10 Reasons Why Every Student should Visit the Toronto Reference Library

Walking into the Toronto Reference Library

If you’re looking for a place to study outside of your school libraries or local cafes, then try the super-free, super-central Toronto Reference Library that is equipped with all the resources a student desires. I have been here a handful of times and I think this library, and the entire Toronto Public Libraries system in fact, has alot to offer. If you are walking around or switching subway lines at Yonge and Bloor, stop by to spend an hour or two to do some work or recharge before continuing on with your day.

Besides studying and borrowing books, here are 10 things you can do at the Toronto Reference Library.

The red and white clay stairs

1. Take in Canada’s largest public library’s unique architectural style
The clay stairs, the oval elevators, and the pockets of greenery around the library makes this place truly unique. I don’t think you’ll see anything like it anywhere else in the world. The natural lighting is also a plus.

The current exhibit is Pathways: Following traces of Indigenous routes across Ontario

2. Admire artwork in the TD Gallery that always has a new collection to display
The TD gallery is not very large, but the select art pieces really show the true nature of Toronto. The last collection focused on the different Toronto neighborhoods, and the upcoming collection will be Alice in Wonderland themed. It’s worth it to take a quick break in this gallery.

The TCAF shop inside the library

The store is full of Toronto-based designs

3. Buy a cute local Toronto-made gift for a friend or yourself at the TCAF shop
There are very, very cute items in this store ranging from globally recognized items like Pusheen the Cat and Gudetama the Egg to locally made Toronto-based designs. I have gotten sassy dog pins from this store and gifts like my past Secret Santa present (it was a cherry blossom mug that turns pink and “blooms” when you put hot water in it). You know it makes a good gift when it gets stolen!

Can’t go wrong with Balzacs coffee

4. Get caffeinated at Balzacs Cafe
You can get a coffee with caramel tones at Balzacs or go all out with a steaming seasonal latte. If you have been studying for a long time in the library, Balzacs offers another environment to change things up a bit.

Green wall on the second floor

Mini-pond right when you walk in

5. Sit by the green wall or mini-pond inside the building
When you have to stay inside and work, it’s nice to have semi-natural spots to look at.

There are around 5+ of these spaces that you can book at the service desk

6. Book space in one of these futuristic-looking, sound-proof pods to do work with a tutor
These spaces are probably not completely soundproof, but they will do the job if you are talking with just one other person. It’s a good spot to remove distractions and focus on your tutoring session!

You can find 3D printing and other tools inside the Digital Innovation Hub

7. Explore the digital innovation hub that includes 3D printing and video editing tools
I have never printed anything in a 3D printer before, but this may be my chance! The Digital Innovation Hub also offers printing, copying, and use of the Apple computers for video editing.

Find a list of upcoming author talks and lectures on the website

8. Sit in on an author talk or lecture
If you are all about the latest new book “Bellevue Square” which is based in Kensington Market, then the library offers author talks and lectures where you can learn even more about it.

I’m sure there’s atleast one skill on this list that you’ve been meaning to brush up on

9. Join a workshop to update your computer and research skills
If you were looking for a chance to update your resume, take some of these workshops and be confident about writing the fact that you are “proficient in X, Y or Z”. It’s always a good idea to brush up on computer skills.

The Weeknd filmed in so many spots at this library!

10. Visit all the spots that the Weeknd did to film the “Secrets” music video
The Weeknd and Drake are doing an amazing job highlighting the best of Toronto and putting this city on the map. Did you know that the Weeknd’s “Secrets” music video is filmed primarily at this library?

If you want to learn more about the Toronto Reference Library, visit their website here.

Have you been to the Toronto Reference Library? Leave a comment below about what makes you go!

Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 2G8

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