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Toronto’s Cookbook Store to close after 31 years

The Cookbook Store opened a kitchen studio for classes and workshops in 2011

It’s been a tough year for Toronto booksellers, with the shuttering of the World’s Biggest Bookstore, Runnymede Chapters, and the Annex location of the Book City mini-chain. Now comes word that The Cookbook Store is closing after 31 years in business. A closing sale begins Feb. 22.

In October, owner Josh Josephson and long-time manager Alison Fryer announced that the bookstore’s Yonge Street building was being sold to a condo developer, but that they were considering “a number of options to relocate the store.”

In a statement released today, they report, “We have considered new locations but after much searching it has not proven feasible at this time.” The statement cites year-long road and utilities construction, extreme weather, and online competition as having a “devastating impact on our sales.”

Over the years, the store hosted many high-profile events and signings, bringing in international stars such as Martha Stewart, Julia Child, and Anthony Bourdain. Fryer also cultivated close relationships with many Canadian chefs, authors, and publishers.

In an April 2013 interview with Q&Q, Appetite by Random House head Robert McCullough praised the staff’s ability to hand-sell niche titles and for their specialized knowledge of the category. “They are able to help us to identify trends and upcoming authors,” he said.