Fans of Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop, the world’s oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, got the disappointing news this week that owner John Scythes is looking to sell.
“Scythes, working at the second-floor shop on Yonge St. north of Wellesley Monday afternoon, said he planned to reach out to friends and regular clients before considering a public sale of the iconic, independent bookstore[…]Scythes refused to comment further on the private listing. But in 2010, he told Inside Toronto he was forced to dip into his own pockets to keep the independent bookstore — hard hit by a drop in sales — afloat.
Glad Day has been an important resource for the Toronto LGBT community since 1970. It played an important role in the fight against censorship of LGBT pornography in 2003′s R. v. Glad Day Bookshop. In that decision, the courts found that requiring the approval of the Ontario Film Review Board before films could be distributed or shown in the province was a violation of the freedom of expression.
With so many other feminist and progressive independent bookstores going out of business (I still really miss Vancouver’s Women in Print) I’m keeping my fingers crossed that someone takes over Glad Day.
If you want to browse Glad Day’s inventory online you can do so at their ABE page.