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The World’s Biggest Bookstore Will Close in February

The Yonge-Dundas-area landmark is shutting down after 33 years.

Downtown Toronto’s huge bookstore, and its hugely inaccurate name (it’s not the world’s biggest, by a long shot), will be shutting down permanently after 33 years in business. According to the Star, The World’s Biggest Bookstore—whose massive sign dominates Yonge and Edward streets, near Yonge-Dundas Square—is in the process of being sold to Lifetime Developments. A company spokesman tells the Star that the developer doesn’t have any “finalized plans” for the property, but it’s a safe bet that whatever ends up happening there won’t involve books.

The World’s Biggest Bookstore was founded in 1980 as an offshoot of the Coles bookstore empire. (The building used to be a bowling alley.) After a series of corporate mergers, the business fell into Indigo’s hands, but the Star reports that The World’s Biggest Bookstore’s building is still owned by David Cole, who is the son of Cole Books founder Jack Cole. We learned in 2012 that Indigo was planning on moving out, because of a rent hike. With such a prime location at stake, it’s hard to imagine a future that doesn’t involve the site being turned into a tower of some sort.

Here’s a little history of the store, for nostalgia purposes. This, Honest Ed’s, Sears. What’s next?