mabels fables toronto

One of Toronto's most famous bookstores might be forced to close due to rent hike

There's an astronomical rent increase coming for Mabel's Fables, but the children's bookstore says they're "not going anywhere". 

People are rallying behind the beloved 31-year-old indie book shop on Mt Pleasant Road following news that the store's rent may be increasing by 70 percent. 

According to Mabel's Fables owner Eleanor LeFave, the bookstore's two-storey building at 662 Mt Pleasant Road was purchased by a property speculator a few weeks ago. 

After negotiations, owners Maple Venture Properties have settled on slapping the store with a whopping new rent. 

But LeFave is confident that they'll be able to make enough noise to stop the increase from going through. "Bookstores are a combination of both business and culture, and these guys don't have a clue," she says. 

Councillor Josh Matlow has now taken up championing for the store with a petition, and a community meeting happening on March 10 at Eglinton Public School. 

"Along with the increasing pressure main street small businesses are experiencing, Mabel's Fables has been bought by a property speculator who is assembling buildings on Mount Pleasant, north of Hillsdale Avenue East, and is demanding an unaffordable rent increase, seemingly to push them out," said Matlow's office. 

As the number of business closures on Eglinton ramps up to 140 thanks to LRT construction, business owners, who are not being compensated for lost revenue, are struggling to come to terms with rent increases along the street. 

The intersection that Mabel's Fables sits on has been turned into a no turns-allowed streets with reduced lanes.  

"All the retailers on Mount Pleasant are overpaying for their rent because of reduced traffic," says LeFave. "All of these things in fact reduce the value of the rent we're all paying." 

The potential loss Mabel's Fables comes as no surprise in a city where tragic bookstore closures over the years have spanned from Bay Street's Ben McNally to U of T to the used books institutions like Dencan's and Eliot's

Thankfully there are still a number of bookstore holdouts around the city, so go buy a couple will ya. 

Lead photo by

shim and kim


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