The 6 Best Libraries in Toronto [2023]

We conduct thorough testing and research on all the services that we review. We are based in Toronto and here is why you can rely on our reviews.

Toronto is a city filled with endless possibilities for fun and learning. Whether you’re looking for an activity for the whole family or a quiet place to study, Toronto’s libraries have something to offer everyone. 

These libraries include plenty of seats, a wide range of resources, events for children, book groups, and more! Also, several of these libraries have been used for filming music videos and television episodes because of their stunning historical architecture design.

Check out one of these 6 libraries in Toronto today if you’re looking for a place to get lost in a good book, study for an upcoming exam, or take the family for a fun afternoon out!

Summary

How We Chose the Best Libraries in Toronto

We chose the top Toronto libraries based on their popularity, the variety of choices they provide, and what makes them unique. These are the criteria we used to select the best ones in Toronto.

Variety: We made sure that each library includes a variety of materials for you to choose from such as books, magazines, DVDs and many more! 
Service: We ensure that these libraries are wheelchair accessible, have free wifi, lots of available seats, helping newcomers, and programs available.
Customer Reviews:  We included customer reviews to check that the staff is helpful in locating books, if it’s a good place to study or read quietly and that they would highly recommend this place.

The Best Libraries in Toronto

Here are the top 6 libraries in Toronto to visit today!

1. Toronto Reference Library

Toronto Reference Library

Discover the architectural marvel of Toronto Reference Library. With its multiple floors and seating for 1250 people, it provides an ideal space for work and activities. From fiction to rare books, movies to music, the library offers a diverse collection to satisfy every book lover. 

Explore study pods, accessible study rooms, and digital innovation hubs equipped with 3D printing and recording studios. Immerse yourself in exhibits at the TD Gallery and enjoy the vibrant adult and arts spaces. This all-encompassing center is a haven for artistic exploration and intellectual pursuits. 

Experience the magic of Toronto Reference Library, where knowledge and creativity collide!

Business Information:

Address:  789 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2G8
Phone: (416) 395-5577
Website: torontoreferencelibrary.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“Excellent place to visit. Amazing architecture. The place has a room in the Sherlock Holmes style which I enjoyed visiting. Recommended”
“The best TPL library in the city. This is so beautiful and resourceful. You can do anything here.”

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Open from 9am to 8:30pm on weekdays, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 1:30 to 5 pm on Sunday Wifi may not be stable and closes early on Sundays 3.5 hours
Wheelchair accessible
Free wifi

2. North York Centre Library

North York Centre Library

Discover the North York Centre Library, a haven for readers of all ages. With a diverse collection of books, programs for youth, teens, and adults, and digital innovation hubs for uninterrupted reading, it’s the perfect place to escape into a good book. 

Located in the vibrant North York Centre, this library caters to the needs of students, seniors, and everyone in between. Indulge in the tranquil atmosphere and embark on a literary journey at the North York Centre Library, where reading dreams come to life!

Business Information:

Address:  5120 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5N9
Phone: (416) 395-5535
Website: torontopubliclibrary.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“It's a very nice place to study and concéntrate. It's well conditioned. Beautiful structure. I’ve seen people from all ages. It is very probable that you find what you need or something of your interest to enjoy. I personally love it!!”
“Staff are generally friendly and helpful. Underwent renovation not too long ago, so it is a clean, nice facility. Definitely a great library.”

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Open from 9am to 8:30pm on weekdays, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 1:30 to 5 pm on Sunday. Closes early on Sunday 3.5 hours!
Wheelchair accessible 
Free Wifi
Has a piano room!

3. High Park Library

High Park Library

High Park Library is recognised for having a high recreational and natural landscape that attracts many individuals interested in visiting this place for a pleasant read. 

This library area, packed with various categories of books, attracts a large number of visitors to High Park everyday. They have seating available for 50, wheelchair accessible furniture, equipment for persons of disabilities, and a variety of collections from literacy materials to audiobooks on CD. 

This library has fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, graphic novels, local history collection, and health and wellness materials. Visit this library today to enjoy some quiet reading time and just to relax!

Business Information:

Address:  228 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2L7
Phone: (416) 393-7671
Website: torontopubliclibrary.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“A very beautiful historical building with quite a few spots to work or study. And the people who work there were very supportive and kind.”
“The place has very spacious and kind staff. Also a very good collection of audio visuals and books!”

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Open from 9am to 8:30pm on weekdays, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 1:30 to 5 pm on Sunday. If you need to print papers, the process might take many steps.
Wheelchair accessible 
Free Wifi

4. Bloor Gladstone Library

Bloor Gladstone Library

Step into the Bloor Gladstone Library and immerse yourself in a world of knowledge and relaxation. With its inviting reading garden, art exhibit space, and accommodations for individuals with disabilities, this library is a welcoming destination for all visitors seeking a peaceful and enriching experience.

