$10 – $200

ProtoTO 2019: Toronto’s tabletop game design convention

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Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown

30 Carlton Street

Toronto, ON M5B 2E9


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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Event description


Designer sessions are SOLD OUT, but there is a waitlist if any spots open up. Join the waitlist by clicking on Tickets on this page and then clicking JOIN WAITLIST next to Session 2. If ANY designer spot opens up, the first person on the waitlist will be notified (not just for session 2).

Designers who were not able to get a session are encouraged to purchase playtester tickets. Playtesters play prototypes and give feedback to designers. It's a great way to learn more about the playtesting process and meet other designers.

ProtoTO is Toronto's tabletop game design convention. This annual, weekend-long event offers new and established designers of card, board and role-playing games a chance to playtest their designs at an accelerated pace. At ProtoTO, the design iteration process (Design>Test>Feedback> Repeat) is expedited as designers gain valuable feedback from many playtesters over the course of a weekend.

ProtoTO 2019 is happening Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29 at the Holiday Inn Downtown Toronto, 30 Carlton Street.

ProtoTO will kick off with open gaming Friday afternoon. Then, on Friday night, designer and publisher Jonathan Gilmour will headline a special ticketed event about getting the most out of playtesting and how to fail faster (see below for more details). Following the talk, designers will set up their prototypes for the Games Showcases. Playtesters and publishers will get an overview of all of the games and see which games they would like to play during the sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

All day Saturday and Sunday, designers will test their games and get feedback from playtesters.

On Saturday night, Nicole Hoye, Mandi Hutchinson and Caryl Tan will share their favourite prototypes at a special ticketed event: ProtoTO Top 10 (see below for more details).

There will also be plenty of open gaming throughout the weekend where anyone can test a prototype, or play one of the many games in the BoardAgain gaming library.

Raffle draws for great prizes will happen Saturday and Sunday, and all are welcome to keep the fun going at the ProtoTO after parties!

View the full schedule: www.prototo.ca/schedule



Designers can buy tickets for as many 3 hour long playtesting sessions as they like.

All designers get:

-Access to all 3 days of ProtoTO (Games Showcases on Friday night, open gaming, after parties, play games created by other designers during all playtesting sessions).
-A dedicated playtesting table during the sessions they sign up for
-1 free raffle ticket
-Access to BoardAgain’s game library during open gaming.

Designers are encouraged to playtest other designers' games throughout the weekend.


A playtester ticket includes:

-Access to all 3 days of ProtoTO (Games Showcases on Friday night, open gaming, after parties, play games created by designers during all playtesting sessions)
-1 free raffle ticket
-Access to BoardAgain’s game library during open gaming

Vendor tables

Each vendor will have their own table in the convention area. This is a great opportunity to gain exposure, network and sell products. Limited tables available.

Publishers and Media: For ticket inquiries, contact info@protoTO.ca

Special ticketed events

Be sure to grab tickets (in addition to your playtester, designer, vendor, etc. tickets) for these special events on Friday and Saturday nights:

Playtesting and failing faster

with Jonathan Gilmour (Head of Development, Pandasaurus Games)

Tabletop game designer and publisher Jonathan Gilmour (Dead of Winter, Dinosaur Island, Kids on Bikes) will kick off the weekend with a talk on Friday night.

ProtoTO Top 10

On Saturday night, content creator and writer Nicole Hoye (Daily Worker Placement, Greatway Games), member of The Dice Tower team Mandi Hutchinson and head of marketing for Leder Games Caryl Tan will host ProtoTO Top 10. Nicole, Mandi and Caryl will share their lists of the games that made their top 10 prototypes at ProtoTO.

Get Involved


Volunteers are integral to ProtoTO’s success and help make the event a reality. Join the ProtoTO crew to support the event and get some great perks.

Sign up for shifts on the ProtoTO website: http://www.prototo.ca/volunteer/

Mentor Program

The ProtoTO mentorship program matches designers (of all levels of experience) who want guidance and support (mentees) with experienced members of the tabletop game industry (mentors).

Sign up as a Mentee or Mentor on the ProtoTO website: http://www.prototo.ca/mentorship-program/

ProtoTO Connect

First time attending ProtoTO? Going solo? Want to make new friends?

Check out the Connect events at ProtoTO! Attend one of the many Connect meetups at ProtoTO during Open Gaming where you can join in a game in a welcoming environment. The after parties on Friday and Saturday nights are also great opportunities to socialize and make new connections. View the Schedule for dates and times of Connect events.

And keep your eye out for Buds at ProtoTO! Buds have attended ProtoTO before and are available to introduce you to other gamers, show you around the space and answer any questions you might have. Buds will have BUD stickers on their nametags and are listed below.

Email info@protoTO.ca to be a Bud (include a short bio and headshot).

Learn more about the ProtoTO Connect program on the ProtoTO website: http://www.prototo.ca/get-involved/prototo-connect/

Development stage of prototypes

ProtoTO is about designers testing out their prototypes, and not demoing final products. Please only present games for which you want feedback.

Location and accommodations

ProtoTO 2019 will take place at the Holiday Inn Downtown Toronto, 30 Carlton Street.

This venue is wheelchair accessible, please contact info@protoTO.ca for any other accommodation requirements.


Hotel Parking is accessible via Wood Street (on the north side of the hotel). As there are a few parking garages in this area, be sure to look for the garage labeled Holiday Inn Parking. Upon entry, take a ticket from the parking machine. Bring the ticket to the Front Desk to pay by cash, credit or debit.

The cost is $18 for the day (Maximum) and $30 for Overnight.

Food and drinks

Beer and pop MAY be sold on Friday and Saturday evenings (still TBD).

There will be a water station available for attendees throughout the weekend. It is recommended attendees bring a water bottle that they can refill.

The hotel has an on-site restaurant that will offer grab-and-go options for convention goers who don't want to be away from the action for too long.

There are also many great restaurants within walking distance of the convention.

Please note that outside food and drinks are not permitted in the convention area.

More questions can be answered on the ProtoTO FAQ page.

Follow #ProtoTO online

Twitter: @ProtoTO_

Hashtag: #ProtoTO

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/ProtoTO

Youtube: bit.ly/ProtoTOYoutube

Web: www.protoTO.ca


Pam Walls

Twitter: @PartyHatGames

FB: www.facebook.com/PartyHatGames

Web: www.partyhatgames.ca

Board Game Broads: www.facebook.com/groups/boardgamebroads


Visit www.protoTO.ca or email info@protoTO.ca

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Date and Time


Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown

30 Carlton Street

Toronto, ON M5B 2E9


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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