Highway Book Shop   1957-2011
Cobalt, Ontario, Canada
Gone, but not forgotten
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A Short History

Lois Pollard with her book on the history of the Highway Book Shop

For a complete history written by former owner Lois Pollard please read Highway Book Shop~Northern Ontario's Unexpected Treasure. She goes in great detail from its beginnings as a small print shop to the massive 10,000 square foot landmark in became over its life span of 53 years Wikipedia also has a piece on the book shop.

When Doug Pollard began his small print shop in the garage in 1957, one of his customers paid his bill in used books instead of cash. And so it began. As the demand for books increased, and word-of-mouth sent more and more people there, the shop expanded and expanded over the years. It continued the publishing arm and over the years added 467 titles, including local histories, to Canadian literature. Some 300 individuals became authors that may not have been published otherwise.

Hailed over the years as a cultural landmark, and for many, the obligatory stop during vacations up north, the sheer size and collection of approximately a million books drew new and repeat visitors year after year. Lois tried to keep it open after Douglas' death in 2009, but her heart was not in it the same way. And she was after all 87 years old at the time. So the notice to close was posted and she finally got to retire, again. She was 64 when she married Douglas and moved north to what became her second career.

It was a warm and welcoming place, and is still missed by many. Some pictures from the past follow.

welcome to HBS
familiar sign   books
one corner   another corner
more and more books   wall after wall