Library Home arrow Culture arrow Libraries

Andrew CarnegieCarnegie libraries

"There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration."
— Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie, a highly influential philanthropist and businessman, dedicated much of his life and self-made fortune to educational causes.

His strongest philanthropic initiative, driven by his strong belief in and passion for free education, was the creation of 2,509 free public libraries around the world. In total, he spent $2,556,600 on the construction of 111 libraries in Ontario and another 14 elsewhere in Canada. These funds contributed significantly to the development of literacy in small communities across this province. Learn more about Andrew Carnegie.

  

Carnegie Libraries in Ontario

*  Photos courtesy Ontario Public libraries and/or public.
   Click on photos to enlarge (where available).

Operating Public Libraries

This list includes all of the Carnegie libraries in Ontario that are still operating as public libraries.


Amherstburg Branch

Amherstburg Branch (Essex County Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 8, 1911
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • C. Howard Crane, Architect

Beaverton Public Library  Beaverton Public Library
Beaverton Public Library  Beaverton Public Library

Beaverton Public Library (Brock Township Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 28, 1910
  • Received $7,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.E. Binning, architect

Bracebridge Public Library

  • Received grant March 23, 1906
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • G.M. Miller, architect

Brockville Public Library

Brockville Public Library

  • Opened August 13, 1904; Received grant on April 13, 1903
  • Received $17,500 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • B. Dillon, Architect

Brussels Branch

Brussels Branch (Huron County Library)

  • Opened 1909; received grant March 13, 1909
  • Received $7,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Mr. Ireland, architect

Campbellford (Cambridge Public Library)

Campbellford (Trent Hills Public Library)

  • Received grant on January 6, 1911
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect

Huron County Library - Clinton Branch  Interior of the Huron County Library - Clinton Branch

Clinton Branch (Huron County Library)

  • Addition in 1915; received grant January 6, 1915
  • Received $4,900 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • J. Ades Fowler, architects

Chatham-Kent Public Library — Dresden Branch

Dresden Branch (Chatham-Kent Public Library)

  • Built in 1913; Received grant on November 27, 1906
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie Foundation

Exterior of the West Grey Public Library — Durham Branch  Exterior of the West Grey Public Library — Durham Branch  Interior of the West Grey Public Library — Durham Branch  Interior of the West Grey Public Library — Durham Branch

Durham Branch (West Grey Public Library)

  • Opened in July, 1912; Received grant on January 6, 1911
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, Architect

Elmira Public Library exterior

Elmira Branch (Region of Waterloo Public Library)

  • Opened December 26, 1913; Received grant on March 18, 1911
  • Received $7,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, Architect

Wellington County Public Library - Elora Branch  Exterior view of the Wellington County Public Library - Elora BranchReading room at the Wellington County Public Library - Elora Branch  Chidrens' corner at the Wellington County Public Library - Elora Branch

Elora Branch (Wellington County Public Library)

  • Received grant on March 23, 1909
  • Received $6,400 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.F.Sheppard, architect

Fergus Branch (Wellington County Public Library)

Fergus Branch (Wellington County Public Library)

  • Received grant on January 29, 1908
  • Received $7,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect

Kingsville Branch

Fort Frances Library

  • Received grant on May 8, 1914
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, Architect

Thunder Bay Public Library — Brodie Branch

Fort William (Thunder Bay Public Library — Brodie Branch)

  • Opened on April 29, 1912; Received grant in 1908
  • Received $50,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Harry Scott and Hood, Architects

Huron County Library - Goderich Branch   Street View of the Huron County Library - Goderich Branch

Goderich Branch (Huron County Library)

  • Opened March 3, 1905; Received grant on March 14,1902
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • J.A. Fowler, architect

Interior of the Hanover Public Library  Hanover Public Library  Exterior facade of the Hanover Public Library  Archway detail in the Hanover Public Library

Hanover Public Library

  • Received grant on May 15, 1906
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.E. Binning, Architect

