From the moment I walked in the door of Danforth/Coxwell branch, its compelling energy was palpable. Kids raced around to gather books, strollers abounded, and every corner of the building hosted a patron. Danforth/Coxwell was the most popular place to be seen reading on a summer weekday afternoon.
Surveying the busy Children’s section on the west side of the main level, a lime-green gorilla hung from the ceiling next to a fuzzy pelican in green, orange, and black. Near the west wall, three carpeted steps led up to a small platform that supported shelves of picture books. A father was sprawled on one of the steps, reading a story to his two boys.
In addition to the comfortable steps, three solid window benches provided yet more literary opportunities and doubled as miniature stages for self-expression. One little girl was so happy in the library that she was jumping up and down on a window seat in her flip-flops. A cheerleader for literacy!
Happily, I noted three more wooden window benches on the other side of the main floor, which held the teen and adult sections. All three window perches faced Danforth Avenue, where passersby were bracing their umbrellas for an imminent thunderstorm. Appreciating my sheltered position, I walked between tall shelves of fiction and non-fiction, noting the extensive Chinese and French collections.
I eventually came to rest on a window seat as the sky darkened outside. After sorting through a stack of library materials accumulated during my self-guided tour, I checked out my selections and walked up to the second floor.
The upper level contained offices, washrooms, and a community room where I once spent a few hours volunteering for an English Conversation Circle. This reminder of how much the Toronto Public Library helps newcomers as well as children, teens, and seniors made me want to jump on a window seat and cheer!