The Poly Toronto Chocolate Crawl

Our tour guide was being cagey. Here we were at the first stop: the King and Spadina branch of Soma, perhaps Toronto’s best-known chocolatier. But she was keeping quiet about where we’d be going next. If we were up for it, she said, we’d hit all seven stops on her list, then hang out in Trinity-Bellwoods Park – in a caffeinated, diabetic haze by then, most likely.

We hit all seven stops.

At Soma the thing to get was (according to our guide) the pine-flavoured truffles, shaped like little elongated tree-pyramids. But it was hard to go wrong there, and my partner and I instead opted for basil-blueberry gelato. A lovely start to a hot summer afternoon.

Our group wandered through Graffiti Alley behind Queen Street, surveying the explosively colourful murals, then re-emerged near the macaron shop Butter Avenue. There was lots of excited foodie talk during our ramble, and food for thought as well. A few gay men talked about discovering the poly community, and about the differences in how nonmonogamy is practiced in the gay vs poly communities. I’ve rarely come away from a Poly Toronto meetup, even casual social events, without something to think about, and this was no exception.

You may ask: how much sugar can you sanely consume in one afternoon? Well, we did try to pace ourselves. Several fellow crawlers stashed chocolate in their bags, and crossed fingers it wouldn’t melt. Attrition occurred as people headed off elsewhere, but we were still a hardy little band by the end. By the time we reached Sweet Olenka’s, my partner and I still had room for vegan (coconut-milk) birthday-cake ice cream.

Our last stop was Bang Bang, on Ossington, but it was mobbed by ice-cream sandwich fans on this hot day—so we skipped it and doubled back to Trinity-Bellwoods. Somewhere behind us was a second group of chocolate-crawlers, who’d assembled at Soma slightly later with a second tour guide. Eventually they caught up with us, and the afternoon ended with the remnants of both groups seated companionably on the green, chatting and watching the local tightrope-walkers practice their art just a foot above the grass.

Unknown destinations, flexible routes and multiple pathways, constant checking-in and rethinking and dialogue…yes, I could turn the afternoon into a fanciful metaphor for polyamory. But let’s not get carried away. My thanks to Poly Toronto for putting this event together: I’m certainly game for heading wherever our guides take us next.

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