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


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.

↑ We paused to take a shot of 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.

↑ 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.

↑ 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.

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.

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.

↑ 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 …

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 …

↑ Original paintings by June Kim. ↑

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

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

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

… and a team of very friendly people …

↑ Sydney ↑

↑ Cathy ↑

↑ 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