Fort York Library Branch Opens in Toronto’s West Waterfront

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Fort York Library, photo Toronto Public Library
Fort York Library, photo Toronto Public Library

By Lori Bosworth

Toronto Public Library has just opened a new branch, the Fort York Branch, in my old neighbourhood. The library is Toronto’s 99th location and Toronto’s first new library in 10 years and it looks gorgeous. It’s located at 190 Fort York Boulevard, just east of Bathurst Street and south of Front Street West. The library should draw visitors from the Niagara neighbourhood, Western Waterfront and CityPlace communities.

New Fort York library, photo Toronto Public Library
New Fort York library, photo Toronto Public Library

“Fort York Branch is truly a library built for the 21st century,” said Jane Pyper, City Librarian. “It’s attractive and… offers…a great selection of materials to browse and borrow, computers and Internet access, comfortable spaces and knowledgeable, friendly staff – with a new focus on innovation including a digital innovation hub complete with 3D printer, wired pods for study and collaboration and a computer learning centre.”

The Fort York branch includes many new features including a lounge that will make you think you’re at Porter Airlines, which is kind of cool because you’ll be able to watch the planes land and take off from Billy Bishop Airport. You’ll also be able to contemplate Toronto’s history with views of Fort York to the west of the library. And if you want to catch some rays while you study, there’s an outdoor reading terrace.

Fort York Branch, photo Toronto Public Library
Fort York Branch, photo Toronto Public Library

Other features of the new library branch include reading sections for children and teens, spaces for quiet study and community meetings.

Children's section of Fort York Branch, photo Toronto Public Library
Children’s section of Fort York Branch, photo Toronto Public Library

The Digital Innovation Hub provides access to emerging technologies including 3D printing, all-in-one DJ hardware and audio/video production.

3D printing at Fort York Branch, photo Toronto Public Library
3D printing at Fort York Branch, photo Toronto Public Library

The new Fort York branch will be stocked with 35,000 new books, periodicals and DVDs, as well as public computers and free wifi
A public art project featuring the art of Charles Pachter and poetry of Margaret Atwood from The Journals of Susanna Moodie will be installed in summer 2014.

Fort York Library, photo Toronto Public Library
Fort York Library, photo Toronto Public Library

“Planning for this new location has been in the works for many years,” said Michael Foderick, Toronto Public Library Board Chair. “We are delighted to bring a full service neighborhood library to the West Waterfront and CityPlace communities, which have been experiencing tremendous growth. We’re excited to see this branch full of life and activity, as it is from day one.”

As there is very limited street parking on Fort York Boulevard and Front Street, most library patrons will probably be visiting this Toronto library on foot or via bicycle or TTC. There is, however, a Green P parking lot on the northwest corner of Front and Portland Street.

Fort York Branch, 190 Fort York Boulevard, 416-393-6240