Bloor-Gladstone Library, formally knows as Dovercourt Library Branch

Bloor-Gladstone library, located at  1101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON was designed by Chapman and McGiffin Architects. The construction started in 1912, ended in 1913 and the library opened for business on October 25, 1913. The original building was inspired by the Classical architectural tradition and incorporates many elements of the Italian renaissance architecture, such as round arches, supported by pilasters with extruding head stones on the façade; decorative pediments that echoed Ancient Greek Temples; ornamentation, which included  non-structural brackets on the interior, two fireplaces with sculpted angel faces on both sides of each fireplace, natural motifs, etc.; a slightly hipped roof with what seems like an entablature, created with the use of brick ornamentation and terra cotta veneer; the attempt to create a “perfect” square-shaped plan of the library  with barrel-vaulted ceilings and a courtyard. the library underwent two major renovations. The first was done in 1975-1976 by architects Howard V. Walker and Howard D. Chapman. The renovation mainly affected the plan of the library since the facade remained virtually intact. The second renovation was from 2006 to 2009. The architects involved in this project were rounthwaite, dick and hadley architects inc, Shoalts and Zaback, and ERA. As a result of this recent renovation, the library now has a ‘glass box” addition, its main entrance has been lowered by approximately half a meter and some of the interior features, such as the staircase, have been altered due to functional reasons. As it approaches its hundredth anniversary, Bloor-Gladstone library is still very much loved by its community and is always full of visitors.

References:

Bloor and Gladstone. Toronto Public Library: Bloor-Gladstone library local history collection,1912- 2010.

Chapman, H.D. Alfred Chapman: the man and his work. The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario: 1978.

Murray. “Renovation & Restoration. Canadian Architect August 1980: 28-29.

Hume, C. “Extreme makeover: library edition”. Toronto Star 25 July, 2009 <http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/670956>

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