SFWRITER.COM > About Rob > Press Releases > Bakka Move
For Release Wednesday, April 1, 1998
New Home for Specialty Bookstore
Writers and Customers Turn Out to Help With the Move
Bakka, the world's oldest science-fiction specialty bookstore,
moved yesterday to a new location in Toronto aided by a team
of writers, readers, and other booksellers.
Bakka: The Science Fiction Bookstore, formerly at 282 Queen
Street West, is now located at 598 Yonge Street, one-half block
north of Wellesley Street (and just south of Yonge and Bloor,
Canada's busiest intersection). This is the first move in the
store's twenty-six-year history.
The new shop boasts an improved ambience, better lighting, and a
location more convenient for subway travelers. "In addition,"
says Bakka owner John Rose, "university students comprise a large
segment of the science-fiction and fantasy readership. I'm
deliberately poised here between the University of Toronto to the
west and Ryerson Polytechnic University to the east."
When Bakka first opened on Queen Street West in 1972, the
area was a mecca for book lovers, with a dozen specialty, used,
and antiquarian bookstores. But most of the other bookshops have
closed or moved over the last decade, making visiting Bakka a
special trip for much of its clientele. The new location on
Yonge is close to several other booksellers; indeed, upstairs
from Bakka's new site is Glad Day, Toronto's venerable
Bakka has long been known as a crucible for launching
writing careers. Many of its past and present staff members have
gone on to become established authors, and all of them turned up
to help out with the move, including:
- Tanya Huff, who managed the store from 1985 to 1992, and is the
bestselling author of the Vickie Henry series of
vampire-detective novels set in Canada and published by New
York's DAW Books.
- Michelle Sagara West, whose fantasy novels are published by Del
Rey under her maiden name of Michelle Sagara and DAW under her
married name of Michelle West; Michelle has worked at Bakka
since 1986, and has been manager since 1992.
- Robert J. Sawyer, whose
The Terminal Experiment
won the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's
Nebula Award for Best
Novel of the Year; Rob worked at Bakka in 1982.
The move came off without a hitch, and the store missed only
one day of business. "Given that we had to move on a weekday, we
were amazed by the turnout of volunteers to help," said Rose.
"We actually had customers take a day off work just to give us a
Bakka specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror,
and has always made a point of vigorously promoting
Canadian authors. The store offers an
international mail-order service and serves many library systems.
Bakka frequently hosts author signings, book-launch parties, and
other special events. In addition, Space: The Imagination Station
(Canada's SF specialty cable channel) often films author interviews
and other segments at Bakka.
John Rose, 46, the owner of Bakka since 1980, has long been
involved in the Canadian book trade, starting at the Robert
Simpson Company in 1974. In 1991, he chaired the Canadian
Booksellers Association's annual convention and trade show.
John Rose, Owner
Bakka: The Science Fiction Book Store
598 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1Z3
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