Toronto Public Library Spadina Road Branch

Toronto Public Library Spadina Road Branch


In the 1975 the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto raised enough funds to purchase a new larger building to house the growing initiatives of the centre and the Aboriginal community in Toronto. The new location purchased was 10-16 Spadina road, which was previously known as the Ontario Bible College. This area was to house the Native Centre, a 120-unit senior citizens apartment (Wigwamen Housing Corp.) and as a result of a request from the Library Committee at the Native Canadian Centre, a Native library and reference centre.

The Native Canadian Centre had its grand opening in 1976, and by 1980, the Centre was successful in retiring its mortgage when 10 Spadina, the Native library and reference centre, was sold to the Toronto Public Library. Many studies done at the time proved the need for a library and reference centre in the Native community. The Spadina branch of the library set out to hold a special collection for the Native community in Toronto.

To this day, the branch continues to house one of the most extensive Native Collections in the city of Toronto. The library also has the name written in Cree syllabics and roman orthography on the front of the building, Mahsinahhekahnikahmik, meaning “the lodge or place of the book”.

Visit the TPL Spadina Branch’s website here:

To learn more about the Native Peoples Collection at Toronto Public Libraries click here:


About FirstStoryTO

A mobile app that invites users to explore Toronto’s Indigenous history. This is a community project that is a work in progress. For those interested, we encourage you to email us at: with suggestions for possible sites and/or stories you would like to share on First Story. This blog will be up while we work on creating a permanent website for First Story. View all posts by FirstStoryTO

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