Reading room Harriston Branch  Reading room Harriston Branchchildrens' corner at the  Harriston Branch  Exterior of the Harriston Branch

Harriston Branch (Wellington County Public Library)

  • Received grant on May 8, 1908
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.E. Binning, architect

Exterior of the Cambridge Public Library — Hespeler Branch  Interior of the Cambridge Public Library — Hespeler BranchInterior of the Cambridge Public Library — Hespeler Branch  Interior of the Cambridge Public Library — Hespeler Branch

Hespeler Branch (Cambridge Public Library)

  • Received grant in 1923
  • Received $14,500 from the Carnegie Foundation

Kenora Public Library exterior

Kenora Public Library

  • Received grant on May 21, 1913
  • Received $15,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • John Manuel, Architect

Kincardine Branch

Kincardine Branch (Bruce County Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 10, 1906
  • Received $5,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • J.W. Drake, Architect

Kingsville Branch

Kingsville Branch (Essex County Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 8, 1911
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • C. Howard Crane, Architect

Lindsay Public Library — City of Kawartha Lakes  Heritage Plaque for Lindsay Public Library — City of Kawartha Lakes

Lindsay Public Library (City of Kawartha Lakes)

  • Opened June 28, 1904; Received grant on January 23, 1902
  • Received $13,500 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • George Martwell Miller, architects

Listowel Branch

Listowel Branch (North Perth Public Library)

  • Opened in 1907; Received grant on November 25, 1903
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.E. Binning, Architect

Lucknow Branch

Lucknow Branch (Bruce County Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 20, 1905
  • Received $7,500 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Beaumont Jarvis, Architect
Mitchell Public Library

Mitchell Public Library (West Perth Public Library)

  • Received grant on March 21, 1908
  • Received $6,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.E. Binning, architect

Mount Forest Branch

Mount Forest Branch (Wellington County Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 10, 1909
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • George Gray, architect

New Hamburg Branch

New Hamburg Branch (Region of Waterloo Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 30, 1912
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • James A. Russell, Architect

Temiskaming Shores Public Library — New Liskeard Branch  Exterior main entrance of the Temiskaming Shores Public Library — New Liskeard BranchHeritage plaque mounted on the exterior wall of the  Temiskaming Shores Public Library — New Liskeard Branch  Temiskaming Shores Public Library — New Liskeard Branch

New Liskeard Branch (Temiskaming Shores Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 16, 1910
  • Received $10,900 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Angus & Angus, Architects

Exterior Orangeville Public Library  Exterior Orangeville Public LibraryCornerstone at the Orangeville Public Library  Interior at the Orangeville Public Library

Orangeville Public Library

  • Received grant on June 2, 1904
  • Received $12,500 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Beaumont Jarvis, Architect

Exterior of the Ottawa Public Library — Rosemount Branch  Exterior of the Ottawa Public Library — Rosemount BranchInterior of the Ottawa Public Library — Rosemount Branch  Interior of the Ottawa Public Library — Rosemount Branch

Ottawa Public Library — Rosemount Branch

  • Opened in November, 1918; Received grant on March 31, 1917
  • Received $15,000 from the Carnegie Foundation

Interior Orillia Public Library  Exterior Orillia Public LibraryInterior Orillia Public Library  Interior Orillia Public Library

Orillia Public Library

  • Received grant on April 10, 1909
  • Received $13,500 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Mr. Crocker, Architect

Exterior Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library  Scroll work at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library  Interior of the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library  Interior Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library

Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library

  • Opened on February 3rd, 1914
  • Received $26,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Forster & Clark Architects

Palmerston Branch

Palmerston Branch (Wellington County Public Library)

  • Received grant on February 4, 1902
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W. Frye Colwill, architect

Face of Brant Public Library  Interior of the Brant Public Library
Window from the Brant Public Library  Detail fo exterior of the Brant Public Library

Paris Branch (Brant County Public Library)

