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Fort York gets the ultimate condo amenity: a flashy new public library

Click to view gallery. (Image: Kayla Rocca)

Click to view gallery. (Image: Kayla Rocca)

The new Fort York library, which will have its official ribbon-cutting on Thursday, will be Toronto Public Library’s 99th branch. (It would have been the 100th, had the city not shut down the Urban Affairs Library during 2011’s initial rush of Ford-induced budget panic.) Aside from being just generally good-looking, the KPMB Architects–designed building adds 16,000 square feet of community space to a burgeoning condo district whose residents have, until now, needed to walk a couple kilometers up Bathurst Street in order to get their library fix.

Appropriately, construction was funded with a combination of development charges and Section 37 money, meaning the bills were paid by some of the very same developers that filled the neighbourhood with new residents in the first place. The library is even located right at the base of one of those new residential towers, the Library District Condos, for which the long-anticipated opening of the branch has been a selling point. As amenities go, a brand-new, $9.2-million learning space is potentially a hell of a lot better than a party room.

Click through the gallery for a sneak peek at the interior. The new Fort York library will open to the public after a 10 a.m. ceremony on May 29.

See all 9 images »

  • Tom R

    I live right near here and really couldn’t believe it when I saw them putting up bookshelves in that space, is anyone going to a library to read magazines anymore? Should there not be more of a digital component to a library being built in 2014? I guess the objective here is for Context to be able to check off 16K square feet of “community space” in their development proposal so they can keep building and selling millions of square feet of residential condos. It’s a nice looking building, just a shame it seems little more than a checkbox on a list of what city planners think makes a neighborhood.

  • wklis

    Been a while since you were at a library?

    Yes, there is a “digital component”. See for more information, including downloads and e-books.

    And yes, you can eat and drink coffee at most libraries. See

  • MegN

    There will be plenty of digital components including classes on programming, 3D Printers and computers.

    That being said, I totally go to libraries to read magazines (Why would I pay for a subscription when I can go to the library to read them), and judging by the fact that I normally have to wait an hour (if not come back another day) for the newest copy of National Geographic I’d say I’m not the only one.

  • Tom R

    Yes, it has been quite a while, probably since around when I got an internet connection. I expected to see more screens, more technology I suppose, more of an idea of how libraries are changing to stay relevant and interesting to young people in a digital age. For example the digital archives of historic photos being released by libraries are fascinating, it would be cool to be able to view them with a better experience than what you can get at home on your own computer. But whatever, it’s not like Elon Musk was in charge of this project, I should probably just be glad it’s not a Starbucks (though I would probably get more use out of it).

  • Tom R

    3D printers will be cool.

    You might not be the *only* one who goes to the library to borrow a printed copy of National Geographic, but your competition are probably dying of old age. ;)

  • librarian

    I work at this library, and let me say that this is not your typical branch. When you come visit you’ll see. We have a 3D printer, 3D scanner, green screen, DJ equipment, cameras, iPads, tables, iMacs, and a slew of software to go along with them. And a drone as well. Check out for more info. We are embracing the importance of digital literacy. These photos highlight our community spaces, which are also important, but trust me, we have a lot more than what these pictures show!

  • Shirley Hutchison

    so happy to see our library come to life, we have been waiting 25 years. digital. books, magazines, Librarians we welcome you all to our neighbourhood

  • Tom R

    Wow, awesome! Can’t wait to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  • ILikeTacos