Thanks Mike for the update, even if it's bad news. It took me awhile to react to it, as I was a little short of words to be honest.
I can remember blowing a good part of my savings on many occasions I did the trip to the Canadian Joe events. Why did I still bother going? For the love of it man. A know alot of people from my area that wouldn't go on the premise they didn't have a ride and wouldn't be willing to put down for the cost of a travelling fare. My point of view was always when I say that I really love something, and I do love GI joe at its essence, I do whatever I can to at least try to make it happen. I had to buy a 100$+ bus ride during the 2007 and 2008 Joe Meets (my favorite events btw), and I never complained one moment about spending a little more on the transit buses as well. I rarely got to leave Montreal until I heard about the CanJoeMeet. I don't regret going because I got to live the excitement of venturing on my own in GTA territory several times, and even got to discover Hamilton, which had some great local architecture btw. And the city bus people I rode with were absolutely friendly and helpful with directions and referring places to go eat. What many travelers would've considered an incommodity or a limitation, I saw as a new thrilling experience anyway.
I think it had to do with Hamilton. The Toronto conventions didn't have the same effect on me, but I did get to meet alot more Canuckleheads in person over there. And my older daughter still speaks about wanting to return to the same Sheraton Hotel as she remembers the thrill of going through the vendor aisles and receiving from our own Propergrounds' hands the Carebears movie DVD that he helped me find. Lots of great memories revolving around the con, and for every year there was a different highlight.
So anyway, long story short, let's not forget also to mention that with your store the responsabilities must have multiplied, and while I believe that business must be keeping you very busy right now, I say maybe that the timing did its own Wonder. We have a saying in South America, that there is not a bad event that comes without a good one. So I'm confident that it's all for the best.
I'd like to say alot more, and I could, but I think I said enough for now (it's the third time I try to type something and it wasn't easy to come out with this). So I'll just end by saying thanks Mike for the selfless and countless efforts you've made at your expense to make sure that there is an official Canadian Joe Community in the first place.