying flat at the extreme right of the line-up.

    3. Oh yes - I can just see them all near the window.
      I would've certainly enjoyed browsing that line-up.
      Thanks Alan.

  4. I really, really wish I had thought to look into travelling to Toronto to attend this meet-up! Looks like it was so much fun. Great photos!

    1. Josh, it would have been great to have met you.

  5. An absolutely fantastic time!! Having missed Nan in New York and hearing she was going to Toronto I had no choice to book! Steve, you and Nan are celebrities to me with all the work you've done to build this blog to what it is today. Josh, having met you twice before in NY, we have do do another one soon! It was really great meeting everyone, making new friends and looking at all your systems! Since I do a lot of ppts I absolutely am godsmacked at Alan's book of ppts!! Can we just call this summer of 2015 the "Summer of Philofaxy" ??? By the way, a special salute to Alison Morton!!!

    1. I sense another guest post! To explain Michele's "book of ppts" comment: I always teach out of a Filofax or two. My lecture PowerPoints are printed two/page on personal and I use these pages like a teleprompter, except that I can easily add marginal notes for asides, elaborations, etc. Most courses will also have either an A5 or B5 auxiliary binder with printouts of problems sets, case studies, etc. Also, instead of using the black board or white board - depending on where I'm teaching - I use A5 or B5 paper on a document camera, which gets stored in these larger format binders.

    2. Alan, your comprehensive use of binders is really an inspiration. I try, try, try to implement similar systems but always end up back to a drawer of file folders.

      One of my favorite instructors lectured entirely from yellow legal pads, and had a huge stack of them. No PPT, no videos, just lecture. The "millennials" in the class HATED her teaching style but I loved it and have never learned so much from a single class. It really showed me that I am, above all else, an auditory learner. (I'm not sure if "auditory" is the right word, but I assume y'all know what I mean)

    3. Michele, I'm definitely looking forward to meeting you again sometime soon! Sorry to have missed NYC this summer, but I'd already booked travel to the UK.

  6. It was a fabulous day! I can't say enough good things about it. Thank you Alan for all your hard work and generosity!

  7. Big thanks go to Alan for organizing this meet-up! Laywine's is a fabulous store, stocking not only Filofax but Shinola, Rhodia, and other high-quality organizer and notebook brands, including some Japanese ones that are hard to come by in North America. I wish we had something like it in Boston! Lunch at Vaticano was delicious, too (although our waiter seemed a little flustered)!