Winter Conventions Suck!!!


(photo courtesy Toronto Comicon webiste)
(photo courtesy Toronto Comicon webiste)

A couple of weeks back I was at a convention at the Royal York in Toronto.  It is a convention I plan on attending for the next 7 years.  Over 1000 delegates attend the convention, and it always occurs in the middle of February.

We checked into the hotel, but our rooms were not ready yet, so we checked our luggage in at the bell desk so we could attend some of the seminars.  It was cold out when I got to the hotel so I had my winter coat with me, and I didn’t want to check it in with my luggage so I kept it with me.  Halfway through my seminar I started to overheat, and I wasn’t wearing the coat at the time.

Afterwards I got the key to my room and checked in.  I was very happy I had a room at the hotel, but there were many convention delegates who travel to the hotel just for the convention, and stay at another location.  It got me thinking that it isn’t much fun going to a convention when you don’t have a place to put your stuff.


The Toronto ComiCon is March 9th and 10th and this is one of the biggest challenges for the convention goer.  What do we do with our winter gear?

The best way around this is to have a hotel room within close proximity to the convention centre.  That is the easiest solution.  But to the regular public (who doesn’t have a friend with a booth where they can stash their stuff) you have to walk around the convention centre all day with a winter coat, hat and gloves (very important to have gloves in downtown Toronto in winter, I learned the hard way… long story).

So basically, you have to walk around with this stuff all day.

At the last Canadian ToyCon, it was very windy and cold that day.  But since I had access to my vehicle I was able to stash my coat and stuff in my truck.  It makes it more enjoyable to attend a con, when you are not carrying around any extra gear.

So how do we get around this at a facility like the Metro Convention Centre?

I’m not really sure.

I guess you could dress lightly when you go to the show, but March in downtown Toronto is very unpredictable.  If you are walking to the show, it will be very cold.  If you are taking the subway, you could travel underground the whole time, but still it could be cold as well.

Maybe the only solution to this problem is to move all of the conventions to a later date.  If the Toronto ComiCon happened in April, the weather would co-operate, and make it easier on the convention goer.  Or relocate the convention to a facility which has parking for people who are able to drive to the show.  Or that has lockers so the convention goers have a place to put their stuff.

I don’t have a plan yet, for what I am going to do with my winter gear for the Toronto ComiCon.  How about you?  What is your plan for the Toronto ComiCon so you can attend the show, and still be comfortable?

Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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  1. I park in the convention center parking: it’s underground and connected so I leave my coat in the car.

    Seems like a good revenue opportunity for the shows to offer a $2 coat check.

  2. I like this post Ed! I go to Boston every year to PAX East, it is practically impossible to get a hotel super close to the convention. I have to wear a large backpack to carry all my winter stuff all day long because I have to walk 15-20 mins outside, and they don’t have coat check! But, even if you find a place to put your coat, if it’s snowy outside, there is no where to put your boots. I have very large, heavy, furry, winter boots. I don’t want to wear those all over a con! My feet would kill and I would overheat!

  3. The other thing I just thought of is the heating in the MTCC. Sometimes when it is cold out, large facilities crank up the heat higher. If for some strange reason it is unseasonably warm that day, it could be like a pressure cooker on the convention floor.

    I will be staying within walking distance of the MTCC, but I really have no idea how I should dress to handle the weather that day. If I was parking down at the MTCC, like how Scott mentioned, I would take the chance of leaving my coat in my vehicle. But what about lunch? I like to leave the con to grab a bit to eat.

    It is just one of those big dilemma’s that happens at a show during the winter.

  4. I usually park on the North side and just suck it up for the 5mins Im outdoors without a jacket.

  5. If I remember correctly, the March Comic-con was created specifically to compete with Wizard World in April so I doubt that would change. Also, March could be the only time available in MTCC.

    Personally, I’ve never really had a difficult time finding parking downtown. My friends and I usually park underground and I take a light spring coat and long sleeve sweatshirt.

  6. Encourage Hobbystar to add a coat check option.

    I have a booth for the store, but I would park at the South building convention centre parking and walk in – no need to even bring a coat, just leave it in the car. If you decide to go out for lunch then pop by the car on the way out and get it.

    HSM has always done a successful March AnimeCon (MTAC). As far as I’m concerned, because of bad advice Wizard created this new version by booking on the dates and location of the annual spring 2-day Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation event – so HSM moved ComiCON up a month and combined it with AnimeCON to make a new mini Fan Expo.

    Worked out pretty well I guess, since they are doing it again this year.

  7. My other concern with winter conventions, especially anywhere that has winter (ie: Toronto) – you can’t predict the weather a day in advance, how can you predict it months in advance? People travel far and wide for a convention, but if we get a blizzard between now and this weekend, that will destroy attendance.

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