  • Opened July 27, 1904
  • Received grant of $10,000 on January 2, 1903

Exterior  entrance to the Middlesex County Public Library — Parkhill Branch  Exterior of the Middlesex County Public Library — Parkhill BranchInterior of the Middlesex County Public Library — Parkhill Branch  Interior of the Middlesex County Public Library — Parkhill Branch

Parkhill Branch (Middlesex County Public Library)

  • Opened July 28, 1915; Received grant on January 14, 1914
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, Architect

Stained glass windows at the Pembroke Public Library  Pembroke Public LibraryInterior of the Pembroke Public Library  Interior at the Pembroke Public Library

Pembroke Public Library

  • Constructed in 1912
  • Received grant on December 24, 1907
  • Received $14,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Francis C. Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Architects

Prince Edward County Public Library

Picton Branch (Prince Edward County Public Library)

  • Opened on December 14, 1907; Received grant in early 1906
  • Received $12,500 from the Carnegie Foundation

Port Elgin Branch

Port Elgin Branch (Bruce County Public Library)

  • Received grant on March 9, 1907
  • Received $8,800 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • S.G. Kingsey, Architect

Port Hope Public Library

Port Hope Public Library

  • Constructed in 1913
  • Received $10 000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.A Mahoney, Architect

Renfrew  Public Library

Renfrew Public Library

  • Received grant on March 16, 1915
  • Received $16,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Mr. Millson, architect

St. Mary's Public Library

St. Mary's Public Library

  • Opened July, 1905; Received grant on March 8, 1904
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • J.A. Humphris, Architect

Huron County Library - Seaforth Branch  Exterior of the Huron County Library - Seaforth BranchInterior of the Huron County Library - Seaforth Branch  Another angle of the interior of the Huron County Library - Seaforth Branch

Seaforth Branch (Huron County Library)

  • Opened April 1912; grant received Jul 20, 1908
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • John Finlayson, architects

Main entrance to Shelburne Public Library  Shelburne Public LibraryInterior of the Shelburne Public Library  Close up of stained glass at Shelburne Public Library

Shelburne Public Library

  • Opened in 1912; Received grant on Jan 21, 1911
  • Received $6,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • J.A. McKenzie, Architect

Smith Falls Public Library  Interior of the Smith Falls Public Libraryfireplace inside the Smith Falls Public Library  Beautiful archways in the Smith Falls Public Library

Smith Falls Public Library

  • Constructed in 1903
  • Received $11,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • G.M. Bayley, Architect

No photo available

Stirling Public Library

  • Received grant on April 13, 1914
  • Received $5,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect

Stratford Public Library  Exterior main entrance of the Stratford Public Library
Interior of the Stratford Public Library
  Shicrens' corner at the Stratford Public Library

Stratford Public Library

  • Constructed in 1903
  • Received $15,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • J.A. Russell, Architect

Tavistock Branch

Tavistock Branch (Oxford County Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 13, 1914
  • Received $7,500 from the Carnegie Foundation

Teeswater Branch

Teeswater Branch (Bruce County Public Library)

  • Received grant on April 8, 1907
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.E. Binning, Architect

Thorold Public Library

Thorold Public Library

  • Received grant on April 26, 1902
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • A.E. Nicholson, architect

Beaches Branch  Beaches Branch-original exterior
Beaches Branch-interior  Beaches Branch-interior staircase

Toronto Public Library
Beaches Branch


Birge Carnegie Branch - Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library
Birge-Carnegie Branch


Central Reference Branch

Toronto Public Library
Central Reference Branch


High Park Branch  High Park Branch-circa 1900

Toronto Public Library
High Park Branch


Queen & Lisgar Branch

Toronto Public Library
Queen & Lisgar Branch


Riverdale Branch

Toronto Public Library
Riverdale Branch


Western (Annette Street) Branch

Toronto Public Library
Western (Annette Street) Branch


Weston Branch

Toronto Public Library
Weston Branch


Toronto Public Library - Wychwood Branch

Toronto Public Library
Wychwood Branch


Toronto Public Library
Yorkville Branch


Walkerton Branch

Walkerton Branch (Bruce County Public Library)

