Glad Day Bookshop was created in 1970. This makes it not only the world's oldest surviving LGBTQ bookstore but also Toronto's oldest surviving bookstore. We believe we have the largest collection of LGBTQ titles in the world. Story, representation and freedom of speech are critical elements of LGBTT2SQQIA culture and identity – our bookstore is an important place that supports, nurtures and inspires culture.
" Opened in 1970 by Jearld Moldenhauer, it was the city's and Canada's first bookstore targeted to the gay community. The bookstore originally operated out of Moldenhauer's apartment in The Annex, which also served as the original offices of The Body Politic. Moldenhauer later moved to a house in Kensington Market, where the bookstore and magazine operated out of a shed in his backyard. The store moved to its current location in 1981.
Norman Laurila, an employee of Glad Day in the 1970s, moved with his partner Richard Labonté and friend George Leigh in 1979 to Los Angeles, where the trio established an influential LGBT bookstore of their own, A Different Light.
Moldenhauer sold the Toronto location to John Scythes in 1991, but retained ownership of the Boston store and continued to be involved in the Toronto store's operations. After the Boston store's landlord decided to convert the building into condominiums, Moldenhauer closed the store in 2000 when he and manager John Mitzel faced difficulty finding a suitable new location.
The Toronto location remains open, and is currently managed by Scott Dagostino. Since the closure of New York City's Oscar Wilde Bookshop in early 2009, Glad Day is now the oldest surviving LGBT bookstore in North America. In late 2011, Scythes announced that he was putting the store up for sale due to declining revenues; the store was ultimately purchased by a collective of 22 community members, spearheaded by teacher Michael Erickson and also including former Xtra! managing editor Marcus McCann, former Pride Toronto executive director Fatima Amarshi, community activists Doug Kerr and Mike Went, lawyer El-Farouk Khaki and performer Troy Jackson. Under its current ownership, the store has attempted to revitalize its role as a cultural hub, adding an event space to host author readings, performances and community group meetings, and conducting a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in 2013 to fund and launch an online bookstore for LGBT titles.
How Glad Day Bookshop was created, by it's founder Jearld Moldenhauer: