23 June 2010

A Toronto literary institution under threat

I started going to This Ain't the Rosedale Library when I was 19 or 20. It shared a Queen Street entrance with The Record Pedlar. That's where I first met Charlie Huisken. That store has been a huge part of my literary life and small-press identity for 30 years. I can't imagine a Toronto without it. Well, I can imagine a greatly impoverished Toronto.

Since Queen Street, This Ain't has lived on Church Street, and then, most recently, on Nassau Street in Kensington Market, where they have made themselves an essential community hub.

Last weekend, though, Charlie turned up at work to find the landlord had changed the locks. The store owes $40,000 in back rent. Here's a note from Charlie and his son (and now business partner) Jesse.

If only we'd all bought all those books we've been dreaming of at This Ain't the Rosedale Library. Keep watching that spot for updates.

Over and out.

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