Book Marks: Frantic City
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Book Marks: Frantic City

Every Thursday, Torontoist Books is taking a look at another one of the city’s fine bookstores and reading series, in a feature we call Book Marks.

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Photo by Erin Baiser/Torontoist.


You wouldn’t know it from the countless media profiles of the Ossington Avenue strip, but the area is home to more than just clothing boutiques, cafes, low-signage hipster bars, and high-concept eateries. Tucked in the middle of the strip is one of the city’s best used bookstores, Frantic City (123 Ossington Avenue). Specializing in 20th-century literature and poetry, philosophy, graphic novels, and books on culture and music, the store also sells a large selection of vintage vinyl, especially 45s of the early garage rock and punk variety.
books_badge_medium.gif “Highbrow lit/lowbrow music,” is how owner Tim Hanna sums up the store’s eclectic stock. Opened in 2005, the store was originally called Babel Books, but Hannah found that the name wasn’t sticking with customers. “I did an informal poll,” he says, “and I found that 95% of people referred to the store as That Place on Ossington. The new name is easier to remember and it’s also truer to the store’s program.”
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