Church & Wellesley
499 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2C6
Phone: (416) 901-6600
Glad Day Bookshop is the first Canadian and the longest surviving lesbian and gay bookstore worldwide. Serving the queer community since 1970, they specialize in offering the widest possible selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans literature, both in and out of print, as well as DVD, magazines and novelties.
Glad Day also NOW A COFFEE SHOP & BAR serving fair trade, local, handcrafted and delicious drinks. They have also partnered with CARDINAL RULE and they are running their kitchen every day 11am-10pm, except for Mondays.
A Brief History taken from Wikipedia:
“Opened in 1970 by Jearld Moldenhauer, it was the city’s and Canada’s first bookstore targeted to the gay community. The bookstore originally operated out of Moldenhauer’s apartment in The Annex, which also served as the original offices of The Body Politic. Moldenhauer later moved to a house in Kensington Market, where the bookstore and magazine operated out of a shed in his backyard. The store moved to its current location in 1981.
In 1979, Moldenhauer opened a second location in Boston. A fire destroyed the Boston building in 1982, but the store reopened in a different location a few weeks later.
Norman Laurila, an employee of Glad Day in the 1970s, moved with his partner Richard Labonté and friend George Leigh in 1979 to Los Angeles, where the trio established an influential LGBT bookstore of their own, A Different Light.
Moldenhauer sold the Toronto location to John Scythes in 1991, but retained ownership of the Boston store and continued to be involved in the Toronto store’s operations. After the Boston store’s landlord decided to convert the building into condominiums, Moldenhauer closed the store in 2000 when he and manager John Mitzel faced difficulty finding a suitable new location.
The Toronto location remains open, and is currently managed by Scott Dagostino. Since the closure of New York City’s Oscar Wilde Bookshop in early 2009, Glad Day is now the oldest surviving LGBT bookstore in North America. In late 2011, Scythes announced that he was putting the store up for sale due to declining revenues; the store was ultimately purchased by a collective of community members.”
In 2016, Glad Day Bookshop moved to 499 Church Street to a new wheelchair accessible location, adding coffee, cocktails and food to the mix. Now it’s a bookstore, coffee shop, cocktail bar, event space and dance club.
COFFEE SHOP & BAR HOURS: