I meant to post about this sooner but life has been hectic.

We drove to Toronto a few weeks ago and celebrated a belated Christmas with Andrea’s family. It was my first time in Toronto (or anywhere north of the Appleyard family farm in the Hamilton area, and that not since the early 80’s).

We stayed in the Don Mills area, near the Fairview Mall. It’s a nice area with easy access to shopping and public transportation. If I were inclined to live in a big city, that would have been a suitable spot to settle down.

The area was blanketed with snow the night we arrived. I’m not exactly sure how much fell but there was at least a foot on the truck when I went out the next morning. Here lies a pitfall of public transportation. Our group of six were walking to the subway stop around the corner. None of the sidewalks were shoveled or salted yet. Andrea’s sister slipped on some uneven pavement and sprained her ankle pretty badly. We had to go back and get the truck to drive her back to the apartment.

Four of us eventually continued, and landed ourselves downtown. We stopped at Fran’s Restaurant for a bit of food before heading to our main objectives: the Hairy Tarantula and the World’s Biggest Bookstore (WBB).

The Hairy Trarantula is without a doubt the best comic book store I’ve been to (no offense Graham Cracker or Darktower, I still love you guys). The Hairy T has an amazing collection of materials, including the complete run of Transmetropolitan and let me tell you, that is hard as hell to find locally. Quimby’s is the only store out of the dozen’s we’ve been to that carried any. The staff were wonderful and even joked around playfully when they learned I was American. We picked up Preacher #3,  Transmetropolitan #2, Strangers in Paradise #5 and #6, The Walking Dead #3, Animal Man #3, Concrete #2, and X-Factor #5.

Next we swung by the WBB. As advertised, the store was huge and their selection of SF/F anthologies was to die for. More than two full units! There were multiple copies of The Savage Humanists, still my favorite anthology ever (although not unexpected, since it’s from Robert J. Sawyer’s imprint). In the end, we ended up picking up Sideways in Crime, Chicks in Chainmail, Heroes in Training, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, and two issues of on spec.

The snow continued for a few days, so we ended up staying over an extra day or two before heading home. We’re looking forward to visiting Toronoto often after we move to Ontario later this year.

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