Storied Yorkville Branch Honoured for Contribution to Community at 100th Anniversary Celebration

    Heritage Toronto Plaque Unveiled at Toronto Public Library's Yorkville

    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - Officials and community members were on-hand
today at Toronto Public Library's Yorkville Branch for the unveiling of a
Heritage Toronto plaque commemorating the 100-year-old Beaux-Arts building.
The unveiling was part of today's all-day community celebration at the
Yorkville Branch, Toronto Public Library's oldest operating building and
library. Festivities to mark the 100th anniversary included musicians,
magicians, storytellers and more.
    "This lovely library is a key historical and contemporary meeting place
in the Yorkville community," said Kathy Gallagher Ross, Chair, Toronto Public
Library Board. "For one hundred years it has fulfilled a wide range of
cultural and leisure programs and been an important resource for people in the
area and the city. Over the course of its history, the library has maintained
its integrity and relevance in its ever-changing surroundings."
    City of Toronto Councillor Kyle Rae, who was in attendance for the
celebration expressed his appreciation for Toronto Public Library and the
Yorkville Branch. "When Toronto Public Library established its first branch
here in 1884, it was called 'Northern' for a reason," said City Councillor
Rae. "Yorkville was then a small village with dirt roads, just annexed into
the City itself. Since then, Yorkville has been famous for its hippies and
coffee houses in the '60s, and now for its world-class boutiques, restaurants,
and hotels. Through it all, Toronto Public Library and the Yorkville Branch
have remained, working hard to enrich this community. Congratulations to
Yorkville Branch on its 100th Anniversary, and to Heritage Toronto on this
newest heritage plaque," said Rae.
    Heritage Toronto presented Board Chair Gallagher Ross with a plaque
commemorating the building. "Heritage Toronto works hard to conserve and
celebrate our city's heritage," said Patricia Malcolmson, Chair, Plaques and
Markers Program, Heritage Toronto. "This city owes much to Toronto Public
Library, an organization that has not only enriched our minds with free
information, but also our streetscapes and neighbourhoods with beautiful
buildings. We are very happy today to celebrate the 100-year-old story of the
Yorkville Branch, one of this city's best examples of the 'Carnegie Style' and
one of our architectural gems," she added.
    Community organizations including the ABC Residents' Association,
Bloor-Yorkville BIA, Greater Yorkville Residents' Association and
Yonge-Bloor-Bay Business Association supported the Heritage Toronto Plaque
program and contributed to the 100th Anniversary celebration's success.
    One hundred years ago, on June 13, 1907, Toronto Public Library's
Yorkville Branch opened its doors. It was a milestone event for the library.
Yorkville Branch was Toronto's first of ten public library buildings completed
with grants from Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and
signalled a momentous new age of building construction for the Toronto Public
    The Yorkville Branch was designed by City Architect Robert McCallum in
Beaux-Arts style, then thought to give an appropriate seriousness to a civic
structure. Its style, similar to other Carnegie libraries in many smaller
Ontario communities, lends it a dignity and presence far beyond the building's
    A constant presence in an ever-changing Yorkville, the Yorkville Branch
is Toronto Public Library's oldest building. In 1973 it was listed on the
City's Inventory of Heritage Properties. It was renovated and expanded in

    Toronto Public Library is North America's busiest public library system.
Every week more than 329,000 people visit our 99 branches and borrow more than
half a million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our
website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Edward Karek, Communications
Officer, (416) 397-5925,

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