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More Lost Words

With news last week that three bookstores—The Book Mark, Glad Day, and Dragon Lady Comics—are to be sold or closed, we look back at some beloved bookshops from Toronto's past.

Last week, after hearing about a trio of local bookstores facing closure or sale, we looked at some of Toronto’s past purveyors of literature. As we wrote then, it feels as if Toronto is experiencing a cycle of closures similar to the late 1990s. Back then, blame initially fell upon big box stores like Chapters and Indigo; now it’s online retailers and e-books. In both cases these big bads were only part of the problem: increased rent appears to be a critical element of the current closure cycle. Cold commentators might say that technology is making bookstores obsolete, or that owners should only blame themselves when their business ends, but whenever any long-running store closes, it feels as if a reassuring piece of the local landscape has gone with it.

We’ve gathered up six more stores from the city’s history, ones that show the diversity of booksellers over the years, with specialties ranging from children’s prose to all-Canadian publications.

Ready to browse?


  • JR

    I was a bookseller from the early 70′s to the mid 80′s and remember the Children’s Book Store with great fondness. The owner Judy Sarick was an ex librarian and believed that the goal of the store was not to stock the most comprehensive selection but the BEST selection of children’s books.

    There was no Enid Blyton, Baby-Sitter series. Librarians loved her because she pre-selected books for them.

    It was, at one time, the largest English language children’s bookstore in the world. A legend.

  • SB

    And another store closing – The Cookbook Store

    • Alison Fryer

      This is completely unfounded that The Cookbook Store is closing, the store has never been stronger and is expanding its partnerships, namely the wonderful addition of a kitchen with Rosemill Development.

  • Edstoker

    Also know that Toronto’s oldest independent bookstore, the Bookmark, on Bloor st. W. in the Kingsway is slated to close after 47 years in business.