The Argo Bookshop is moving, and we need your help!
The Argo is Montreal's oldest independent English bookstore, dedicated to books and readers ever since Mr. George set up shop in 1966. We've long been a snug little place with books piled high to the ceiling, but for us to serve our community the way we want to, it's time to grow into a bigger space - and one that's safe from the recurring water damage that has recently plagued us.
It was out of the question for us to leave the neighbourhood we've been in for 55 years, so we're thrilled to announce that we've found something great barely half a block away. And you can help us get there!
In our five-decade history, we've always been proudly independent and local, striving to bring you the best in new and classic fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The Argo has changed hands a few times, but the passion behind it has always been there - and since 2017, that passion has been carried by co-owners Moti and Adele, two friends and lifelong book nerds who loved the store before they ever even considered running it. We've worked to grow and diversify the Argo's selection, bringing marginalized voices to the fore and celebrating local talent. We've reached out to people in our neighbourhood and beyond - students, poets, decades-long Argo regulars - to share our love of books and listen to what matters to them. We've hosted free events nearly every week since 2017 - first in person, but now online, as we haven't let Covid-19 slow us down.
Over the last few years, our community has grown, but our store hasn't had room to follow suit. Add to that persistent ceiling leaks culminating in serious water damage early this summer, and we decided that it was time for the Argo to weigh anchor. Our new location is at 1841A Sainte-Catherine St. West, with twice the floor area and a brighter, cleaner, newer space. (One that we will immediately cram full of wonderful books.)
We want to bring you more of the same thoughtful selection in a place that's easier to get around in. Moving will help us reinvent our kids' section (look forward to easily-browsable picture books, and storytime with guests!), finally get a dedicated French-language section full of brilliant current reads, and expand into genres historically under-represented at the Argo, like romance, horror, and mystery. The larger space will also make it easier for us to welcome you to events in person again when it is prudent to do so!
We're going all-hands-on-deck for this move, with the whole team working extra hours, but we need you, too. To get the new place set up in the spirit of the old one, we'll have to buy everything from paint and lumber to custom signage. We'll need new shelving, displays, and furniture. We'll need the expanded inventory to bring our new sections to life, and we'll need the staffing to make it all happen. We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't feel positive about the outcome, but any kind of help will make this big transition so much easier. Your contributions will make sure we can get the best supplies for the renovations, hire extra help, and fill the new shelves with books.
Every little bit truly helps. Whether you're donating or spreading the word, by supporting this fundraiser you'll be contributing to keeping one of Montreal's oldest indie bookshops alive and thriving. You'll be helping the reading and writing community thrive, too. Because beyond all the things we do to make the Argo special, what really makes it shine is all of you - our incomparable community of readers, writers, and supporters of independent bookshops. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we can't wait to see you at the new place!
DonationsSee top donations
- François Prévost
- Catherine Henderson-Chenail
- Michael R Malloy
- Alexander Cruz