Toronto Public Library Homepage

Lillian H. Smith

239 College Street, Toronto, ON
M5T 1R5


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.

With support through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program/Avec l'appui du Programme d'infrastructure communautaire de Canada 150.


Closest major intersection College Street and Spadina Ave.

Public Transit

TTC College streetcar from College subway station west to Spadina.
TTC College streetcar from Queen's Park subway station west to Spadina.
TTC Harbourfront streetcar from Union to Spadina then Spadina streetcar north to College.
TTC Spadina streetcar south from Spadina subway station to College.


Paid - Meter parking along Huron Street, more parking at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on north side of College. BIXI bicycle stand on Huron St., along the east wall of the library.


Map to library branch


General Features

  • Book Drop - 24 Hours
  • Express Checkout
  • Public Phone (inside)
  • Seating for 110

Equipment for persons with disabilities

  • Book stand
  • CCTV (closed circuit TV also called print magnifier)
  • Computer with screen magnification software (Zoomtext)
  • Large print keyboard
  • Large trackball mouse
  • Magnifier
  • Natural spectrum lamp
  • Page turner
  • Wheelchair accessible furniture



  • Adult Literacy Materials
  • Audiobooks on CD
  • Career Information Collection
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Collection
  • Large Print Collection
  • Local History Collection
  • Newcomer Information Service
  • Special Collections: Marguerite G. Bagshaw Collection of Puppetry Creative Drama and Theatre for Children


  • Large collection in Chinese
  • Medium collection in French - Adult (DVDs only)
  • Small collection in Vietnamese

Branch History

Year Details
1922 Boys & Girls House Library opened 27 September. First library in the British Empire devoted exclusively to children.
1928 Enlarged "to provide a little theatre for dramatic and story-hour purpose." (TPL Annual Report 1928).
1951 An extension designed by Beck and Eadie Architects opens on 30 May. It houses a children’s library and a story-hour room (replacing the demolished "Little Theatre"). The Osborne Collection of Children’s Books is housed in the old Boys and Girls House. The new entrance features an owl sculpture attributed to the architects’ design; it is now installed on the north façade of Lillian H. Smith Branch.
1963 Original Boys and Girls House demolished.
1964 New building designed by architects Murray and Fliess opens on 7 May. It includes a new Boys and Girls House (with the 1951 additional retained) and branch headquarters.
1992 Land acquired on College Street southwest corner of Huron Street for a new branch building designed by Phillip H. Carter Architect.
1993 Construction of new facility began.
1995 Boys & Girls House branch closed on 1 April. Library Board votes on 24 May (motion 95/107) to name the replacement branch in honour of Lillian Helena Smith (1887-1983), who was the head of children's services at the Toronto Public Library for 40 years, 1912-1952. Lillian H. Smith Branch opens on 16 October. Phillip H. Carter Architect.
1999 Sunday opening initiated 17 October.
2003 Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) - Outstanding Achievement in Building Award.
2007 Hours open per week increased on 8 January from 58 to 63.
2017 Third floor Le@rning Centre is closed on 17 January for renovation and relocation. New Le@rning Centre on second floor opens 1 June.

Meeting Rooms

For booking information call 416-397-5969.

Meeting Room A

  • 640 sq. ft.
  • Seats 30 lecture style. Seats 12 classroom style. Fire Code Occupancy: 64.
  • Equipment:
    • 30 chairs
    • 3 tables
    • lectern (upon request)
    • projection screen (ceiling mounted)


  • 1,100 sq. ft
  • Seats 70 lecture style. 28 classroom style. Fire Code Occuancy: 132.
  • Equipment:
    • 80 chairs
    • 8 tables
    • lectern (upon request)
    • portable video projector
    • projection screen (ceiling mounted)


  • Equipment:
    • microwave
    • refrigerator
    • stove

Direct access to the kitchen from Auditorium; for renters in Room A, access is available through the Rotunda.

Meeting Rooms and wheelchair accessible washrooms are on the basement level.

All bookings finish 15 minutes before the branch closes.


Map to branch

Explore our site to hear stories about how we fit into the community and to learn more about the history of the branch.

Doing research? Need help with ebooks? Book a free 30-60 minute appointment with our staff.

Upcoming Events

Wed, Feb 21 - 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Wed, Feb 21 - 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Thu, Feb 22 - 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Regular Programs

Wed, Feb 21 - 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Wed, Feb 21 - 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Fri, Feb 23 - 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

All Branch Programs & Events