Store Details

brief history

The New Octopus Book Store Inc is the successor to Octopus Books, a collective formed in 1969 and granted Letters Patent in 1977 “to make available to the public books . . . which lead to an understanding of poverty and injustice; to promote community education, discussion and debate of social issues relevant to Canadian society; and to promote and encourage discussion and debate of issues which affect women, children and the family.” Since 1996 Octopus has continued to fulfil and expand this mandate, with our selection of books and by hosting book events and a community classroom. Our large children’s section features fiction and non-fiction books on themes of social awareness, history, life skills and sex education for young readers, in both English and French. Our selection of books also covers poetry, Canadian and Indigenous and international fiction, feminism and gender, the family, Canadian and international politics, sustainability, political action, philosophy, social sciences and popular culture.

We work with writers, from award-winning authors to those who have just published a debut novel. Many of our events are designed to give Indigenous peoples, the racialized, and other marginalized groups a platform to express and share ideas relevant to our community. On average, we organize 50-60 events a year. We make our events accessible, accommodating those who are hard of hearing with a sound system when possible, and choosing event spaces that are wheelchair accessible. In 2015 we began hosting a Community Classroom, a space to share experiences, and to talk about what matters to us collectively and promote democratic participation.


To promote conversations and the exchange of ideas through literature. We are dedicated to curating books of artistic or scholarly merit and progressive orientation. Working collaboratively with Canadian publishers, writers, public intellectuals, we organize community events in support of emancipation and activism.


Octopus Books is an anti-oppressive bookstore that supports the liberation of all community members from explicit or implicit violence, colonialism, racism, sexism, ageism, transphobia, whorephobia, cissexism, ableism, fatphobia, sexual harassment, or gender policing.  We specifically recognize the right of all people to live without poverty, to gain an economic livelihood, and to work safely and with respect in their chosen field.  While Octopus Books believes in promoting and exchanging ideas in support of emancipation and activism, we also reserve the right to assess and manage circumstances and situations within our store as per our collective vision towards liberation for all community members.  If you have an experience at our store that does not reflect these values, tell us - please email us at,  or ask to speak to the owner.

Consignment Policy

For many years, Octopus Books has been proud to support our local, self-published authors. However, with regret, we no longer accept books on consignment, due to a lack of available space to stock and display the steady flow of newly self-published books. If you currently have books on consignment at Octopus Books, we will honour our commitment until the end of the time period specified in each of our consignment agreements, but we will not be able to renew existing consignment agreements after their expiration.


General Inquiries:
Course Orders: (for professors )



Monday - Friday: 10am to 6pm

Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sunday: 11am to 5pm


116 Third Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 2K1

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Map to Octopus Books