Scarborough

Scarborough Civic Centre Library | ?m | 1s | TPL | LGA Architectural

rdaner

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All I want for Xmas is an international competition for this facility.

Scarborough library site approved by councillors


John Spears
CITY HALL BUREAU

Toronto City Hall has a library. North York Civic Centre has one next door. Now Scarborough councillors have endorsed building a library at Scarborough Civic Centre.

The proposed $8.2 million library has already been approved in the city's capital budget.

Yesterday, Scarborough Community Council unanimously supported putting the proposed building on the southeast side of the civic centre, fronting on Borough Dr. Another plot of city-owned land had also been considered, on the east side of McCowan Rd. across the street from the civic centre.

The proposed Scarborough Centre Library will be a nearly 1,400-square-metre neighbourhood facility, smaller than the major reference library at North York Civic Centre.

Anne Bailey, director of branch libraries, said that according to library planning guidelines, all residents should be within 1.6 kilometres of a library, but the nearest branches to the civic centre are about 4 kilometres away.

Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) noted that when all the residential developments that have been proposed or are under construction near the civic centre are finished, 30,000 people will live within walking distance of the new library.

Bailey said the library hopes to get some extra funding from development charges – the funds that major developers contribute toward new community facilities. The library hopes to use that funding to install a green roof on part of the building, as well as extra bicycle parking and an outdoor reading garden, she said.

Councillor Brian Ashton (Ward 36, Scarborough Southwest) said the city should seek federal infrastructure funding for the project.

The library plans to integrate itself with a new underground parking garage to be built and operated by the Toronto Parking Authority.

Bailey said an architectural design still hasn't been done for the new library, but promised it would be "sympathetic" to the landmark civic centre designed by Raymond Moriyama.

She noted that the new library would be adjacent to the giant white wall on the southeast side of the civic centre, and said the library might use the wall as a screen for projecting artwork or movies.
 
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Towered

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I think that when the whole Six-Points mess gets sorted out, a large, main library in Etobicoke City Centre would be a great addition too. The west end lacks cultural venues.
 

scarberiankhatru

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Finally. The site's OK, kind of remote but acceptable if the city won't buy a better site. 1,400 sq.m is really small, though. North York Central is over 15,000 sq.m, and even Agincourt is 2,500 sq.m. 1,400 won't fit very many loungers/readers so STC library will just be a local branch, not a central/reference branch or even a district branch like Agincourt. The small size is a colossal blunder given the bajillions of students that pass through STC every day and the paltry public space in the area. A blunder in Scarborough...unprecedented!
 

T-Squared

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That's great news.

I wish the site of Monarch's EQs and Red and the proposed Library location be swapped so the Library will face onto Albert Campbell square.
 

wyliepoon

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Agree with Scarberian that SCC deserves a "central library" just like NYCC.

In my opinion, North York Central library is the best library branch in Toronto, even better than the Reference Library, since the majority of the items can be borrowed. It's "centrally" located with direct access to the subway. There's no reason why this cannot be repeated in Scarborough, and no reason why Scarborough does not deserve one.

As for architecture, I have no doubt that TPL would be able to pull off something special with this new library. TPL seems to have a pretty good track record of renovating old branches into new spectacular spaces (in the Scarborough area they did a good job with their Malvern and Woodside branches).
 

scarberiankhatru

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STC deserves a big library, yes (it's by far the largest gap in the city's library network), but even a large "district" branch would be infinitely better than the tiny little pittance of newspaper racks they're planning to build. A Scarborough heritage section would be welcome (North York Central has lots of North York material). A vast amount of space will be needed for seating/study, particularly since so many thousands of students pass through STC every day (UTSC, Centennial, and like every single high school kid in Scarborough). If memory serves me correctly, Woodside is the busiest/best used branch in the city, which bodes well for STC's potential busyness.

Also, Moriyama should be given the job of designing it...which is probably so obvious a move that they won't hire/offer it to them.
 

wyliepoon

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Even if Moriyama gets to design the new library, I don't expect, nor will I want to see, a repeat of Metro Ref in Scarborough. Library design has come a long way since the 1970s when Moriyama did the Scarborough Civic Centre and Metro Ref.

However I think two signature of Moriyama's design in both buildings should be included in the new library's design. One is the oversized atrium, and the other is the fishpond.
 

taal

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NYCC is a very large library.

It really is one of the nicest in Toronto.
 

taal

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But size isn't everything when it comes to libraries.

If you want size actually, suburbs usually do that best with pretty much everything.

They have fewer branches but larger libraries ... same goes with community centers.

The library in richmondhill on Yonge, just south of downtown RichmondHill is nice too!
 

scarberiankhatru

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Size isn't everything? It can be difficult finding a quiet seat at North York Central library...now picture a library in a populated, trafficked place almost bereft of other public spaces, with thousands upon thousands of students and other people passing through every day, and make it ten times as small as North York Central...it doesn't make sense.

Even if Moriyama gets to design the new library, I don't expect, nor will I want to see, a repeat of Metro Ref in Scarborough. Library design has come a long way since the 1970s when Moriyama did the Scarborough Civic Centre and Metro Ref.

However I think two signature of Moriyama's design in both buildings should be included in the new library's design. One is the oversized atrium, and the other is the fishpond.
Interesting that you didn't mention the North York Central library, which is also a Moriyama. It's part of a larger complex, of course, so something similar may not make any sense at STC (and being 1/10th the size, it can't possibly be big enough for his trademark(?) "spiral" circulation staircases, anyway).

Something similar to the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo would fit in, maybe not so much with the Civic Centre but definitely with the rest of STC.
 

taal

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I think I just found it hard to believe there wasn't already some central libarary in Scarborough. This is Toronto, library city ... ah there's a nick name for you :)

In which case it should be a lot bigger!
 

T-Squared

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^ I am kinda surprised too. I frequent Agincourt and to some extent Cederbrae to get my books, but often times, I have to reserve books from North York Central or some other branches outside of Scarborough.

Perhaps the small area equates to a taller library building = increase floor space?


But as much as I would love Scarborough to get a large central library, I doubt it will happen, unless they close down some of the neighourhood branches.
 

wyliepoon

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But as much as I would love Scarborough to get a large central library, I doubt it will happen, unless they close down some of the neighourhood branches.
Why need to shut down neighbourhood branches in order to have a central library? Libraries seem to be one of the few things in this city which if you build it, people will come. I've never seen an underused library in Toronto, but I've seen plenty of crowded ones.
 

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