best bookstores toronto

The Best Bookstores in Toronto

The best bookstores in Toronto don’t just sell the hottest new fiction or book club best-sellers. These purveyors of pages are stocked with obscure gems to get lost in and staffed by fellow book worms. They might even serve a cocktail or two. 

Here are the best bookstores in Toronto. 


Type Books Junction
1

Type Books Junction

Peruse the imaginatively titled genre sections of this indie bookstore chain. TYPE has locations in the Junction, Forest Hill and West Queen West (which, by the way, has a stellar kids' section complete with mushroom stools.)

BMV Books
2

BMV Books

If you spot the sky blue sign of this longtime brand of bookstores, you're in for a mix of cheap oldies and new titles. Head to Yonge and Eg, Edward Street or the massive flagship in the Annex for a truly diverse selection of reads.


Book City Danforth
3

Book City Danforth

Supplying lovers of the written word since 1976 is this family-owned book biz. A stellar bargain selection and their loyalty card  program has created quite the avid community. There are four shops, one of which is tucked inside the Danforth's Carrot Common.

Queen Books
4

Queen Books

This Leslieville bookstore is stocking its shelves with a steady stream of new monthly releases. Novels run the gamut of genres but there’s definitely a focus on BIPOC authors and stories for and by the LGBTQ community.


Mabel's Fables Children's Bookstore
5

Mabel's Fables Children's Bookstore

Mount Pleasant's iconic store sets a high bar for shops catering to children’s books. Enter this whimsically decorated space and escape into this paradise, where countless kids have undoubtedly kickstarted their love for reading.


Glad Day Bookshop Church
6

Glad Day Bookshop Church

Toronto's oldest queer bookstore continues to be the literary hub for the LGTBQ community in Church-Wellesley Village. Glad Day offers everything from plays to poetry. They're also a cafe and snack bar with cocktails. Plus they're known to host some great events.

Ben McNally Books
7

Ben McNally Books

Formerly billed as one of Toronto’s most beautiful bookstores, Ben McNally has officially moved from Bay Street to King East. It has lost the charm of its picturesque pillars and arches, but the shelves are still brimming with books on history, fiction, poetry and special orders.


Another Story
8

Another Story

This Roncesvalles fixture has all the makings of the perfect neighbourhood shop. It may be small but it truly is a delight to hunt for the next book to sink your teeth into in the store’s wide selection of reads.

A Different Booklist
9

A Different Booklist

One of Toronto’s most important Black spaces for literature and culture is this longtime Annex bookstore. For more than two decades, this shop-meets-cultural center has specialized in books written by and for authors from the Global South and the African Caribbean diaspora.


Bakka Phoenix
10

Bakka Phoenix

Hardbord Village is home to this longtime sci-fi and fantasy bookstore—the oldest in Canada, in fact. It's an emporium of rare speculative fiction and definitely carried Dune for decades before the blockbuster live action came out.


The Sleuth Of Baker Street
11

The Sleuth Of Baker Street

If you're a diehard for crime and detective novels, this Leaside bookstore is a no-brainer. Toronto's Mystery Bookstore stocks titles from around the world, especially all your fave Sherlockiana, thrillers, detective fiction and crime novels.

Ella Minnow Children's Bookstore
12

Ella Minnow Children's Bookstore

This children's bookstore in the Upper Beaches sells reading material and toys for adventurous kids, such as puzzles and anthologies like "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls."


Swipe Books
13

Swipe Books

401 Richmond's resident design-based store carries magazines and books on everything, from graphic design and typography to counter-print packaging and landscape architecture.

A Novel Spot
14

A Novel Spot

Easily one of the best parts of Etobicoke's Humbertown Shopping Centre is this 634-square-foot shop with a highly-curated selection of titles. They don’t have it all but there's definitely a little of everything here.


Art Metropole
15

Art Metropole

This non-profit artist-run center and shop was founded by arts collective General Idea. Today it sits near College and Dovercourt and sells a niche collection of monographs, anthologies and periodicals.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Glad Day. Additional photos via Ben McNally and Mount Pleasant BIA.


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The Best Bookstores in Toronto

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