11 indie bookstores you need to visit in Toronto

Jul 2 2021, 11:24 am

Toronto is known for its great restaurants, sky-high buildings, and world-famous professional sports teams. 

But the city is also home to some fantastic indie bookstores that book lovers won’t want to miss. If you’re ready to curl up with a good book then you’re in luck!

Here are 11 local bookstores in Toronto you need to check out:

Book City

 

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With four locations spread out around the city, from Danforth to Yonge & St Clair, Book City is recognized as one of the leading indie bookstores in Toronto. This family-owned and operated business opened its original store in the Annex in 1976, and has been treating customers to an eclectic range of books ever since. 

They’re known for their bursting bookshelves filled with new and backlist titles, tables piled high with bargain books, and stores staffed with people who love books and reading.

Book City also offers a 10% discount on all hardcover titles and has a sweet loyalty card program too. 

Address: 348 Danforth Avenue
1950 Queen St E
2354 Bloor St
West 1430 Yonge St

Queen Books

Courtesy of Queen Books

Located in Leslieville, Queen Books offers a wide range of novels from adult fiction and nonfiction to kids and young adult books. They also offer a book subscription service where you can sign up to receive one book per month, hand-picked for you and delivered to your door. The service is available for children and adults and runs for either six months or one year. 

They also offer complimentary gift wrapping if you order online, which makes Queen Books an awesome place to shop for gifts for the book lovers in your life. 

Address: 914 Queen St E

Caversham Booksellers


Caversham Booksellers is quite different from the others on this list in that it specializes in books relating to psychotherapy, trauma, neuroscience, and many other scientific genres. The store has been open since 1989 and was founded by Dr. Christine Dunbar, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, and Peter Heyworth, who was an English professor at the University of Toronto for thirty years. 

Caversham is also a great resource for students since they sell textbooks for many local schools and training centres. A must-visit for anyone looking to broaden their knowledge on mental health.

Address: 98 Harbord St

A Different Booklist

Located in Mirvish Village, on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst, A Different Booklist is a multicultural bookstore specializing in books from the African Caribbean Diaspora and the Global South.

They also carry a range of biographies, nonfiction race studies, adult fiction, and Indigenous titles. 

Address: 779 Bathurst St

Another Story


Another Story was founded in 1987 and the current owners are Laura Ash, Eric McCall and Joel Koffman. 

Although they haven’t reopened for in-person shopping, Another Story is a great one to visit when they welcome customers back to the store. They’re known for featuring Canadian books, minority group authors, and they have a wide selection of books on Indigenous Peoples and climate change. 

The “staff picks” section of Another Story is definitely one of the store’s highlights.

Address: 315 Roncesvalles Ave

Ben McNally Books

Courtesy of Ben McNally Books

Ben McNally books is a gorgeous indie bookstore. This store has all the latest releases,  but they also do a lot of special orders and maintain contacts in the US and UK that allow them to source books that aren’t available in Canada. 

On its website, the store boasts: “On the internet you can find what you’re looking for; in our store you can find what you are not looking for.”

Address: 317 Adelaide St E

Moonbeam Books

 

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Located in Toronto’s west end, Moonbeam Books is one of the best destinations for books for kids and teens. 

In addition to the wide variety of titles for young readers, they also have a small adult section for parents. Moonbeam also stocks puzzles, toys, and board games. Plus, they run two virtual book clubs for children and a board game rental program for the neighbourhood.

Address: 335 Jane St

Glad Day Bookshop

Courtesy of GLAD Day Bookshop

Glad Day Bookshop is the first queer bookstore in Canada and the oldest LGBTQIA bookstore worldwide. Glad has been serving the queer community since 1970, and offers the widest possible selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer literature that you’ll find anywhere. 

They also sell art prints, greeting cards, pins and patches, and tote bags. 

Address: 499 Church St

Type Books

Courtesy of Type Books

Type Books was founded in the spring of 2006 by Samara Walbohm and Joanne Saul. The two owners met while doing their PhDs in literature at the University of Toronto. Their goal with Type Books was to create a community hub that celebrated the love of all things books. 

The selection at Type is a collaborative effort from all of its employees and managers. There are three locations in Toronto, but no matter where you shop, they hope customers that browse their shelves are both comforted with favourites and also surprised with titles that they didn’t know about before they walked in.

Address: 883 Queen StreetWest
2887 Dundas Street West
427 Spadina Road

Mabel’s Fables


Mabel’s Fables is well-known for its huge selection of children’s books. They’ve been bringing families and books together since 1988. 

They also offer an awesome subscription service where they choose one unique book per month and deliver it to your door. Prices start at $15 plus delivery, depending on where you’re located. 

Mabel’s also has a book club on the go for ages 9-18. Every two weeks, they meet on Zoom to discuss a new book. 

Address: 662 Mt Pleasant Rd

Bakka Phoenix Books


Bakka Books first opened its doors in 1972 on Toronto’s Queen West strip. They stock a wide range of fiction and comics,  as well as what its website calls “nerd stuff of all types.” 

They are committed to science fiction and fantasy and host a ton of author appearances, readings, panels, and events of all kinds. 

Address: 84 Harbord St

Sean LoughranSean Loughran

+ Curated
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