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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

Renovation Project Features

Key elements of the Library's $34 million revitalization project include:

The new Browsery on the main floor.

Still to come:

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.


Architectural Renderings: Moriyama & Teshima Architects

  1. Flamingo, The Birds of America: from Original Drawings,1826-1838, John James Audubon.
  2. Portrait of John Graves Simcoe, 1791. Jean Laurent Mosnier. Gift of Sir R. Leicester Harnsworth.
  3. Septentrionalium Terrarum Descripto, Gerard Mercator, Amsterdam: Jodocus Hondius, 1613. Gift of George Weston Ltd.
  4. Broadside: Government notice describing the duties of those granted land on Yonge Street, December 29, 1798.
  5. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. In Beeton's Christmas Annual [London]: Ward, Lock [1887].

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