The World’s Biggest Bookstore could soon be downtown’s biggest vacant retail space

The World’s Biggest Bookstore could soon be downtown’s biggest vacant retail space

(Image: Steve Harris) 

The lease for Toronto’s World’s Biggest Bookstore is set to expire in December 2013, and the prospect of an available 64,000-square-foot property in the Yonge and Dundas shopping mecca has developers and big-box retailers salivating. If WBB owner Indigo can’t negotiate a new lease (and it looks unlikely, since it’s seeking a significant reduction in the annual rent of roughly $1.5 million), there are plenty of would-be buyers—one condo developer has reportedly already offered $38 million for the space. However, the building’s owners, descendants of book purveyor Jack Cole, would prefer to find another retail tenant. That shouldn’t be a problem, given the location and the site’s insanely low operating costs (rent plus taxes works out to about $33 a square foot, compared to the typical $150-$200 for a property in that area). As the big-box stores plot their strategies, we’ll take a moment to mourn the demise of another iconic Toronto bookstore. [Toronto Star]