Runnymede Public Library
Toronto Public Library
Design Excellence Award (2007)
Ontario Association of Architects
Runnymede Branch Library created a sensation when it opened its doors in 1929. Designed by renowned Canadian architect John Lyle, the library was marked by a clear division of spaces and a residential character that allowed it to immerse itself in its Bloor Street West neighbourhood. Notoriously, an avant-garde edge surfaced in the bas-relief details. Predominantly of Canadian flora, fauna, and North American Native motifs -- they were a radical departure from the Elizabethan or Jacobean style typical for this kind of public building.
The challenge in renovating and designing an addition to this building was to maintain the integrity of the original library without trying to imitate it, such that the addition develops as a unique character that strengthens and enhances without being overwhelming. Views from the street played an important role in the design process, as did views from the library into the adjacent park.