Toronto Public Library Pilgrimage of 100 Branches

library quest

For the past year or so, I have been on a delightfully nerdy quest to visit all 99 public libraries in Toronto. As of yesterday, I’ve visited 41 of them. Woo hoo!

Here’s some notes on what I remember about the libraries. I won’t be at all offended if you skim!

Agincourt — branch library, massive ESL and second language collection, super busy

Brookbanks — a quiet branch near a karate school in North York
Maryvale — inside a 1980’s mall, also in North York

Highland Creek — big windows and lots of natural light, east Scarborough

Port Union — library which is the furthest east in TPL jurisdiction

Morningside — a long, low one room library, very new, awesome window seats

Cedarbrae — near Markham and Lawrence, a huge branch library with two floors, Scarborough historical collection, massive ESL selection, also where I volunteered as a conversation circle leader for awhile and took students to get new library cards when teaching LINC in the area

Guildwood — a small, cozy branch in a strip mall, found a book on Canadian history

Cliffcrest — also a one-room branch in a southeast Scarborough strip mall

Bendale — this library sits by itself on a little grassy rise, appears as if on stilts (which I liked), arrived just a few minutes before closing

McGregor Park — a newish library, very spacious, Lawrence and Birchmount

Victoria Village — a neighbourhood branch, very busy, seemed to be at centre of lots of community activity

Kennedy and Eglinton — another crowded but cozy branch, seems constantly in use, situated between a bar that was shut down and a pharmacy

Eglinton Square — a one-room library in the mall just off the food court, lots of broad tables with folks reading the newspaper

Albert Cambell — a time capsule of 1970’s architecture and interior design, two levels, with quiet rooms for study, near Saint Clair and Birchmount

Dawes Road — situated in residential area, found a good grammar book there, one big square room with lots of shelves, near Saint Clair and Victoria Park

Taylor Memorial — near the lake, features a fireplace with armchairs, very peaceful

Main Street — a compact, attractive building, full of patrons reading and browsing

Beaches — gorgeous library with window seats and views of Kew Gardens, two levels, very uplifting space

Danforth/Coxwell — a narrow building with two levels, this was one of the first libraries I visited as a newcomer when I went to a conversation circle

Gerrard/Ashdale — this branch is on a lively street full of shops selling South Asian clothing, curry, and roasted corn, has two levels, top floor with beautiful wooden beams and a fireplace

Jones — very small, surrounded by a homey neighbourhood with large trees and houses with porches, lots of patrons there on a Saturday, appealing wooden floors

Pape/Danforth — handsome, historic building, two long narrow floors, extremely busy

Riverdale — arrived there by Broadview streetcar, nice brick building in circular shape, crowded with readers, next to Don Valley jail building

And that’s all I’ve visited east of the Don Valley Parkway. Stay riveted or at least mildly awake for a review of libraries west of the DVP.

One reply on “library quest”

I WORKED AT ALBERT CAMPBELL LIBRARY!!! For 3 years during high school. Loved it.

Maybe try out the Cabbagetown Library – I think it’s called Parliament Branch (on Gerrard, just west of Parliament). It has a resource centre on the second floor!

Cool quest. Cool chick!

Lovely to read!


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