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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Game Groups » Canada » Ontario

Subject: Gaming Stores in Toronto rss

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Mark Simpson
New Zealand
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Hi guys,

Please pardon this intrusion from a kiwi into your forum, but my financee will be in Toronto for a conference next week, and im looking for details of a good "Euro" games store thats reasonably easy to get to from the Downtown area.

Thanks

Mark
 
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William Wood
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Hi,

The best downtown game store (Euro, AT, everything) is The Hairy Tarantula.

Here's the Web site: http://www.hairyt.com/

Note that in May the board game special is 15% off Mayfair games (which includes a few Euro games you might have heard of).

The other place to go downtown is Mind Games in the Eaton Centre, although their prices are higher than Hairy Tarantula and the staff aren't gamers.

Hope this helps!

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Greig
Canada
Peterborough
Ontario
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http://www.401games.ca/home.html

401 Games is just up the street from Hairy T and has comparable prices.

Going to Hairy T is an experience unto itself, so make sure you check it out.
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Mark Simpson
New Zealand
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Thanks guys, very helpful.
 
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John Earles
Canada
Toronto
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While Hairy T may have a slightly larger selection, I would say that 401 Games has overtaken it for my day-to-day shopping based on pricing and quickness at obtaining new releases.

Hairy T still will occasionally get something in out of the blue that you won't find anywhere else (Factory Fun, Tara - Seat of Kings, etc) but for day-to-day purchases 401 Games does a great job (you do have to fight past the M:tG player occasionally).

Personally I use a combination of Hairy T. and 401 Games, with a rare trip to The Game and Hobby Zone (2 Bloor - downstairs) in downtown. Game Trek has a great selection for starting a collection but there prices are much higher than the alternatives.

If you are willing to drive a bit, The Comic Warehouse (http://www.thecomicwarehouse.com/) @ 20 Strathearn in Brampton is the best Game Store in the Toronto area.
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Dan Scott
Canada
Port Perry
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If she'll be staying in or around the Royal York hotel, there's Game Trek - a HUGE selection of games (many GMT titles, too). Pricey, yes, but convenient. They are located immediately beneath (underground) the Royal York Hotel on Front St, directly in front of Union Station.

http://www.gametrek.ca/store/comersus_index.asp

edit: looks like they've also improved their web presence... you can probably call in these games ahead of your fiancee's arrival
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Dennis Ku
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I don't buy anything at the Hairy T anymore unless it's one of their 25% off all boardgames sales. Their prices have gone up a lot in the past year or two, and I mean waaaay up. 401 Games has a decent selection, and are consistently about 15% cheaper. The store at the Royal York Hotel is ridiculously expensive. Good to browse there, but not a good place to buy. I would also recommend the Comic Warehouse, as someone above has. Great selection, very good prices, and if you ask, they often give you a bit of a deal on top of their great prices.
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Daniel Corban
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Newmarket
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There are only two reasons to go to Game Trek:
1) to browse
2) you are part of some Brewster's Millions deal where you have to spend a lot of money quickly. Caylus for $70? No thanks.
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Houserule Jay
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Mississauga
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Robert from Meeplemart http://www.meeplemart.com/our_games.html will meet you in the downtown Toronto area and he has a nice if maybe smaller selection of games at very good prices so take a look.
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Ryan Abcede
Canada
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Hey everyone,

I am a long time browser of this site, but a first time poster.

I admit, it is probably too late for the original posters husband, but just in case, tell him he can check out my store. We just opened up 2 weeks ago. Our prices are a lot lower for board games usually than most places in Toronto. And our selection is pretty good and special orders are always welcome.

We are located at 1668 Kingston Road, just west of Birchmount on Kingston.
Come by and check us out if you are ever in the Scarborough/Toronto area.
 
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A. C.
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AlexElder wrote:
Hey everyone,

I am a long time browser of this site, but a first time poster.

I admit, it is probably too late for the original posters husband, but just in case, tell him he can check out my store. We just opened up 2 weeks ago. Our prices are a lot lower for board games usually than most places in Toronto. And our selection is pretty good and special orders are always welcome.

We are located at 1668 Kingston Road, just west of Birchmount on Kingston.
Come by and check us out if you are ever in the Scarborough/Toronto area.
Does your store have a name or website?
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William Wood
Canada
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AlexElder wrote:
Hey everyone,

I am a long time browser of this site, but a first time poster.

