Saturday, October 22, 2016Partly Cloudy 8°C

The Toronto Women's Bookstore returns to the deadpool

Posted by Derek Flack / October 9, 2012

Women's Bookstore TorontoThe Toronto Women's Bookstore will close its doors (once again) on November 30th. In a heartfelt note on the bookstore's Facebook page, owner Victoria Moreno, who took over the space in August 2012, explains that she did her best to keep the shop operational, but that "book markets have changed radically in the last few years." While not a for-profit business, it sounds like there was just too much red ink on the ledger to keep the doors open. That's a profound shame given the store's history and the service it provided the community it served, which was broader that you might think (I bought many a textbook there during my grad school years).

This really was more than a retail space within which to buy books, and for that reason more than any other, it'll be missed.

Read Moreno's full note below.


It is with a mix of sadness and resignation that I inform you all that The Toronto Women's Bookstore (TWB) will be closing on Friday, November 30th, 2012. Over the course of its illustrious 39 year history, the TWB has meant many things to many people. It was already steeped in those memories for me, when, two and a half years ago, I decided to try my hand at reviving and re-branding the TWB as the vibrant and viable centre for social justice and women's issues that has defined its core values for almost four decades. For me and for many like me, it was always a safe, open and welcoming space where ideas were paramount, and where a community was given a voice. I'd like to think that in my relatively brief tenure as owner, I stayed true to the principles that defined this internationally renowned institution over the course of its history.

The fact is book markets have changed radically in the past few years. Ebooks, fierce online competition and a stagnant economy have all contributed to our business model becoming no longer sustainable. I'm closing the bookstore with the bittersweet knowledge that I did my best. I gave everything I had; physically, emotionally, and financially. I've learned a great deal about every aspect of the business and I have no regrets.

I'd like to take this opportunity to invite all friends, past and present, to a two day celebration of the Toronto Women's Bookstore, wherein we will honour the legacy of this Toronto landmark. Details of this celebration will be made available as plans coalesce.

Thanks in advance to you all for your support and please spread the word to your friends and colleagues. It's been a true pleasure working with the community these past few years and I hope to continue to enjoy the fruits of our acquaintance in all of my future endeavors.

Victoria Moreno



overpriced and goodriddance / October 9, 2012 at 03:16 pm
As someone who had to buy many a textbook from here, I can't say I'm surprised to see it go. With absurdly overpriced books that weren't even stocked it's no wonder no one went there. The books here were sometimes twice as pricey as other places and quite frankly I'd rather have Amazon deliver them to my door and pay half price than go here and pay these ridiculously inflated costs.
Ace McNugget / October 9, 2012 at 05:28 pm
Interesting that the first post and the tone of the article itself share a common theme- nostalgia for the near past. Derek remembers the times he bought textbooks at the shop and, maybe I'm projecting a little here, it feels like this is another sign that the ways we learnt things have changed so much. No need to use index cards at the library any more to find where their books are, no need to actually go to bookshops with a niche and (this is painful) curated selection by the owners.

Stephen Job is a little less whimsical and seems frustrated that the words he learnt at highschool don't form a static part of the english language, and doesn't want to accept that the world is forever moving.
CDH / October 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm
Always got the impression sympathetic professors kept the store in business by putting required texts there, forcing students to pay the higher-than-usual markup.
Kit / October 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm
I share similar thoughts as Stephen did when I first read the headline. "Deadpool" seems such a cruel word to use to describe the bittersweet endings for ma and pop shops in Toronto. It's actually quite sad to see small shops and boutiques losing to big store chains that slowly invade quaint neighborhoods and to see vertically-massive condos being built that cast nothing but shadows in the city.

All the best to Victoria and the staff members~!
Other Cities: Montreal