One of the most influential feminist bookstores in our hemisphere is about to close due to financial troubles. The Toronto Women’s Bookstore has been a voice in both feminist and LBT communities for almost 40 years. They have been a hub for both queer and feminist organizing, and people working with the store or who met there have organized and edited anthologies, started independent publishing houses, and even been inspired to become writers; many of these women represented marginalized groups that are often left out of both feminist and queer communities. Generations of feminists have passed through their doors or found their political selves there. And unlike another feminist bookstore that was recently saved by internet organizing even tho it moved from it had once been boycotted by differently-abled feminists for being inaccessible & claiming poverty to get out of fixing the issue and then moved into a historically black neighborhood on the edge of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood next to a pre-existing radical feminist bookstore collective and without hiring any women of color, or having woc volunteers, for several years TWB has always been a diversity honoring space attached to its community and supporting other feminist business efforts.
Toronto Women’s Bookstore needs everyone who can to give $10 or more to save the store. Here is there letter asking for help:
Dear TWB community,
The Toronto Women’s Bookstore is in crisis and we need your help!
Independent businesses and bookstores have been closing their doors this year, and after 36 years it is possible that we will have to do the same if we are not able to raise enough money to survive. TWB is one of the only remaining non-profit feminist bookstores in North America, but despite all of the events, courses, workshops, community resources and additional services we offer, the fact that we are a store means that we do not receive any outside funding and rely entirely on sales and the support of our customers to stay in business.
Over the past few years, our sales have not been enough to sustain us and this is why we are coming to you, our community, for help. If every one of you donated $10 we would raise enough to keep going for 3 months, $20 each would keep us in business for 6 months, and $30 each would be enough for us to keep our doors open, hopefully for good. All donations will go directly towards covering the bookstore’s costs, and are a part of a larger plan of action and structural change to make the business sustainable in the current economy.
In the past, when feminist bookstores were closing down all across North America, the support of the community is what kept TWB alive. You are the reason that we are still here today, and we believe that with your help we can once again work together to save this organization where so many of us as readers, writers, feminists, artists, and activists have found a home.
You can make donations over the phone, on our website http://www.womensbookstore.com (a paypal link will be available soon), or in person at the store. As a non-profit store we are not eligible for charitable status and cannot offer tax receipts, but we are hoping to be able to offer tax receipts for donations over $100 in collaboration with a non-profit charity who shares our mandate, and if that can be arranged we will have that information available on our website and in store as soon as possible.
You can also help by spreading the word to your friends and community, contacting us if you know of any funding we might be eligible for, promoting this fundraising drive in your paper or on your blog, website or radio show, organizing your own save the bookstore fundraisers or just passing the hat at your holiday parties, giving a TWB donation as a gift, and of course, coming in and bringing all your friends to the store for some holiday shopping!
Thank you all for your support,
The Toronto Women’s Bookstore Board, Staff & Volunteers
Please do what you can. You can send money to:
73 Harbord Street,
Toll free (within Canada only): 1-800-861-8233