ISO Annual Conference - Toronto, April 20 - 22, 2012

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The following announcement was posted to the ISO List today:

Greetings from Toronto, your host city for the 2012 ISO conference!

Information about the conference is as follows:

TORONTO:

You can see a panoramic picture of the city (click on the image to enlarge it, and on the arrows at the bottom and side to pan left and right, or move up and down) here:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Toronto_panorama.jpg

You can view a night time picture of the part of the downtown Toronto core where the conference will be held (two-thirds up the picture and slightly to the left out of view) here:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Toronto-view-from-cn-tower.jpg

More information about Toronto will follow separately.

DATES:

The conference will be held from Friday, April 20, 2012 to Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Start time for the conference itself is 6:00 p.m. on the Friday evening; however it has not yet been determined whether the Literature Development Committee will be meeting earlier on the Friday afternoon to deal with new literature as was discussed earlier in the year in San Diego.

Finish time for the conference itself is approximately 1:00 p.m. on the Sunday, however it has not yet been determined whether there will be any workshops or other recovery activities on the Sunday afternoon.

HOTEL:

The conference will be held at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto. Both the conference itself and the accommodation will be at the hotel.

You can view information about the hotel here:

http://www.deltahotels.com/en/hotels/ontario/delta-chelsea/

The hotel is roughly half-an-hour's car ride from Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ), which is served by many airlines with numerous international destinations. There is an airport shuttle bus service directly to and from the hotel, currently for CDN $21.95 one-way, or $36.95 round trip. A flat rate taxi or an airport limousine costs approximately $50.00 to $70.00 one way.

Alternatively, the hotel is roughly a five-minute ferry ride and then a five-minute subway or taxi ride from the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). This secondary airport is served mainly by Porter Airlines, which has low-cost fares to US cities such as New York, Boston and Chicago.

The Delta Chelsea is also a five-minute walk or short taxi ride from the Toronto Coach Terminal, which is served by bus companies such as Greyhound and Coach Canada, with bus service all over Canada and the USA.

The hotel is situated in the downtown core, within reasonable walking distance of, or a short subway ride from, the business district and the entertainment district (containing theatres, symphony orchestra, and opera), many restaurants, shopping centres and areas, museums, art galleries, the Church-Wellesley gay village, and all three local SCA meetings.

The conference will be held in the Baker room, which is a reasonably spacious meeting room next to the main ballroom and just upstairs from the hotel lobby, business centre, and restaurants.

RESERVATIONS:

The Delta Chelsea has agreed to a special discounted room rate of CDN $119.00 plus tax (currently 13%) per night for the ISO conference. This is for double occupancy in a Delta Room, with either a king size or queen size bed, or two double beds. Additional occupants (over 2, maximum 4 persons) will be charged $20.00 plus tax per head per night. This rate does not include breakfast.

You can read about Delta Rooms here:

http://www.deltahotels.com/en/hotels/ontario/delta-chelsea/hotel-guest-rooms/delta-room/

Rooms can be booked at the discounted rate from now until March 21, 2012 by calling the hotel's toll-free number 1-800-CHELSEA (243-5732). The hotel's main number is (416) 595-1975. Please make reference to the group name "SCA Conference" and/or group code "GLDSCA" when making your reservation.

The hotel does not guarantee the special rate or room availability after the March 21, 2012 cutoff date. While they have said they will try to accommodate any late bookings, you may have to pay the going rate. The hotel is encouraging early booking, as this will help with planning for both the hotel and ISO.

All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card. No-show charges will apply if a guest does not arrive on the date of their reservation, or if the hotel does not receive notice of cancellation by 4:00 p.m. on the day of arrival. If you have to cancel, please note and retain the cancellation number quoted by the reservations agent at the time the cancellation is made. 

The hotel has recently been extensively renovated in the public areas and a good number of the guest rooms. Be sure to ask for a renovated room if you want one. Delta Rooms have either a view of the hotel courtyard, or the city skyline. A view of the city skyline can be had in south-facing rooms. There is construction underway directly to the north of the hotel.

There is normally a standard Delta Room internet charge of $13.95 plus tax per night, which the hotel has waived for ISO attendees. If you ask for an internet connection in your room, please confirm that it is not being charged for as part of the SCA package.

Check-in time is 3:00 p.m., and check-out time is 11:00 a.m. The hotel will attempt to accommodate any early check-in requests. Requests to check out after 11:00 a.m. should be directed to the Assistant Front Office Manager after registration, on the day of departure. A late departure charge may be applied if a late check-out is allowed.

The Delta Chelsea hotel is a smoke-free environment in all public areas, restaurants, meeting and guest rooms. Designated smoking areas are provided. Please note that if any guest room is smoked in, a deep-cleaning charge of $200.00 will be levied by the hotel.

The hotel has said it will try to extend the $119.00 per night room rate to any ISO attendees who may wish to stay at the hotel outside the conference dates (i.e. April 20 and 21, 2012) to spend additional time in Toronto for vacation, or make their travel plans easier by arriving or leaving a day or so before or after the conference. This is not guaranteed but, if you ask, the hotel has said they will do their best.     

MEALS:

During the conference, ISO will be providing attendees with a continental breakfast on both the Saturday and Sunday mornings, morning and afternoon coffee breaks on Saturday, lunch on Saturday, and a morning coffee break on Sunday. SCA Toronto will be providing one evening meal, probably on Saturday night. You should therefore budget for one out-of-pocket evening meal, probably on the Friday, and to pay for whatever other meals you will need before or after the conference for the duration of your stay.

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:

Visitors to Canada need a passport or approved travel document such as a NEXUS card to enter the country. Citizens of the USA, and most EU and Commonwealth countries do not need a visa when visiting for non-work purposes.

NOTE: Anyone with a criminal conviction is required to obtain, or verify that they qualify for, a waiver of inadmissibility before entering Canada. It can take six months to a year to complete the process, depending on the circumstances. Failure to do so may result in denial of entry to the country.

Please view the following websites for more precise information:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1082.html

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp

Queries should be directed to the Canadian consulate or embassy nearest you.

EXCHANGE RATES:

The Canadian dollar is relatively strong against the US dollar and other currencies at present. This is expected to be the case for at least another year. The current rate of exchange is approximately US $1.05 to CDN $1.00. You should allow for the value of a Canadian dollar amount as being roughly equal to, or slightly more than, the same figure in US dollars.

All amounts quoted in this announcement are in Canadian dollars.

GENERAL:

SCA members in Toronto are not able to offer billeting in their homes to visiting ISO members. Although the Delta Chelsea's special rate is competitive compared with many other hotels in the city, there are one or two nearby hotels that may charge slightly less. If you would like information about other hotels, please let us know by email at scatoronto@hotmail.com.

We hope to put on a meeting at some stage during the conference, probably on the Saturday night.

If there are any attending members who are interested in holding a workshop, or who have ideas and suggestions for other recovery activities it may be possible to conduct on the Sunday afternoon, please let us know.

It would be appreciated if members could advise us by email as and when they make their reservations with the hotel so we can keep track of the numbers. 

More information and announcements will follow in the upcoming months.

We look forward to welcoming ISO to Toronto next spring!

Yours in recovery,

Kevin - SCA Toronto

ISO Host Committee

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