Top Ten Things to Check Out at the Newly Renovated Albion Branch

June 1, 2017 | Sumaiya Ahmed

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Albion Branch Roof

The newly renovated Albion Branch opens next Monday, June 5 at 3:30 pm. Here are ten reasons why you should check it out! 

1. KidsStop

KidsStop  KidsStop

The KidsStop early literacy centre at Albion is a literacy-rich tactile learning environment for children and their families to learn and play together. The theme of a Farmers Market was chosen to complement the three gardens surrounding the new Albion branch and in anticipation of having a Farmers Market nearby in the summer months. Artists with the Burgeon Group, who created the installation, have included fruits and vegetables from around the world with seeds and seedlings embedded in resin for children to explore. Children will be encouraged to go on scavenger hunts throughout the installation to find a myriad of items hidden in plain sight.

2. Discovery Zone for Kids 6 to 12

The Discovery Zone at Albion is TPL's first! Visitors will be invited to create using a multitude of materials. Children and families can create visual pictures and patterns on an Everbright wall by dialing colours and creating images that can then be animated by a flick of a switch. The Discovery Zone also has two building challenges, one with Feltro, creative magnetized felt shapes that can be used to build shapes, forts, costumes or essentially anything that you can imagine. As well, KEVA Planks are available to create challenging original structures or works of art. These creative building tools help to build spatial understanding and maybe even develop future architects or engineers!

3. The Youth Hub

The Albion Youth Hub, open Monday to Friday from 3:30-7 pm, is a safe after-school space for all youth ages 13-19.  Drop by for homework help with tutors, hang out, play board or video games and participate in events, programs and workshops.  Many of our activities use technology that the Youth Hub owns, including laptops, iPads, digital cameras, DJ equipment, Virtual Reality headsets and more.  

4. Indoor Reading Garden

Reading Garden at Albion Branch

Three courtyard gardens are accessible from inside the branch.  The east garden is accessible from the living room and is a contemplative space.  The children's garden features wood decking and a rubberized story pit and is accessible from the children's area.  The south reading garden is the largest of all of the gardens and it has two large wooden tables offering a great programming space in good weather. 

5. The New Digital Innovation Hub

Digital Innovation Hub at Albion Branch

This will be Toronto Public Library's fifth Digital Innovation Hub! Explore the latest technology including virtual reality, robotics and 3D printers; learn about electronics and coding with Raspberry Pi and Arduino sets.

Digital Innovation Hub users will also have access to PC and Mac computers with software for graphic design and 3D design (Fusion 360, Adobe Creative Cloud), audio and video editing software (Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro X), audio production equipment and more! The Hub will also regularly offer a variety of computer and technology-related classes.

6. The Language Collections 

Urdu Language Collection at Albion

The branch's multi-lingual collection represents 15 different languages including French, Chinese, Hindi, Persian and Tamil. Customers in the area have access to books, CDs, DVDs and magazines in their own language. 

7. The Green Roof

The roof of the branch is almost half-covered by a green roof with hardy, native species. It is not accessible to the public but it is visible through the windows of the branch. 

8. Bathrooms

Inclusive Bathroom Signs  Inclusive Bathroom Signs

The branch features inclusive bathrooms for everyone. 

9. Automated Check-in

Albion is one of 14 branches that has an automated check-in system, allowing customers to return their own items and get a receipt in return.

10. Mural

Mural at Albion Branch

This vinyl mural is beautiful! It is protected by a stainless steel bumper installed at the bottom of the image. The architect recommended this piece, which is a digital copy of an installation by Jacob Hashimoto. The artist arranged hundreds of hand-painted or digitally-printed kites into a floating tapestry, forming a dense and ethereal matrix. Fusing tactile and digital processes, The Long Passage Towards Night is a seamless assemblage of 64 photographs documenting an installation by Hashimoto for Maharam Digital Projects

Other things to check out! 

Branch Head Elton at Albion

  • Our friendly and knowledgeable staff who are always there to help you with all your library needs. 
  • The new exhibit gallery in both the large multipurpose room and outside of the Digital Innovation Hub for art to be displayed in the library. 
  • The parking lot! It is going to be built where the old building currently sits. The best part about the parking lot is that it's designed to be used as an outdoor events space too. The parking lot will be ready by this fall.