Afternoon Lady-Date Continued : A Nice Coffee Shop and Some Virtual Reality

see map
looking up


Continuing on from my previous post about a midday-weekday get together with my friend Meghan -- after leaving the Onsite Gallery, (located on Richmond St W near Duncan), we walked up to Queen Street and headed west.

historic building repair after fire queen street west near soho toronto

↑ I paused to take a shot of what I think is a really great save of a historic building, after it was badly damaged by a 3 alarm fire back in 2012. (If you're as curious as I was about how fires in Toronto are ranked, check out this wiki list.)

The Roots store beside it, where the fire began, was totally destroyed. Back then, it was thought the fire was due to arson because people had heard a massive blast around the time it began, and there was a big hole seen in the front of the building, as it burned. I can find no conclusion to that story online, so the fire remains a mystery.

photo by HiMY SYeD fire on queen street west silver snail comic book store and roots

↑ The building with the Roots shop was subsequently torn down and remains an empty lot. ↑

Anyway, if you live in Toronto, you may remember this as the former home of the Silver Snail Comic Book shop, which had been there for decades, across from The Black Bull at Queen and Soho. (Silver Snail now resides on Yonge Street.)

The building was erected in 1890. From what I understand, it is only the facade that remains, incorporated into the new build, but that is certainly better than none of it.

toronto spiker man sighting queen street west

↑ Coincidentally, given the longstanding comic book connection to the spot I was taking the photograph from, Toronto's own Spiderman Peter Parkour happened to be walking by!

Further to the west, just past Portland, we stopped in at The Early Bird Coffee Shop.

early bird cafe sign queen street west toronto


early bird coffee shop queen street west toronto

at early bird cafe queen street west toronto near bathurst

portrait early bird cafe toronto

coffee art at early bird cafe queen street west near bathurst toronto

chai latte at early bird cafe queen street west toronto

soft ginger cookie


It was a lovely spot for a good talk.

After, continuing westward, we passed a place whose colourful windows lured us in to have a look.

UPDATE : Fall 2018 - I recently passed by, and saw that the House of VR has closed. I'm not sure if they've moved somewhere else, but the location at Queen West and Bathurst is no longer.


from outside

House of VR offers a state-of-the-art virtual reality experience. You book time to play their immersive games by the hour, or companies can book the whole place for parties or team building events.

lounge space in front window

inside house of vr queen street west toronto virtual reality experience

at house of vr virtual reality event space queen street west toronto near bathurst

video screen


↑ The green screens allow your friends to watch what you're doing, while "inside" the experience of your choice. ↑


↑ For a more personal experience, the 360 degree pod chairs are the way to go. ↑

There are two floors ...


house of vr queen street west toronto

You don't have to be a gamer to enjoy VR. Walk in are welcome, however preference is given to advanced bookings. On Fridays they host a "Freaky Friday" evening, which is an all-you-can-VR horror night.

There was some good artwork in there, which went perfectly with the decor ...

art by june kim hanging at house of vr queen street west toronto

paintings by june kim on display at house of vr toronto

↑ Original paintings by June Kim. ↑

an eyejack mural at house of vr queen street west toronto

↑ This mural by EyeJack is an augmented reality piece, that will move and change when looked at through your smartphone, via a downloaded app. ↑

nanoleaf light panel at house of vr toronto

↑ The heart-shaped Nanoleaf Light Panel was mesmerizing as it as the colour arrangements gently changed. ↑

artwork by jay tripper hanging at house of vr queen street west toronto

↑ A lit-from-behind art print by Jay Tripper. ↑

... and a team of very friendly people ...

at house of vr toronto

↑ Sydney ↑

at house of vr toronto queen street west

↑ Cathy ↑

in action at house of vr toronto

↑ Sappho shows us how it's done! ↑

We didn't stay and play this time, however, I look forward to a future visit. I'm an avid gamer, so am very intrigued by this new place in the neighbourhood. Maybe I'll see you there on a Freaky Friday.

I hope things have been going well with you, and thank you for reading,
xo loulou
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3 Responses to Afternoon Lady-Date Continued : A Nice Coffee Shop and Some Virtual Reality

  1. henatayeb says:

    I love how they built the new space in a way to modernize and preserve the old building at the same time. Ingenious.
    That VR place looks so cool..

  2. that cafe looks great – love that they are clear that it is not about the laptops! And that virtual reality space looks soooo cool. I would love to try that.

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