I was pacing my apartment, dressed head-to-toe in white and watching the rain bounce off the windows. Should I carry this white table and chairs in the rain for a white picnic?
As I looked down at my white fingernails, I knew we couldn’t miss this mysterious event. Umbrella in hand, we headed for East Liberty and Strachan. My initial anxiety quickly vanished as a sea of white umbrellas filled the horizon. Phew, I wasn’t the only one!
Our timing was perfect. We were quickly escorted to the “secret” location by our group leader Brittney, headed south on Strachan towards Toronto’s first Dîner en Blanc.
When we finally arrived at the beautiful Fort York, we were joined by 1,400 others dressed from head to toe in white and streaming through the gates of one of this city’s most stunning green spaces.
Clearly the rain didn’t stop anyone from pulling out all the stops. I stood in awe of the most enchantingly elegant and creative white ensembles – tutus, cowboy boots, ball gowns, feathers, suspenders, top hats…this was an all-white fashion flash mob!
Over the course of the evening, we ate, drank and mingled and as the rain cleared, the ponchos were hung up and the dancing with photo ops took centre stage. From Eric Clapton’s, Wonderful Tonight, to Pink’s, Get the party started, the talented jazz band kept the party going as the moon took over the sky.
The remarkable tranquility of the evening, except for the occasional honk from curious passing cars on the Gardiner, felt as though the rest of the city had gone to sleep. François Pasquier, who founded this event 24-years-ago in Paris, would be proud. He probably never imagined when he launched this event with a few friends, that 15,000 people would come together every year to commemorate and marvel.
Although our city and indeed the world has changed since then, as it does and always will – the principles driving this magical event have not. Every year people continue to gather at a secret location with the expectation to only share a delicious meal with friends, meet new ones and experience one of the city’s most beautiful places.Sarah Thomas (Marketing, RTR)