Silver Snail Yonge Dundas

Silver Snail skips the Annex in favour of Yonge & Dundas

As Torontoist reported earlier today, the popular Silver Snail comic book store has found a new home among the big boys of the entertainment industry at 329 Yonge Street, just north of Yonge-Dundas Square. Last we heard, the business was keen to relocate to the Annex, so we got in touch with management to find out what led to the change of heart.

"We were looking at a couple of places but all the deals fell through," says Paul Douglas, an assistant manager at the Silver Snail. "We had to look elsewhere."

That "elsewhere" turns out to be right next door to HMV, a national chain that also sells a comics, graphic novels and other products available at the Snail. Although there would have been competition in the Annex from places like the Beguiling and Labyrinth, indie shops and big box stores aren't exactly the same thing.

"That's going to be a challenge," admits Douglas. "We'll have to be on our a-game, but we also have the knowledge — most of the people there are more interested in music, so that's where we can capitalize on their weakness." A selection of other competing book stores are also within short walking distance of the new location.

Caffeine-loving fans of the Snail will be pleased to learn plans to add a cafe to the business are still alive and well despite the change of plans regarding location. The partner of George Zotti, the owner, already runs a coffee shop downtown and wants to bring a little hospitality knowledge to the new store. The cafe will likely overlook Yonge Street from the store's second floor position.

As we reported last week, the historic Queen West building that housed the Silver Snail for 36 years is the focus of a development and restoration proposal designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects. Yesterday, city hall provisionally approved the project at its monthly meeting, pending an environmental assessment and submission of final drawings.

The plan, which generated plenty of discussion over its mix of old and new, seems to be OK by the the vacating tenants. "I don't mind, I think it looks alright ... some people think it's hideous. I think a lot more of the old building will show," says Douglas.

The Silver Snail expects to be open for business at its new location in early July.

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