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Carnegie Library - Central

Address: 214 College Street
Architect: Wickson & Gregg and A.H. Chapman, associated architects
Opened: 1909, September 8
Closed: 1977
Current use: Koffler Student Centre, University of Toronto

The new Toronto Reference Library opened at the northwest corner of College and St. George streets on September 8, 1909, and was the largest of Ontario's Carnegie libraries. The "enlightened Beaux-Arts composition" was designed by Wickson & Gregg and A. H. Chapman, and reflects Chapman's Paris training and New York experience. The Best Gift provides this detailed description of the architecture: "The College Street (front) façade, with paired ground floor windows set in a smooth grey stone wall, contrasts with the six bays above, defined by brick pilasters and modified Corinthian capitals. The bracketed cornice and rounded pediments facing College Street give way to a plainer façade on St. George Street, with the subtle change in window proportions reflecting changed interior functions."

Major alterations

1930 Addition for a new Circulating Library officially opened, 21 April. Architects: Chapman & Oxley, in association with Wickson & Gregg.

Heritage status

1973 Listed on Inventory of Heritage Properties, adopted by Toronto City Council, June 20.
1975 Designation by-law passed by Toronto City Council, under the Ontario Heritage Act, November 26