Visiting the new Beguiling

Last week, my wife and I had a two-day escape to Toronto, our first stretch of the summer when we were child-free and had no work commitments. It was sublime.

One of the highlights was getting our first look at the new location of The Beguiling, the legendary comic shop that had to relocate at the beginning of 2017 to make way for a development project in its old neighborhood.

The old Beguiling was one of the best, if not the best, comic shops I had ever seen, and I approached this new location with concerns that some of the magic didn’t make the move.

Well, I can safely say that this new spot has much of the deep selection and quirkiness of the predecessor, and now has it in a larger space. The current location opened in one storefront, but soon expanded to take up the two next door, making this one of the largest indie-friendly comic shops in the industry.

Owner Peter Birkemoe told me that the retail footprint is about to get even larger with the opening of a basement section for back issues, which was under construction when I visited.

Here is a brief tour of what you’ll see if you go to the new Beguiling:

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Here I was standing just inside the main entrance. It’s difficult to make out in this photo, but there is an opening on the right wall to the neighboring storefronts which are all part of the business.

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As I’ve said before, the presence of this Tintin book display is usually a dead giveaway that I’m in a very good comic shop. In this case, the display is right inside the front door. Bonus points for having Tintin volumes in French and English.

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One of the three adjoining storefronts is Little Island Comics, the Beguiling-owned brand that specializes in children’s comics. This space also houses The Beguiling’s business that sells comics to libraries.

I still have sentimental attachment to the old space, which was in a repurposed house, and had more offbeat backstock than this one. That said, this location is worthy of its name, and is enough of a destination that anyone visiting Toronto should go.