Carnegie Library - Mimico

Address: 47 Station Road
Architect: S.B. Coon & Son
Opened: 1915, March 2
Demolished: 1966
Replaced with: Mimico Centennial Library, 1966

In 1912, several prominent Mimico residents decided to establish a public library board as a recreational project for the village, which Mimico voters approved in a plebiscite held on January 1, 1913.1 With 1,373 residents, the village's population was well below the minimum of 2,000 people usually required for Carnegie grants. Nevertheless, on February 26, 1914, Mimico received a Carnegie grant of $7,500 to build a library. At $5.46 per capita, this was the highest per capita amount received in the Toronto area. The grant carried the usual Carnegie grant conditions: "the Carnegie Trust Fund agreeing to contribute $7,500 to the building if the Council furnish a free site and guarantees $750 annually towards the upkeep."2 Evidently, $6,500 of the $7,500 grant was to be allocated for construction of the new library and the other $1,000 was to "be spent on the equipment of the new building."3

Mimico Council provided a centrally-located site for the new library at Station Road and Stanley Avenue and S. B. Coon & Son, a Toronto architectural firm, was hired to design the building. Building plans were approved by the library board by April 1914 although, as the Toronto Star noted, "They will have to receive the approval of the Carnegie Library Board in New York [sic] before tenders can be called for."4 The newspaper also provided a drawing (see above) and a description of the new library: "The building will be of dark brick, with a basement and main floor. The basement will include a large assembly hall capable of holding three hundred and fifty people, together with the rooms for the librarian. The main floor will be entirely open."5

Mimico Public Library opened at 47 Station Road on March 2, 1915. The building was demolished in 1966, and replaced with the Mimico Centennial Library on the same site.

1 Harvey Currell, The Mimico Story, 2nd rev. ed. (Mimico, Ont,: Town of Mimico and Library Board, 1967): 126 passim. (August 9, 2005).
2 "Suburban notes," Toronto Star, 25 March 1914, 12.
3 Ibid.
4 "The New Mimico Library," Toronto Star, 24 April 1914, 9.
5 Ibid.

Carnegie Library - Mimico, 1915

This article provides a description of the formal opening of the Mimico Public Library on March 2, 1915 and some details about the new building. It also lists the members of the Mimico Public Library Board in 1915, comprised of several of the village's leading citizens.

Charles Price-Green, a former inspecting trustee of the police village of Mimico, had been chairman of the library board from its inception in 1913.

Rev. Herbert O. Tremayne (incorrectly spelled as "Tremaine" in the article) had come to Christ Church, Anglican in 1907 to assist his father, Rev. Canon Francis Tremayne, at Mimico since 1878. When his father died in 1919, H. O. Tremayne became the rector at Christ Church, "loved by this congregation and devoted to his parish" until his own death in 1934.

Rev. Father George E. Doherty became the first resident pastor at St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church in 1909 and continued in this position until 1929. He was a member of the first Mimico Separate School Board established in 1926.

John W. English was the principal of Mimico Public School for 21 years prior to his death on 2 March 1921. Three years later, in May 1924, the school was renamed in his honour.

Walter W. Burgess was a great Mimico benefactor. He planted shade trees on Mimico streets, donated a clock to the local school and was a public school trustee. His daughter, Nellie Burgess, was the librarian at Mimico for many years.

Caesar Coxhead, a builder, was reeve of Mimico in 1915, having been a member of the village council in 1912 and 1913.1

1 Harvey Currell, The Mimico Story, 2nd rev. ed. (Mimico, Ont,: Town of Mimico and Library Board, 1967): 126 passim. (August 9, 2005).

Carnegie Library - Mimico, 1966

When it opened in 1915, Mimico Public Library was the most significant public building in the village and was used for a variety of activities, aside from library services. Offices for the municipality and hydro were located at the library until a town hall was obtained in 1922.1 Local citizens went to the library to make revisions to the voters' list, appeal assessments and attend Mimico Council meetings. Following the First World War, an illuminated roll of honour, listing Mimico men who had served in the war, was placed in the library. The library's large basement room was used for lectures sponsored by the local I.O.D.E (Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire), with many well-known speakers coming to Mimico. In 1930, the children's section of the library was relocated to the lecture room.

Over the years, Mimico's Carnegie library became increasingly antiquated and overcrowded. The building was demolished in 1966 and replaced with the Mimico Centennial Library constructed to mark Canada's Centennial and the Town of Mimico's 50 th anniversary. The new library opened on November 20, 1966 on the old site, augmented with additional property. The following year, Mimico became part of the Borough of Etobicoke, and Mimico Public Library was amalgamated with the Etobicoke Public Library Board. Mimico Centennial Branch was amalgamated with the Toronto Public Library in 1998.

1 Harvey Currell, The Mimico Story, 2nd rev. ed. (Mimico, Ont,: Town of Mimico and Library Board, 1967): 126 passim. (August 9, 2005).