Toronto's Carnegie Libraries
In 1903 the first Carnegie grant to the Toronto Public Library to construct new library buildings was awarded. A new central library and three branch libraries were build for the $350,000. Today, this figure would be worth about $7.3 million. It was the largest amount given anywhere in Canada, and, at that time, only New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (Carnegie’s home city) had received more funds.
With the first grant, Toronto Public Library opened a new central library in 1909, and three branches: Yorkville (1907), Queen & Lisgar (1909-1964), and Riverdale (1910).
A second Carnegie grant of $50,000 built Beaches, High Park and Wychwood branches (1916).
Libraries at West Toronto (1909), Weston (1914), and Mimico (1915-1966) also were constructed with Carnegie funds.
Altogether, ten public libraries (and one university library for Victoria College, University of Toronto) were opened in Toronto between 1907 and 1916 using Carnegie funds totalling $487,500. Toronto Public Library continues to use seven of the ten Carnegie libraries, which have been renovated in some manner. Two of them have been sold and converted to other uses, and one has been demolished.