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Arts

Book City returns to Bloor West Village with new store

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / May 4, 2014

Book CityBibliophiles, rejoice. After a string of bookstore closures in recent months, it seemed like the writing was on the wall for the written word in Toronto - but now, west-end book lovers can count one for the win column. Toronto bookstore chain Book City is pulling its Bloor West Village location, which closed in 2012, back out of the deadpool: A new Book City store is set to open at 2350 Bloor St. West, just a couple of doors down from the original.

The Bloor West Book City location was open for over 20 years before rising rents and tough competition from the Chapters location at Bloor and Runnymede forced the store's closure. The Chapters, in turn, went under earlier this year. Book City general manager Ian Donker told Quill and Quire he saw how upset residents were when both Book City and Chapters left the area, which led him to feel that there might still be a demand for a neighbourhood bookstore.

The new location, a former Telus store, was secured not long after the store's Annex store shut its doors in March, and hiring is underway for new staff (Book City has stated that none of the Annex store's staff would be moved to other locations). The new store, Donker said, will feature an increased number of books catering to families and younger readers - but true to the Book City chain, there'll be a little of everything for everyone.

Discussion

22 Comments

W. K. Lis / May 4, 2014 at 09:32 am
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Landlords: don't think you can continue to increase rents on commercial establishments without thinking that doing so would only make them look elsewhere. Including going the internet route.
P.O.A. replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / May 4, 2014 at 11:34 am
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For the record, the rent for the site of Book City Annex is $13,100/month.
bawiseguy / May 4, 2014 at 01:03 pm
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Hooray! This store was long missed by many in the hood. Glad to see they saw an opportunity and seized it. I look forward to meandering (and purchasing) once again.
Benedict replying to a comment from P.O.A. / May 4, 2014 at 01:33 pm
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:0 :0 :0 :0
Alexander replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / May 4, 2014 at 01:35 pm
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Yes, landlords, how dare you try to get fair market value for your properties! Boo capitalism!

Bob / May 4, 2014 at 02:02 pm
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This is great news! I will definitely be buying all my Christmas gifts from the store when it re-opens! I hope the store manager from last location stays on! He is terrific!
Laura / May 4, 2014 at 08:42 pm
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Yay! I've been spreading the news. My family is super excited, and my friends will be too.
Marc replying to a comment from Alexander / May 4, 2014 at 09:23 pm
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I bet you complain about your mobile bills and electricity rates.
Bookwormmom / May 5, 2014 at 06:42 am
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I am waiting with baited breath and telling everyone about it who will listen! Can't wait!!
b.craftie / May 5, 2014 at 07:59 am
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Nope - never going to set foot in any of the Book City stores !

What kind of management refuses to move or rehire staff from the defunct Annex location; people who had been loyal and profit-generating for decades and decades?

These are people who were well-known and respected, and now sorely missed, by the Annex Book City community.

Oh, right ! Their salaries were probably more than minimum wage ...

If you are going to cheer and support this 'independent', at least understand his priorities.
"True to the Book City chain", indeed.

And of course I understand the economic ramifications of rehiring your own full-time, trained, knowledgeable personnel versus new part-timers.
"It's difficult to compete with online prices; their salaries will undercut profits; fresh faces should get a chance"; blah blah blah.

I understand the dollars and cents - but it will never make sense to me.
daniel / May 5, 2014 at 09:13 am
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Why must everything be considered to be "headed to the deadpool"

Every single damn article, maybe its time to open up your vocabulary
David Simmons / May 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm
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Great news; I started going to the Danforth location, but am glad to see Book City will be back in the Annex.
Rusty Shackleford / May 5, 2014 at 01:19 pm
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Yeah, as nice as Book City is (really, they have tremendously wonderful, friendly, knowledgable staff), this move by the owners of Book City is sketchy and cold-hearted. They made plans to open up a new location, which means the Annex staff could have had a place to continue working. Except they don't get that opportunity. Plans get made to get this store and dump a staff they made a big show about losing because of a woe-is-us moment in their history. That is not a respectable and professional way to do business.
Robin Len Humphries / May 5, 2014 at 02:41 pm
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Welcome BOOK!
Another GOOD BOOK
is always welcome.
Robin Len Humphries / May 5, 2014 at 02:42 pm
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BOOKMARKED!
Peter Shepherd / May 6, 2014 at 10:45 am
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The winding road for Book City reaches a new fork in the road, and the owner chooses the path to a new future. Looking forward to the opening.
joannah s / May 7, 2014 at 01:25 pm
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Love Book City on Sunday afternoons!!
sbobet / May 7, 2014 at 02:20 pm
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catherine / May 27, 2014 at 09:48 am
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So glad Book City is back in the hood. Thank you. Missed the original Bloor West store. You have the support of many friends, can't wait for opening day! All the best.
L.W. / July 19, 2014 at 02:36 pm
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EXCELLENT NEWS! THIS TIME I'LL HAVE TO BUY SOMETHING EVERY TIME I DROP BY TO HAVE A LOOK.
AB / August 15, 2014 at 04:13 pm
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As others note, the strength of Book City was always the staff - not the owners. The Donkers have screwed over a bunch of diligent experienced workers. Though the revival of a bookstore is generally a good thing, the circumstances of this one are despicable.
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