Toronto Reference Library Revitalization
Toronto Reference Library is well into the process of being transformed into a library of the future - one that will meet the diverse needs of today's and tomorrow's learners.
A five-year, $34 million revitalization will better serve our customers and recreate the Reference Library as Toronto's foremost public centre for lifelong learning, the exchange of ideas and community engagement.
Reference Library Renovation Quick Facts
- A 5-year, $34 million project, set to be completed in 2014
- Funded by the City of Toronto, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and the Toronto Public Library Foundation's re:vitalize Campaign
- The project is scheduled to be carried out in phases; the Library will remain open through all stages of construction
Renovation Project Features
Key elements of the Library's $34 million revitalization project include:
- A new glass entrance cube nearly 3 storeys tall and visible from all directions (completed in December 2011)
- An expanded and revitalized TD Gallery space that better enables visitors to engage and interact with the library's Special Collections (opened in June 2012)
- An expanded browsery on the main floor with a glass façade running the entire length of the Yonge Street wall
- Balzac's Cafe (opened Summer 2012)
- A variety of working study spaces on the second floor, including 5 new, free-standing translucent study pods which provides comfortable and quiet study for groups of two; a group study room, and the Meetup (opened Fall 2012)
- Enhanced display including the cube screen, new display cases on the 2nd floor
The new Browsery on the main floor.
Still to come:
- The new Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the 5th floor
- A 12-screen Global Connect wall with information feeds from all over the world
- A new library retail store
- Idea Gardens, located on 2nd and 3rd floors, will function as spaces for reflection and inspiration
- A Learning Theatre on the 3rd floor for group presentations
- 140 new internet-enabled workstations will expand access and serve growing demand.
- 40 interactive audio visual learning stations will be outfitted with the latest interactive learning technology and will be available for ESL language study and music research
- Increased digital displays and projection throughout the building, enhancing the Library's ability to communicate and connect the public with resources, programming and collections within the building
The new MeetUp study space on the second floor.
Renovation Spotlight: The Marilyn and Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre
Bringing the whole of the Library's Special Collections together in one place
A spectacular 2-storey Rotunda will be constructed on the library's 5th Floor as a new home for the library's 1.9 million item Special Collections. Reminiscent of the great reading rooms of libraries past, the rotunda will bring prominence and increased accessibility to the library's vast and inspiring Special Collections.
- Bringing the Special Collection together: For the first time, the library will be able to house all its Special Collections in a single space, providing more opportunities for students, artists and historians to explore, uncover and rediscover Canada's and Toronto's historical and cultural records.
- Increasing the prominence and accessibility of the Special Collections: Currently only 8% of the library's collection is on permanent display; while accessible, most of the collection remains closed to the public due to space limitations and conservation controls. This revitalization will triple the number of works on permanent display.
- Conserving and protecting these valuable works: Enhanced conservation features, including specialized lighting, climate controls and custom building materials, ensure preservation of the collection for future generations.
- Creation of a new Arthur Conan Doyle Room within the new Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre which is expected to open in 2013
Architectural Renderings: Moriyama & Teshima Architects
- Flamingo, The Birds of America: from Original Drawings,1826-1838, John James Audubon.
- Portrait of John Graves Simcoe, 1791. Jean Laurent Mosnier. Gift of Sir R. Leicester Harnsworth.
- Septentrionalium Terrarum Descripto, Gerard Mercator, Amsterdam: Jodocus Hondius, 1613. Gift of George Weston Ltd.
- Broadside: Government notice describing the duties of those granted land on Yonge Street, December 29, 1798.
- A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. In Beeton's Christmas Annual [London]: Ward, Lock .
Enhanced Research and Study Areas
Spaces to support the new ways people seek, study and share information
The revitalization of the Reference Library will see innovative reconfiguration of study and research spaces on the second to fourth floors of the building. Subject departments will be refocused, rethought and realigned, making reference information and resources more accessible and usable. Individual and collaborative study spaces will be flexible, adaptable - even portable - to better facilitate exploration, discovery and information exchange. And custom furniture, open spaces and dramatic sight lines will allow for quiet reflection or serendipitous discovery.
New Study Pods on the second floor.
New and innovative technology
Optimizing connectivity and collaboration
New communication tools, more research stations and refurbished listening and learning labs will connect the public to library resources, and marry the library's new spaces with technology to enable individual and collaborative study, discovery and information exchange.
Architectural Renderings: Moriyama & Teshima Architects