Quill and Quire

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Backlist: 40 years ago in Quill & Quire


The Toronto Public Library’s Bloor and Gladstone branch is one of the system’s architectural gems. The square building was designed by Chapman and McGiffin Architects and contains elements of classical, Italian Renaissance, and Ancient Greek traditions. Originally constructed between 1912 and 1913, the branch underwent a major renovation a decade ago that saw the addition of a new glass box wing – and the complete closure of the library during some of the renovation. An earlier renovation could be seen a precursor to the pop-up shop trend. As Quill & Quire reported in its April 15, 1976, edition, “When the Bloor-Gladstone branch of the Toronto public Library planned major renovations to the building, the library’s community committee decided on a novel idea to maintain service. They rented a storefront near the library and moved in approximately 6,000 books. The project was successful in continuing library service as well as in winning new patrons. Some passers-by even tried to buy books, mistaking the temporary branch for a bookstore.”