Independent bookseller Nicholas Hoare said he is closing stores in Ottawa and Montreal, citing a rise in rent in both locations.
Hoare, who met with employees Thursday night, will continue to operate the flagship store that bears his name in Toronto.
The shops, on Sussex Drive in Ottawa and Greene Avenue in Montreal's Westmount neighbourhood, offer books and stationery with a distinct British theme.
He said the Sussex Drive shop in Ottawa faced a 72 per cent rent increase from the landlord, the National Capital Commission (NCC).
"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Hoare. "Not Amazon, nothing else."
Rent increase a business decision: NCC
The NCC said the rent increase was a business decision based on the increase in the market value of the property.
Hoare said he is disappointed the NCC didn't offer a compromise.
"You'd think that maybe they would have looked at the lease and said, 'You know guys, this is a bookseller. Instead of increasing the rent, let's go the 100 yards down the street and sit down with him over a cup of tea and see if there's anything we can do to go and adapt and roll with his punches,'" said Hoare.
The shop on 419 Sussex Drive opened in 1994 and for neighbourhood resident Janet Marshall, the store was an oasis.
"Lovely little shop inside and out. It really adds to the street and it's certainly the kind of store I like to see along this stretch. It gives us a little class," said Marshall.
According to Hoare, the Ottawa store is slated to close on April 20 and its custom interiors dismantled and shipped to his home in Nova Scotia by the end of April.
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