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The Toronto Women's Bookstore is the largest nonprofit feminist bookstore in Canada. Run and staffed primarily by women of colour, the store sells fiction, poetry and non-fiction by women writers to promote feminist and anti-oppression politics.


The bookstore informally began as a single shelf of books in a resource centre. The Bookstore began in 1973.

The bookstore was firebombed in 1985, when it was located underneath the abortion clinic of Henry Morgentaler.

By 1993, stiff competition from larger chain bookstores saw the Toronto's Women's bookstore showing a loss. Similar situations faced many other independent bookstores around the same time. The bookstore reorganised its operations, expanding their inventory of books on anti-racism, feminist theory, disability and health. The bookstore also engaged in increased community outreach, with more book readings and launches, as well as hosting book clubs. Combined with a Jobs Ontario Community Action Grant, the store turned around its operations and stopped losing money. The store also increased its emphasis on books aimed at visible minority women, with separate sections titled "African-Canadian," "Caribbean," "South Asian" "First Nations," "Latina," and "Arab."


Located near the University of Torontomarker, the bookstore stocks the texts used in many anthropology, sociology and women's history courses offered at the University. The reliable business of students in these courses amount to roughly two thirds of the bookstore's total sales.

In addition to book sales, the store hosts book clubs, book launches and author signings. It also runs courses on a variety of subjects of interest to women, including knitting, writing, and explorations of bisexuality.


The Toronto Women's Bookstore was voted "Best Bookstore in Toronto" by NOW Magazine in 2005.


  1. Mitchell, 57
  2. Lehay (1996)
  3. Herman (1994)
  4. Keinlin (2006)
  5. Piepzna-Samarasinha (2006)


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