“The branch is bright, with modern spaces and spectacular views. It offers many opportunities to linger and work: study pods, laptop bar, huge old growth wood table and comfortable lounge seating. An attractive and welcoming community space that offers services for everyone, with zoned areas for adults, teens and children; the branch provides access to information, collections, technology or a new focus on innovation.
This library was built with flexibility in mind. The program room on the main floor fully opens out to the large atrium. All of the shelving on the main floor of the branch is moveable to allow the space to be opened up for larger events, raised access flooring on the second floor means
more flexibility for the introduction of new services in the future. A terrace adjacent the library will overlook the Mouth of the Creek Park, providing connections between the library, Fort York and the community beyond.” [from the Toronto Public Library award submission document]
Ontario Library Association
2016 New Library Building Award Winner
“It is the gateway visually and physically to Fort York and a way of connecting the fort to the city. The location is historically loaded and should be very public. Garrison Creek came through here once. From the start, we wanted to design the library – and the two other buildings we designed next to it, the Library District Condos – so that they would have some kind of resonance with the ramparts of Fort York with all their angularity. The colours we used are a metaphor for the landscape of 200 years ago. Even now there are traces of the past everywhere you turn.” [from the Architect’s Statement: Shirley Blumberg]
“When Fort York, Toronto Public Library’s 99th branch, opened its doors in May 2014, the Globe and Mail reported, “Fort York is an airy jewel box in the old railway lands … it is the public hub of a vibrant new neighbourhood that is rising south of Front.” Indeed, Fort York is a tremendous community asset. The 16,000 square foot glass structure holds 35,000 books, offers a digital innovation hub, meeting and lounge space – and offers commanding cityscape views. It is exemplary in demonstrating commitment to community development, embraces technology, and is commendable in its sustainable design. Fort York is bold, audacious, and clearly a winner!” [from a Library Jury Member]
“The building captures the imagination; sited on a hill, at a threshold between train lines and new residential development, the building negotiates this transition admirably. The scale, geometry and detailing is subtle and results in a complex, serene, space that beckons public engagement. The integration of public art seamlessly creates a cohesive, delicate building that is destined to stand the test of time.” [from an Architect Jury Member]
See the complete award submission document for the Toronto Public Library Fort York Branch for a wealth of additional material: photos, statements from the Library and the architect, floor plans, and costing information.
The 2016 OLA New Library Building Award Winners: Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus Renewal & Library | Toronto Public Library Fort York Branch Library | Haliburton County Public Library Wilberforce Branch| Ryerson University Student Learning Centre | Toronto Public Library Scarborough Civic Centre Branch.