Best downtown Toronto bookstores
April 26, 2008 5:38 PM   Subscribe

I'll be in downtown Toronto early next week with some free time - what are the best bookstores downtown for browsing?
posted by storybored to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Nicholas Hoare & Ben McNally
posted by meerkatty at 5:40 PM on April 26, 2008

i really like Eliot's Bookshop.
posted by gursky at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Small, and focusing on cultural studies, but I really like Pages.
posted by saucysault at 6:04 PM on April 26, 2008

Pages is great, as is Type. Swipe is an excellent store for design books.

Note that as of last night, the Toronto Transit Committee is on strike -- hope that doesn't affect your travel plans!
posted by krunk at 6:21 PM on April 26, 2008

I'm a fan of The World's Biggest Bookstore.
posted by unSane at 7:16 PM on April 26, 2008

More votes for Pages and Nicholas Hoare.

Book City is also good - there are several of them scattered throughout the city.

And, though the Chapters on John Street is part of a chain, it's just down the street from Pages, so you can hit them both on the same trip.
posted by davetill at 7:29 PM on April 26, 2008

My favourite bookstore in the world is Ten Editions at 698 Spadina Ave. I spent hours and hours there when I lived in Toronto. Every time I go back it is one of my first stops.
posted by atropos at 7:51 PM on April 26, 2008

If you are into Science Fiction and Fantasy you have to check out Bakka Books.
posted by Animus at 8:14 PM on April 26, 2008

Second for Eliot's, Pages, Type, and Book City.

Also, Balfour Books in Little Italy is also fabulous.
posted by SoftRain at 10:20 PM on April 26, 2008

There's a big BMV on Bloor, just east of Bathurst on the South side. I always find something good there.
posted by thenormshow at 8:06 AM on April 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm going to hit them all. I sally forth to book browse posthaste! (and the transit strike looks like it's over for now too!)
posted by storybored at 1:03 PM on April 27, 2008

Pages is great.

Though, downtown is pretty big, so you might want to say where exactly downtown you'll be. It's not like you can just walk between a lot of the ones suggested.
posted by chunking express at 7:08 AM on April 28, 2008

I love browsing at Pages but the staff are hands-down the rudest collectively of any store in Toronto. They rarely say please or thank you and never you're welcome. I usually browse there, right down titles, and buy at a friendlier shop. I like Type and Swipe a lot. Type has friendly staff but they usually play dreadful dreadful music there (classic rock or radio with lots of ads) which makes it hard to concentrate if you're the type of person that likes to read a chapter before deciding if you want to buy.

Balfour Books is indeed a fantastic shop and one of my favorite places in the city. (And, if you're looking for a place to grab a bite, Utopia Cafe is just down the street from it and is fantastic!)

Not sure if it's still there but Another Man's Poison an McCaul used to be a great shop for architecture/design related books.

I can't believe no one's mentioned David Mirvish Books yet. Terrific shop, friendly staff.
posted by dobbs at 11:26 AM on May 1, 2008

The BMV that thenormshow mentions is actually closer to Spadina Station (1.5 blocks west of it) than Bathurst (about 5 blocks east of it).
posted by dobbs at 11:28 AM on May 1, 2008

You are always more than welcome to visit us here at The Recycled Book Shop!

An eclectic collection of most, specializations are literature and Art. On McCaul Street (just north of the AGO) and you can always slip onto Baldwin Street for a bite to eat.
posted by Recbooks at 1:47 PM on June 23, 2008

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