|Wouldn't you want your books protected by bronze Gryphons?|
|Amusing checkerboard 'castle' built 1995|
...so I rounded the corner and discovered that it's a library, named after the formidable Lillian H. Smith, the first trained children's librarian in the British Empire. This branch houses a significant children's collection along with serious multimedia, and multi-ethnic collections and services, sitting as it does on the Kensington/Chinatown cusp.
|Children's Reading Room, Boys' and Girls' House c.1929|
|Boys' and Girls' House, 40 St. George Street - the library's predecessor|
Thanks to the folks at Toronto Archives for the photos. Perhaps they'll forgive me if I attach a link to their virtual gallery exhibit "Playing by the Rules" at: http://www.toronto.ca/archives/rules/b_and_g.htm /b_and_g.htm
|courtesy Toronto Public libraries|
...and in these library-challenged days, perhaps it might be wise to say "Mr. Ford, keep your hands off Lillian!"
The building is designed like a medieval castle, with two towers, and a circular stairway that peers down through five open floors (boiling oil, anyone?)