libraries toronto

The top 10 university libraries in Toronto

University libraries in Toronto offer some of the best book collections in the world. Whether you're on the hunt for an encyclopaedia of textiles or a rare philosophical text, one of these libraries will likely have what you seek. While you can't get into Robarts without a student card, most of these spaces accommodate discreet independent scholars as well.

Here are my picks for the top university libraries in Toronto.

Robarts Library (University of Toronto)
Most students know that U of T has one of the most impressive library systems in the world, and Robarts is its heart. This book haven boasts eight distinct libraries within, including the intriguing Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. The downside? Its brutalist architectural design isn't for everyone.

Gerstein Science Information Centre (University of Toronto)
If you're pursuing a B.Sc. at U of T, you'll probably be spending a fair amount of time in the Gerstein Science Information Centre. The library boasts a collection of over 1 million journals and books, making it the largest science and health science academic library in the country.

Leslie Frost Library (York University)
The Leslie Frost Library at York's Glendon Campus received a makeover in 2012 and is now one of the more aesthetically-pleasing buildings at the university. While the collection is small, it offers a spacious, bright environment for study purposes overlooking the upper Don Valley.

E.J. Pratt Library (University of Toronto)
E.J. Pratt is a jack of all trades type of library when it comes to the arts. The library houses approximately 250,000 books, with publications covering everything from German literature to religious studies. For those with a strong interest in literature, the special collections are worth a look; you'll find works by William Blake, Virginia Woolf, and more.

Dorothy H. Hoover (OCAD)
It's no surprise that the OCAD library is where you want to go if you're studying fine arts or a craft. Whether you're looking to perfect your brush stroke or need to draft a design, the Dorothy J. Hoover library has got you covered. It offers a expansive collection of books on textiles, art criticism, interior design and more.

Seneca@York Library (Seneca College)
Though the collection at this Seneca library is nothing to write home about, it is the ideal place to get down to business on a campus computer. The open concept space looks like a technology hub, and is the polar opposite of a stuffy study room.

Emmanuel College Library (University of Toronto)
Emmanuel College Library looks straight out of the pages of a Harry Potter Novel, complete with gothic chandeliers, wooden study nooks, and intricate arched windows. Your laptop is definitely going to look a little out of place, but who cares? The collection is geared toward theological texts, though it's a great place to study regardless of your speciality.

Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Center (University of Toronto Mississauga)
Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Center is one of the more aesthetically-pleasing libraries in the GTA. Unlike like the libraries of the downtown U of T campus, this building is with the times - architecturally speaking. It's home to 400,000 books, a digital learning space, adaptive technology centre, academic skills centre, and more.

John W. Graham Library (University of Toronto)
Everyone who's perused the U of T campus knows that Trinity College is one of the most beautiful buildings at the university, and John W. Graham Library is its crown. Aside from curb appeal, the library boasts a collection of over 200,000 books that cover international relations, ethics, the humanities and more.

Scott Library (York University)
Scott is a monster library in the brutalist tradition, but its collection is nothing to scoff at. As a bonus, the library offers a 24 hour study space, five days a week, with everything you'll need to get through the dreaded exam season ahead.

What did I miss? Add your favourite university library to the comments.

Photo of Robarts by Kravse in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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