Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library

On the northeast corner of Yonge St. & Asquith Avenue. (just above Bloor St.)

Although this Library is accessible there are a few things you need to know about it before going to make your experience there a bit more pleasant. See below if you are going for the Ontario Building Code Books.

1) The automatic disabled entry door at the main entrance opens very slowly. It doesn't open completely wide open so don't wait for it to. Start to enter it as soon as you can because it starts to close before you know it. It closes slowly, but you may get caught in it if you aren't aware.

2) Once in that door there is another disabled 'gate' for you to go through to enter the actual library. There is a button on it to release the lock. Don't attempt to just roll through this gate. There are instructions there, just follow them. Press the red button and wait a few seconds until the lock releases then you can push through that gate. Like all of these gate, be careful going through this one.

3) Warning..! If you are going to need to photocopy anything there you must purchase a 'copy card' at the main information desk on the main level! If what you want to copy is on any other floor you can only buy the 'copy card' on the main level at the info desk. It's .15 cents a copy for regular size paper and for legal paper size it's .20 cents a copy. Try to estimate how many copies you will need and purchase that card before you go looking for your book or whatever you are there for if it's on another level. You do not want to be going up and down the elevators.

4) The elevators. There are two elevators there. They are very slow and if empty of people you could fit 2 scooters in it. Take my word for it, they are never empty of people. Matter of fact they are so slow that by the time you wait for one there is quite a crowd waiting and as most places it doesn't matter if you've been there first or waiting forever, they just plow into the elevator and you must wait for the next one. Expect a wait for the elevators.

5) I have only been to the first and second floors of this library but the washroom on the second floor is wheelchair accessible somewhat. The stall is huge. One of the best I've seen. But.. the outside entry door is not automatic and must be pushed and almost directly inside is another entry door to the left of it with not much room to maneuver. You must push it as well. Exiting is another story since both these doors will now pull towards you and the handles on them are at a slightly high level and the doors are a bit heavy.

6) Exiting.. you must go through yet another type of gate to exit. This one is just a long silver arm like a bar. Be careful going through it as well.


I had quite the experience there when I went for the Ontario Building Code books. These books are kept on the second floor in the 'Annex' section to the left and towards the east side of the library when you get off the elevators. There is only ONE copy of these books, they are the 1997 edition (I don't know why they are so old) and they are on a 'first come, first serve' basis! They cannot be removed from the library either. The first day I went I was too late, it was 4:45 and this branch closes at 5:00 pm. Thinking I'd be smart, I purchased a 'copy card' while there for 6 copies so when I went back I wouldn't have to do this. The cards can carry over, they don't have to be used right away.

The next time I went was a couple of days later on a Sunday. I wasn't aware this Library closed on Sundays during the summer. A wasted trip. I think they reopen Sunday's in early Sept. but you should check first.

The next time I went was Mon. Aug. 26th/02. Someone went with me and it's a good thing. I pushed the auto entry door and she decided just to follow me in. Not a good plan. The door shut on her. It wouldn't even stay open long enough for two scooters to travel through. Once in we went to the elevators. I had to take the first one while she waited for the next one. It took her forever to get upstairs to the second floor.

We entered the 'annex' section and I was asked to fill in a small form with my name, address and phone number which I did. I then requested the O.B.C. books. I was told they were in use. I asked for the second copy (I was told they had two), and was told they only have one on site. I asked if he knew if it would be available soon and he said he had no idea. Since this is a small part of the library I thought possibly the books had been out all morning or whatever and he would have known that. It might have given me some idea of when they may be available. How long could someone be using the same books? Well, I decided to wait.

After some time the man there got up, walked around the room looking at the people at the desks and came back and informed me it could be some time yet. I had some other errands I could do so I requested reserving them for when I was finished in about an hour or so. No.. you cannot even reserve these books! Not even if you know you are going to be there right on time. It's a first come, first serve basis for this single copy of these 3 books.

I decided to leave and do my other errands and on the way out stopped at the main info desk and requested the phone number to the annex section. The man there was very hesitant to give it to me but he did. The number is (416) 393-7029 to the annex section. I'm sure they won't appreciate me giving out this number but do call ahead if you are close by to save yourself a trip. Off I went to do my errands.

Approx. 45 minutes later I called them and inquired if the books were available yet and got a nice lady named Jane. She said one was available now, I told her I was directly across the street but had to go to the corner to cross and I had wheeltrans coming too, could she please hold that one book for me for just 5 minutes until I get there. She said yes... bless that woman!

When I finally got upstairs she was ready with this massive book for me. I'm talking huge. It had 9 pages to be copied in it. The only copy of this book they have is the 1997 Ontario Building Code and it is section 3.8 (barrier free design). Well, I had only purchased 6 copies on my copy card so the person with me went downstairs to purchase another 6 copies for me.

While she was on her way downstairs this lady brings me two more books!! One as huge as the one I was looking at. Thank goodness for cell phones because I grabbed mine and called the person running the errand for me to tell her to get me even more copies on the copy card. I then started shifting through the first book (it's actually a binder) and taking the pages out and started copying. By the time my 6 copies were used up, the person with me was just getting back with the new copy card. Btw, there is only one copy machine in this section so if someone else is using it you have to wait.

I finished those 9 copies and went for the other large book (the O.B.C. illustrated guide). There I discovered another 31 pages to be copied! Good thing I told her to load that card with copies. I copied all of them but when putting them back into the book after I was finished I went through them to be sure I didn't miss any pages and discovered I did and I missed it because the page itself was missing! Someone lifted it! I told a different gentleman (David) at the desk now and he requested I write down the missing page for him and they'd try to aquire it from somewhere. This meant yet another trip for me to get this single doublesided page. He at that point went to talk to someone and came back and informed me they'd copy it and mail it to me if I preferred. What a relief. I thanked him and packed up the books and took them back to him. Gave him my name & phone # again and he said it would take at least a week. The 3rd smaller binder/book I was given to go through had nothing in reference to the barrier free design or access codes in it.

So... all in all, be prepared. For anything. Elevator waits, waiting for the books themselves, photocopying (be sure to get enough on the copy card so you don't have to go running back down to the main floor - you'll probably need at least $6.00 worth - it's regular size pages), and if you are using wheeltrans be sure to give yourself ample time.

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