Toronto’s Faith Bookstore to Reopen Under New Ownership
The reopening of Faith Family Books in Scarborough is probably one of the most anticipated bookstore rebirths ever, provided of course that you’re aware of it, which many if not most of the people we’ve spoken to in Toronto are not.
With a new management team, a non-profit structure and an usual twist on the existing trade brand, Faith Culture is due to open later this month at the same location, though using only half of the space previously occupied.
Pre-opening, the name is probably the most striking feature. The Facebook page is named “Faith Culture Toronto’s Christian Store and Event Centre;” a nod to the previous store’s desire to make the location a destination for northeast Toronto’s Christian community, which is being emphasized again in the new store. A slideshow shows the fixtures, some of which are being sold because of the smaller size of the new store.
The mechanics of the Not For Profit structure aren’t entirely clear, since new investment was needed to reconfigure the space and hire staff. This time around, according to reports, some people at the store will be working as volunteers. (The staffing model of the Bibles For Missions stores comes to mind here as a model mixing paid management with work on the sales floor done by people donating their time.) There will also be a few familiar faces from the stores previous incarnation.
A new website, FaithCulture.ca announces the forthcoming store but still has no details.
The previous store, which opened in Spring, 2009 in the wake of the closing of R. G. Mitchell the previous year, closed at the end of March of this year, as we reported here. While the store faced the challenges the whole industry is facing now, Faith’s situation got more difficult after co-owner Larry Willard was in a serious accident in February, 2014 and was no longer able to be a hands-on presence in the store. Larry was also active in MissionFest Toronto, which did not convene in 2015 for the first time since its founding.