Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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George H. Locke Memorial Branch Toronto Public Library 1949
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted January, 2012
On the southeast corner of Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue East can be found this branch of the Toronto Public Library. This 2011 Heritage Toronto plaque out front has this to say:
Coordinates: 43.724872 -79.401956
This branch was named to commemorate George H. Locke (1870-1937), the Toronto Public Library's chief librarian from 1908 to 1937. In 1944, the City provided a capital grant and land to create this branch, and the library board selected Beck & Eadie Architects for the design. Construction was delayed because of a shortage of materials and labour during and after the Second World War. When the library opened in January 1949, it was the first public building in Lawrence Park and the first Toronto Public Library branch built since the Depression. The building is a distinctive combination of contrasting design elements. The clean horizontal lines, typical of Modern design, are softened by bow windows and the use of rough-finished stone. The masonry is similar to many local buildings, helping the library to blend with both its park setting and its neighbourhood.
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