Great Dates in Fifty States (& Canada): Toronto, Ontario – The Geek Edition

snakes and lattes

Though I’ve been writing for the site for a while now and it dawned upon me that I hadn’t contributed to the ongoing series of Great Dates posts yet.

There’s already a post in GDG’s archives from 2009 with some great general suggestions about where to go in Toronto from a guest contributor. But I felt that there were some geeky landmarks that definitely we worth adding to this.

Here are my picks for the must-see places to check out and great geek dating spots in Toronto.

Silver Snail 

The Silver Snail is arguably Toronto’s most iconic comic book and geek toy store. In their recent store move from Queen Street West to Yonge and Dundas, their new digs are now on the subway line and in heart of Toronto’s main shopping district. The new location also boasts the Black Canary Espresso Bar right inside the store, thus making it a doubly perfect place for a first date.

Other great comic shops around town that also worth checking out include The Beguiling and Comic Book Lounge.

Snakes and Lattes

Board Games cafés are extremely popular in Toronto right now and There’s three right in the downtown area. The oldest, biggest and most well known is Snakes and Lattes in The Annex neighborhood. You can borrow games to play during your visit, or buy your own copy of Catan and bring it home with you.

There are two newer board games cafés, which are also worth checking out, Castle Board Game Café on Spadina and the just opened Roll Play Cafe on Edward Street.

Get Well

If you’re looking to have some drinks with your date one of my favorite spots to recommend is Get Well on Dundas (just west of Ossington).

Get Well has a casual environment and they always play awesome music (the owners also own Sonic Boom, the record store featured in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). The back of the bar has a number of retro pinball and video arcade games. Get Well also boasts a ridiculously large selection of import and craft beers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Honourable mention for a bar event worth checking out: The Bovine Sex Club on Queen West near Bathurst runs a monthly nerd night called  One of Us Wednesdays. If you haven’t been to the Bovine before, it’s a bit of a dive and very rock and roll. I love it there but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

Bloor Cinema & TIFF Lightbox

For fantastic film geek dates, we have two world-class cinemas in our city.

The historic Bloor Cinema at Bathurst and Bloor in The Annex got a facelift and is now officially called the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. It is owned operated by  after the local documentary film festival  of the same name. If you and your date are into geeking it up via documentary film, this is definitely the place to do it.

The TIFF Bell Lightbox on King Street West, the home to Toronto’s International Film Festival,  is not only a fantastic movie theatre but they also have on going series of lectures, screenings and very cool programming. To give you an idea of the types of things they present, I had the pleasure of attending a series of Hitchcock films presented Guillermo del Toro with talks about them after each screening. Cool, right?

Royal Ontario Museum & The AGO

If you’ve always dreamed of taking in dinosaur skeletons or renaissance paintings with your date you need to check out one of our fancy, schmancy museums. Seriously, both the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario are awesome date locations.  The AGO has a David Bowie fashion exhibit starting this week, which promises to be a must-see for music geeks.

Fan Fiction The Show @ The Black Swan

Fan Fiction The Show is one of the funniest events I’ve ever been to. Basically, once a month, a group of the cities best stand-up and sketch comedians do dramatic readings of the worst fan fics they find online. It’s as horrible, sometimes disgusting and always amusing as you think it might be. Previous themes have included Sailor Moon, Batman and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Tassels and Tabletop @ The Central

There’s a huge amount of nerdy burlesque (aka nerdlesque) happening in Toronto right now. Admittedly this suggestion is completely shameless self promotion. I’m co-producing a new monthly burlesque and gaming night at The Central called Tassels and Tabletop. The first edition is this upcoming Wednesday, September 25. Check the Nerd Girl Burlesque website and Facebook page for more upcoming dates and details. 

Another geeky burlesque show coming up that you might want to check out (and that is definitely date worthy) is The Underground Peepshow’s Nude 52 (DC comics themed show) on October 12.

If you’re looking for other nerdy date ideas in Toronto, I highly suggest consulting The Nerd Mafia events calendar. The best local geek/nerd/fandom culture events always end up on it.

Do you have a burning question about online dating or general geek dating that you’d like to have answered? Send us a note via the Anon-o-Box and we might answer it in an upcoming column!

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