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New Toronto Public Library

May 25, 2020 (0) comment

The first library was formed as an Association Library in May of 1921 in a small room provided by Town Council. On February 9th, 1923, the associate library and assets were taken over by the Town. All work from the inception of the Associate Library up to February 9, 1923 was run on a voluntary basis. As the library grew it became a Public Library and was housed in a store on the north side of the Lake Shore Road.

In October 1927, construction started on a new building on Eleventh Street where the current library stands. The library opened on February 3rd, 1928. The land was donated by Mr. W.G. Jackson and Mr. A. Keith, and the money for the library furnishings was supplied by the industries in New Toronto, as well as private gifts.

In 1928, it was found necessary to secure a Children’s Librarian, due to the demand for children’s books, and in 1938, owing to the increase in circulation, a drive was made to secure funds to erect a Children’s Library. A house to house canvass of all homes and industries was made and a total of $6131.27 was collected, including a donation of $1441.00 from the Lakeshore Chapter, Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE). (This organization continued to donate money each year towards furnishing the Children’s Library). The balance of $7500.00 was donated by the Town and the Children’s Library was opened on June 22nd, 1941 and the Ina M. Keesee Children’s Library (long-time supporter of library service in New Toronto)

In 1954 an addition was built for a reference and reading room. In 1967, the New Toronto Public Library Board was taken over by the Etobicoke Public Library Board with the amalgamation of the Town of New Toronto with the Township of Etobicoke becoming the Borough of Etobicoke.

In 1993, the building was demolished. A new building opened on November 3rd, 1994 (Moffat Kinoshita Architects).

Below is a picture from 1953 and a picture of the library today – now part of the Toronto Public Library system.

I also found the following picture on the University of Guelph’s website of the Etobicoke Bookmobile c.1953.

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