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A Different Booklist discovers opportunity and expansion in relocation

(courtesy A Different Booklist)

(courtesy A Different Booklist)

Approximately 150 people came out on Feb. 4 to help Toronto’s A Different Booklist move by carrying boxes across Bathurst St. to its new location.

After developer David Mirvish announced the sale of the Honest Ed’s discount store and adjacent real estate in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood in 2013, surrounding businesses were forced to relocate. Miguel San Vicente and Itah Sadu, long-time co-owners of A Different Booklist – which specializes in titles from the African and Caribbean diaspora – saw the move as an opportunity.

“We decided to focus on how we can use this change to our advantage,” says San Vicente. The new 2,000-square-foot space will accommodate the bookstore and a non-profit cultural centre for exhibitions, performances, and other activities. “The bookstore had already evolved into a cultural space. That’s what it’s become over the years.”

San Vicente and Sadu will continue to operate the retail business. The cultural centre will be run by a board of directors.