I admit, it is probably too late for the original posters husband, but just in case, tell him he can check out my store. We just opened up 2 weeks ago. Our prices are a lot lower for board games usually than most places in Toronto. And our selection is pretty good and special orders are always welcome.

We are located at 1668 Kingston Road, just west of Birchmount on Kingston.
Come by and check us out if you are ever in the Scarborough/Toronto area.
Heh. You run a game store and you only have three games in your collection?

I'm going to assume that you're so busy with your new store that you haven't filled in your profile.

I, too, would be interested in details concerning your stock, etc.
 
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Robert Trifts
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jearles wrote:
While Hairy T may have a slightly larger selection, I would say that 401 Games has overtaken it for my day-to-day shopping based on pricing and quickness at obtaining new releases.

Hairy T still will occasionally get something in out of the blue that you won't find anywhere else (Factory Fun, Tara - Seat of Kings, etc) but for day-to-day purchases 401 Games does a great job (you do have to fight past the M:tG player occasionally).

Personally I use a combination of Hairy T. and 401 Games, with a rare trip to The Game and Hobby Zone (2 Bloor - downstairs) in downtown. Game Trek has a great selection for starting a collection but there prices are much higher than the alternatives.

If you are willing to drive a bit, The Comic Warehouse (http://www.thecomicwarehouse.com/) @ 20 Strathearn in Brampton is the best Game Store in the Toronto area.
Long past the purpose of the OP, but I would agree with all of the above completely.

I like HairyT and think having a store with that sort of selection and RPG inventory is important to the city...but...

That said - they are 15-25% consistently more expensive than 401. If HairyT is having a quarterly sale? I'm there and I'll buy.

Otherwise, for most new mainstream RPG products and mainstream Ameritrash - 401 is better in price by a considerable margin. I picked up War of the Ring there for 63 last week. It was 83 at HairyT.

$2 is a quibble. $20 never is.

Actually, I've been comparing the prices at 401 to a lot of the online prices from the most cut rate of American resellers.

By the time you factor in shipping and exchange? 401's usually cheaper or only a $1 to $5 more on a $70.00 + purchase in difference. They are consistently competitive even with online e-tailing at rock bottom prices. In this day and age - that's saying something form a brick and mortar FLGS.
 
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Ryan Abcede
Canada
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Yup you go that right! I haven't had time to add stuff on my collection here.

If you guys want to come by our store, Comickaze Games, and check it out we are open 11-7 Tuesday-Sunday. Mondays we are closed for now, but when the summer starts up we will be opening 7 days a week. We will most likely be closed June 8-10 for the Paradise Comic Con. And even if we are open, all our board games will be with us at the show.

From what I have seen, our prices for games are really reasonable compared to all other stores out there. I don't want to bad mouth any other stores or point exactly which stores are higher than us so come in and see for yourself or simply PM me a list of what games you want to know the prices of.

We are in the process of getting our website up and running. It should be up sometime Mid June. Once we have that up we will have regular store events scheduled for every day of the week. We want to work closely with our customers so whatever days you would prefer for a board game night we are willing to accommodate.

Hope to see you all there!

-Ryan
 
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Karlo Gliha
Canada
Toronto
ON
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Given that you asked the question a month ago, this additional option may be a little stale-dated, but here goes:

Strategy Games at 1685 Bayview Avenue (just south of Eglinton Ave)

The prices are comparable to a web/mail-in store (like germangames.com or jjsuperstore), but it's local and you can browse a pretty solid selection. In sharp contrast to its neighbourhood, the prices are very reasonable.

Finally, the store is owned and operated by the Chess'n Math Association, Canada's National Scholastic Chess Organization. They are a non-profit group contributing to the development of chess in schools as profits are reinvested in bringing the game of chess to Canadian youngsters.

Nice goal and good prices.
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Brad Stevens
Canada
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Here are my main complaints against Harry T (Younge Street location)

First, the staircase getting into the store is steep, and dirty.

Second, the store itself is overcrowded, (which can be a problem during a gaming night at 401 occasionally) with the board games generally in piles in the middle of the tiny area right near entrance. I know space downtown is expensive, but finding the right game, and getting it out without causing a disater is a game in itself, and hardly fun at all.

Third, the store sometimes smells, and if you are allergic to cat, don't shop there. I personally am, and whenever I set foot in the store, I get an immediate reaction and can't stay long.

Lastly, as has been covered above, the prices are more expensive than what you can find 2 minutes up the street at 401, they often don't get items in stock until 1-2 weeks after 401 gets them.

