Love Letter to the Toronto Public Library: Gerrard/Ashdale

I didn't take this photo. I was there at night, and the exterior is getting some renos anyway. I lifted the photo from the TPL website; that's alright cuz this is a love letter, right?
I didn’t take this photo. I was there at night, and the exterior is getting some renos anyway. I lifted the photo from the TPL website; that’s okay cuz this is a love letter, right?

I thought I might not get to write a love letter to my darling Toronto Public Library this month. Things are kind of crazy busy anyway, but now that the sun doesn’t come up till after 7:30 am, it’s been hard as seven hells to get up early.

But flaming out in the middle of my work today, succumbing to a coma nap, and feeling too blaaah to make dinner turned out to have a silver lining. My sweetie took me to dinner at the world-famous Udupi Palace (purveyors of Indian vegetarian comfort food) and as we walked by, I noticed the lovely Gerrard/Ashdale branch was open late. Being tired and lazy has, in a dangerous precedent, helped me to keep my library love alive.

I mean, it hadn’t died or threatened to die; that will never happen. My ability to get out there and take some terrible photos on my shitty phone was being threatened. Good news! Check out the shitty photos below and trust me when I say that Gerrard/Ashdale is a truly wonderful space. Its children’s section, which takes up the whole top floor, is awesome and makes me wish I was a kid. Or, maybe, the crazy person putting on what are surely world-class puppet shows:


The whole children’s section is really inviting. I mean, fancy picnic benches for (small) crowds of (small) people! I love that. This is the view from the stairs; I gushed at a librarian about how lovely it was and she thought I was weird, probably.


I took the stairs because the skelevator scared me.


I was surprised at the relative dearth of chairs in the children’s section but then I remembered having a flexible spine, a back that didn’t hurt all the time, and Kevlar skin protecting me from carpet burn. I have a mad jealous hate on right now for all the healthy children who get to lay about on this carpet and read.


While I was squeeing over the children’s section, my husband was downstairs broadening his mind.


All these photos are making it look like no one was actually in the library with us. Not so–it was pretty full, but I’m becoming a dab hand at finding the magic moment when the frame is empty of humans who might object to random strangers taking their photos without permission. There were probably 40 people in the library. Just as importantly, there were over 600 curries.


If I’d felt super-humanly strong during this visit, I would have borrowed this book. As it was, I could barely lift it, it was so fat with promising recipes. Next time.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. heidenkind says:

    w00t libraries! My branch is open astonishingly late, like 9 pm.

    1. Colleen says:

      That’s awesome! The latest they’re ever open here is 8:30. I think in a city this big, at least one, centrally located branch should be open all night. There must be countless 3am novel emergencies going unaddressed every year!!

  2. Stefanie says:

    Another wonderful library visit. The photo of what your husband was broadening his mind with cracked me up 🙂

    1. Colleen says:

      It made me laugh too. He looks like he’s disappearing into his own nerdy childhood when he reads things like this–it’s really adorable.

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