The bookmobile that arrives weekly in the OMNI television parking lot on Queens Quay will be laid to rest when the Toronto Public Library opens a new branch at the corner of Fort York Boulevard and Bathurst in 2014.
Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) played an instrumental role in helping the library find their architectural design team Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB), who also designed the TCHC’s 427 affordable housing development on the same block.
“We’ve been working with TCHC on this project for several years,” Anne Bailey, director of branches, Toronto Public Library, told The Bulletin. “The architectural firm of KPMB was selected through TCHC to do the condo development so then when we started working with TCHC and the condo developers Context it was felt that it would be advantageous for the project and the overall design of this whole block and area to work with the same architects.”
A portion of the library development site turned into an archaeological dig after workers found the foundation of an engine-house along with blacksmithing items from the 1850s but the find will have no impact on construction since the discovery was located in the designated park and garden area.
The developers want to memorialize the historical finding by incorporating some of the items within the park.
“We are working with the archeologists right now and Heritage Preservation Services, the planning department and the parks department to try and figure out how we can commemorate these finds within the park,” stated Context’s Peter Venetas, adding that they were hoping to discover the Queen’s Wharf but only found timber remnants, which were from a later time period.
The two-storey, 15,000 square foot library will include comfortable areas for studying, wireless access, public meeting rooms and an outdoor garden.
Funds for the $8.697 million project were collected through Section 37, which are payments to the city by developers to help balance increased heights and density with benefits to the community, and development charges that help cover costs for roads, sewers and waterlines.
For more information, visit www.torontopubliclibrary.ca.