Gentrification was about to force my favourite bookstore to close or become a nomad enterprise. A Different Booklist in Toronto has been at its current location for 20 plus years, but has to move out soon to make way for condo development. There is a lot of the history and present liveliness and other issues of the Caribbean and African Diaspora residents of Toronto associated with that place, which has evolved over the years into a community hub and cultural centre.
But the books, the books, enjoyed by buyers of all demographics, judging by the people who go in and out the doors on any given day – you can get lost for hours browsing. Many famous and lesser known writers have had readings or launched books there. Anyway, the good news is, the property developers have seen the light of the historical and cultural significance of the bookstore and are allowing the owners to relocate to the opposite side of the road to the street level of another of their condos. If you live in, or are visiting Toronto and have never been to A Different Booklist, I highly recommend a visit to the current location before it closes in February. For the history. I did a story in 2015 that gives some more information about the bookstore. Here it is: different-booklist-article