Hi there! It’s Tiiffanie – your Urbaneer super guide! Today, we’ll explore the S. Walter Stewart Branch of our incredible Toronto Public Library (TPL) network and find out what makes it so special!
A recent study out of the U.K. found that a visit to the library is a great activity to boost joy and contentment. In fact, it’s higher on the list than going to the gym and gives people the same kick as getting a raise at work. The study, which looked at the ways cultural engagement affects overall well-being concluded that a significant association was found between frequent library use and a harmonious ‘self’.
Libraries play an important role in our lives and in our communities. As a child, I loved spending time there finding new books to devour. It is often forgotten, however, what makes libraries special, including:
• Free and easy access to books, magazines, newspapers, and even movies!
• Educational programs, workshops, and classes that help people learn new things and advance in their careers.
• Creating community hubs where everyone is welcome and safe.
The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune at a bookstore to read the most trendy books because they are usually all available to borrow at your local library.
The Toronto Public Library (TPL) is often cited as one of the best library systems in the world. It has 100 branches spread across Toronto, making it easily accessible to all residents. TPL also has a vast collection of over 10 million items, all in different languages.
Among all the TPL branches, the S. Walter Stewart Branch stands out due to its rich history in East York. It officially opened its doors to the community on October 3rd, 1960, and on that same day, it acquired a valuable A.Y. Jackson painting given by S Walter Stewart himself. In the following decade, the library acquired 12 more A.Y. Jackson paintings, which were eventually transferred to the East York Foundation. As of today, the library still has one on display, which is pretty impressive considering the price of each A.Y. Jackson painting (some can sell for over a million dollars!)
Those who wonder who S. Walter Stewart is should know that he served on the East York Public Library Board from 1946 until his death in 1969 and was regarded as one of the early advocates for library services in the region.
When the S Walter Stewart library opened, it was one of only four circular libraries in the world. Building dimensions included 24,000 square feet of space and a 120-foot circumference. It was designed by Parrot, Tambling, and Wibtmer.
I love the headline below!! “Blimey, Fred! That thing down there is a… FLYING SAUCER!”
In 2006, the library closed for almost 2 years to undergo extensive renovations and reopened on May 29th, 2008. The architects involved with reviving the library were Phillip H. Carter and Ellen Vera Allen.
Today the library is thriving with the following features:
- KidsStop Early Literacy Centre
- Art Exhibit Space
- Dial-a-Story Phone
- Free Parking
- Seating for 114
- Study Area
- Vending Machines
- Youth Hub
- Equipment for persons with disabilities
- Computers with screen magnification software
- Large print keyboard
- A 1,500 sq. ft auditorium that sits 130 lecture style
- A Kitchen (available with auditorium only)
- And so much more to discover!
In addition to providing access to knowledge through technology and resources, the S. Walter Stewart Library supports lifelong learning through an array of weekly programs designed for kids, teens, and adults in the community.
Visit this branch today and be blown away by all the features it offers!
S. Walter Stewart Library
170 Memorial Park Avenue, Toronto, ON M4J 2K5
Open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 8:30 pm
Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday from 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm
*Title image courtesy of the Toronto Public Library.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to go on a Sunday sojourn to immerse yourself in the stacks or a plop down into a comfy chair with a new novel by your favourite author?
For the lucky new owner of 2bed bungalow on Holborne Avenue in East York, this will be their local branch!
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Thanks for reading!
-The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
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