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Mount Dennis Public Library

Large metropolises have a great deal of diversity when it comes to commercial strips and the built environment. Some are thriving, dynamic and interesting, others are downtrodden and forgotten. Mount Dennis falls into the latter category being one of the City’s 13 priority neighbourhoods with the lowest literacy rates in Toronto. The buildings along Weston Road are for the most part in need of attention. Having said that, there is a certain charm to the streetscape, an honesty that does not exist on ‘main’ streets or newly gentrified neighbourhoods; ‘urban grit’ as opposed to ‘downtown slick’.


The newly renovated library opened in March of 2013. It is a first step to enhancing the public realm of this battered streetscape. The scale of the building mirrors that of the neighbours. The cladding materials are rugged and gritty – weathered steel, clay tile and refurbished brick. By night the library is a beacon given the light that spills out from the Pilkington glass system. The front façade is locked into the streetscape, welcoming and transparent to patrons.


Toronto Public Library



Toronto, Ontario






Completed 2013



Library Architectural and Design Transformation (2015)

OLA Building Awards 


Design Excellence Award (2014)

Ontario Association of Architects 


Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award (2014) Ontario Association of Architects 


Award of Excellence (2013)

Toronto Urban Design Awards


Stéphane Groleau






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