25th Trillium Award

This Ain't the Rosedale Library

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While no longer open for business, we'd be remiss not to note a bookstore once noted by The Guardian as one of the top independent bookstores in the world and Canada's best indie.

From The Guardian:

"This is Canada's best independent bookstore, full of small press publications and a centre for Toronto counterculture. Canada, like most countries now, is losing a lot of its independents due to competition from the big chains and online booksellers. This Ain't The Rosedale Library is a model of how an independent can survive: by building a community around the store and providing insight and inspiration for its customers."

The company's blog remains live. Visit www.ThisAint.ca for a taste of the events hosted by This Ain't in their last year of operation.

The company has had three storefronts, the second of which is reflected on this map where the store stood on Church Street for over 20 years before moving to its last location in Kensington Market.

Affectionately referred to at "This Ain't," the company's Facebook group is more alive than ever, having become an archive, in particular, for a growing photo album of absolutely incredible photos taken since the bookstore's opening in 1979. (See the Scrapbook for a selection of photos, posted with permissions from Dan Bazuin.)

From the page:

"This Ain't the Rosedale Library opened its Queen Street East doors in 1979, and was at its Church/Wellesley location from 1986, until 2008. It was located in Kensington Market right next to i deal coffee on Nassau Street near Bellevue Avenue.

So now most of this following body of text should be read/placed in the past tense:

This incredible indie bookstore specializes in books on music, biography, poetry, Beat literature, art books, cutting edge fiction, small press literature, politics, cultural studies and a whole lot more.

The store is run by its founder, Charles Huisken, along with his son and junior partner Jesse Huisken, who came aboard in the Spring of 2008. Dan Bazuin joined the business in 1981 and is now Partner Emeritus. He can still be seen minding book tables for This Ain't The Rosedale Library at various literary soirees. He is focusing on his visual art work. Gord Ames was a business partner from spring 1986 until spring 1994."

Also visit the page for event updates and workshop notices. It's heartening to see that the absence of a storefront has not diminished the desire to promote authors and their works. This Ain't truly is a community. With that hope . . . perhaps there's still hope.

Landmark curated by Julie Wilson. Wilson is the literary voyeur behind Seen Reading, The Madam at Book Madam & Associates, and the author of Truly, Madly, Deadly: The Unofficial True Blood Companion (under the pen name Becca Wilcott).

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This Ain't the Rosedale Library Scrapbook
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This Ain't the Rosedale Library
This Ain't the Rosedale Library