Geeks! Nerds! Lend me your pointy ears!
Coolness is something Toronto offers around every corner, and sure, that’s… cool… or whatever. But you know what hoods like Queen and King West are missing? Nerd cred. Which Old Town Toronto’s got. Whether you’re a bookworm, a cinephile, or a classic history buff, we’ve got the geekiness you crave. Now put down those Warhammer miniatures and pack up your Magic cards and let’s walk on the geeky side of Old Town Toronto.
D & E Lake Books and Art
There’s nothing quite like the smell of old books. Musty and dusty…by all accounts, it should be unpleasant, but bibliophiles would bottle that scent and spritz it on their collarbones every morning if they could. D&E Book Lake Books and Art store is as old school gets, with haphazard shelving and delightfully curmudgeonly shop staff–but we both know you wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether you’re into antiquarian spelunking, killing an afternoon prodding at old spines, or just want to soak up some good scholastic vibes, D & E is worth a visit. The shop also provides appraisals on rare books and hosts a gallery of vintage photos, maps, and drawings found in and featuring Old Town Toronto.
Imagine Cinemas Market Square
Dare I say the Market Square theatre is the best cinema in Toronto? This modest 6-cinema theatre may not have 3D projectors and massive screens, but the old-school style space has everything the true cinephile loves and the introvert craves. Every chair in the theatre is a plush luxury recliner, allowing you to enjoy a huge squishy armchair with convertible foot and backrests that recline automatically at the touch of a button, no additional charge. Also: every seat in the house is reservable–whenever you book, however you book, you can choose the precise location you’d like to sit, as every seat costs the same (and no, you don’t have to pay an “online booking fee”). Next, Market Square offers big blockbusters alongside indie flicks, meaning you can feed your Marvel cravings and tease your brain with ponderous coming-of-age films set in Sudbury. The cherry on top is the price: general admission is $13.50 and Tuesdays are $9 all day.
Bruce Bell Walking Tours
ATTN: history buffs, did you know St. Lawrence Market has a historian on payroll? Since 2002 Bruce Bell has been the Official Historian of St. Lawrence Hall and St. Lawrence Market, offering talks, walks, and frequently walking talks, about the fascinating history of Old Town Toronto. How did P.T Barnum and a Swedish diva leave their mark on St. Lawrence Hall? Did prisoners really drown in the basement of St. Lawrence Market? What caused the Great Fire of 1849 and how did its effects reverberate through history, impacting Toronto to this day? Be sure to follow Burce on Twitter for updates on his upcoming history tours and factoids about Old Town Toronto. After spending an hour absorbing Bruce’s extensive knowledge you’re going to have so many cool facts to share at parties. Click here to check out his site.
Flatiron’s Christmas Market
Don’t let the name of this eclectic shop on Jarvis fool you–there’s a whole lot more to this spot than Christmas decor. You know that moment when you find some incredibly weird, astonishingly stupid trinket and immediately know in your bones there’s a friend who would just DIE to have it so you clutch the pair of rubber chicken earrings to your chest and cackle all the way to the register? Imagine a place where every single item is selected to make you think one of two thoughts: “What the heck is this?” or “You are coming home with me my precious.”
Flatiron Christmas Market is open all year round and is the perfect spot to grab a supremely strange gift for that weirdo you love. And yes, they have plenty of Xmas decor as well. Their collection of astonishingly sexy mermen ornaments is the best and largest in the province. And quite possibly the country.
P.S- yes they have rubber chicken earrings.
Go on Toronto, get out there and let your geek flag fly! And click here to check out our full business directory of Old Town Toronto shops and services to tickle your fancy.