oak ridges library

Richmond Hill just got a new library and the design is astonishing

After years of waiting, residents just north of Toronto have a brand new library to enjoy, and it's absolutely stunning.

The innovative new Oak Ridges branch — which boasts 19,000 square feet over two floors — opened in Richmond Hill last month, and programming has already kicked off in full force.

The building has meeting rooms, study spaces, a computer room, a creative "maker space," ample seating and dedicated areas for all different age groups — all a very significant upgrade from the old Oak Ridges Moraine Library it is meant to replace.

It also has a greatly expanded offering of books and magazines for all ages.

The unique design includes tons of floor-to-ceiling windows across both floors, modern light installations and super high ceilings that make the whole space feel extremely bright, open and airy.

Toronto architecture firm Perkins and Will, which was behind the project, says the building was "inspired by its surroundings" and the area, with materials like timber and stone reflecting the city's "lineage as a cottage community."

P&W principal Duff Balmer adds that the space is meant to serve as a sort of "urban living room" for residents, which is helped by its open, fluid layout that allows engagement between library patrons.

The structure is also green building certified, and has a green roof with indigenous plantings.

Finishes are sleek and modern, but still warm and comfortable, with dark stone facing and warm-hued woods continued throughout.

Though there were a few snags in the building process, which started back in 2016, the Oak Ridges branch at the corner of Yonge Street and Regatta Avenue is definitely an impressive addition to the community.

Lead photo by

Scott Norsworthy


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