Bloor Gladstone Branch turns 100 - help us celebrate!
Bloor Gladstone Branch celebrated its 100th birthday Oct 23rd 2013 with a variety of fun filled events. If you did not make it to the party we have a great pinterest board devoted to the branch photos showing its development over the last 100 years.
Bloor/Gladstone's new water themed KidsStop is a highlight. KidsStops are interactive, early literacy areas designed to develop pre-literacy principles in children five and under. The Toronto Public Library Foundation will also announce a Bloor/Gladstone Branch Centenary Project to raise $15,000 to complete the installation of a new KidsStop in the branch.
Bloor Gladstone was the first library built in Toronto totally with public funds. Earlier branches like Yorkville (1907), Annette Street (1909) and Riverdale (1910) were funded with Carnegie grants. See here for TPL's pinterest page for vintage and contemporary photos of various local Toronto Carnegie Libraries. You may also be interested in the following titles about Carnegie Libraries.
Please enjoy the following photos showing Bloor/Gladstone through the last 100 years:
Bloor Gladstone opening (the branch was originally called Dovercourt). Toronto World October 13 1913 pg 4.
Bloor Gladstone Branch - original architectural rendering - first name of the branch was Dovercourt. 1913 Dovercourt Branch officially opened 23 October. Chapman & McGiffin Architects. First TPL branch wholly financed by the City of Toronto. Renamed Bloor and Gladstone 1938. Closed for renovation and expansion, 1975. Architects: Howard V. Walker and Howard D. Chapman (son of the original architect).
Bloor Gladstone Branch - originally called the Dovercourt Branch - The Globe (Dec 1 1917 pg 10) article on the new children's department. The Reading Garden was covered over during one of the later renovations. Although interestingly there is once again a reading garden in the latest renovation.
Bloor & Gladstone Branch,1913, Toronto Public Library Picture/photograph .. interior of children's room. Toronto, Ont. See also the photo below showing the room full of children and the working fireplace.
Bloor Gladstone Branch - original children's room of Bloor Dovercourt - notice the working fireplace in the background. Dovercourt (now Bloor/Gladstone) Branch opens on October 23 1913, featuring the first children's room planned by Lillian H. Smith. In 1917, the children's room is moved to larger quarters in the basement, taking over the old lecture room.
If you're interested in local history about the Bloor Dufferin neighbourhood you would likely enjoy local history publication Bloor Dufferin in Pictures - there are copies you can borrow but you can also look at the full pdf online.
As the branch developed over the years some of the interior architecture changed significantly but also the exterior showed only minor modification (especially around the front entrance). Below are a couple of photos from the 1980s.
Bloor/Gladstone closed for a three year renovation between 2006 and 2009.
Project Architects: rounthwaite, dick and hadley architects inc in association with Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd. and ERA Architects Inc. Reopened on 23rd July 2009. Toronto Public Library's first building with a green roof.
The results of the massive internal renovation and addition were spectacular.
Winner of a 2010 international architecture award handed out by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Winner of OLA Library Building Award. Honourable mention for the 2010 William Greer Architectural Conservation & Craftsmanship Award handed out by Toronto Heritage. 2010 Gold award winner handed out by the Design Exchange. 2010 Winner of Best of Canada Award handed out by Canadian Interiors magazine. Posted online in "Special Features" & "Libraries at Night" categories of the American Libraries Architecture Showcase.
It has expanded study and work spaces, an amazing entry atrium, a learning centre and expanded kids programming areas and many other fabulous features.
Plus externally it has Toronto Public Library's first green roof.
So why not come out today to see the branch? If not today then consider coming some other day as Bloor/Gladstone is a sublime public space - your space - and Toronto Public Library branch. When it was first built Bloor Gladstone was identified as one of the most beautiful library buildings in Canada and over the last few years it has once again claimed that spot.