The Toronto Public Library (TPL) serves residents and communities in the way how people live, work, learn and play so that TPL continues to provide relevant library service and have positive impacts on the lives of Torontonians. TPL empowers Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and global knowledge economy through expanded access to technology, lifelong learning and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, online, in our branches and in the community. The Toronto Public Library delivers the following services:

  • Library Collections Access and Borrowing
  • Library In-Branch and Virtual Services
  • Library Partnerships, Outreach and Customer Engagement

The TPL system includes 81 neighbourhood branches, 17 district branches, two research and reference branches, for a total of 100 branches; as well as two service buildings and two bookmobiles.

Download the Budget Analyst Notes for Toronto Public Library for detailed information on service levels, key initiatives, challenges and performance measures. You can also review budget highlights below.

Toronto Public Library provides free and equitable access to services which meet the changing needs of Torontonians. The Library preserves and promotes universal access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment.

Download the Toronto Public Library Program Map to better understand the services and activities City Planning delivers on behalf of the City of Toronto.

Operating Budget

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $206.9 million gross and $187.7 million net.


  • 2.9% Budget increase over the 2018 Approved Net Operating Budget to maintain existing service levels and meet additional service demands.
  • $0.357M Savings through a reduction of overtime, library materials processing costs, and travel expenses based on the actual experience and the conclusion of an energy savings loan.
  • $0.468M New/enhanced funding for seasonal Sunday service enhancements at eight neighbourhood branches and two additional youth hubs that support Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
  • 2020/2021 Inflationary increases in consulting services, and inflationary increases for utilities, supplies and services, and library collections will continue to add budgetary pressures in 2020 and 2021. The Library’s current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of 2019 and COLA is not included in 2020/2021.

Key Challenges

  • Financial impacts resulting from the 2019 cost of living adjustments and Bill 148.
  • Ongoing collections development pressures: Lack of availability of e-materials and high cost from publishers, high usage demand for collections in multiple formats (i.e. electronic copies).
  • Customer expectations for in-branch, online, mobile and personalized service.
  • Access to new and emerging technology; support for digital and other literacies.
  • Significant and growing State of Good Repair backlog to address AODA requirements.

Priority Actions

  • Advance Poverty Reduction Strategy through the expansion of new seasonal Sunday service at 8 branches ($0.208 million) and the addition of 2 new youth hubs ($0.260 million).
  • Continue Phase 2 renovations of North York Central Library to be completed in 2021 ($9.454 million).
  • Secure additional funding to address growing SOGR needs ($5.475 million).
  • Expand access to emerging technologies including new Digital Innovations Hubs and Pop Up Learning Labs.
  • Implement measures to advance customer experience, including expanding mobile friendly and self-serve capability.
  • Continue eBook advocacy campaign around fair pricing.

Capital Budget and Plan

The 10-year Capital Plan is $309.4 million to maintain the current infrastructure while addressing the need for relocated and expanded library branches to address population growth and service demand.

Highlights – 1 Year

  • $15.729M Begin or continue construction at Albert Campbell, Bayview-Bessarion, Wychwood, and York Woods branches.
  • $4.881M Continue the Multi-Branch Renovation Program to address TPL’s growing SOGR backlog.
  • $4.264M Continue construction work at North York Central Libray with continuation of Phase 2 of the renovation.
  • $1.500M Continue development of the IT infrastructure through the Virtual Branch Services project.
  • $0.810M Continue planning work for Richview, Centennial, and Dawes Road branches.

Highlights – 10 Years

  • $96.960M Growth-Related projects to increase access to in-branch services and spaces through new construction to expand public and community space.
  • $15.000M Legislated projects to retrofit branches for accessibility.
  • $1.500M Service Improvement projects to modernize operating equipment and provide self-service functionalities.
  • $195.952M State of Good Repair projects to fund upgrades to existing branch and technology infrastructure that includes additional $5.475 million dedicated to address SOGR backlog.

Presentations made to committee and City Council provide an overview of the 2019 City budget. Documents will be posted as they become available.