  • Received grant on March 29, 1911
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • George Gray, Architect

Watford Branch (Lambton County Public Library)

  • Received grant on May 17, 1912
  • Received $6,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, Architect

Interior of the Woodstock Public Library  Stair railing inside the Woodstock Public LibraryCheckerboard floor inside the Woodstock Public Library  Woodstock Public Library Exterior

Woodstock Public Library

  • Constructed in 1909; Received grant July 6, 1905
  • Received $24,000 from the Carnegie Foundation
  • Chadwick & Beckett, Architects
  • Property designated under the Ontario Heritage Act

Adaptively Re-used

The following Carnegie buildings no longer operate as libraries, but instead have been adapted and now serve other purposes within the community.


Aylmer Public Library

Aylmer

  • Received grant on November 21, 1911
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect

Ayr Public Library- Arched windows  Ayr Public Library

Ayr

  • Received grant on December 24, 1909
  • Received $5,200 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.E. Binning, architect

Barrie Public Library  Barrie Public Library circa 1900

Barrie

  • Received grant on July 23, 1914
  • Received $15,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Chapman & McGiffin, architects

Brampton

Brampton

  • Received grant on April 11, 1902
  • Received  $12,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Wickson & Gregg, architects

Face of Brant Public Library  Interior of the Brant Public Library
Window from the Brant Public Library  Detail of exterior of the Brant Public Library

Brantford Public Library

  • Opened July 27, 1904;
  • Received grant on April 11, 1902
  • Received $48,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Stewart, Stewart &Taylor, architects

Dundas  Public Library Dundas  Public Library-circa 1900

Dundas  Public Library - Side view Dundas  Public Library-exterior

Dundas

  • Received grant on December 30, 1904
  • Received $12,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Chapman & McGiffin, architects

Essex Public Library

Essex

  • Received grant on January 6, 1911
  • Received $6,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • J.C. Pennington, architect

Exeter

Exeter

  • Received grant on January 2, 1913
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect

Forest

Forest

  • Received grant on May 16, 1911
  • Received $5,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect

Galt (Cambridge)

Galt (Cambridge)

  • Received grant on April 11, 1902
  • Received $23,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Fred Mellish, architect

Glencoe

Glencoe

  • Received grant on November 11, 1914
  • Received $5,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Gravenhurst

Gravenhurst

  • Authorized grant on March 24, 1906
  • Received $ 7,000 from the Carnegie Foundation in 1922
  • Constructed in 1923

Grimsby

Grimsby

  • Received grant on January 6, 1911
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • A.E. Nicholson, architect

Hamilton Public Library - Recent photo Hamilton Public library circa 1900

Hamilton

  • Received grant on March 23, 1909
  • Received $100,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • A.W. Peene, architect

Kemptville

Kemptville

  • Received grant on April 23, 1906
  • Received $3,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • A.S. Allaster, architect

Merritton Public Library side view

Ingersoll

  • Received grant on June 29, 1908
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Merritton Public Library - front view Merritton Public Library side view

Merritton

  • Received grant on March 31, 1916
  • Received $8,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • A.E. Nicholson, architect

Midland

Midland

  • Received grant on March 21, 1910
  • Received $12,500 from the Carnegie foundation

Milverton Public Library Exterior  Milverton Public Library Interior

Milverton

  • Received grant on December 24, 1908
  • Received $ 7,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • J.A. Russell, architect

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

  • Received grant on December 8, 1905
  • Received $15,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Norwich Public Library

Norwich

  • Received grant on May 8, 1915
  • Received $7,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Edward Pollack, architect

Penetanguishene

Penetanguishene

  • Received grant on December 13, 1907
  • Received $13,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Charles P. Baird, architect

Perth   Perth

Perth

  • Received grant on February 13, 1906
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Peterborough Public Library

Peterborough

  • Received grant on March 21, 1908
  • Received $30,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Preston

