Stories of Caledon

There’s Magic in a Bookstore

Written by Patti Foley

There’s something magical about a bookstore. And Forster’s Book Garden in Bolton is certainly no exception.


Stepping over the threshold of this fascinating little shop you’re greeted with rows of books each with a secret little world inside, waiting to pull you in for an hour, or a day.

Sunlight spills through the front windows onto shelves neat and precise. While others are simply a beautiful jumble of colour, size and shape.

Whether it’s a heart-thumping mystery, a heart-throbbing romance, a heart-stopping thriller or a heart-melting children’s book they all wait to land in the lap of their rightful reader on a chilly winter afternoon, perhaps curled up by the fire.


Childrens booksDonna and Paul Forster moved to Bolton in 1989 following their marriage. After the birth of their daughter Leigh, Donna, who like Paul had worked in education, was preparing to go back to work. “I had been driving to Orangeville regularly to purchase books” Donna recalls. “It occurred to me one day that it was silly that there was no bookstore in Bolton”.

“Paul and I discussed the idea and decided “It could work”, she laughs. “And here we are 17 years later, and it’s still working”.

Donna admits that owning a small business comes with its challenges as well as its perks. “But we have great customers” she smiles. “They realize the importance of supporting area businesses to the local economy. When you shop local your dollars get used locally.”Small Childs Books

The couple have a wonderful “if we don’t have it we’ll get it for you” attitude. “That’s definitely one of the perks of shopping local” beams Donna.

“When you know your merchant that relationship translates into great customer service. I know many of my customers so well I’ll automatically pick up the phone and call them when I see the latest book by their favourite author come in”.

Added to their eclectic list of titles the Forsters round out the store with an array of unique gift items, appealing to children, youth and adults. And, they offer a selection of over 500 movies for rent as well.

Looking across the room I notice again the hand-painted life-size “Door into Narnia”. It’s a  work-in-progress, the artistic expression of a talented young Palgrave-area girl.

Door to Narnia

Yes, bookstores are indeed a magical place.


Visit Forsters Book Garden at 266 Queen Street south (the northwest corner of Ellwood Drive West and Queen Street, facing Ellwood Drive).

Or give Donna and Paul a ring at 905-951-1501



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About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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  • Patti,
    Nice work on the story about Forster’s Book Garden. It may interest your readers to know that whereas Caledon has its own independent, general-interest bookstore — Forsters — the same cannot be said for Brampton and Mississauga. Want to buy a book from a bookstore in our neighbouring municipalities? You have to go to a big box store to do it. So hat’s off to independent bookstores everywhere and in Caledon in particular.
    Nicola Ross

    • Thanks Nicola! By the way it’s wonderful to see your new book Loops and Lattes here and at other spots around town. Such a great local trails resource!