Carnegie Library - Queen and Lisgar

Old stone library building Queen and Lisgar Branch, 1909

The Queen and Lisgar Branch Library, designed by Robert McCallum, City Architect, was built to serve residents of the city's west end.

The branch opened on April 30, 1909. In 1957, the library's Foreign Literature Centre was located at the branch. A fire in 1959 destroyed books in the Children's Room, which led to the Manning Boys and Girls Branch being opened as a replacement three weeks later. Queen and Lisgar Branch was closed in February 1964, and was replaced by Parkdale Branch Library. The building was then used by City of Toronto Public Health Department, Parkdale District.


1115 Queen St. West, southeast corner of Lisgar Street


January 23, 1903


Toronto Public Library Board


Robert McCallum, City Architect


April 30, 1909


February, 1964. Replaced by Parkdale Branch.

Later uses

Heritage status

June 20, 1973: Listed on Inventory of Heritage Properties, adopted by City Council.

More history

Late in 1907, Robert McCallum, the city architect, was instructed to prepare plans for a branch library "to be erected on the corner of Queen and Lisgar Streets, where the City had purchased a lot 100 x 130 [feet] ... and will replace the Branch on Dundas Street [now Ossington Avenue]" (Toronto Public Library, Annual Report, 1907, [8]).

Two years later, the chairman of the Toronto Public Library Board reported:

"The Dundas Street Branch Library, which had been carried on from the year 1888, was closed on March 15th, 1909, the lease of the premises having expired on that date. The new Branch Library at the corner of Queen and Lisgar streets took its place and was opened for public use on Tuesday, April 30th, 1909. Mr. W. T. J. Lee, of the Library Board, presided, and appropriate addresses were delivered by the Chief Librarian and by members of the Toronto City Council." (Toronto Public Library, Annual Report, 1909, [5])
inside of library showing empty tables and large desk Queen and Lisgar Branch, ground floor, 1911. This view shows the circulation desk with closed stacks behind and tables and chairs in the reading room. In 1911, the circulating library was open 9 am to 8:30 pm and in the reading room, 9 am to 9 pm.
Source: Ontario Department of Education, Report to the Minister, 1911