Preston

  •  Received grant on February 13, 1909
  • Received $12,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.E. Binning, architect

Simcoe
Simcoe

Simcoe

  •  Received grant on January 31, 1910
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Sheppard & Calvin, architect

St. Thomas

St. Thomas

  • Received grant on March 20, 1903
  • Received $27,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Stouffville
Stouffville

Stouffville

  •  Received grant on April 28, 1913
  • Received $5,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • F.F. Saunders, architect

Toronto Public Library — Central Reference Branch

Toronto Public Library — Central Reference Branch

  • Received grant on January 23, 1903
  • Received $275,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Wickson & Gregg, A.H. Chapman, architects

Toronto Public Library — Queen & Lisgar Branch

Toronto Public Library — Queen & Lisgar Branch

  • Received grant on January 23, 1903
  • Received $25,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Wallaceburg

Wallaceburg

  • Received grant on March 24, 1906
  • Received $11,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • A.M. Piper, architect

Waterloo

Waterloo

  • Received grant on July 18, 1902
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation

Welland Public Library

Welland

  • Received grant on December 8, 1913
  • Received $25,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Norman Kearns, architect

Whitby

Whitby

  • Received grant on April 8, 1911
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect

Demolished

This is a list of Carnegie libraries that have been demolished or destroyed.


Berlin Public Library facade  Berlin Public Library interior

Berlin

  • Received grant on March 14, 1902
  • Received $40,900 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Chas Knechtel, J.J. Beck (addition) architects
  • Building demolished in 1962

Chatham-Kent

Chatham

  • Received grant on February 13, 1902
  • Received $19,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • T.J. Wilson, architect

Collingwood

Collingwood

  • Received grant on August 16, 1902
  • Received $14,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W. & W. Stewart, architects
  • Building destroyed by fire in 1963

Cornwall   Cornwall Cornwall   Cornwall

Cornwall

  • Received grant on December 21, 1901
  • Received $8,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Building demolished in 1956

Grand Valley

Grand Valley

  • Received grant on February 13, 1909
  • Received $7,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • George Gray, architect
  • Building destroyed by tornado in 1985

Guelph

Guelph

  • Received grant on October 17, 1901
  • Received $24,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W. Frye Colwill, architect
  • Building demolished in 1964

Leamington Leamington

Leamington

  • Received grant on March 21, 1910
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Alex Maycock, architect

Toronto Public Library - Mimico Branch

Mimico Branch (Toronto Public Library)

  • Received grant on February 26, 1914
  • Received $7,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • S.Coon & Son, architect
  • Building demolished in 1966

North Bay

North Bay

  • Received grant on April 25, 1911
  • Received $16,395 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Angus & Angus, architect

Oshawa OshawaOshawa Oshawa

Oshawa

  • Received grant on November 24, 1906
  • Received $14,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Carrerre & Hastings, architect
  • Building demolished in 1956

Ottawa

Ottawa

  • Received grant on November 6, 1901
  • Received $100,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • E.L, Horwood, architect

Sarnia
Sarnia

Sarnia

  • Received grant on January 10, 1902
  • Received $20,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • M.R. Burrowes, architect
  • Building demolished in 1960

Sault Ste. Marie  Sault Ste. Marie Sault Ste. Marie  Sault Ste. Marie 

Sault Ste. Marie  

  • Received grant on December 14, 1901
  • Received $15,500 from the Carnegie foundation
  • H. Russell Halton, Demar & Murdoch (2nd building) architects
  • Building demolished in 1960

St. Catharines

St. Catharines

  • Received grant on December 31, 1901
  • Received $25,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • Sydney R. Badgley, architect
  • Building demolished in 1977

Tillsonburg Public Library

Tillsonburg

  • Received grant on January 2, 1913
  • Received $10,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • W.A. Mahoney, architect
  • Building replaced by newer library in 1974

Windsor

Windsor

  • Received grant on February 13, 1901
  • Received $27,000 from the Carnegie foundation
  • John Scott & Co., architect