Guillermo Del Toro

Toronto’s best bookstores according to Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro is in Toronto filming his latest masterpiece, Frankenstein, for Netflix, and during his downtime, he opened up about his favourite bookstore in the city.

“Shopping in Acadia Bookstore- Queen st in Toronto.  Found some of the good stuff. Browsed for an hour +” the writer–director wrote in an X post on Sunday, referencing the bookstore located at Queen St. East, off of Sherbourne.

In a follow-up post, del Toro listed more of his favourite local bookstores across the city:

  • Acadia Art & Rare Books, 232 Queen St. E. specializes in rare, antique, and out-of-print books and art prints.
  • Re: Reading Used Books is a used bookstore on 548 Danforth Ave,  (“Amazing sci-fi room”, del Toro said of the space).
  • D & E Lake Ltd. sells rare books, located at 239 King St E.
  • The Monkey’s Paw, located at 1067 Bloor St. W. has a used-book vending machine and sells rare 20th-century printed items.
  • Hollywood Canteen, located at 1841 Danforth Ave. (“great Cinema bookstore”, del Toro noted).
  • Bakka-Phoenix Books, a sci-fi bookstore at 84 Harbord St.
  • The Scribe Bookstore, sells  rare books, located at 375 Danforth Ave.
  • Karol Krysik Books, sells rare books, located at 491 Davenport Rd., second floor.
  • Circus Books & Music—sells a hand-picked selection of used books, CDs, DVDs, and records, located at 866 Danforth Ave.
  • The Beguiling—sells comics, manga, original local art, and graphic novels, located at 319 College St,
  • Silver Snail—a comic book shop stocked with collectibles, toys, and games, located at 809 Queen St W.

In a separate tweet, he gave a shout-out to Labyrinth Books (formerly located in Oakville, but it shut down permanently in 2020 during the pandemic, it solely runs online now);  BMV Books (they have three locations, at 2289 Yonge St., 471 Bloor St. W., and 10 Edward St.), Seekers Books, and the Great Escape Book Store at 957 Kingston Rd.

The famed director’s Oscar-winning films include Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, and 2022’s latest live-action remake of Pinocchio. Frankenstein is based on the 1818 novel by Mary Shelley and will focus on the classic tale of Victor Frankenstein—a brilliant scientist who brings a creature to life in a monstrous experiment. The adaptation of the book is del Toro’s lifelong dream, and he says he has been working on a Frankenstein film for over a decade.

In January, the director shared a selfie of him standing near a mysterious-looking ship as a preview for the highly anticipated sci-fi flick being shot in Toronto. Frankenstein follows up Pinocchio, another classic remake Del Toronto released with Netflix in 2022.

Del Toro has a long and unique connection to the city, having spent much time here including sending his kids to school in Toronto, in addition to shooting many of his movies in the city such as The Shape of Water and others.

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