A Fredericton Institution Finds A New Home Downtown

Image: Westminster Books Facebook Page.

FREDERICTON – Westminster Books moved just around the corner and hosted a launch party to celebrate this past Saturday.

The 44-year-old independent business will keep selling books to its loyal customers at 88 York Street.

Janet North, the store’s owner, says they had to move out because a new landlord came and raised the rent to a price they couldn’t afford.

Even if they were over 40 years at the King Street location, North says she’s happy with the move.

“It’s a busier street,” she said.

She says the former location wasn’t a pleasant one anymore.

“It’s quieter [now],” she said. “We were right across from the King’s Place Mall, so we had all the buses there all the time.”

They looked around for about a month before choosing the new location. She says they looked at the Reads location, King’s Place, and up the hill, but they wanted to stay downtown.

“All of our customers are down here,” she said.

Even if the new space is smaller, it’s a more open-concept space.

“It easier for looking after customers because you can see everywhere,” she said. “We like it.”

They moved in May to the new location. With the help of volunteers, they walked the books over to the new location and moved book shelves with a truck, all in a weekend.

The store was established by North’s brother-in-law in 1975, and started in King’s Place, where the barber shop is located, she says.

“It wasn’t very busy because there wasn’t a lot of traffic that way,” she said.

He moved down the street to the location they just left a couple of weeks ago.

The bookstore celebrated with cake, face painting, coffee, and “mock champagne” – apple cider. It also offered book discounts.