The 9 Best Things You Missed at This Year’s Gentlemen’s Expo

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”
            – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

This one’s for the boys. 

Toronto has its auto-shows, its Bourbon Weeks, its sporting events, and its concerts. But mix a small dose of each together into one big pot, add at least 2 cups of booth-babes, and sprinkle it with some super-cool products you probably didn’t know existed, and you’ve got yourself a pretty tasty dish called The Gentlemen’s Expo.

Few events target an audience as simultaneously broad and specific as “Gentlemen” and end up hitting the bullseye – but this event wasn’t too far off. While not for every man in Toronto, The Gentlemen’s Expo certainly offers a little something for all the boys who enjoy the “classic” motifs of manhood. 

For those able to attend, depending on how many drink tickets you used, you may or may not remember the highlights. For those who didn’t make it out, here are some of the finer moments from the weekend…    

1. The Drink Samples
For anywhere from $1-$4, you could sample just about any type of alcoholic beverage. Manly Margaritas, red wine, craft beer, whiskeys, and more were flowing from taps, bottles, and jugs. For guys who prefer a stein to a sip, things could get a little frustrating. But they say you should never drink too much before a big game…

2. The Sports Games and Simulations
The only thing more fun than rock-climbing is rock-climbing after 3 glasses of whiskey. “On belayyy!!” Ok, we’re joking. Seriously, don’t ever do that. At the Expo, you could pitch to a digital batter, see how hard your tennis serve is, and even drive a 3-screen, seat-tilting race-car simulator. You might not have been a pro, but after a few drinks, who was really going to tell the difference? Not you, anyway.

3. The Trick Pool-Shot Guy
If you managed to make your way to the edges of the hall and follow the right cues to the TSN Shop, you might have come across a lone billiards table and a gloved man in a smart-looking vest. No line-ups, no tickets, but more sneaky banks than the Cayman Islands – this guy was putting on trick-shot shows for crowds and individuals alike. Now that takes balls. 

4. The Chill Zones
At this event, there was a lot of ground to cover and a good deal of both mental and physical effort required to take everything in. So the organizers and sponsors made sure they provided men with one of their most valued resources: comfortable chairs for staring at things and maybe sleeping. As usual, they were put to good use.   

5. The Live Music
Along with several meet-and-greets, a handful of great bands pulled out their acoustic guitars and played their hits at the 102.1 The Edge Sound Stage Unplugged. Folks like Hollerado, Born Ruffians, and Zeus sounded great in what turned out to be a very intimate setting. If you’re a fan of live music, you would have been pleasantly surprised.

6. The Company That Makes Jersey-Chairs
There’s a company that will take any NHL jersey and turn it into a chair. I think we’re done here.

7. The Clothing Retailers
There weren’t a lot of clothing vendors there, but what was there was pretty cool stuff. From classic leather jackets and irreverent Ts to on-site fittings for custom suits. As Shakespeare wrote, “…clothes make the man.” And that’s from a guy who also created the expression, “green with envy.” Coincidence? We think not. 

8. The Elaborate Booth Designs
Some people really went out of their way to make guests feel like they were attending something special and unique. There were vintage garage replicas, pop-up Speakeasies, DJ-lounges, and general stores. You don’t often find 24 year old promo-girls flirting with you in those places, but sometimes a little suspended disbelief is a good thing.

9. These Guys’ Suits
Perfect for birthdays and board-meetings alike, these two definitely won the wardrobe award with these getups. More importantly, now we know what to wear at this year’s Notable Awards… 

#NOTABLE

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