IAO Astrology Bookstore

IAO Bookstore Cover

The IAO Astrology Bookstore began officially in February 1974. For the year or so below I had been ordering books for my astrology classes. In February I borrowed some money and bought the remains of an occult bookstore that had closed. My office was in my home at 20 Draper St. in Toronto and it doubled as the bookstore. There are no pictures of the interior of the bookstore but there is a drawing of the building done by Leita McDowell. It was used for the cover of the first store catalog.

1974 Robin Armstrong
Robin – early days at the IAO Astrology Bookstore.















IAO Astrology Bookstore drawing by Leita McDowell

Astrology classes were held in schools and other centres, and the students maintained a steady customer base.

Shortly thereafter the Canadian Independent Order of Astrologers began and the store developed a bigger base as a result.

1976-Robin And Class
Robin and his astrology classes

1976 Robin And Class-










1976 Robin And Class At IAO
1976 Robin And Astrology Class At IAO

1976 Robin\\\'s Astrology Class At IAO-










In 1976 the bookstore was moved to 323 Queen St. W, Toronto.

1976 The IAO Astrology Bookstore
1976 The IAO Astrology Bookstore, 323 Queen St. W., Toronto. The team: David Stobbs, Marta Hunter, Robin Armstrong, and Leita McDowell


There was a store and a workshop/classroom and a large warehouse space in the back. It was a big step up for the bookstore and it specialized in astrology related material. In retrospect this narrowed the market and customer base. The bookstore only survived for two years. It died at the end of 1977. Once again few pictures were taken of the inside of the storeā€¦.. this was before digital pictures.

1976 Robin Leita - IAO

Astrology Class Add 76




















During these two years at Queen St, the IAO Bookstore held many classes and workshops, bringing in some world famous astrologers, like Charles Jayne, Eugene Moore, William Bento, and numerous others.

1976 Robin & Marc Robertson Toronto
1976 Robin & Marc Robertson Toronto
1976 Robin & Mohan Koparkar
1976 Robin & Mohan Koparkar at the IAO Astrology Bookstore












1976 Robin & Cyrus Abayacoon At IAO
1976 Robin & Cyrus Abayacoon from Sri Lanka at IAO
1976 Robin And Harold Hason
1976 Robin And Harold Hason












1976 Robin And Class At IAO-231x

One of Robin’s classes at the bookstore: Left to right -front to back: Agnes Carmichael, Robin Armstrong, Leita McDowell, Helen McGinn, Marta Stobbs, Nancy ???, Marc Mann, Janet Markham, and David Stobbs.

1977-IAO Astrology Bookstore
1977-IAO Astrology Bookstore


It was an exciting and inspirational place, but the expenses exceeded the income and that brought about the end of it.

An Astrologer's Resume