The 6 Best Libraries in Toronto [2022]

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!


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

Toronto Reference Library is known for it’s amazing architecture with multiple floors where you can get lots of work and activities done. This library has seatings available for 1250 people, 15 study pods, study rooms for persons with disabilities and many more!

The books they offer are fiction, non-fiction, to children and teen books, as well as, special selections and rare books. It also features movies and videos, music and material in many languages.There are selections for all books lovers alike!

From book clubs to writer’s groups, to career and job searches, to computer and library training! They also have a digital innovation hubs offering programs, classes, computers and equipment, 3D printing, recording studios, and fabrication studios.

Exhibits and displays of the TD Gallery and computer, printing and photocopying to museum and arts, adult space and musical instruments are all available at the centre!

This all-encompassing centre caters for the needs and the whims of every artistic, book loving explorer in the city! Fun Fact: The Toronto singer The Weeknd shot his music video for “Secrets” here as a backdrop in June 2017!

Business Information:

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

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

In the grand North York Centre, The North York Centre Library caters for all readers and people alike.

There are a considerable number of students and elders that like spending time reading a good book. Here, services programs are available for youth, teens and adults, as well as offering books of varying types, from romances and mystery in fiction, to biography, food and drink. 

The library respects the privacy and space for readers through their digital innovation hubs and computer learning centres, where their study and rent spaces give everyone an uninterrupted space for a good read.

Business Information:

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

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

Customer Review Highlights:

“One of the oldest libraries in Toronto .It's more than 100 years old . It's worth it to visit the place! You will love the architect and the peaceful environment ! The staff is super helpful!”
“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

The Bloor Gladstone Library is a fantastic place with financial and fashion areas all around, attracting commuters and individuals on their break to stop by searching for a good book  and quiet time.

This library provides fiction and non-fiction books, DVDs and music, as well as e-learning through e-books and audio books, digital video and music, periodicals and newspapers, and comics, demonstrating how much the Gladstone Library has to offer their visitors.

This library also features teen zone, reading garden, large screen TV, quiet study rooms, seating for 154, art exhibit space, and kids literacy centre. As well as equipments for persons of disabilities and materials offered in different languages from Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Hindi.

Drop by this library to check out all the materials they provide or if you’re looking for some mental relaxation!

Business Information:

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

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!”
“The best place ever , the staff are very humain and polite , it's a very beautiful place to study. I love this place full of positive energy.”

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

This library has many options for readers of all kinds including fiction, non-fiction, literacy materials, audiobooks on CD, language options from Polish and French and much more!

Apart from the physical location, there is an online library that shows the announcements, programs and booklists. There are also featured special collections, kids and teens and e-learning for all!

There are also blogs, podcasts, live and online programs set up for story time and kids at home. Visit this library to escape reality by reading some amazing books by famous writers!

Business Information:

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

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

Lillian Smith Library is a charming, little public library in the university district. It offers ample seating for around 110 people, has two floors and several computer terminals. 

The library also provides a variety of free activities and events for children and families. There is toddler time, youth workshops, adult lectures, and even after-school activities for children.

This library has a variety of collections from audiobooks on CD, adult literacy materials, ESL collections, local history collections, Merril collection of science fiction, speculation and fantasy, and Osborne collection of early children’s books. As well as a newcomer information service, a large collection of books in Chinese, and medium collections in French (DVDs only).

This is an excellent location to spend an afternoon reading newspapers or discovering a new favourite author!

Business Information:

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

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.


Libraries in Toronto provide a range of activities, such as quiet reading time, studying, research, activities for children, assistance to newcomers, and a variety of events! These library buildings are extremely beautiful for visitors to visit because they have a historical background and architectural design that you’ll see in movies.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to study or want access to the latest bestsellers, there’s a library in Toronto that will suit your needs.

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