General Toronto Public Library Pilgrimage of 100 Branches

Northern District Library (Pre-Renovation)

Northern District Library’s vast main floor reminded me of a university library, and it was easy to lose track of time while wandering among its extensive shelves. Idly glancing up, I noticed grid patterns on the ceiling that resembled an upside-down waffle. The flat lights were the waffle’s indentations, and the beams which framed the light-grids were the square raised ridges.

As I walked under the pale waffle, I passed leather couches near the entrance and headed over to the large Children’s Area in the southeast corner. Reading benches were placed near the tall windows, creating ready perches for when the call to read struck. An inclusive display of books was propped on top of a non-fiction shelf: Goddesses, Heroes and Shamans, Sikhism, and Many Ways: How Families Practice Their Beliefs and Religions.

A striking feature of the children’s section was a functional art piece entitled “Appleapes.” Composed of wood, it contained a row of coat pegs integrated into the body of a mama ape who was clutching red apples in the digits of each lower limb. Above the maternal primate were four babies hanging from the red wooden border overhead. They shared their parent’s love of apples, happily clasping the fruit in their hands.

As I meandered through the rest of the library, I marveled at the size of the foreign language collections: French, Serbian, Chinese, and Estonian. ESL and Literacy materials abounded, and a North Toronto Local History Section was available for researchers.

My last stop was the Skylight Gallery. Located upstairs, it consisted of a semi-circular stretch of wall that curved underneath an uplifting window to the sky. After a moment of relishing the quiet space bathed in natural light, I trotted back down the stairs and emerged into the afternoon bustle of Yonge and Eglinton.

6 replies on “Northern District Library (Pre-Renovation)”

Did you know there is actually underground parking for this branch? Well hidden. And not much.

And it’s the only place where I’ve been told, as an adult, to take my feet off the furniture! This was some years ago. And I later observed I clearly was not the only miscreant as signs popped up on all the low tables advising patrons not to rest feet on them.

Thank you for writing this wonderful blog. Northern District is enjoyed daily by members of my community and you captured this library branch very well. Your support for Toronto’s public library system is inspiring.



You’re welcome, Councillor Matlow! I really appreciate your comment and support of the blog.

I’m so happy that you read my musings! I really appreciate your comment, Jenn!

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