Welcome to Sidney, B.C.: Canada's bookstore capital
Globe and Mail
January 3, 2008
With a population of just 12,000 in this seaside town, the ratio of bookstores to residents makes it the bookstore capital of Canada.
"Cliff, what a find he was," Mr. Tanner now says of his fellow bookseller. "I hate to say it, but he's been more successful than we were."
It's all part of Mr. Tanner's grand scheme to recreate a local version of Hay-on-Wye in Wales, the world's first destination book town. There are now about three dozen self-proclaimed book towns around the globe, but Sidney is Canada's first. (St. Martins in New Brunswick launched one last year.)
For the past 12 years, Mr. Tanner has been encouraging booksellers to set up in Sidney, offering to scout locations, even helping with startup inventory. He expects at least one new bookstore to open this year, but his goal is to have 25 bookshops lining the seaside community's short commercial strip.
Beacon Ave--1950s postcard