A Look into our Civic Centre Resource Library

On September 10,2016, Vaughan Public Libraries was excited to hold the grand opening of it’s new 36,000 square foot Civic Centre Resource Library right next our Vaughan City Hall. Over 3,500 residents attended the grand opening to check out this “not your average library” and all of its modern day features!


Stepping away from the traditional library atmosphere and design, senior principal of ZAS Architects, Paul Stevens, took inspiration from local Canada’s Wonderland rollercoasters for the design. It includes large glass panels to add natural light and brightness, whimsical curves for a modern design, dotted pattern windows to control sunlight and create playful shadows, and a central courtyard that the building wraps around for visitors to enjoy.


Not only is the design not your average library, but the Civic Centre Centre Resource Library is a right-up-to-date, digital-ready palace. Instead of the typical rows and rows of desktop-computer screens found in traditional libraries, this library has a station where visitors with a library card can check out a notebook or iPad for use on the premises. No deposit is necessary and it automatically recharges and clears your history when you return it!


Visitors can use the “Create it Space,” green room that is fully equipped with cameras, lighting, recording equipment, and editing software. Now visitors can utilize this space to express their creativity and produce work without having to worry about the cost of renting or purchasing equipment or software!


This modern library does not want you to stay quite! Instead, it offers a new twist to the good old garage band! Visitors can express their musical skills and creativity in the recording studio. Visitors can selection from a variety of musical instruments including various guitar models, a digital piano, and a drumset that automatically records your music and saves it your computer!


The media suites includes a recording studio where users can digitally produce and record music, voice and sound effects and use software to combine media forms to create a final piece of artwork.


But even in this super-modern library, books are still the main attraction. Margie Singleton, the Chief Executive Officer of Vaughan Public Libraries, explains that “even though we tend to highlight the cool things, our business – our biggest business – is books. Nothing wrong with that. We’re proud of that.” With over 70,000 books, the Civic Centre Resource library displays its popular and new books with covers out, giving the feel of a modern bookstore. This library carries all genres of books including books on wellness, fashion and style, learning foreign languages, children’s picture books, junior graphic novels, and even books on making the most of retirement. The library is also furnished with movable book stacks and other materials like dvds, cds and video games for check out.


Story time is a way for children to slip into a fictional land and explore their creative minds. The children’s area was designed by Toronto artist Ania Biczysko and who focused her art work on logs that are engraved with literary phrases from Franklin, Where the Wild Things Are and Robert Munsch books to encourage tactile learning. They’re also the gateway to the children’s area, which features heated floors, artificial grass, puppet centres and mushroom seats.


Once you have found the perfect book to indulge in or to take a well deserved break, visitors can choose from sitting outside in the central courtyard that features a red maple “tree of knowledge”…


or lounge on the 1,000-square-foot rooftop terrace!


The overall design of the building creates a sense of a small community and that is why Mr. Stevens designed this space to mirror a piazza, with a cafe that sells coffee and snacks. With all the fun activities that you can select from, visitors will become entranced with anything they decide to do and will definitely need to refuel!


The creative design of this new library will pull people in and encourage them to stay, the technology will entice them to create, and the meeting spaces to collaborate! But one thing is for sure, even in the year 2016, lots of people still come to libraries just for the love of books.

Oh, don’t forget to say hi to the pet milk snake…



Civic Centre Resource Library is located at 2191 Major Mackenzie Drive. For more information, visit Vaughan Public Libraries.

Photography By Giordano Ciampini