On May 20th, the Scarborough Civic Centre Library officially opened to the public. UrbanToronto was on hand to photograph the festivities and get a first-hand look at the completed project, as bibliophiles young and old celebrated the grand opening.
Designed by LGA Architectural Partners in association with Philip H. Carter Architecture + Urban Planning, the library opened with a ceremony of music, dance, and public readings. As the Toronto Public Library's 100th branch, the new library represents an important milestone for the city, further expanding what is already one of the largest and most comprehensive library systems in the world.
As preparation for the grand opening was in its final stages, we wrote about the library's exciting features, as well as the architecture of the building, and we now bring you an update following the official opening.
From outside, the building's distinctive black spruce exterior shines in the sunlight, with the library standing out amidst the glass and steel city rising around it. According to LGA Architectural Partners, the architecture of the library "was conceived to create a green respite within the immediate, heavily urban context." Featuring four green roofs that seem to rise out of the soil like an extension of the landscape around it—rather than an intrusion upon it—the building "replenishes the grassy hill it supplants."
Inside, crowds were on hand to peruse the collections and try out the exciting new Digital Innovation Hub (featuring 3D printing), with books and DVDs already flying off the shelves as eager customers took advantage of a valuable new community resource.
With a bright, open-concept wooden space surrounded by panoramic windows, the interior—which, on a sunny day, almost glows in natural light—is energizing and naturalistic. The library is at once a shelter from, and an invitation to, the natural world around it. With the gardens, green roofs, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wooden frame, the architecture strives to maintain a respectful cohesion between the library and the landscape around it.
The Scarborough Civic Centre library is now open 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM Monday to Thursday, and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Friday and Saturday. In addition to the exciting Digital Innovation Hubs and 3D printers, the library also features outdoor reading gardens, an Early Literacy program for children, publicly accessible computers, and free wi-fi.
The library's collection features over 40,000 items, which include books, audiobooks, magazines, and DVDs. Serving an increasingly multi-lingual community, the collection features publications in Chinese, Tamil, and Gujarati, as well as English. With the opening of the branch, the community celebrates a new hub of learning and social life, while the city around it welcomes an elegant new public building that has already become a local landmark.
Want to find out more about the project? For additional information, including photos and renderings, check out our dataBase page, linked below. You can join the discussion in our associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.