Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Riverdale Branch, Toronto Public Library 1910
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted March, 2007
Photo Source - Wikimedia Commons
Photo Source - Toronto Public Library
On the northwest corner of Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East is the 107-year-old (as of 2017) Riverdale branch of the Toronto Public Library. The 2006 Heritage Toronto plaque reads as follows:
Coordinates: 43.665605 -79.352896
Designed in Georgian Revival style by city architect Robert McCallum, Riverdale Branch was one of ten public libraries built with Carnegie grants in what is now Toronto. The wedge-shaped building was erected on part of the Don Jail Governor's garden, and replaced an earlier branch, Eastern (1888), located on Boulton Avenue near Queen Street East. Constructed of red brick with Ohio sandstone finishing, Riverdale library features a distinctive upper balustrade, a retaining wall in matching materials, and, rare for a Carnegie library, a corner entrance. Riverdale was one of the first Toronto branches to provide children's services, for which a Boys and Girls Library wing, designed by W.S. Butler, Architect, was added in 1927. Surviving a fire in 1969, this important community landmark has since been further enlarged twice.
> Posted September 13, 2009
I have memories of the library back in the 1950's when I lived on nearby Hamilton Street. It was a nice place. Opposite on Gerrard St was a store that sold TVs and people would stand out in front of the store watching the (black and white) TV.
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