History of Canada’s Southern Ontario Cocaine Anonymous Area

Southern Ontario Cocaine Anonymous is a registered, charitable non-profit corporation and belongs to the North Atlantic Region of C.A. Our boundaries a delineated by the map pictured above which was ratified by SOCA Area Service Committee in July of 2017.

Initially, our Area was a Toronto District and part of the Quebec Area. Our first C.A. Group, First Toronto Group of C.A. was started on February 2nd, 1987. According to early Toronto C.A. Members, the sub-culture of cocaine users was quite different than that of A.A., so it was exciting to have a meeting focused entirely on recovery from cocaine and all mind-altering substances.

Submitted by our first World Delegate, David L., our C.A. Area was ratified in 1998. At the time of ratification, our Area had no districts and 15 C.A. Groups. Today, Southern Ontario C.A. has 70 C.A. Groups and 29 H&I Service meetings. Our Area Service Committee meetings take place on the second Saturday of every month at 10:30 am and generally last approximately 2 to 3 hours in length. There are approximately 1000 to 1200 C.A. Members throughout the Southern Ontario Area. Our Area has been experiencing a steady increase in membership and in the number of successful C.A. Groups.

Our Area website is http://ca-on.org. Southern Ontario Area hosts many activities and events to promote unity and enthusiasm throughout its fellowship, such as, Celebrate Around the World, Anniversary celebrations, special event campouts and picnics, golf tournaments and roundups. In addition, our Area hosts an annual Area Convention with its own website https://socaconvention.org.

The mission of the SOCA Archive Committee is to collect, protect and preserve, organize, catalogue and present historically valued documents, printed materials, items, artifacts, ephemera and memorabilia of Cocaine Anonymous in Southern Ontario into two archival collections:

1) Southern Ontario C.A. General History and
2) The Southern Ontario C.A. Convention History.

The SOCA Area Archive, https://socaarchives.org, purpose is to present the history of Southern Cocaine Anonymous to the C.A. fellowship.

Submitted by Cameron F. SOCA Archivist

Toronto Area 10th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion (circa 1997)

CA 10th Anniversay Toronto Area Commemorative Gold Medallion won by Henry B. in the 1997 Winner’s Circle Group Fundraiser and Chili Dinner: Sunday, July 20, 1997. Donated to the SOCA archives by Henry B. in 2011.

The First Toronto Group was established on February 2, 1987. According to early members, the sub-culture of cocaine users was quite different than that of A.A., so it was exciting to have a meeting focused entirely on recovery from cocaine and all mind-altering substances.

In 1997, the Toronto Area (now known as Southern Ontario Cocaine Anonymous) decided to host “TORCA I” on October 25, 1997 with the theme, “Carry The Message.” C.A. original member, Johnny S. (Los Angeles, CA) would be the Saturday keyote speaker.

To raise the necessary funds to host such an event, the Toronto Area Unity Committee sponsored a number of fundraising events throughout the year. One such event was hosted by the Winner’s Circle Group on Sunday, July 20, 1997. Featuring a chili dinner and a “Gold CA Medallion Raffle. The event raised $266.00 (suggested ticket price was $3.00).

The CA 10th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion pictured here was won by Henry B. I had heard about this medallion through my talks with early member Jimmy B. (Toronto, ON) who was the Unity Chair in 1997 and responsible for coordinating the fundraising activities for that year. Jimmy helped me locate Henry in July of 2011 and I called him to see if he still had the medallion (he did indeed still have it) and invited me to come over to see it. My intent was to photograph the object for the SOCA Archives. Upon meeting Henry and chatting with him at some length about that first Toronto Conference, he said to me, “Cameron rather that taking pictures, why don’t I just donate the medallion to the archives for all of CA to enjoy. I felt like the “relic hunter” who had stumbled across some forgotten CA treasure which could now be resurrected—its story to be told again and again for the posterity of Cocaine Anonymous.

by Cameron F., Southern Ontario Cocaine Anonymous Archivist and World Archive Committee Chair