The cavalcade of boaty and literary wonder that is the Toronto Boat Show is just around the corner! From Saturday, January 12th to Sunday the 20th we’ll be at the Direct Energy Centre on the old, slightly haunted CNE grounds. This year we’ll be joined by a whole chapter of authors who will be delivering lectures/seminars/workshops, signing books, and generally hanging out at our booth (listed below). We’ll also have incredible, once-a-year-only treasures and bargains from the vault like last year. If for some reason you can’t make it to the party, you can drop by our store which will have the same great deals, but less of the carnival atmosphere. If you can’t make it there, but would like an autographed copy of a book, phone or email us, and we’ll get the author to sign the book and then ship it to you. More fun boat show facts are on their website.
At first glance, our neighbourhood appears to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Wind funnels down a canyon of condos and whips across dusty rubble while giant machines demolish sidewalks, traffic lanes, and the peace. Look deeper though, and beneath the desolate moonscape you’ll find a vibrant community, brimming with delicious food, fun activities, and great deals! When you visit our store, you’ll find the same selection of books, charts, and calendars as on our site (in pleasantly browsable, physical form) as well as special store-only bargains, magazines, DVD rentals, and a puppy! You’ll also be able to swap yarns and expertise with our staff of Arctic tug crew, tall ship sailors, and seasoned yachties.
When you’re done with us, load up on rugged gear for you, your boat, and your family at Genco Marine next to the Beer Store, or Tilley Endurables in the nearby Queen’s Quay Terminal. QQT’s a fun boutique mall, home to a games store, fudge shop, food court, and more. Apart from the food court, there are plenty of tasty and unique restaurants nearby like Grill 4 U Shawarma, Indian Roti House, and Shoeless Joe’s. Special mention must go to Spice Thai Cafe, whose hot and sour soup is the best in the city, and the unfortunately-named Lick It Gelato whose coffee is molto béne.
Activities and entertainment also abound, including one of the best skating rinks in the city, tall ship watching (now with extra “tall” thanks to the arrival of Caledonia), the Power Plant Gallery, the Music Garden, and of course, beholding the engineering marvel of major enhancements to municipal infrastructure.
* Parking can be challenging, especially if there’s an event at the Sky Dome/Rogers Centre, but there’s metered parking and several lots in the neighbourhood (including beneath the Radisson). The nearby police station is the Marine Unit, and so generally more interested in fining you for missing paper navigation charts than giving parking tickets. There’s a 509 bus running from the similarly devastated Union Station.
Deep in the cavernous bowels of Nautical Mind Head Quarters lies a dusty, half-remembered vault. Once a year we throw open its creaking doors, shine high-lumen flashlights in to the dank, and haul out a trove of wondrous artifacts. Left-handed marlinspikes, deadlight bulbs, buckets of prop-wash, deeply discounted calendars, all manner of reasonably-priced boat books, and much more are schlepped from the dark into a waiting truck.
The assembled crew consists of tall ship captains, yachties, software developers, islanders, and sailors of all stripes. Our zeal for the impending Event makes the load light and the work swift, as we sing Broadway show tunes and pack the truck.
The truck gets sprinkled with drywall dust, which presumably allows it to pass unharmed through the magical Prince’s Gates and arrive at the fabled CNE grounds. Then, drawing on years of experience helming a tug in treacherous arctic waters, the driver deftly slips 30 tons of truck and bargain down the congested aisles of the Direct Energy Centre. Truly a sight to behold, he manages not to crush a single SeaDoo or shipping pallet of radars. Once at our destination, we resume our joyous box flinging, this time unloading the truck and assembling our pop-up bookstore booth. Within moments, we deploy carpets, bookcases, tables, merchandise, POS-terminals, and the treasures of the vault.
At last, the booth is ready for another year of the carnival atmosphere of the Toronto International Boat Show. Come visit us at booth G545 before sundown on Sunday, January 22nd! We look forward to seeing you!
We recently snapped up lots of great books at amazing prices. These great books include:
- 32nd America’s Cup: A Photographic Celebration, with striking images and five languages (English, French, Spanish, German, & Italian). It’s usually $99.99, we’re selling it for $19.99
- Against The Flow, the inspiring story of a teacher turned record-making yachtswoman by Dee Caffari for $8.99
- The Complete Yachtmaster, the fifth edition of the comprehensive classic by Tom Cunliffe, for only $12.99
As well as texts for professional mariners like:
- Reed’s Marine Distance Tables for $19.99
- Reed’s Mathematical Tables and Engineering Formulae for $9.99
And many more. They’re all in our Bargains section.