Mayoral Candidate Would Make Visiting ‘Toronto’s Living Room’ more Convenient for Everyone.
Toronto – Mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa announced today that as Mayor he would invest in Torontonians by ensuring that all of Toronto’s 100 public library branches would be open on Sundays.
“We must ensure that libraries are open the one day many busy Torontonians have time to slow down and spend time with family and friends or just read a book by themselves,” said Penalosa. “It is the definition of ‘a penny wise and pound foolish’ to spend tens of millions to build a library branch but keep it closed on Sundays to save a few hundred dollars.”
Currently, 81 of the Toronto Public Library’s branches are closed on Sundays during the summer, while 44 are closed during the school year. As Mayor, Gil will ensure that all 100 branches will be open every Sunday for an investment of only $1.4 million.
Libraries are Toronto’s civic living room. In 2020, there were 5,557,751 visits to a branch, making the Toronto Public Library one of the busiest libraries in the world. Almost 68% of Torontonians use the TPL and 1,047,034 people are registered cardholders.
The TPL has evolved in recent decades to offer more than just books. Almost 163,000 participants attended 8,705 in-person library programs, and 73,000 attended 963 online programs. Libraries also play a critical role in bridging the digital divide, with 56% of visitors using on-site technology, such as public computers, including 68% of older customers and 63% of library users who identify as low-income.