Toronto Public Library Homepage

S. Walter Stewart

Service Update


170 Memorial Park Avenue, Toronto, ON
M4J 2K5


Branch Hours
Day Opening Time Closing Time
Monday 9:00 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.


Closest major intersection Coxwell Ave. and Mortimer Ave. Located 1 block north of Mortimer Ave., 2 blocks west of Coxwell Ave.

Public Transit

TTC O'Connor bus northbound from Coxwell subway station.


Free - lot adjacent to library


Map to library branch


General Features

  • Art Exhibit Space
  • Book Discussion Group: contact the branch for more information
  • Book Drop - 24 Hours
  • Branch Walking Tour
  • Dial-a-Story Phone
  • Express Checkout
  • Free Parking
  • KidsStop Early Literacy Centre
  • Quiet Study Area. Check branch for availability.
  • Seating for 120
  • Snack/Vending Machines
  • Teen Zone

Equipment for persons with disabilities

  • Computers with screen magnification software (Zoomtext) (2)
  • Wheelchair accessible table



  • Adult Literacy Materials
  • Audiobooks on CD
  • Large Print Collection
  • Local History Collection


  • Large collection in Chinese, French, Greek
  • Medium collection in Serbian
  • Small collection in Italian

Branch History

Year Details
1944 Boys and Girls Libraries established by East York's Kiwanis Club and Board of Education, operated by Toronto Public Library staff. The Central Branch opened at R. H. McGregor School, 7 November. The Eastern Branch at Danforth Park School and the Western Branch at William Burgess School soon followed.
1946 East York electors vote to establish a public library, 1 January. S. Walter Stewart becomes chairman of the inaugural Township of East York Public Library Board, appointed 18 March.
1948 Former residence purchased for a library. Arrangements made with the Toronto Public Library Board to operate it, under the direction and control of the East York Library Board; this was discontinued in 1966.
1950 East York Public Library officially opened at the northeast corner of Coxwell and Mortimer avenues, 26 April. Renovation by H. E. Witmer, Architect. Cardinal design by Thoreau MacDonald adopted as the library's logo.
1955 Library Board resolves to build a central library to replace "the present facilities which have become inadequate," 2 May.
1956 Board considers "building a combined library and auditorium ... on the grounds of the [East York] Collegiate at Coxwell Avenue and Plains Road," 3 December.
1958 Board approves "building the new East York Public Library on the Municipally-owned location bounded by Durant, Roosevelt and Memorial Park Avenues," 1 August. Parrot, Tambling and Witmer, Architects, appointed, 22 September.
1960 S. Walter Stewart Building opened for service, 18 August; officially opened by Hon. R. H. McGregor, MP for York East, 3 October. The library's circular design was unique in Toronto, and, at the time, said to be one of only four circular libraries in the world. Named for S. Walter Stewart (1897-1969), a pioneer of library service in East York, serving on the East York Public Library Board from its establishment in 1946 until his death. He was the president of the East York Kiwanis Club when it started children's libraries in 1944.
1965 East York Public Library Board approves “that the boys’ and girls’ section be moved downstairs,” 8 March.
1966 Responsibility for operations of public libraries in East York transferred from Toronto Public Library to East York Public Library completed by June.
1967 Public Library Board becomes part of the new Borough of East York formed with the amalgamation of the Township of East York and the Town of Leaside.
1969 Stewart donates nine A. Y. Jackson paintings to the library - his first donation, Jackson's Gatineau Hills, was presented at the official opening, 3 October 1960. In addition, Reeve R. M. Leslie donated two Jacksons and Dorothy Ashbridge, East York's first librarian, gave one, Ottawa River, presented in 1966. Although their ownership was transferred from the library board to the East York Foundation in the 1960s, the 13 A. Y. Jackson paintings remain at S. Walter Stewart Branch.
1995 Auditorium named in honour of John S. Ridout (1926-2003) who served on the East York Public Library Board from 1968 to 1994, several years as chair. He also was a member of the Metropolitan Toronto Library Board, 1970 to 1991, five years as chair.
1998 Becomes part of the Toronto Public Library with municipal amalgamation, 1 January. Receives Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Mel Lastman for outstanding service to children.
2006 Closed for renovations, 2 September.
2008 Reopened, 29 May. Phillip H. Carter, Architect with Ellen Vera Allen, Architect. New hours, 29 May. Hours open per week increased from 54.5 to 63.
2010 New hours, 4 January. Hours open per week increased from 59.5 to 65.5

Meeting Rooms

For booking information call 416-397-5969.

John S. Ridout Auditorium

  • 1,500 sq. ft.
  • Seats 140 lecture style. Seats 60 classroom style. Fire Code Occupancy: 224.
  • Equipment:
    • chairs
    • piano
    • portable flipchart / whiteboard
    • portable video projector
    • projection screen (ceiling mounted)
    • raised stage
    • tables

Auditorium and Wheelchair Accessible washroom are located on the lower level.

Kitchen (available with auditorium only)

  • Equipment:
    • coffee urn (100-cup)
    • microwave
    • refrigerator
    • sink
  • Located on the lower level. Wheelchair accessible.

Meeting Room

  • 387 sq. ft.
  • Seats 24 lecture style. Seats 12 classroom style. Fire Code Occupancy: 49.
  • Equipment:
    • chairs
    • coffee urn (30-cup)
    • tables

Located on lower level. Wheelchair Accessible washroom are located on the lower level.


Closest major intersection Coxwell Ave. and Mortimer Ave. Located 1 block north of Mortimer Ave., 2 blocks west of Coxwell Ave.

Public Transit

Closest major intersection Coxwell Ave. and Mortimer Ave. Located 1 block north of Mortimer Ave., 2 blocks west of Coxwell Ave.


Free - lot adjacent to library

Upcoming Events

Wed, Nov 02 - 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Sat, Nov 05 - 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Regular Programs

Sat, Oct 29 - 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Sun, Oct 30 - 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Tue, Nov 01 - 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

All Branch Programs & Events