There’s a Little Free Library on a front lawn on Rushton Road, south of St. Clair. It looks like an oversized birdhouse on a post. It has a glass door so you can see the books inside. Passers-by can take a book and return to leave one for someone else, guaranteeing a constant turnover. You don’t have to sign up for anything or pay late fees and it’s open 24/7.
It’s a fun idea started by Tod Bol of Wisconsin. In 2009 he built the original Little Free Library in honour of his late mother who was a teacher. Today, there are over 10,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide. Toronto resident Bill Wrigley championed the idea a couple of years ago. He built Toronto’s first Little Free Library on his front lawn at 304 Lee Avenue in the Beach. If you want one you can order your very own Little Free Library on line or build one yourself.
The Little Free Library, now a not-for-profit organization, promotes literacy, a love of reading, and community. I’m happily devouring The Cheese Book by Vivienne Marquis and Patricia Haskell, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1965.
– Elizabeth Cinello
The Little Free Library website
Pictures of other Little Free Libraries in the city
Check out worldwide locations, including Toronto, here
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I have found three, one at Sherbourne and Carlton. Currenly occupied by one book, a mint paperback copy of Jane Eyre. Found a biog. of Dylan Thomas there, read and returned. 2 little libraries on Sackville, I’d like to contribute some books but realized I find it hard to part with my unread books!
Judith Chandler, Toronto
In Traverse City, Michigan the community has really come together to revitalize their downtown. That includes completely restoring the derelict old main street movie palace, the State Theater, now a regular movie venue throughout the year and also home to the Traverse City Film Festival. A recent enhancement to the street right in front of the State is this homage, a Little Free Library that’s a miniature version of the theatre with its own tiny marquee jutting out over the door.
Schuster Gindin, Toronto
We have a little free library #8433 here in Paris Ontario -have had it up for a year now and having great fun with it -there are 2 LFls in Paris but we have visited more than 60 across Ontario and Kitchener /Waterloo has their own LLKW- so there are many more to see -Happy hunting and READ ON !!!
Clarisse Robertson, Paris, Ontario
Thanks for the profile of my Little Free Library! It was a ton of fun designing it and even more seeing people stop by, finger through what’s there, take some pics, and leave with a book. If anyone else is interested in putting one up, I’d be happy to help!
Sean Evans, Toronto
Love the little free library and thinking I might install the first one in Port Elgin Ontario. Thanks for this lovely story and photographs.
Cheryl Kryzaniwsky, Port Elgin, Ontario
I found out about this in Vancouver and it is so good to see it here in Toronto, in my neighbourhood. Love it. Thanks for letting us know, Elizabeth!
Mariella Bertelli, Toronto