Bittersweet news came out this weekend that Nicholas Hoare, a landmark Toronto bookstore, is set to close April 1, 2013. The store is known for its eclectic stock and elegant interior, and has been in operation in three different cities, at various junctures, since 1971.
The shocker? This article on the closure says there isn’t actually any ‘untoward’ reason for the closure—no ‘competition from big chains will destroy us all’ or ‘Amazon is killing the little guys’ or ‘ebooks are causing the death of print.’ It’s simply that Hoare’s lease was up for renewal and Mr. Hoare had a choice to make about what to do next.
As he writes on his blog, the decision he made was to ‘celebrate [his] 70th birthday with an orderly run-off, the sale of his trademark fixtures, and a full-time move to [his] 350-acre retreat in Nova Scotia’ where he plans to start a vineyard, a garden and an 18,000 volume library.
There are some gorgeous pictures of the property on his blog. I am sure he will have a lovely time there.
Sad to see such a landmark go, but it’s also refreshing to see a business that survived, and thrived, on its reputation and that’s going out in such a benign way. This was no little guy killed off by the big boys (the digital age being the biggest boy of all). This is a guy who ran his business his way, did very well and is now riding off into the sunset to enjoy a well-earned retirement in the countryside.
Hats off to you, Mr. Hoare. Enjoy Nova Scotia!