North York Library Reopens With New Features

By Paula Liu, The Epoch Times
North York Central Library is open again after a year and a half of renovations. (North York Central Library)

The North York Central Library is once again open to the public, this time with a lot more features such as 3D printers and embroidery machines.

The library, which opened three out of the seven floors to the public on July 5, had been closed since 2016 for extensive renovations. The fourth and fifth will be opened later this year, but the sixth floor and the concourse will be opened much later—perhaps in 2019 or 2020.

There are many noteworthy additions to the library after the renovations: The Digital Innovation Hub, which is part of the Creation Loft on the second floor, offering access to technology such as 3D printing, sound and music recording, and video editing; the Fabrication Studio, also part of the Creation Loft,  which includes embroidery and sewing machines; and KidsStop, a discovery zone for children located on the first floor.

They’ve added a new feature in the kids area, the KidsStop. (North York Central Library)

“The way that people use libraries—and just public space—has changed, and we needed to update in order to do that,” said Kim Huntley, manager of North York Central Library

“Customers use libraries in different ways now, they want to come and want to have comfortable seating, they want to have places to hang out, to meet, to collaborate, to learn, to socialize, there’s a lot of things…that people want to do differently than they did back in the 80s,” Huntley added.

Other new features include more space for studying, meetings, and program rooms, as well as more power outlets to accommodate the increasing use of electronic gadgets in today’s world.  

Huntley pointed to the new staircase in the library as one of the noteworthy additions of the building. The staircase, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, features regular stairs as well as bleacher-like seating with embedded power outlets.

The newly renovated staircase is designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, featuring a sitting area with embedded electricity outlets. (North York Central Library/Diamond Schmitt Architects)

Huntley said since the library closed in summer of 2016, many members of the public have been calling in to inquire when the library would be open again.

“It’s a good sign, because it shows how valuable library services are, [and] that people missed them. So it’s one of the great things about being open,” she said.

The public is still wondering when the other floors will be opened, she added.

“[It will open] soon, later in the year,” Huntley said.

She also provided some details into the features of the floors that are yet to be opened.

The fourth floor is planned to feature suites for entrepreneurs and premium rental spaces for conferences or meeting rooms.

The fifth floor will have a local history room which will feature a collection from the North York Historical Society as well as other historical artifacts.

“[It] will be nice for the North York community, to access historical north York documents,” Huntley said.

The sixth floor, which will be opened by 2020, will be used for creative technological innovation. The concourse, on the seventh floor, is meant to be a multipurpose space.

“Flexibility really is key for us,” says Huntley, “so we can change as we need to with the times.”