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Subject: Please recommend a FLGS in Toronto rss

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Nicolas Varela
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I'll be in Toronto between May 11th and 15th for a business seminar, but I'm sure I'll have some spare time to visit the city (my first and only visit to Toronto was a dark, cold, cloudy february day in 1989. Went up to CN Tower and couldn't see a meter ahead...)

So, one of my planned activities is to visit a FLGS and buy some games... but I don't know where to go! I'll be at the Renaissance Toronto Hotel Downtown, so please consider stores in the close neighbourhood.

Another question. How long does it take to go to Niagara Falls and be back at Toronto?

Thanks, Nicolás.
 
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Mr. Stabs
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401 Games (address: 401 Yonge St.) is apparently a 37 minute walk from your hotel, and although I haven't purchased anything from them, I did like the selection they had in the store when I went in last weekend and the prices seemed decent.

I would also recommend checking out Snakes and Lattes. It's not a game store, but it is a relatively new games cafe where you can play titles from their collection and get some food. The food is pretty good, and the atmosphere is great. It's at 600 Bloor St. West, which you can get fairly close to by using the subway. It's probably a 5-10 minute walk once you get off the subway.
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Brian Cherry
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Hi,

In my experience, Toronto to Niagara can take anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours, depending on the traffic. Plan for 2 hours from Toronto to Niagara and 1.5 back.... I would guess.

I hear that Hairy Tarantula at 354 Yonge Street is pretty good, but Ive never been so I cant offer directions. one site lists it as "a couple streets north of the Eaton Center (which for those of you who don' t know, is on the corner of Dundas and Yonge)"

Hope the visit is a good one.

Brian
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mateenyweeny
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Also on Thursday night you can go visit meeplemart which has the best prices. It's a little further away and you'll probably have to take transit if you don't have a car.

And if you go to Niagara Falls, go on the weekend to avoid traffic.
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Ryan Kinney
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I second the recommendation on Meeplemart, but check the Hairy Tarantula website for their monthly specials in May, sometimes their sale makes up for their somewhat inflated prices.

Niagara falls and back will take you about four to five hours total travel time if you're taking the bus. Take the GO Transit line (http://www.gotransit.com/publicroot/en/schedules/lstserdt.as...) as it will likely be cheaper than the Greyhound and will put you a bit closer to the actual falls. Niagara transit is awful so bring a map or cash for a taxi.
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Danni Durante
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I'll third the Meeplemart recommendation. Definitely the best prices anywhere in the GTA...and abroad. Check their website though for hours of operation as they're only open two days a week (one being Thursday) and only after a certain hour (5:00pm for Thursdays I believe).
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mateenyweeny
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Yeah Tuesdays and Thursdays from about 5pm to 11pm. And it's also open for gaming at those times!
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Andrew Roy
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The benefit of 401 games and the Hairy T is that they're right across Yonge Street from each other! I have been to Meeplemart as well, but that will involve a longer walk/public transportation ride.

I second the idea that you check Hairy T's website for sale info. Consider what games you are interested in, then check out the prices on their websites.

http://www.401games.ca/

http://www.hairyt.com/

http://www.meeplemart.com/

There is a board game shop in the malls of Eaton Centre (downtown - Yonge and Dundas), Yorkdale, and so on, but they're far more mainstream, with just a handful of decent Euros.
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Kaiwen Zhang
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Meeplemart

Open tuesdays, thursdays, sundays

/thread
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Kevin J
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Summary (in order generally closest to your hotel to furthest):

401 Games (401 Yonge)
Hairy Tarantula (354 Yonge)
Snakes and Lattes (600 Bloor)
Dueling Grounds (1193 Bloor)
Meeplemart (290 Carlaw Avenue)

Snakes and Lattes is well worth the visit if you want to tell people you've been to a board game cafe (also if there are a lot of games you'd like to try before buying and you don't know many other people who buy games). I don't go often because I am not crazy about coffee, and I would rather take the $5 they charge to use their game collection and put it towards a new game for my own collection.

I go to Meeplemart every Thursday for open gaming. More than anything I like the people that go there. It also gets a lot less foot traffic than, say, 401 games, so it is a bit less crowded while playing (or browsing). Meeplemart very often has the best prices in Canada as far as I have seen.

Meeplemart (Thursday night) and Dueling Grounds (Wednesday night) are discussed on the TABS forums so you might be able to plan a particular game ahead of time, but you'll need to sign up for a user account.
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The HairyT in north york has the best selection.
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Ian Klinck
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There's also Game Trek, downstairs in the Royal York hotel on Front Street. Fantastic selection, but prices are high - nice to browse, but if I'm buying from a physical store, I usually go to 401.
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mateenyweeny
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^^ Note that when he says high, he means it. Browsing only!
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S McCulloch
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It depends how price sensitive you are. Meeplemart definitely has the best prices around. I also like 401. I quite agree that Game Trek is a look not buy territory.Terribly high priced. The only problem with Meeplemart is the hours.
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Steve M
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Definitely 401 Games, open everyday, good selection, good prices.
As mentioned, MeepleMart is #1 for prices, but drop in only Thurs 5PM on.. although I think they are open Sundays as well now.

