Toronto place to read/write
July 5, 2011 6:27 AM   Subscribe

A Toronto version of this question: NYC Place to Write.

I'm interested in finding a place in Toronto I could go to to read and write. A space more aesthetically-pleasing space than the average Toronto neighborhood library. I don't need a power outlet for a laptop, but a basic set of reference books in the room would be nice. If I lived in New York, I'd use one of the beautiful reading rooms in the public library on 42nd Street. Any suggestions in downtown Toronto? I'm willing to pay a membership fee if it's modest.
posted by Paquda to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The library at Hart House at U of T. It's lovely and quiet with beautiful old architecture. You don't have to be a member to use the library.
posted by kyla at 6:46 AM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you happen to live north of the downtown, the Wychwoood library is just a neighbourhood branch but has an old craftsman/tudor open vault ceiling, so it's a bit nicer than average.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:04 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

When the renovations are done, the revamped Toronto Reference Library (at Yonge & Bloor) looks like it'll be a great place to work.

The UofT law library is nice and atmospheric. This Yelp review seems to indicate the EJ Pratt library is fantastic too.
posted by Kololo at 8:16 AM on July 5, 2011

I wouldn't really describe the law library as atmospheric (unless that atmosphere is overhanging dread tinged with competitive frisson), but to each his/her own... A number of the college libraries at the UofT would fit the bill for a more traditional "reading room" setting - e.g. Emmanuel, pictured here.
posted by Urban Hermit at 8:51 AM on July 5, 2011

At U of T, I would take the upper floors of Trinity College's Graham library over Hart House or Pratt any day. Hart House is always full of snoring students lying on the couches, and while Pratt has some nice carrels overlooking Queen's Park, it tends to attract louder study groups than Graham.

West of downtown, lots of people love the public library on Bloor at Gladstone, but I've never been.

Finally, if you don't mind coffee shops (e.g. for those non-reference book days), Dark Horse on Spadina and Lit on College are both very work-friendly.
posted by Beardman at 9:15 AM on July 5, 2011

The renovated Bloor-Gladstone library has received some recognition and is actually a pretty nice place to read, write or use the internet. It's also really close to some good bars.
posted by SassHat at 10:58 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thank you all very much. I'm glad to learn there are places in this city like that. I will probably try Hart House or Trinity first since they're close to where I live.
posted by Paquda at 7:05 AM on July 8, 2011

The minstrels’ gallery at Beaches Library.
posted by joeclark at 11:40 AM on August 6, 2011

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