MIHEVC: Wychwood Library about to get a facelift

Next time you happen to use Wychwood Library, or pass by this location just south of St. Clair and Bathurst, be sure to admire this historical and architectural gem in the midst of our community.

The Toronto Public Library system goes back as far as 1884, when an existing library at the York Mechanics‘ Institute was turned over to the city to manage. In the years that followed, a major boost to the development of the library system came from funds donated by prominent American philanthropist and library patron Andrew Carnegie, who credited his success in life partly due to his childhood and teenage access to library books. He felt that the best “gift“ to a community was a free or public library.

He donated funds to build more than 2,500 libraries around the world.

Designed by Eden Smith, Wychwood branch was opened to the public in 1916.

It is now one of more than 100 branches in the Toronto Public Library system.

Unfortunately, our library system has suffered in the past 20 years from chronic underfunding. In the 2014 city budget, and in the years to come, I am committed to investing in our library system to provide services for Torontonians of all ages and walks of life.

In 2016, the Wychwood Library will be celebrating its centenary. Not only will we be honouring the library and its devoted staff, a renovation and expansion project will be under way. Funding for this project will be directed from the Library Capital Budget as well as through Section 37 funding from nearby developments.

The library itself will get a much-needed facelift and expansion. In addition, we will be adding a seniors centre on the site.

Like the rest of Toronto, we have an aging population in Ward 21, and there is a need for more services for older residents.

In 2015, we will be holding community consultations with residents, seeking your input and participation to shape this space to serve the needs of our community.

A library offers so much more than books and programs. It is a gathering place for one and all, from immigrants and street people to children and seniors. It is my hope that the Wychwood Library will continue to be an essential community hub and, with the new development, become an extended expression of a vibrant and thriving Ward 21.

About this article:

By: Joe Mihevc
Posted: Jan 17 2014 12:04 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto