Indigo - a deeper look

Excited to share more about our project to create a new concept for Indigo, Canada’s leading book retailer.

Dalziel & Pow
By Dalziel & Pow
Posted 06. 12. 2023
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Canada’s leading book retailer approached D&P to create a concept for a key new opening in Toronto. This 16,000 sqft experience honours its Canadian roots and the community that makes each Indigo location a self-declared “happy place” for customers.

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© BDP Quadrangle / Nick Caville

The concept is a book-lovers paradise in the heart of downtown Toronto where in addition to a range of 40,000 books curated for the location, shoppers can experience a paper & stationery shop, home fragrance counter, and music corner, equipped with a juke-box, for a playful nod to the nostalgic.

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© BDP Quadrangle / Nick Caville

The entire space is surrounded by an abundance of curated books alongside a dedicated manga & graphic novel zone with space for customers to dwell. The IndigoKids department includes a central hub, surrounded by books and toys for creativity, play, and story-times. Indigo additionally partnered with Propeller Coffee Co. to offer a truck serving up pastries and coffee beverages while you shop.

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© BDP Quadrangle / Nick Caville

The interior is lined with full-height library shelving, covering all categories with an expansive range of 40,000 books. If the perimeter is dominated by a consistent presentation of the book range, the centre-floor is a flowing journey through various stand-out features. Individual offers are treated almost like 'pop-up' shops within the store, each having their own space created by open structures you can walk through or dwell within.

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© BDP Quadrangle / Nick Caville

All timber perimeter walls are fixed, but all floor-standing 'walls' are flexible, and able to be locked and unlocked into a high-level frame for repositioning overnight. Capsule lifestyle departments are spread around the perimeter, Manga (the coolest in Toronto), Art & Design, Travel, Lifestyle, Cookery...all categories combine the book offer with complementary gifting and accessories. The back of the space is an immersive Kids and Baby offer, with elements of play to entertain the younger, curious visitor. This is an inspiring section for IndigoKids and Indigobaby which includes, in addition to a rich selection of books, an area for creativity and play.

Flexible event space is created to accommodate a calendar of activities, from craft classes to poetry readings. Visitors are encouraged to dwell with capsules of comfortable seating around the space in addition to the hospitality clustered around the Propeller Coffee Co. truck.

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© BDP Quadrangle / Nick Caville

While not the largest store in the Indigo real estate portfolio, it is a showroom for the best and most popular products. Online browsing for books, ordering, and collection are positively encouraged in the space. There is a dedicated online order pickup desk to accommodate the growing demand for pre-ordered items to be picked up instore. The service desks are distinctive with their eclectic styling, creating a new 3D brand language for Indigo.

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© BDP Quadrangle / Nick Caville

Indigo The Well is also proud to display a new installation from Cree artist Kent Monkman, a reproduction of his painting The Storm. In his works, Monkman explores the complicated confluences of Indigenous-settler relationships on Turtle Island. He subverts the power dynamics by depicting intimate couplings such as this one set against lavish landscapes to reassert Indigenous presence and power on the land. To explore more of Kent Monkman’s work, please visit and

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© BDP Quadrangle / Nick Caville

There are also several new and unique tech and sustainability components, including:

A touch screen book recommendation tool that sorts books into genres and themes to help customers find their next great read.

A Fujifilm GetPix Quick Kiosk that allows customers to upload photos from their devices and print them. Customers can also take photos in front of the Selfie Wall.

A Deep Lake Water Cooling system harnesses the renewable cold temperature of Lake Ontario.

Carpet tile in the IndigoKids section carries 84 percent recycled content

All store fixtures are fabricated and manufactured local to Toronto in Georgetown and Scarborough, Ontario

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