Happy Birthday, Toronto! Five of Toronto’s Oldest Independent Bookstores

This year, the City of Toronto is turning 185 years old and it's looking good for almost two centuries of existence. It's also important to note that Toronto sits on land occupied by Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years which include the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat and the Mississaugas of the New Credit. It's part of the Dish with One Spoon territory, a treaty to peaceably share and protect this land, through friendship and respect. We can't imagine celebrating the city's literary scene without acknowledging the history of the land in which storytelling takes place.

In this special blog post, we featured some of the oldest bookstores who've watched the city change over the years including how and what we read. We also shout out bookstores who represent the feature of bookselling and the people who frequent them! 

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Toronto Authors Reveal Their Favourite Places to Read

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Daniel Perry, author of Nobody Looks That Young Here, at the Artful Dodger Pub

Ever wonder where authors read when they’re not writing? We asked Toronto-based authors Daniel Perry, Kim Moritsugu, Diane Flacks and Dominique Bernier-Cormier about their favourite reading habits and more.

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Toronto’s International Festival of Authors Returns with a Stellar Lineup of Celebrated and Emerging Authors!

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Toronto’s International Festival of Authors is proud to announce the authors participating in the 2017 festival!  The  IFOA takes place from October 19 to the 29th at the Harbourfront Center.  These eleven days are packed with readings, one-on-one interviews, thought-provoking panel discussions, special events and free book signings. Tickets go on sale on September 16th!

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A Different Toronto

By Ann Y.K. Choi

K & Y Convenience. Queen and Bellwoods. Photo taken by Ardo Omer. Photo edited by Emily Jung.

As an outsider looking in, our neighbourhood in the 1980s could be perceived as sketchy with the Madonna-inspired prostitutes sitting on the side steps of the imposing Ukrainian church at the corner of Queen and Bellwoods, and the homeless asking for loose change outside our variety store. Our best sellers really did include cigarettes and condoms.

But for my family and the characters in Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety, the neighbourhood was a vibrant reflection of the residents and our working-class background. The store allowed us to connect with everyone from immigrant families to starving artists–writers, musicians, and actors–who lived on white bread and cola but paid for brand named foods for their pets. And, although we were robbed frequently and our home vandalized, we felt a strong sense of belonging. People looked out for each other. One vivid memory of this was when someone set the entrance to our apartment (above the store) on fire in the middle of the night. One of the prostitutes who worked on our street corner called 911 and rescued us.

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