From Firehall-market to library
- Niagara Advance (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada), August 22, 1974, p. 5
- Full Text
From Firehall-market to library
One enters the Niagara-on-the-Lake Library through white panelled doors, set off by red brick steps and black wrought iron railings.
This handsome entrance at the rear of the Old Court House on Queen Street was originally the entrance to the fire hall. On entering it is hard to believe the stately white pillars in the main room once outlined the market stalls and the extensive shelves of books were originally tables of farmers produce.
Historically the Niagara Library is the oldest public library in Upper Canada. It was founded in Newark in 1800, flourished for 20 years throughout the war of 1812 and was forced to disband through lack of funds in 1820.
For many years the library was housed in various locations throughout the town before finding its permanent home at the rear of the Court House in the Market Square building.
The library shared these small quarters with the fire department until 1912 and then expanded to use the entire market square building. It remained in these crowded quarters until 1973 when an extensive expansion program was carried out at a cost of $58,000. The Municipal Council approved a grant of $10,000 and a Local Initiatives grant of $31,000 was received from the Federal Government.
The balance was received through public subscriptions.
The enlarged library made excellent use of the old basement guard rooms. Original brick archways and ceilings were sandblasted to renew the beauty of the old brick. Curved archways and old jail cells were left as they were and incorporated into the over-all plan of reconstruction.
The thick stone walls were cut to make an entrance to the basement area and the final result is an attractive children's book section with small tables and chairs and a craft room with curved brick ceiling and rough white walls. This room is used in the winter for craft programs and in the summer for children's films.
Special services offered by the Niagara-on-the- Lake Library are the record loan, free film loan service and interlibrary loan service as well as special children's programs throughout the year. These programs include a story hour on Saturday mornings starting in the fall under the direction of chief librarian Mrs. Gerda Molson and assistant clerk Linda Potter and special film and puppet shows.
A successful film month was held during July with specially selected films for eight to 12-year-olds. Over 40 children each week have enjoyed the films. On a hot summer evening the thick stone walls make the library one of the coolest places in town.
Niagara Advance. Aug 22, 1974.
- Media Type:
- Item Type:
- Article about the renovation and expansion of the Niagara-the-Lake Public Library at the rear of the Court House in 1973. The library shared this location with the fire department until 1912.
Photographs with captions:
"The remodelled entrance to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library. Fire trucks once used these doors before moving to other quarters."
"White pillars outline the rows of books in the main reading room."
- Date of Original:
- August 22, 1974
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- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
Agency street/mail address
10 Anderson Lane
P.O. Box 430
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0