In February this year, we reported on the sale of The World's Biggest Bookstore on Edward Street to Lifetime Developments for $51.5 million, and their plans for its redevelopment into a new 'restaurant row'. Since that time, Lifetime has dropped plans for the restaurants and has decided to work on a larger rezoning application. Demolition is now under way on the former store, and the site may become a temporary surface lot while rezoning is pursued.

The World's Biggest Bookstore, 20 Edward, Lifetime Developments, TorontoDemolition at The World's Biggest Bookstore, image by Jack Landau

The demolition work is being carried out by Teperman Group, who have led some of the most notable demolition projects in Toronto's history, including the full city block taken down to make way for the Eaton Centre, the old Board of Trade Building at Yonge and Front, and the legendary jazz venue, The Colonial, which was located on Yonge Street north of Queen.

The World's Biggest Bookstore, 20 Edward, Lifetime Developments, TorontoDemolition at The World's Biggest Bookstore, image by Jack Landau

Demolition of The World's Biggest Bookstore should wrap up by the end of next week.

The World's Biggest Bookstore, 20 Edward, Lifetime Developments, TorontoDemolition at The World's Biggest Bookstore, image by Jack Landau

The World's Biggest Bookstore, which opened in 1980—well before the mid-1990s onslaught of chain mega-bookstores—was a victim of the move to online purchasing, but like the similarly affected Sam The Record Man property a block away, The World's Biggest Bookstore site holds plenty of redevelopment potential.

The World's Biggest Bookstore, 20 Edward, Lifetime Developments, TorontoDemolition at The World's Biggest Bookstore, image by Jack Landau

We will return with updates as more information becomes available about Lifetime Developments' future plans for the site. In the meantime, you can check out renderings for the now-scrapped restaurants in our dataBase file, linked below. You can join the discussion in our associated Forum thread, or leave your comment in the space provided on this page.

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