I'd say visit both sites for a price comparison, but 401 Games sells everything @ 10% off, which basically makes for list + small % of tax.
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David Janik-Jones
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401 Games, no question. I find Hairy T "off-putting" and a bit run down especially their lower Yonge Street location, and although Steve at Meeplemart is really great (2nd choice), as an out-of-towner (but former resident) his hours are hard to work around.

Toronto to Niagara Falls ... usually two hours there, shorter back, but depends on time you go. Rush hours along Gardiner and QEW can be brutal.

401 Games is a brisk 30 minute walk from your hotel.

If you find yourself in Waterloo though (an hour west of Toronto) along the 401, J&J is one of the best FLGS in Canada.
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Doug Ratz
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The walk up Younge Street to 401 games is pleasant and safe, day or night. The Hairy Tarantula is on the other side of the street, a bit south of 401 (I think the street number is 358). It's just a door with stairs going up, and it is easy to miss. The selection at 401 is good and the prices O.K. The selection at Hairy Tarantula is amazing but the prices are ridiculously high. Also, as a small town boy with a conservative outlook, the Hairy T is a bit, well, weird.

The store up on Bloor and Young isn't worth the effort as the selection is low and the prices are high.

The store in the basement of the Royal York hotel has a nice selection, but the prices are very high.

Haven't been to Meeple Mart (yet) but the web prices are lowest, so if you can get there, it is probably your best bet. Otherwise, take a walk up Younge Street to 401 games.

Doug
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too bad you weren't going to kitchener/waterloo. JJCards&Comics is super cheap with a mega-massive-selection.
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Sara VanderWal
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The advice you've already received through this thread is great... just wanted to chime in to let everyone know that 401 Games has reduced their prices and are now in direct competition with Meeplemart's prices from what I saw. Because they are now tied for the cheapest prices in Toronto, they are no longer offering 10% off all boardgames, but does mean it is your best bet for purchases in Toronto.

Depending on your schedule, we run a boardgaming event at 401 Games every Wednesday night from 6pm - 10pm so you are welcome to stop by. We generally have 15-25 people come out and as an example, last night the following games were taught and played: Civilization 2010, Merchants & Marauders, Agricola, Nightfall, Smallworld, Tobago, Race for the Galaxy, and Castle Ravenloft.

Snakes & Lattes should also be high on your list of things to do in the city as we have 1600 different boardgames that you can try out. Of course I'm bias cause I work there. :-)
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Josh Bury
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Quote:
too bad you weren't going to kitchener/waterloo. JJCards&Comics is super cheap with a mega-massive-selection.
+1 for J&J's. I am pretty pleased that I get to have them as my FLGS.
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Nicolas Varela
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Wow!! Thanks to all for the amazing tips. I'll surely visit 401 Games and Hairy Tarantula, and try to fit my schedule with meeplemart's "odd" opening hours.

Based on Doug's warning:
dratz wrote:
as a small town boy with a conservative outlook, the Hairy T is a bit, well, weird.
I'll cause quite an impression dropping by in a suit and tie outfit.

Hope to see a couple of you guys "up there". If a chilean guy drops by looking as a foreigner... it's me. Just say "Hi Nicolás" and we'll introduce ourselves!
 
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Maurice Tousignant
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If you go to Hairy T make sure your cell phone is off and out of sight.

No I'm not joking.
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Josh Bury
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Quote:
If you go to Hairy T make sure your cell phone is off and out of sight.

No I'm not joking.
I need to know the story behind this, lol.
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Maurice Tousignant
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As noted the Hairy T is a little odd.

Let's just say the owner has strong feelings regarding cell phone use and the harm it causes. If you check out their website I'm sure you will find links to a conspiracy theory or two, or some news that the media has spun incorrectly.

Actually let me check: http://www.hairyt.com/
Yep, some info on the Fukushima response and a story about a reporter poisoned to death.

One of the best suggestions for what boardgame should I buy came from a man with breasts at the Hairy T.
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Dennis Ku
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The people working at the Hairy T are nice enough, but the place is just so damned dirty. You need a long, hot shower and a hepatitis shot after walking out of that store.

In Toronto, meeplemart definitely has the best prices (he's open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in the evening), although I have to say that Paul at fungamescafe.com can somehow get you any game you want, even if it means finding someone to sell you an OOP game.
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