Because of all of this, I'll only go to Harry T if they are having a large sale, or if 401 happened to be sold out of something (only happened once to me) and I REALLY wanted it that day.

Also, maybe this is just a personal expectation, but I find the staff at 401 a little more into the board game scene, or at least more knowledgable. I've had peopel at Harry T when I asked them if they had high profile games either not know anything about it (Peurto Rico, etc), or come back with rather dumb answers after they've looked it up. (Powergrid was last printed in 2004, so it'll be impossible to find. ?wtf?)
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B.J. Elliott
Canada
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Anyone know of a store that stocks ASL?
 
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Peter Ferguson
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Toronto
Ontario
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As others have said, long past the original poster's question..

i have to also say that 401 games is a great place to go. They have a good selection of games. My only beef with them is that they stick the CCG tables right across from the Game shelf. So if there's a CCG tournament going on, you don't have a lot of room to move around.

I've been in Hairy T's once, and was immediately turned off. First was the steep grafitti ridden dirty entrance that made me feel like I was heading into some sort of rat infested drug exchange in the slums.

Then I enter this closet of a store, that just has WAY too much stuff in here for the size of store. I was there primarily for comics, and their comic selection was pitiful, and not very organised. Then I spoke to the owner, and realised that She was once a He... and it sort of freaked me out a bit. Regardless, it wasn't a great experience, and I didn't see any reason to stick around or to even want to shop there again.

The only other thing with 401 Games, is that they didn't seem that knowledgeable on sone games. I asked them some questions on a Mag Blast, and got a "I dunno" response. Ok, they can't play ever game, i understand that. But I was hoping for at least a "it sells well" or "several guys like to play it here" something even generic like that.

The other place I like to buy games is either out in Oshawa at Worlds Collide, and Heroes World up in Markham. Both places are quite a distance from the downtown core however.
 
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Peter Ferguson
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Toronto
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Just a quick note to add to this..

It's common knowledge that GameTrek (located under the Royal York) is over priced.. However I called them about how much they are selling the Race For the Galaxy: Gathering storm expansion..

He said $29.99

401 Games, up past the Eaton Centre has it for $29.95

So basically the same price. Plus GameTrek opens 30 minutes early. Which works out perfectly for me (if he opens his store on time).

So In about an hour, I'll be picking that up. I can't wait =)

I guess with GameTrek, it comes down to knowing your prices. I bought a Carcassone expansion there, which I think was $5 more then elsewhere, but I wasn't about to go back to where I saw it cheaper, as it would have been a 20 minute walk both ways out of my way.
 
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Steve Lefort
Canada
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Meeplemart is back up and running with a MUCH bigger selection/ inventory and new product lines, which are expanding rapidly. Meeplemart also accepts trade-ins and sells "previously enjoyed" titles. While currently an online store, pick up is available (between 5pm and 11am) and free "hand delivery" is also an option in the downtown core. I recently took it over from Robert and am located in the Distillery District about 10 minutes east of Union Station. I also host monthly "Meeplemeets" where you can try out a TON of games, including some of the huge mega-games I design for conventions! (Next Meeplemeet: January 17th, 2009) Give me a call (24/7) or email me if you have any questions or if I can help you out in any way.

Thanks for your time!
Steve "BLAST" Lefort
www.meeplemart.com
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Pell Bort
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Made a purchase from Steve at Meeplemart today. AMAZING prices and very convenient service. He's got a great store there, and I'll be making every possible purchase from him over the other two. Thanks, Steve!
 
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MGK
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Gatekeeper3000 wrote:
Then I spoke to the owner, and realised that She was once a He... and it sort of freaked me out a bit.
Nina isn't the owner of the store, but the assistant manager. Regardless, she's always been incredibly helpful and polite to any customers who come in when I've been there.

When it comes to board games, I don't shop at Hairy's often, but that's almost always because 401 is just up the street, has nearly as big a selection, and has better prices (and frankly the best prices in Canada) just about all the time.
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Greg Stegeman
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Apparently these guys are white-supremacists or at least the owner is. I think it would be best not to support this store.
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Steve Duff
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Ottawa
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greg_002 wrote:
Apparently these guys are white-supremacists or at least the owner is. I think it would be best not to support this store.
 
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Lauren Lazar
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Toronto
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greg_002 wrote:
Apparently these guys are white-supremacists or at least the owner is. I think it would be best not to support this store.
Hmm... to which store are you referring? On what grounds? That's a pretty serious accusation to make on hearsay, if that's the case. I have had nothing but good experiences with both Hairy T and 401 games.
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