With its diverse collection of books, DVDs, and e-learning resources, it’s a haven for those seeking a good read or a moment of quiet. From cozy study rooms to a vibrant teen zone, this library offers something for everyone. Unwind and explore the multitude of materials available or simply find a mental escape at the Bloor Gladstone Library.

Business Information:

Address:  1101 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1M7
Phone: (416) 393-7674
Website: torontopubliclibrary.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“First built in the early 20th century when high ceilings and big windows were a must, and then extended this century, it's a pleasant place to sit and read, find books/CDs/DVDs, take kids for a story reading. Hooray for public libraries!”
“Beautiful location, changed A LOT during renovations years ago. original architecture w/ the latest technology and wide book selection. I used to spend a lot of time here. The staff here are extremely kind, patient and helpful. You can even book meeting rooms if you have a card. and there's a tims and nice eating options closeby.”

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Open from 9am to 8:30pm on weekdays, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 1:30 to 5 pm on Sunday Cold in the winter without enough insulation, we recommend not sitting by the glass window
Wheelchair accessible 
Free Wifi
Lots of seats available and activities to do.

5. Toronto Public Library, New Toronto Branch

Toronto Public Library, New Toronto Branch

The Bloor Gladstone Library is a reader’s paradise, offering a wide array of options for book lovers. From fiction to non-fiction, literacy materials to audiobooks on CD, and language options including Polish and French, there is something to captivate every reader. Additionally, the library boasts an online platform showcasing announcements, programs, special collections, and e-learning resources, making it a convenient hub for virtual exploration.

Immerse yourself in the library’s world of literary wonders, where you can find blogs, podcasts, live and online programs, and engaging storytimes for kids. Escape reality and embark on unforgettable journeys through the pages of amazing books penned by renowned writers!

Business Information:

Address:  110 Eleventh St, Toronto, ON M8V 3G5
Phone: (416) 394-5350
Website: torontopubliclibrary.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“Great place to come and unwind and read. Quiet and they have a huge variety of books to choose from.”
“Amazing people, providing an amazing service. Lots of fantastic programming, to go along with the wealth of the library system.”

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Lots of services and equipments available for persons with disabilities (in all Toronto Public Library) Operating hours aren’t consistent, closed on Mondays, 10am to 6pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, Wednesday and Thursdays 12:30pm to 8:30pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sundays 1:30 to 5pm
Free Parking
Art Exhibit Space and KidsStop Early Literacy Centre (up to 5 years old)

6. Lillian H. Smith Branch

Lillian H. Smith Branch

Nestled in the vibrant university district, the Lillian Smith Library exudes charm and offers a cozy haven for book enthusiasts. With ample seating for approximately 110 people spread across two floors and convenient computer terminals, it caters to the needs of both study and leisure.

Beyond its welcoming atmosphere, the library hosts a range of free activities and events that cater to children and families. From engaging toddler time sessions to enriching youth workshops and insightful adult lectures, there’s something for everyone. After-school activities for children further enhance the library’s appeal as a community hub.

Business Information:

Address:  239 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1R5
Phone: (416) 393-7746
Website: torontopubliclibrary.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“Helpful staff at this smallish library. Be sure to check out the science fiction, children's, and steampunk collections. Trivia: This library makes an appearance in the Netflix film, "The Umbrella Academy".”
“It is probably Toronto's best historically builded branch. There is a collection of story books by Osborn that must be seen definitely.I recommend here to study, research also for touristic purposes."

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Open from 9am to 8:30pm on weekdays, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 1:30 to 5 pm on Sunday. This library might not be the ideal place for a quiet study during the evening. Best to go in the mornings.
Wheelchair accessible 
Free Wifi
Seating for 110
Public phone inside and express checkout

FAQs About Toronto Libraries

Books loan period is from 21 days, DVDs and videos(except language learning video) is for 7 days, DVDs (Nonfictions and TV series) is for 14 days, language learning DVDs and video is for 21 days, and magazines, periodicals, music, picture collections are for 21 days.
Yes! Most items can be returned to any Toronto Public Library branch or bookmobile stop. The only exception is if you borrowed sets for book clubs, then that should be back to the original library you borrowed from.
Libraries, for the most part, are a free service that many local citizens use; yet, overdue library books can result in fines, warrants, or even jail time! People generally return books before they are overdue in order to avoid increased penalties.
You can borrow up to 12 – 50 items, however some collections have an additional borrowing limit.

Conclusion

Experience the best of Toronto’s libraries, where knowledge, inspiration, and discovery await. From the architectural wonders that transport you through time to the diverse range of activities and resources available, these libraries are true havens for readers, learners, and dreamers alike. Step inside and unlock the door to a world of endless possibilities in the heart of Toronto!

Veronika Zotova

Veronika Zotova

Veronika Zotova is marketing manager at Local View Tech. She was born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine. Learn More About Veronika Zotova

You might also like...