My last blog lamented the recent destruction of the Mono Lino Typesetting building on Toronto’s Dupont Street, where Barry Broadfoot’s revolutionary TEN LOST YEARS was typeset, way back in 1973. In turn, that story has produced a very interesting response from Gillian O’Reilly.

My friend Gillian was an important member of the book trade for many years, and was once the Editor of “Canadian Bookseller”. That national magazine of our booksellers was prepared in-house. Then – TADA – the files, ready for typesetting, would be sent to Mono Lino.

I’ll let Gillian take up the tale:—

“Because I lived near Mono Lino, I would occasionally take the files to the company instead of having them picked up at our office by the sales rep.

One winter morning I walked up the steps of the company, and the door was opened by a smartly dressed young man who asked if I worked there. I explained my purpose, and he said, earnestly, “I’m from Coopers & Lybrand.”

My brain did not immediately register that this was an accountant standing at the door. I was rapidly, and without success, trying to process the confusing thought “I didn’t know Coopers & Lybrand did typesetting”.

The young man at the door hastened to explain that the company was in receivership.

Stunned, I retreated, and from a payphone I contacted the Canadian Booksellers Association with the bad news, but with the help of our now-unemployed sales rep we quickly found a new typesetter and got the next issue out. And I often think that I was one of  the first Mono Lino clients to learn that the company was no more.”


A fine story. Many thanks, Gillian.

And I should add a note to stress how seriously we at Doubleday Canada took the enthusiasm of the old-pro typesetters for Barry Broadfoot’s first book. They were so excited that we signed Barry up to start travelling the country with his tape recorder to gather stories for a second book of oral history — SIX WAR YEARS — long before TEN LOST YEARS was published.

Thanks, Mono Lino.


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