With more than 10 years of experience as an editorial designer and art director at some of Canada’s top magazines, Nicola Hamilton noticed something missing in her city of Toronto: a store dedicated to independent publications. “One of the questions I always had was why there wasn’t a magazine store, like the ones that exist in other cities of our scale and calibre,” she says, pointing to shops she’d visited in places such as Lisbon and New York. Hamilton eventually decided to open her own.
Issues Magazine Shop is located on Dundas Avenue West near Dufferin Street, a hip strip filled with small businesses. It primarily stocks hard-to-find Canadian and international titles. Some of Hamilton’s most popular glossies include interiors mag Apartamento and food culture books including Serviette, a new Canadian publication. She’s also brought in plenty of delightful surprises such as MacGuffin Magazine, a 300-page design and craft tome from the Netherlands that is devoted to an inanimate object (issue 10 is all about bottles).
Hamilton tapped design agency Company Company to create her store’s space, which has a welcoming exterior framed by a white awning. Inside, walls covered in magazines surround a large blue table where visitors are encouraged to take a seat, flip through a magazine and ask questions. “We wanted to be an environment that was more interesting and engaging and creative than buying a magazine at the local grocery store,” Hamilton says. “My hope is to be a bit of a catalyst for more independent publishing.” For magazine lovers outside of the Greater Toronto, Issues also ships across Canada.
Issues Magazine Shop, 1489 Dundas St. W., Toronto, 416-532-1111, issuesmagshop.com.
Mother Tongue Issue 2, $30.
Serviette Issue 1, $22.
Apartamento Issue 29, $32.
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