Bookmark the Toronto Reference Library as a must-stop on any downtown tour – especially given its super convenient location at Yonge & Bloor.
Once inside Canada largest reference library, you’ll find yourself strolling through a spacious atrium. Above you, four stories of curving balconies and layered ceiling capture the building’s progressive construction, and marks Toronto’s state of modernity at the library’s opening in 1977.
Among the floors are all manners of books, historical photographs and maps, art posters and rare manuscripts. Poke around and you’ll even discover a piano practice room and a sheet music collection.
Fans of Sherlock Holmes will want to check out the works devoted to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The collection is housed in a replica of his famous study on Baker Street in England.
At the base of the atrium is a staging area for literary events, and numerous glass-walled rooms for groups. My favourites are four, round study pods arranged in a dot pattern on the second floor. Many computers are available for free. 3D printers can be used for just the cost of the plastic.
The long balcony counters on any floor offer a great vantage spot to scope out the comings and goings of people at the entrance; and, the ups and downs of people taking one of two glass elevators.
Exit past the gift shop.
What’s Spot On:
• Soothing sound that emanates from waterfall feature
• Cup of joe from one of Toronto’s fave coffee chains, Balzacs, located just inside.