The Toronto Public Library is the largest public library system in Canada and the second busiest (by number of visits) in the world after that of Hong Kong. It can trace its roots back to 1830. The library consists of 99 branch libraries and has over 11 million items in its collection.
In 1830 a library was established in the Mechanics' Institute of what was then the town of York. In 1884 this collection became the Toronto Public Library.
Between 1907 and 1916, 10 libraries were built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie trust. Several of these Carnegie libraries continue to be used by the public library; one, the original Central Reference Library, is now the Koffler Student Center at the University of Toronto
When, in 1997, the Government of Ontario amalgamated the major municipalities of the greater Toronto area into one city, the six other public libraries in the area were merged into the Toronto Public Library. In 1998 The Toronto Public Library became the largest library system in North America serving a population of 2.3 million people with 98 branches and a collection over 9 million items.
In 2004 a new library was opened in the St. James Town neighborhood of Toronto, bringing the total number of branches to 99.
- The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection
- The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy
- The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books
- Penman, Margaret (1983) A Century of Service. Toronto: Toronto Public Library. ISBN 0919486738