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Canada’s oldest children’s book store now writing its next chapter

Click to play video: 'Iconic Halifax small business celebrating big day' Iconic Halifax small business celebrating big day
WATCH: Woozles is Canada’s oldest children book store, but it’s looking for a fresh start. Callum Smith has more – Oct 16, 2021

An iconic small business in Halifax is writing its next chapter as it marks a milestone.

Woozles, a children’s book store, celebrated its 43rd birthday Saturday, although they couldn’t have the same crowd as they typically do each year due to COVID-19.

Dubbed the oldest children’s book store in Canada, its owner says it’s time for a fresh start.

Liz Crocker says the aging building on Birmingham Street and accessibility challenges are the reasons to relocate the business.

“Sometimes people in their middle age — I think of 43 as middle-aged — sometimes people say maybe we should shake things up a little bit, so we’ve decided to leave the cute yellow building with the green door and move to a new location on Shirley Street,” said Crocker, who founded the store with her late husband and a friend back in 1978.

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Read more: Woozles celebrates 40 years in business

It’s been a long journey since then, but Crocker is proud of what the business has become, even having to carry the torch on her own.

“I’m happy to carry on the legacy of what we wanted to create which was a place for and about children,” she said. “Of course, with great children’s books and toys, but a place also where people who love children and care about children could come and just be in a space that just uplifts your spirits.”

Julie Chisholm, who stops by with her kids every couple of months to pick up new books, paid a visit to the store for the birthday festivities before it closes.

She says she’s happy the business itself isn’t closing, but it will be a different feeling without the current location.

“The old building was so special, the old reading chair, it just has so much charm,” Chisholm said. “But we’re pretty excited to see the new space as well.”

Read more: ‘Then COVID hit’: Small Calgary bookstores celebrate surviving through pandemic

Crocker says she appreciates the support of her customers near and far.

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“One of the things that’s warmed our hearts over the years is the support of the community,” Crocker said. “It’s not really the support of the community for us, it’s the support of the community for the importance of children, in building a future community and a future country.”

Their last day is in the current location is Oct. 25, with hopes of opening up the Shirley Street shop in mid-November.

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